What is the best metal for outdoor furniture?

There is quite a selection of materials to choose from when it comes to buying garden furniture. You can buy seats and tables made from plastic, resin, wood and natural or synthetic rattan. There are also various different metals available, the pros and cons of which are briefly outlined below.

Iron

Pros

Wrought iron garden furniture can look really stylish. It is also ultra-strong and durable, and can be left outside. If powder-coated, it will also be weatherproof.

Cons

Wrought iron chairs and tables are very heavy to lift, making them difficult to move and store. If your pieces are not powder-coated, you will need to protect them by applying a rust protector. Iron isn’t the most comfortable of materials to sit on either, although buying an outdoor cushion or two will improve matters.

Steel

Pros

Like iron, steel is very sturdy, yet it is lighter than wrought iron. Stainless steel is also rustproof.

Cons

Steel furniture can get very hot when the sun is shining, so some good outdoor cushions are a necessity – preferably made from a weatherproof, fade resistant fabric. Like iron that is not powder-coated, if the steel is not stainless you will need to apply some sort of protective coating to prevent rust.

Aluminium

Pros

Aluminium is far lighter than steel or iron. It does not rust, and is a very durable material. It also affordable and easy to maintain. Many manufacturers of outdoor furniture now powder-coat the aluminium they use, which means it can be resistant to fading and UV light, as well as rustproof. As the protective powder coating comes in a wide range of colours, the chairs and tables made from it can too.

Cons

If your aluminium garden furniture is not powder-coated, it can become very hot to touch during sunny days.

Which is the best metal?

Different metals suit different needs, but when it comes to garden furniture, aluminium is the easiest to move, store and maintain. It is also a cost-effective choice.

As mentioned above, all types of metal garden furniture fare better against the great British weather when they are coated with an appropriate means of protection. Buying chairs, tables or complete sets that are already coated makes life much easier.

Powder-coated pieces are sealed with a protective layer of epoxy or polyester powder that is applied to the surface to provide a permanent, durable, protective layer. As this layer is fused to the aluminium, it is very hardwearing and often UV-resistant.

If style is important to you, another benefit of aluminium furniture is the astonishing array of shapes, sizes and colours available. This means you can pick something you will love for many years to come – and if it is given a good-quality finish it should last for a very long time too.

The best garden furniture powder coatings can be multi-layered for an ultra-resistant finish, such as Lifestyle Garden furniture’s ‘Duracoat’. This is also oven cured for added durability.