Andrew Bockner of Andrew Richard Designs came to the show to talk more about what to look for in outdoor furniture with a focus on wood and metal choices. He toured us through his in-law's backyard, featuring a deck with woven furniture that makes it comfortable, elegant, and very practical.
Various types of wood are used for outdoor furniture, each has unique characteristics.
- Great for heavy durable long lasting Muskoka chairs, picnic tables
- Stands up to weather and will keep its appearance for years; Light weight but stable.
- Resistant to insects, fungi, bacteria, rot and decay
- Does not require a finish to keep its structure for years, however stain or paint will prolong its life
- Can be mid price range to expensive
- Store indoors. Clean with pressure washer once a year. Natural grey patina actually protects it from UV rays
- Inexpensive, light weight, versatile, easy to work with
- Not as long lasting as other woods, can warp and rot
- Store indoors. Should be stained or painted to last well
- A hardwood that is good for outdoor furniture, very heavy, long wearing
- Contains natural tannic acid which protects it from fungi and insects
- Kiln-dried to help prevent warping and cupping
- Treat with a light oil
- Mid to expensive price range
- A light hardwood from Australia/Indonesia/Malaysia
- Fast growing in poor soil (inexpensive)
- Variety of colours, most popular is similar look to teak
- quite durable for outdoor weathering
Exotic African / Indonesian Wood:
- Popular, hardwoods
- Perform well outdoors
- Termite and decay resistant, strong, good for umbrella frames
- May look like teak but cheaper
- Popular in 70s/80s
- Still used, durable, west coast, bug and rot resistant can last 25 years
- Known for its durability, can leave outdoors year round
- Often harvested from responsibly managed plantations nowadays
- High demand, very strong construction
- Stain with natural teak oil for added protection and appearance
- Can leave to weather to gray patina
- Expensive, investment, lasts decades, up to 50 yrs!
Various metals are also popular for outdoor furniture.
- Heavy, traditional, long lasting, but expensive
- Can rust so it must be protected/stored over winter
- Lightweight, inexpensive, versatile, modern styling
- Can be combined with wood, can stay out all winter, easy cleaning with soap and water
- Hose or with steel wool if it pits or stains
- If left in the sun without a cushion it will be very hot to sit on!
- Does not corrode or rust. Used to frame woven furniture and sling chairs
- Modern, heavy, long lasting, durable
- Poor heat conductor so doesn't get hot to touch
- Must be perfectly welded and polished to avoid rust
- 100 percent recyclable, most comes from old scrap steel.
- Less maintenance then other metals, no harsh cleaners needed
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