Guide to metal garden furniture

Wrought iron, cast aluminum, aluminum, and steel are the most common metals used in garden furniture and which material you choose really depends on your taste. You can get a whole range of prices regardless of the material but the wrought iron furniture tends to be a little more expensive (and the most heavy!).

And while there are many types to choose from, they are all very durable and will last for many years without the need for too much maintenance. With the growing abundance of accessories and options that can be added to any set, garden furniture is ideal for setting up a gathering area outside for your family and friends.

Ivy 2 Seater Bistro Garden Table

Metal garden furniture was originally inspired by formal Victorian living room sets. Before it’s introduction, garden furniture was pretty much limited to rocking chairs made of wood, or folding chairs with canvas backs.

Inspired by formal living room chairs from the 1950’s, the first metal patio furniture was curvy and very decorative. Not only have the styles changed, but better functionality has been developed as well.

New paint is being used that is similar to the paint that is used on cars, making it last longer and helping to prevent rust. More form-fitting shapes are also now being used, making the seat more comfortable and not as hard on the bottom.

The chairs also have ventilation holes or slots built in to allow the body to breathe while sitting, as well as allowing water to drain when it rains so it does not pool.

Metal patio furniture sets have many additional features. Not only do they come in different sizes, but many have removable table leafs to make tables bigger or smaller. Tables can come with glass tops or the good old Lazy Susan.

Most come with a hole in the middle to place a large parasol for shade or rain protection. While metal garden furniture can be very decorative and functional, in the hot sun the metal can warm up and be very hot to sit on. On a hot day, a cushion should be used or water placed on the chair to cool it off before sitting down.

Metal patio furniture currently is made from several types of metal such as steel, iron and aluminum. There is a much wider range of styles as well. Wrought iron styles are very decorative and ornate, and most often are painted black.

Other styles incorporate more straight lines, suggesting a modern style, and are painted silver, brown, white, black and other colours. Patio sets, pergolas, arches, loungers and benches are some of the more popular metal furniture purchases.

Important factors to keep in mind when purchasing metal garden furniture:

  • Rust
    Anti-rust treatment on most modern metal furniture does a pretty good job but you are still advised to touch up paint work as and when surfaces get damaged and either put your furniture away or store under a furniture cover in the winter. Some of the modern aluminum furniture can really be maintenance free but even still it would be advisable to quickly cover up any chips and scratches with touch up paint. Cheap steel and wire furniture can be a worry as they are really prone to rust.
  • Temperature
    Metal furniture can be hot or cold, depending on the weather which means you might get a warm or cold bottom when you first sit on it, especially if you’re in shorts. Not much one can really do about that apart from consider some furniture cushions, a parasol or look out for the combination materials e.g. metal and wooden chairs.
  • Cost
    You can find some pretty good bargains on the Internet and usually a wider range of metal garden furniture. One would expect the delivery charges to be high but websites like Greenfingers have free national delivery on orders over £45 and lets face it you are probably going to be spending more than that. John Lewis also have free delivery and a decent range of metal furniture.
  • Type
    When choosing a metal patio furniture set, it is best to consider where it will be placed, the surrounding area and decorations, as well as who will be using it. Many sets come in just two chairs with a small table, while many others will have six chairs and a full table similar to what you would see in a formal dining set up. Another consideration is whether cushions will be placed onto the chairs or not.
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