Patio Furniture Guide

 
 

Patio Furniture Guide

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Just picture it: A private, secluded oasis in the sun just right outside your door. It’s chic. It’s comfortable. And it’s the place otherwise known as your backyard.

You’ve decided to invest in patio furniture so you can enjoy the comfort of your backyard. It’s an investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly as making a decision based on style alone might result in purchasing pieces that didn’t live up to your expectations. Plus, the task of choosing the right furniture can be daunting due to the vast array of styles, designs, materials, and accessories available.

Regardless if your style is geared toward more modern needs, or you appreciate the simplicity of classic design, patio furniture is a reflection of the atmosphere you want to create outside. Think of it as taking what you love about the inside of your home, and translating it into a relaxing retreat where you, your family, and friends can enjoy the breeze and throw some fun parties.

Patio Furniture and Grill Covers

Material Considerations

When coming up with an outdoor entertaining area that is stylish, perhaps you haven’t given much thought as to the construction of the furniture. Although style is a main factor in determining what the patio, deck or backyard should look like, learning more about the material patio furniture is made of will pay off in the end.

Weighing Your Options

With manufacturers producing patio furniture in a slew of materials, here are some questions to keep in mind before committing to an outdoor patio furniture purchase:

  • Are you planning on using the furniture to entertain often?
  • Will the pieces be left outside to contend with the elements?
  • Would it bother you having to replace a piece in a couple of years because a chair is starting to rust, or the wood is warping?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Will you be adding accessories such as cushions, an umbrella, or lights to the area you plan to decorate, too?

Take your lifestyle into consideration and what type of setup everything will live in. While having a beautiful outdoor entertainment area is always desired, it won’t matter how pretty everything looks if the material a chair or table is made from isn’t built to last.

What materials are used to construct outdoor patio furniture?

Factoring in lifestyle needs, comfort level, and style preferences, there is a material that suits all of your wants in terms of the furniture you pick. The expansive array of materials used to construct outdoor patio furniture has come a long way, resulting in more options. Keep in mind that each material boasts different pros and cons – so do your research before making a purchase.

Plastic/Resin/Polymer

Image of Plastic, Resin and Polymer Patio Furniture Known for their resilience as the ultimate all-weather enduring materials, plastic, resin and polymer are often found to be fairly inexpensive. These low-maintenance materials are your go-to if you don’t mind giving them some extra TLC.

Pros Cons  
  • Does not retain moisture
  • Natural weather resistance
  • Often made in a variety of colors
  • Can be made to resemble other materials such as wood, tile or glass
  • Resistant to rust
  • Strong and durable
  • Color can fade due to prolonged sun exposure
  • Easily shows scratches and wear and tear

Care: Wipe clean or use mild soap to remove built-up dust and debris. Follow the suggested care instructions provided.

Maintenance Level: Low

Polywood®

Image of Polywood Patio Furniture Polywood® lumber is material made from robust recycled materials such as thermos plastics, making it completely synthetic. The biggest appeal of Polywood® lumber patio furniture is its all-weather enduring construction, making it extremely durable and long lasting.

Pros Cons  
  • Designed to withstand rain, salt water
  • Does not need to be painted, stained or sealed as a result to the weather-resilient properties of the material
  • Highly durable, strong and long-lasting
  • Resists warping
  • Made in a variety of colors
  • Does not contain wood or natural fibers
  • Splinter, crack or chip resistant
  • Made into a limited range of designs and textures, therefore limiting your style options

Care: Soap and warm water. Follow the suggested care instructions provided.

Maintenance Level: Low

Wood

Image of Wood Patio Furniture Wood patio furniture gives any backyard a luxurious look. A long-standing choice when it comes to outdoor furniture, hardwoods have ageless appeal in terms of style longevity. Each wood species has its own special properties that bring a number of individual benefits, but overall, hardwood is as traditional as it gets.

Pros Cons  
  • A variety of woods are used to make furniture including, but not limited to: Mahogany, Maple, Oak, Beech, Pine, Teak, Acacia, Cedar, and Walnut
  • Available in variety of stains and finishes
  • Can be treated with sealants and glazes to help prolong the life of the piece and better withstand the weather
  • Exudes natural beauty and the rustic feel of the outdoors
  • Heavy and durable
  • Used to create a variety of patio furniture styles including tables, benches, adirondacks, swings, side tables, patio sets and others
  • Over time if the product is not properly maintained, it can crack or splinter under cold conditions
  • If not treated with a sealant or a varnish, wood can crack, splinter or warp
  • Shows watermarks and ring stains easily (if not properly cared for)
  • Prone to scratches
  • Hard surface calls for a cushion or padding

Care: Varies on the type of wood the furniture is made from. Some types of wood require little maintenance, while for some, the color can alter over time.

Maintenance Level: Medium

What does FSC Certified mean?

FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council which is an independent, non-profit organization that strives to insure and promote “environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forest”, according to their website (https://us.fsc.org). The organization is member-led and sets standards under which forests and companies are certified. Use of the FSC logo provides consumers with knowledge that the products they buy come from responsible sources.

Metals

Various metal types can be used in the construction of furniture such as aluminum, cast aluminum, wrought iron, or a combination of metals. Each metal boasts its own perks in terms of longevity and wear. Knowing the difference between them will help you to determine what type of patio furniture is right for you.

Aluminum

Image of Aluminum Patio Furniture Made of tubular pieces, aluminum is commonly used throughout outdoor furniture seating as a result of its lightweight stature and ability to resist rust and corrosion. Aluminum chairs are often paired with fabric-upholstered seats or woven textures to make beach chairs, lounge chairs and inexpensive furniture.

Pros Cons  
  • Affordable
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Will not rust or fade in the sun
  • Offered in a variety of finishes such as powder coat, brushed, satin and polished
  • Tolerates plants and animals
  • Gets hot in the sun
  • Made from hollow material, which can be prone to dents and accidental damage easily
  • May not be long lasting as a result of repeated wear and use (i.e. fabric on the chair can rip around the frame)

Care: Wipe clean. Aluminum does not rust, but can oxidize and turn chalky white over time. Follow the suggested care instructions provided.

Maintenance Level: Low

Cast Aluminum

Image of Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture An elegant choice that gives your backyard the look of a European bistro, cast aluminum patio furniture has a striking presence that is upscale and contemporary. Styling your patio or deck with cast aluminum patio furniture is considered upscale and refined, making it ideal for those who want the feeling of lounging in a lavish and luxurious hotel-inspired setting.

Pros Cons  
  • Does not bend or break easily
  • Has a high-end look
  • Long lasting and durable
  • Offered in a variety of colors and finishes, as well as textured finishes
  • Often features intricate detailing on backrests or tables
  • Gets hot in the sun
  • Much heavier than regular aluminum, therefore making it difficult to move

Care: Wipe clean. Follow the suggested care instructions provided.

Maintenance Level: Low

All-Weather Wicker

Image of All-Weather Wicker Patio Furniture A beautiful and popular choice for patios, decks, sunrooms, porches and outdoor entertaining areas is all-weather wicker. The cozy feeling that this material provides lends itself to being enjoyed casually while also bringing contemporary flair to your decor. All-weather wicker is a synthetic material with pliable abilities often woven, braided or twisted to create intricate textures. Styles include Rustic, Exotic, Natural, Traditional, and island-inspired.

Pros Cons  
  • All-weather wicker can contend with the elements
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Crafted to make intricate designs and patterns to adorn backrests, arms and legs
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Traditional and timeless – it is never not in style
  • When woven or braided, a wicker surface becomes stronger, providing support for tables and seats
  • Unless furniture is made from all-weather wicker, it is not weather resistant
  • Cushions might be needed to make a seat softer
  • The nooks and crannies that come with braided textures means that small particles of dust and debris may collect in between grooves

Care: Wipe down frequently. Follow the suggested care instructions provided.

Maintenance Level: Low

Patio Furniture Fabric

A beautiful cushion or canopy is only as good as the fabric it’s made of. And what good is it if in a year you need to replace it because damage from the sun makes the item look worn or overused?

Fabric composition can vary greatly as a common practice is to combine multiple types to create a desired texture or softness. Normally, the fabrics that cover throw pillows, rugs, cushions, and upholstered furniture indoors do not have the outdoor resilience required to endure the elements. So, when it comes to upholstered items to pair with your outdoor chairs and benches, the best option for your investment is all-weather resistant fabric such as Sunbrella.

All-Weather Resistant

Just like the name implies, all-weather resistant fabric can take a beating from Mother Nature and still hold up well. Come rain, heavy wind or blazing sun, these types of fabrics are meant to resist fading to preserve their beautiful colors. The investment in all-weather resistant fabric might be a little more costly, but worth it.

Fabrics that are all-weather resistant are usually treated with a chemical to increase the fiber strength of the material. A premium choice preferred by many is Sunbrella®.

Sunbrella®

Standard fabrics just don’t have the longevity that Sunbrella does. This fabric is designed to resist fading in the summer sun, and also is resilient against stains or chlorine, making it a great option to pair by the pool. The patented material can withstand the elements, resulting in many years of use.

Sunbrella fabric is used to create outdoor drapery, throw pillows, cushions, canopies, umbrellas, area rugs, throws, blankets and more. Many of Sunbrella products are backed by a generous warranty, giving you peace of mind in your investment.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends Sunbrella fabrics in shading products as an aid in the prevention of sun induced damage to the skin as a part of a complete sun protection regimen, including regular use of sunscreen.

Olefin Fabric

Considered a deluxe weather-resistant fabric, Olefin is known for retaining beautiful color even when exposed to prolonged sunlight. It is also resistant to staining and mildew, dries quickly and is very strong. Olefin is a synthetic fiber made from polyolefin, such as polypropylene or polyethylene.

Types of Cushions

Customize your favorite chair by adding a cushion to it for vibrant color and exceptional comfort. Bold and bright, floral print or geometric-inspired, outdoor furniture can be transformed from ordinary to inviting by simply adding an exuberant print or color to the décor.

Luckily, cushions are made in multiple sizes, patterns, colors and fabrics, leaving you plenty of options to personalize your patio in style. Shapes include: chair, bistro, high back, mid back, Adirondack, chaise, bench, dining, deep seating, settee, and tufted.

Furniture Options

Seating

From lounging by the pool, to sitting pretty in the shade, you can absolutely find seating options that are stylish and comfortable. And thanks to the vast array of materials chairs come in, customizing a deck, veranda or balcony with cozy seating is a breeze.

Tables

Take your meal outside as you enjoy dinner with family and friends under the sun. A table is a must for any outdoor entertaining area… and just your luck, there are plenty of ‘em.

Sets

Dining outside on your patio, balcony or deck is one of the things you can look forward to the most as a beautiful table or seating set will inspire you to entertain outdoors. Depending upon the setup of your backyard, you can keep things casual with a conversation set or turn up the party atmosphere by adding a bar set and sectional for a lounge-inspired vibe.

Patio Accessories

The fun part about buying outdoor furniture is accessorizing. Accessories serve to complement your backyard by showcasing your style personality and provide practical use in different settings. From durable melamine dinnerware that is shatter-resistant, to the twinkle of glowing string lights at dusk, the small details bring out the beauty of your patio furniture.

What’s also great about adding personal touches to your home is it allows you to play with themes like Nautical, Tropical, Modern, Transitional, and Contemporary by adding something new to the mix as a striking visual.

Now that you are armed with loads of information, click on any of these links to find your perfect patio furniture or accessories.

Patio Furniture

Patio Accessories