Why buy a cast aluminium bistro set?

In this article we're asking why you should buy a cast aluminium bistro set, looking at how we make our collection and exploring the advantages it has over other popular outdoor materials...

What would have historically been constructed from wrought iron and finished with a marble top, the modern cast aluminium bistro set is now the go-to material across our industry.

Whilst iron and marble are both extremely attractive, they are both materials that are very heavy to move, very expensive to make, and prone to damage by the elements if not properly maintained.

Why buy a cast aluminium bistro?

In recent years, cast aluminium bistros have become the UK’s material of choice and increasingly popular in our outdoor spaces due to their many advantages over other materials and their suitability to our (generally iffy) climate.

What is cast aluminium?

What is cast aluminium?

Sunrise Metal defines cast aluminium as:

"A type of aluminium that is made by pouring molten aluminium into a mould. It is then left to cool and solidify so that it takes the shape of the mould. It is often used to produce precision automotive parts, everyday lawn items and garden furniture, and other objects that need to be strong yet lightweight."

In our recent guide to choosing the right bistro set, we stated that:

"At Lazy Susan we are synonymous with high-grade cast aluminium furniture. All our bistro sets are made from the same sturdy metal as our larger dining-style sets to ensure long-lasting durability and weather resistance. The metal is painted with a protective finish that further protects the metal from the elements and general wear and tear."

I guess what we trying to say in that post, was that we can give you the look of a classic cafe-style bistro set, in a modern material that is durable, robust, lightweight, low maintenance and weather resistant.

How are cast aluminium bistros made?

How are cast aluminium bistros made?

Whilst the material we use is sold, refined and finished for modern-day use, just like the classical styling, the process we use is one with much heritage.

How are cast aluminium bistros made?

We mould our metal using the sand casting technique, which can be traced all the way back to 4000 BC, and the basic steps of the process are as follows:

  1. Mould
    The first step in the process is to create a wooden mould or pattern and this is where we carve the intricate details into our trademark metalwork.

  2. Throw
    The mould is then thrown into sand and we press the pattern to create a hollow space. This is a negative of the desired part.

  3. Pour
    The sand is mixed with a binder to make it strong enough to hold the molten metal. It is then poured into the mould space and it takes the shape of the pattern we left behind.

  4. Cool
    The mould is allowed to cool and the cast part is removed.

  5. Harvest
    The sand casting process is repeated with these moulds and the parts are harvested.

  6. Carve
    The cast part often requires some machining to achieve the desired finish.

  7. Detail
    The parts then travel through each workshop being cleaned, 
    polished, powder coated and detailed.

  8. Pack
    Our furniture is then securely packed and ready for safe shipping. We provide clear assembly instructions, parts and tools for the construction of our bistros.

  9. Ship
    Our furniture finally reaches our customers. After some simple assembly, our bistros are ready to enjoy in your outdoor space.

What are the advantages of sand casting?

What are the advantages of sand casting?

The sand casting we use in our production is a versatile casting process that can be used to create a wide variety of the core metal parts we use for our bistro sets.

The finished aluminium gives us tables and chairs that have a number of advantages over other metals and materials such as wood, rattan and resin:

  1. Cost
    The tooling costs for sand casting are relatively inexpensive, making it a cost-effective option for a more artisan level of production.

  2. Versatility
    Sand casting can be used to produce parts of any size, shape, or complexity, making it a great choice for casting our decorative furniture with its trademark intricate metalwork.

  3. Finish
    It provides us with a good surface finish that is easy to then detail by hand.

  4. Production
    We can often reuse the moulds multiple times, which reduces the cost of production and helps us keep prices down.

  5. Environmental
    Sand casting is a relatively environmentally friendly process, as the sand and aluminium can be recycled.

You often find with sand casting that it lacks dimensional accuracy, which is basically how close a casting is to the design itself.

This would be an issue in precision engineering such as aluminium parts for a car where die casting would deliver much better results, but for our needs, this is not an issue.

What are the advantages of sand casting?

We have rigorous quality control and if we find any issues with porosity, we will recycle those parts. Generally, this is rare though as we use good quality sand and ensure our moulds are properly cured.

Most casting imperfections are removed when we detail before painting, but the finished parts help us produce bistro sets with a number of distinct advantages.

What are the advantages of a cast aluminium bistro set?

What are the advantages of a cast aluminium bistro set?

Here are some of the key benefits of choosing a cast aluminium bistro set from Lazy Susan:

  1. Durability
    Our bistro sets are designed to be exposed to the elements all year round. In the UK that means they need to be able to withstand rain, snow, sun, and wind without rusting, rotting, or fading. Cast aluminium is a naturally corrosion-resistant metal, so it will not rust like iron or steel, and our powder-coated finish will prevent it from pitting. It is also lightweight but strong, so it can withstand heavy use without breaking or bending.

  2. Lightweight
    Cast aluminium fits in that sweet spot where it is heavy enough for windy conditions unlike rattan and resin but not so heavy you can’t pick it up and move it like iron and wood. Weight is a key factor if you want to move your bistro set around your outdoor space or into storage to keep it clean. It also ensures that the bistro chairs and table are stable and it adds to the overall durability.

  3. Low Maintenance
    The painted finish on our bistros makes them super low maintenance. This will save you time, effort and money and leave. More time to enjoy your balcony, terrace, patio or decking area and less time taking care of your furniture. To clean our bistro collection all they need is a wipe down with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. If you do find a chip or scratch in the paint, then just touch it up to keep it looking good and protected from the elements. However, this is rare and low-maintenance cast aluminium is less likely to need to be repaired or replaced as often, saving you money in the long run.

  4. Intricate Designs
    The casting process we use means our bistro sets can feature intricate and elegant designs. We can mimic the look of more expensive materials such as wrought iron while offering all the advantages that aluminium has over it.

  5. Classically Modern
    When we say our collection of bistros is classically modern, we are talking about the combination of traditional production process, classical styling and traditional design elements paired with modern materials, construction techniques and route to market. The key features of our collection are simple elegance, clean lines, and uncluttered designs that are outdoor-friendly. Our designers are inspired by classic furniture styles, such as the Italian Renaissance or the French Rococo, but we’ve updated with modern materials and construction techniques.

  6. Comfort
    There is no point in having bistro chairs and tables that look good but are not comfortable to use outdoors in the summer. Our cast aluminium chairs are ergonomically designed, while the painted finish will reduce heat transfer. However, they can still get hot in direct sunlight but we also offer parasols and cushions, which you can add to your bistro set at checkout to take advantage of some big savings.

  7. Variety
    Our cast aluminium bistros come in a wide range of styles and designs to suit various outdoor aesthetics, from the classic and traditional styling of London Rose in Antique Bronze to the more modern and contemporary finish of our foldable Alessia in Slate Grey. The aforementioned classically modern look we favour is also versatile in that our bistros can be used to create a variety of looks. They can create a traditional, elegant outdoor space, or they're ideal for a more contemporary, modern feel. Our bistros are also the perfect choice for small spaces, as they provide a lightweight, space-saving solution.

  8. Colours
    The core colours in our collection are our classic Antique Bronze, romantic White and our cool Slate Grey. Our cast aluminium is painted with a powder-coat-like finish that not only looks and feels great but will protect the raw metal from the elements. When choosing which colour, think about the size of your outdoor space. If you have a small plot, then a lighter colour is ideal for making the space feel larger. Work with the style of your home and factor in the climate as darker colours can feel warmer while lighter will stay cooler.

  9. Robust
    As we’ve already mentioned, our bistro sets are stable and sturdy,  and that gives them a robustness that makes them unlikely to tip over or be affected by the wind. However, whilst it is light enough to pick up and move, it is not as light as resin plastic pieces that are susceptible to blowing over. Striking a middle ground they feel of substantial quality but not so heavy you can’t move them like the better quality timbers or iron and not as flimsy as resin. We also supply all our tables and chairs with screw-in plastic feet that protect the metal but also give you a little adjustment on uneven patio surfaces.

  10. Eco-Friendly
    Cast aluminium is a better choice for the environment too. Because it is low-maintenance you don’t need to spend money on harmful cleaning solutions or reapplying the painted finish to keep it weather-resistant. Aluminium is a sustainable material that is less harmful to the environment than other materials such as plastic. Plus, it can be easily recycled, making it provenly the most eco-friendly choice other than say sustainably sourced timber.

  11. Pest Resistant
    Unlike wood furniture, cast aluminium is not susceptible to damage from insects or pests. Aluminium is a non-porous metal, which means that it does not have any tiny holes or openings that pests can enter. This makes it resistant to insects, such as termites or ants, as well as rodents, such as mice and rats. In addition, due to aluminium's high natural weather resistance, it is not susceptible to rust or corrosion, which can also attract pests. It is important to note that no material is 100% pest-proof. If there is a food source available, pests may still be attracted. For example, if you leave food crumbs or spills on your furniture, this could attract ants or other insects. Our How to keep pests away from your garden furniture article has some great tips for keeping unwanted guests away.

  12. Value for Money
    Whilst a cast aluminium bistro set might have a higher initial cost compared to other materials such as timber, rattan and resin, its durability and longevity make it a cost-effective choice in the long run, It won't need to be replaced as quickly or require significant maintenance and repair to keep it weather-resistant. It will last for many summers to come, even if regularly used and left exposed.

  13. Year Round Use
    Cast aluminium bistro can be used year-round in most climates. It can withstand both hot summers and cold winters without damage. OK, it will get a little dirty, especially in winter, however, you can cover or store it if you want to further reduce the need to clean it. The weather in the UK can be all over the shop, we can have summer in September and winter in May. Furniture designed for year-round use means you can enjoy your outdoor space all year long, and because it is designed to stand up to Mother Nature, it will last longer and be easier to maintain

  14. Ready-To-Assemble
    Our bistro sets are supplied Ready-To-Assemble (RTA) and this has a number of advantages for both us as a business, our customers and the strength of our furniture. It makes the cost of shipping lower as packaging is more compact and easier to handle. Self assembly is quick (two people can do a bistro in 10 to 15 mins) and easy to assemble as it is predominantly a case of legs on tables and legs on backs and seats for chairs. Just finger-tighten bolts until all are in place and then finish with the tools provided. We supply all our furniture with clear instructions and all the parts and tools you need. We have assembly videos on our YouTube but if you do have any questions, then please ask our customer service team.

While cast aluminium patio furniture offers a number of clear advantages, it is essential to consider your specific needs, the microclimate in your garden, and style preferences when choosing garden bistro sets that are right for your outdoor space and how you like to use it.

Can you get the perfect bistro set from Lazy Susan?

Can you get the perfect bistro set from Lazy Susan?

Yes, we like to think you can. We are a UK-based company that specialises in garden furniture. We offer a comprehensive range of cast aluminium bistros that are stylish, durable, weather-resistant, rust-proof and lightweight so they’re easy to move.

When choosing garden bistro sets from our collection, ask yourself:

  1. How much space do you have?
    Measure carefully and check the table and chair dimensions in our shop to make sure it is perfectly sized. Make sure you leave space around the table in chairs to sit comfortably and still move around. If you have a small outdoor space, then you’ll need to choose a smaller table. If you have a larger plot, then you can choose a larger table but don't forget you need good balance, scale and proportion.

  2. What is the style of your home and garden?
    If you have a traditional home, you might want to choose a bistro set that has a traditional style. If you have a modern home, you can choose a bistro set with a modern style. But ultimately, pick what you like and will get the most use.

  3. What is your budget? 
    Bistro sets in our collection range in price from under £100 to over £500, so it is important you set a budget before you start shopping.

We have a wide variety of sets to choose from, so you are sure to find the perfect one for summer evenings outdoors in your garden or on your patio, terrace, porch deck or balcony.

Customer Reviews: Not a bad buy! The product was just as I expected!

Lazy Susan Customer Reviews

Before you buy online it is important to know you’re shopping with a reputable retailer. Our Reviews (above) and Photos (below) are a testament to the quality of both our product and the service we provide.

Lazy Susan Customer Photos

In our shop you can read the reviews of the specific bistro set you’re interested in and see photos from satisfied customers.

We would also advise shoppers to compare the prices of bistro sets from different retailers, as this will help you get the best possible deal.

Just remember that you get what you pay for and our bundle deals can help you create the perfect bistro set at a great discounted price/

Make sure that the bistro set comes with a Returns Policy and a Warranty as this will protect you if the furniture is defective, damaged or not as you expected. 

Also check if items are in stock, how long delivery will take and if the customer service team are easy to contact by phone and email.

Shop our 2-seater bistro collection!

Shop our 2-Seater Bistro Collection

If you have any photos of your Cast Aluminium Bistro Set in your garden, then we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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