Is all outdoor patio furniture wood created equal? The answer: No, of course not! And why does this matter?
When shopping for outdoor patio furniture, most likely you are looking for many of the same qualities and characteristics you value in your indoor tables, chairs, and sofas – durability, comfort, style, and price. The primary difference, however, is patio furniture must endure exposure to the outdoor elements. While no patio furniture is 100% weatherproof, you can still choose materials that are more durable than others..
Some of the benefits of wood include furniture that is solid, sturdy, heavy, non-heat-absorbing, and long-lasting if well cared for. That is the key: Well Cared For. Different types of wood require different types of maintenance-from simple washing with soap and water – and a little painting to applying protective lacquers and finishes. Wood furniture also ranges in price from the more expensive teak, ipe, cedar, and some pinewood to more economical wood types like eucalyptus and pressure-treated pine.
That’s why, when shopping for your best-suited outdoor wood patio furniture set, it is important to understand the different types of patio furniture wood and how to care for them. So, let Christy Sports help you take out the guess work! Here is our brief guide to follow when looking at different types of wood patio furniture pieces.
Higher Priced Outdoor Woods
From the top, teak, ipe, and cedar tend to be more expensive options. Teak is a dense-grained tropical hardwood, resistant to rotting, warping, shrinkage, and swelling – making it one of the most popular wood choices for outdoor furniture. Its high demand and limited availability have pushed the price of teak extremely high. Fortunately, teak has many characteristics that make it ideally suited for outdoor use and worth the cost.
Teak is incredibly strong and doesn’t warp, crack, or become brittle like many woods. This is because teak repels most water and does not expand or contract in the drying process. Teak also has a high natural oil content, which makes it highly resistant to damage from rot, decay, and insects – durability against the elements to last up to fifty years!
With its gorgeous honey brown appearance, Teak can be maintained with minimal oiling and easily cleaned with mild soap and water. For a more aged, rustic look, teak will fade into an attractive silver grey over time, if left untreated. Teak also takes to varnish well.
Our Favorite Teak Wood Collection: The Baltic Collection by Mulia – natural meets contemporary with this mid-century style.
Also known as “ironwood,” ipe is a sturdy hardwood from Central and South America. It has a deep, rich colored grain that fades slower when exposed to the elements. Ipe also has a high natural oil content, which helps it resist insects, decomposition, and various forms of fungi. Its hard, dense structure will protect against physical damage such a denting, warping, and cracking. While ipe can last up to forty years, this unique wood requires quite a bit of preparation and maintenance when cut and glued together.
Our Favorite Ipe Wood Collections: Opal and Ipe Collections by Jensen Leisure-Of heirloom quality, sustainably-harvested hardwood timber, these two collections are sure to complement your outdoor space. Call it casual comfort masquerading in sophisticated style.
Cedar & Pine
Both cedar and pine are softwoods that will age to a grey finish if left unsealed or unpainted. Cedar is generally more expensive. So, if you are looking for something a little more economical, consider pressure-treated pine.
For the Value
A more budget-friendly option, eucalyptus is naturally resistant to moisture damage and insects. This strong, versatile Australian hardwood is fast-growing and lasts a long time. As a result, eucalyptus is eco-friendly and sustainable, therefore offering significant cost savings versus teak. Its natural “washed” appearance has rustic appeal, which will develop into a silver patina unless oiled regularly.
Outdoor patio furniture made from eucalyptus is not only weather and rot resistant, but eucalyptus oil acts as a natural insecticide. However, eucalyptus is susceptible to marine and pinhole borers, as well as vulnerable to cracking if untreated. A sealant is recommended to improve the resistance of eucalyptus to pests and to minimize the negative impact of uneven moisture retention. To maintain its finish and keep furniture in tip top shape, refinishing eucalyptus periodically is highly recommended.
Keep in mind, wood outdoor patio furniture may require more maintenance than other materials. Many wood types like those mentioned above may require a preservative to protect against weathering and insects. Use a brightener and oil to maintain the furniture’s original appearance if not painted. If you decide to paint, use paint with UV filters to prevent fading. Check for splinters if wood is well-worn or dinged – these can be softly sanded over and re-painted.
There you have it! The Christy Sports guide to all things wood. Before summer ends, be sure to stop in at any of our Christy Sports patio stores and find your perfect outdoor patio set!