From the simple elegance of a glass tabletop to the superior durability provided by a sturdy metal frame, finding and selecting the best material for your outdoor furniture can be an important concern. Different materials can vary considerably in terms of durability, longevity and style. 

Wood

Furnishings constructed with either natural or composite woods can be quite versatile. Sturdy enough to withstand the elements, wood furniture can also compliment a wide range of decorative themes and styles. Perfect for creating a relaxed and casual atmosphere, a wood dining set, bench or outdoor table can make a handsome addition to almost any outdoor setting. The warm woody notes emanating from the furniture can affect your sense of smell in the most alluring way, making time spent around it very enjoyable.

Plastic

While not as durable as other materials, plastic furnishings still have several key advantages. Plastic materials are less likely to suffer damage from moisture or sun exposure and are typically lightweight enough to be moved, stored or rearranged with relative ease. An ideal choice for areas that lack shade or protection from the rain, plastic chairs and tables are perfect for use near a backyard pool. Plastic is often the most cost-effective material choice, making it popular with homeowners who have only limited funds at their disposal.  

Because plastic is a lightweight material making it easy to move around when friends want to gather around the table, poolside, at the fire pit or wherever they feel most at home. It becomes the perfect partner for any occasion outdoors.

Glass

Stately and elegant, a glass side, end or outdoor dining table makes for an eye-catching decorative piece. While tempered glass can be much stronger than you might expect, glass furniture can still be chipped, cracked or damaged by an impact and may be problematic in high-traffic environments or settings that might involve a lot of wear and tear. Glass tabletops can also function as a highlight and are often paired with a frame constructed from either wood or metal. The glass top along with the frame will give a natural look and feel to your outdoor furniture that would invite people to spend more time outside.

One thing to remember when using glass outdoors is the impact weather elements may have on this material. While sun and rain would be relatively harmless, extreme cold and hail may cause the glass to shatter or crack. If the area is prone to inclement weather, it would be best to cover these items or move them out of harm’s way.

 How to Choose the Best Material for Outdoor Furniture 

Metal

For sheer durability, nothing beats metal furnishings. Wrought-iron chairs or a steel-mesh outdoor table top can withstand extreme punishment without showing any signs of damage. While metal furnishings may be strong enough to provide years or even decades of everyday use, maintenance can still become an issue. Exposure to the rain, morning dew or even just environments that have high levels of humidity may cause metal furniture to oxidize and rust. Even anodized metals and furniture that has been sealed to provide superior protection from the elements may still rust in the event that the seal or exterior coating becomes damaged or worn away. 

Remember to add cushions or take the furniture out of the sun if people are coming over and will be using these pieces of furniture. The warmth of the sun may cause the temperature of the metal to rise making it uncomfortable to sit on.

Wicker

Lightweight and distinctively stylish, wicker furniture combines the casual look and feel of wood with the lightweight convenience of plastic. Unlike many of the other materials, quality wicker furniture may be equally at home in an indoor dining room as on a back deck, porch or balcony. When well cared for and maintained, wicker furnishings can last for years providing owners with a solid long-term investment. Retailers like Pier 1 provide a range of different furniture options that make it easier to find the chairs, outdoor table and other furniture that will be better suited to either your planned or existing decor.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous choices of materials available that make it easy to select outdoor furniture able to complement a wide range of environments, styles and tastes. Find the right furniture that would suit your lifestyle and the aesthetics of your home to maximize enjoyment and comfortability outdoors.

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