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Better than others, some materials are suitable for the outdoors and climate variations. Choose them for your garden furniture: it is subjected to a severe test.

What material for garden furniture

Comparative tables of materials for garden furniture

TeakKeruingLocustEucalyptusResinBraided resinIronAlumultimaterial
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No more monochrome garden furniture, plastic effect and camping style. Today, the terraces display design, effects of matter and imitations of quality. This results in a much more pleasant aesthetic appearance. But also a much greater resistance to weather, shocks, UV and heat.
After the invasion of soft PVC furniture (still available at low prices), manufacturers are playing the card of research: plasticity, durability, design. Today, synthetic materials have proven themselves. For its part, the wood is diversifying and the exotic species are more and more labeled (environmental respect obliges). Finally, the metal is lightened, curved and blended with other materials to vary the pleasures.

Synthetic garden furniture

In the face of competition from teak, resin garden furniture experience a real improvement in their aesthetics. The legs are refined. To be even more attractive, the synthetic material combines with the wrought iron, resulting in beautiful curved legs. The seats and the backs present more elegant bars. Weaving more or less worked imitate wood, wrought iron, fabric...
The table tops are covered in the factory with a resistant and decorative film that reproduces many patterns (tiles, ceramics, zelliges, wooden boards, wrought iron, etc.). The effort is also about color. The lounges are offered in white, in blue or green variants, and in trendy colors (such as anthracite gray, aluminum and bronze).

Top trend, braided resin

In recent years, manufacturers have been resin weaves to all those who are sensitive to the charm of the veranda furniture.

With an appearance close to rattan by its color and texture, braided resin is a synthetic fiber (polyethylene) implemented by hand on an aluminum structure. This combination offers a wide variety of shapes and flexibility that enhances sitting comfort. These qualities make braided resin an innovative and solid product. It does not fray and is not afraid of solutions containing chloride (salt water or pool), nor the substances present in sun creams and oils. Tinted in the mass, the resin is resistant to climatic variations, bad weather and UV. Finally, it requires no specific maintenance: cleaning with soap and water is more than enough.

The woods: teak, acacia, eucalyptus...

Solidity, appearance, touch and even smell are all part of the appeal of the species used to make wood garden furniture. Indeed, there is wood and wood. To spend several years outdoors without damage, the furniture must be made with specific species that can be exotic or European. Two labels certify the origin of the material (managed forests preserving the ecosystem and sustainable development). Be the international label FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), the European label PEFC (European Program of Certified Forests). For the exotic woods, the TFT logo (Tropical Forest Trust) indicates that the farm is in the process of obtaining the FSC label.

The Indonesian teak (Tectona grandis) is the most popular wood of the public for its nobility, its touch and its durability against weather and xylophagous insects. It is also the most expensive, and its exploitation is questioned by some non-governmental organizations. Manufacturers offer other exotic species (keruing, kapur), less expensive but of comparable quality.

The Robinia (false acacia or white acacia) is a wood grown in Europe. Used for railway sleepers and fence posts, it is naturally rot-proof, hence its name of "European teak". Eucalyptus imported from South America is another option. But some ecological associations are demanding that these plantations no longer be FSC certified because of environmental and social problems.

If these essences weather resistant and do not require insecticide and fungicide treatment, they take more or less quickly a gray tint, silvery shade, under the action of solar radiation. This coloration does not question their resistance, only their aesthetics. If you do not like it, it is necessary toapply an oil or a saturator (Durieu, Starwax, Syntilor, V33, etc.). These products feed the wood and leave a shiny, non-greasy surface after application. They prevent the penetration of water, UV graying and protect the material against stains. Disadvantage: it is necessary to renew the operation twice a year.

How to protect your teak garden furniture?

Should you put a teak garden furniture under cover during the winter?
Christian Pessey's answer:
Teak is a very hard exotic wood, perfectly resistant to prolonged exposure to the weather. It is used in particular to make boat decks which, by definition, are very exposed to rain, spray and sea water.
The fact remains that leaving your outdoor garden in the winter, the wood will "go gray" under the combined effect of moisture, water and UV.
To limit the phenomenon, it is better to oil and protect it. Otherwise, use a product dégriseur in the spring to give the teak its beautiful original color.

Metals, always modern

If a few rare manufacturers continue the tradition of cast iron outdoor furniture, most metal garden furniture is now made of steel or aluminum. Corrosion-resistant and coated with an oven-baked paint, steel has benefited from innovations developed for the automotive industry: it is resistant to all weather conditions. While bistro-style tables and chairs are still popular, and are reissued in many colors, the versatility of steel allows the creation of soft, versatile and comfortable furniture in a wide range of colors.

Lacquered aluminum has proved its solidity, its resistance to the weather and its simplicity of maintenance. The shapes are less daring than steel furniture. It is necessary to provide cushions on the seats and back during hot weather: aluminum is conductive (like steel).

Multimatiere, the other trend

All garden furniture manufacturers have started production of multimedia furniture: ranges with contemporary lines whose prices go from 1 to 10, depending on the shape, style and combination of materials.

The table tops are made of stained Securit glass, natural stone or wood. They are based on a steel base or aluminum dressed (or not) braided resin. For the seats (armchairs, deck chairs, sunbeds...), the structures are wood, metal or resin. The differences are in the canvases (folders and seats). Woven with synthetic fibers, they are easy to clean, resistant to weather, UV, microorganisms and rips (Ferrari Batyline canvas, Proloisirs Textilene, Fermob TTL, etc.). Combinations wooden structure-backrest and metal seat (or conversely) are also available. u

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