Buying Outdoor Wood Furniture – 5 Things to Know

Before you purchase any outdoor wooden furniture, learn what to look for and how to make sure it will last. Nothing matches the quality of a finely crafted wooden chair or lounger. If you are a homeowner looking to make an investment in your backyard, or maybe turn it into a country getaway, remember these 5 essential points when buying your wood furniture set. Properly constructed wood furniture can last a lifetime and provide seasons of enjoyment with very little maintenance BUT – it all starts with choosing a quality set.

1. Type of wood. When selecting wood furniture, first ask what type of wood is used and if the wood is solid stock or laminate. Each species of wood has different characteristics and reactions to the environment. Consider your weather, temperatures and sun exposure when selecting outdoor furniture. No matter which wood you choose, ask about its characteristics so you know what is required to maintain it before you buy. Cedar has been rated as the ‘best’ wood for outdoor furniture. Its natural oils make Cedar the most resistant to weather, water and insect infestation. Cedar is also naturally more stable and lighter in weight than other woods. It can be stained or simply left natural. Untreated Cedar has the same qualities as stained Cedar. Just note that untreated or natural Cedar will “silver out” or grey in a season or two.

2. Wood Thickness. Consider the thickness of the pieces of wood used. Stock lumber is most often milled to ¾” making this the industry minimum standard to maintain integrity and overall strength in wood for furniture building. This ¾” minimum has a tendency to become “wobbly” over time. Yes, all wood swells, shrinks and loosens, however, chairs made of ¾” stock seem to have a more significant “wobble effect.” Try looking for furniture made from 1″ stock.

3. Wood Appearance. To be or KNOT to be. Each species of wood has its own characteristics. Wood grains vary in appearance based upon the species and cut of the wood. Consider how knots are used in the construction of your furniture. While they can be attractive in giving wood a “rustic” or “woodsy” feel, knots weaken the strength and integrity of wood. Notice where the knots are in the planks; in the center of boards they generally do not pose a problem. If they’re at the end grain or edges of a plank, it is likely the board will crack or split at the knot or worse.

4. Choice of Hardware. Also consider the nuts, bolts and screws of outdoor furniture. Hopefully the appropriate hardware has been used but remember buying furniture that’s “assembly required,” means it’s pre-drilled, with inexpensive hardware. To save time and money factories usually use punch threaded receivers and cheap bolts to maximize profit and ease assembly with a hex wrench. Make sure to ask how the furniture is put together. The best way to join two pieces of wood is through a combination of glue and screws. Glue offers the strongest unbreakable bond because it fuses the wood on a molecular level and screws hold wood together by force and pressure. With this heavy-duty combination, basic and inexpensive galvanized or plated screws and bolts are perfectly effective. Shop for “assembled” pieces but ask how they are put together. Make sure it’s using the “glue and screw method.”

5. Comfortableness of Design. Perhaps the most important consideration is comfort. We’ve all sat in chairs that look great but were extremely uncomfortable. Like an Adirondack chair that feels okay but after 5 minutes our legs fall asleep or we can’t get out of the darn thing. Comfortable furniture is ergonomically designed, meaning it is curved in all the right places. Test each piece of furniture before you buy. Are the armrests high or low enough for you? Can you get in and out of the chair easily? If it’s a chair, sit in it. If it’s a lounger, lounge in it. If it has adjustable features, adjust them. This is the only way to tell whether the furniture is right for you.

Now remember the 5 Things to Know, Before You Buy Your Outdoor Wood Furniture and make sure to put this information to good use. You’ll be glad you did.

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5 Tips for Choosing Restaurant Furniture That Is Built to Last

If you are opening a new restaurant or redesigning an existing establishment, the furniture you choose is of the utmost importance. While the style of furnishing you select and finding it at an affordable price are obviously important when choosing your restaurant’s furniture, one must not underestimate the importance of the furniture’s durability. Many commercial furniture suppliers do not provide items that are built to withstand the wear and tear of everyday commercial use in a busy bar or restaurant. No matter how good a price you find for restaurant furniture, you will end up losing money in the long run if it has to be replaced every one or two years. The following are some tips to finding restaurant furniture that is built to withstand the rigors of everyday commercial use.

1) Ask your vendor what makes his furniture built to last.

A distributor that takes pride in the products he is selling will not only be able to answer what specific design points will contribute to the life of his furniture, he will be happy to answer such questions. When buying furniture you should ask how much wood is actually used, how thick are the cross sections and are all the piece’s pressure points reinforced.

2) Make sure the furniture comes with a warranty

If a restaurant furniture vendor knows his items are well-made he will offer buyers a warranty. A vendor who knows his goods are finely crafted will have the confidence to warrant furniture free from defects for at least 2 years.

3) Check for compliance tests

Furniture that has passed independent quality tests ensuring that it meets industry standards is much more likely to last. Ask your vendor what kind of tests its furniture passed if any. An example of quality testing can be seen at the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) which is a non-profit, non-biased organization.

4) Opt for furniture that comes already assembled

Restaurant furniture that does not come fully assembled is not only a hassle and a waste of time, it can also be an indication that the furniture is not made to withstand commercial use. Furniture should come glued and screwed by professionals in factory conditions. The only thing that can come un-attached are the chairs and bar stools seats which have no real impact on stability and can be easily attached by you. Getting the seats un-attached can save some extra money without letting you compromise on the quality of the furniture.

5) Ask where and how the items are manufactured

Many restaurant furniture companies import their merchandise. They are often not aware of the manufacturing process of the furniture they are selling. Choose vendors who are the sole manufacturers of their own merchandise and can tell you what materials were used in the making of their furniture. This means that even if the furniture was made outside of the US, the manufacturing process and the items’ quality have been closely inspected by the seller/manufacturer. It is also advisable to buy from a furniture vendor that specializes in commercial furniture rather than retail.

The Best Way to Clean Teak Furniture

Teak has extensively been used in the construction of furniture, houses and ships for centuries. It is a robust hardwood with a dense grain pattern, that is ideally suited for outdoor furniture as it is resistant to environmental degradation. The timber contains both hard and soft fibres that eliminates the risk of warping, and makes it termite resistant.

Teak is an oily timber, the natural oils protect the timber and make it resistant to many chemicals and fluids. Over time the timber can dry out, if it is exposed to continual ultra-violet radiation and rain. Though it is far more resistant to environmental exposure than inferior products such as plastics, which quickly decay. The constant exposure in outdoor settings can cause the normally bright ruddy timber to dull to a bland silvery white hue. This process is not structural, but merely cosmetic and is referred to as patina. Patina is an environmental buildup of acids and oxides, which causes the colour of the timber to change hues, but will not effect the strength.

If you want to maintain the colour of your teak furniture, then there are two main goals in caring for your teak furniture. First, you want to prevent the buildup of dirt, and reduce the amount of environmental exposure. Secondly, you need to ensure that the natural oils in the timber do not dry out. This can be achieved by routinely applying teak sealer to your teak furniture.

How to clean your teak furniture

To clean your teak furniture, simply use warm soapy water and scrub the piece with a soft abrasive, cloth. Routinely cleaning with a mild soap will prevent the buildup of oils, that can oxidise and cause unsightly spotting on the furniture. Your main goal is to remove the build up of accumulated dirt. By protecting your teak furniture from direct exposure to UV rays, you can obviate the need for additional regular maintenance.

How to choose your teak furniture sealer

Modern teak sealers contain complex technological advances to provide optimum protection to your furniture. Choose a sealer that contains UV protection, to prevent the whitening of the timber. Some sealers also contain complex enzymes and chemicals to prevent the growth of mould and fungi on the furniture. This may be valuable if you live in warm humid environments, where fungus spores may build up on your furniture.

Ideally you are looking for a sealer that will highlight the natural deep honey and ruddy tones in your teak furniture, and prevent UV degradation.

How to seal your teak furniture

It is advisable to not seal your teak furniture in the first month after you purchase your item, this will allow the waxy build-up on the furniture, that comes from the factory, to become slightly weathered, therefore providing a more attractive appearance. Whenever you paint it is vital that you clean the surface diligently. Any imperfections, environmental buildup, or foreign objects can cause the coat of paint to not adhere. This will therefore result in reduced protection, and will require you to seal your teak furniture more regularly. After cleaning the furniture with soapy water, let it to dry thoroughly overnight.

Apply the sealer over the furniture using a soft brush, be liberal on your first coat, but ensure even coverage. Depending on the brand, the sealer should be dry after a few hours, and be ready for the second coat. On the second coat of sealer, you will have to be more careful with your application, but you need not be pedantic, as any imperfections will just add to the personality of the piece.

The ideal timber for eco-friendly furniture

Once you have sealed your teak furniture, you will have an extremely durable and aesthetically pleasing item to liven up your outdoor setting. As teak is such a long-lasting and durable timber, it is increasingly being used as an eco-friendly furniture, as it can be forested in sustainable ways. By applying these few simple methods, your eco-friendly furniture will continue to be resistant to the environmental elements, and a practical addition to your house.

The author enjoys penning articles outside on his teak furniture, as it allows him to enjoy the outdoors and unleashes his creativity. The author uses eco friendly furniture, as it is produced from sustainable sources. Therefore providing comfortable furniture, that has a decreased impact on the environment.

How to Choose Outdoor Furniture Material

You have prepared your patio or garden beautifully and want to relax now? You do not want to do it standing up, do you? Then you probably need a couple of modern outdoor furniture. The first consideration is material. What’s important to you – the way the furniture looks or its durability? Do you have the time and skills to maintain the outdoor furniture and keep it in a top condition?

You should ask yourself a few questions – What will suit my lifestyle? What patio furniture is specifically needed? Are there only tables, chairs, sofas or you also need a gazebo and umbrella? The line of furniture should be chosen from the furniture factory outlet that all of needed furniture is available, so you don’t have to purchase some items at a different shop.

Outdoor furniture comes in all imaginable material, including wicker, resin, aluminum, iron, steel, stone, plastic or wood. Wooden garden furniture can be further divided into hard and soft woods. The hardwoods include inter alia to Teak, mahogany, acacia or oak. The soft woods are fir, larch, pine or spruce. Below is the details.

1. Resin

Resin outdoor furniture is basically made of polymer, a high density version of polyethylene plastic. This material is water resistant and UV light protected. This material is sturdy and is made to withstand a variety of harsh weather conditions. Furniture made of synthetic resin requires little maintenance except occasional cleaning with water and soap. But this material also has some disadvantage. Resin is not bio-degradable and is very heavier than its counterpart wicker. As a rule of thumb, the heavier the resin furniture, the more expensive it is.

2. Wicker

Wicker patio furniture has a much longer history than resin furniture. Thousands of years back, willow, rattan and reeds were used as material to make furniture by ancient Chinese and Egyptians. Wicker furniture is made from materials such as willow, rattan or reed. It is also very sturdy, but not resistant to the environment elements. It creates a natural rustic feel that works perfectly in an outdoor setting.

Unlike resin, wicker is lightweight and biodegradable because it’s natural. In a humid environment, it can grow rot or mildew. Therefore, it normally requires to be pre-treated with lacquer or varnish before being used in an outdoor environment. In addition, extensive UV exposure will cause wicker to crack and splinter.

3. Metal

Metals can really set the tone of your outdoor furniture. The options range from modern lightweight aluminum to the more traditional iron and it should be possible to get the perfect piece of metal garden furniture for your garden. Although more expensive, aluminum is more rust resistant and as a result is recommended by many experts.

4. Teak – an old favorite

Since teak is the most durable of all hardwoods, most customers prefer teak garden furniture. You can never go wrong with teak garden furniture, because it is classic, elegant, natural and above all, it can go decades. Indonesian teak garden furniture is a great place to start for your outdoor improvement project.

During shopping teak garden furniture, except for wood quality, you also consider other things like how the furniture piece is built.

Make it a habit to regularly check the splintered wood or cracks. Washing with warm soapy water to remove dirt and dust is a good idea, especially before applying teak oil (do not forget to let the wood dry beforehand).

Be mindful that materials convey a message of style. Basically, wicker patio furniture is seen romantic, wood furniture gives a feel of warmly rustic and resin furniture speaks of practicality. Iron makes your garden look Victorian, while aluminum seems more contemporary.