Aluminum Patio Furniture... Pros and Cons
Looking for patio furniture that will last for years and years? If so, aluminum patio furniture is a product you'll really want to look into. If durability, style, and a low-maintenance attitude are your thing, aluminum patio furniture may be exactly what you need.
Chairs, Tables, Lounges, you name it...all aluminum patio furniture is rust free. This makes it great for salty or wet areas.
Two categories come to mind when I think about aluminum patio furniture. First, you have the less costly, but still long lasting aluminum framed furniture, sometimes called "hollow aluminum furniture." And then there's solid cast aluminum patio furniture. It tends to be more expensive, but it will almost last for an eternity.
Let's take a moment to review each type in more detail. We'll start with aluminum framed patio furniture.
Aluminum Frame Patio Furniture
Getting rid of all misconceptions right away, please realize that just because you might hear this type of outdoor furniture called "the hollow stuff," does not mean its not sturdy or durable. In fact, not all aluminum frame patio sets are even hollow.
Perhaps being one of the best values for the money is one of the reasons this type of furniture is so popular. One of the trends these days in aluminum frame chairs is having a mesh type seating and back surface. These are commonly called sling chairs. And, they are really quite comfortable.
They're often sold in complete sets, including a glass table and an umbrella that matches the chair's fabric material. Different configurations exist, but common aluminum patio furniture sets offer a table, four chairs, an umbrella, and perhaps even some extra patio cushions.
The aluminum frames themselves usually have a powder-coated finish. If you aren't familiar with this process, it is when a powder-based paint is electrically adhered to the metal and then permanently baked on in a special industrial oven. This means an extremely durable finish that will give you years of chip and scratch resistant service.
There are some exceptions to the powder-coat standard. Sometimes, a sprayed on finish is still used. This is not necessarily bad, but do look for a quality finish. Oh, and make sure the furniture IS aluminum and not steel if you want a rust proof finish. I only say this now because sometimes, steel frame furniture and aluminum frame pieces can look identical. Nothing against steel, but this page is about aluminum!
Being composed of aluminum, this type of patio furniture will withstand the weather well (with the exception of possibly blowing around in very heavy wind), but should still be covered or brought inside during extreme weather or over the winter. It's best to follow the manufacturer recommendations for care and maintenance in order to get all you can out of the furniture.
Cleaning usually involves washing occasionally with a soft sponge and a mild soap. Many people will use an automotive spray-on wax once or twice a year. This may help keep with keeping the finish looking brand new.
Bottom line - there are many different styles and designs of aluminum patio furniture. Aluminum frame furniture is a great affordable option. If you get a decent quality set and take good care of it, there's no reason you shouldn't expect it to last 10 years or more.
Next, we'll cover the other major type of aluminum furniture.
Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture
One of today's best options to furnish your outdoor living spaces, cast aluminum furniture is traditional and classic, with the look and feel of wrought iron, but at the same time modern, lightweight, and more durable.
Choosing cast aluminum furniture for your patio is most likely going to be a once-a-lifetime decision. Finished with rock-hard and very durable powder coat paint, it will easily last 30 plus years if taken care of. Unlike many other types of patio furniture, cast aluminum products just keep lasting and lasting with very little maintenance.
Many quality levels exist within the cast aluminum category. Lesser quality sets are mostly likely machine manufactured or assembled. There is nothing wrong with this, but the attention to detail, such as the welding work, might not be quite as detailed. Also, finish quality is important. The better the finish appearance, the better the quality of the furniture.
Higher quality sets are often put together by skilled craftsmen with a very high standard of perfection. The finishes are going to be richer and more detailed. Also, higher quality the furniture is more likely to use thicker aluminum and more bracing.
Usually, prices are proportional to the furniture's quality (but not always!). Warranties also are a factor or patio furniture pricing. The longer the warranty, the better a manufacturer expects the furniture to hold up. Prices can range from around $300 for a basic set, all the way to as high as $8,000 for the very best luxury quality aluminum patio furniture.