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Ask The Furniture Expert: A Smart Look at Patio Furniture

Updated on July 24, 2012

I have a webpage called Ask the Furniture Expert. It is a place where people can go to get free advice about furniture.

I was recently asked about Patio Furniture. The following is for all who are like my friend in Palm Coast, Fl. Who are struggling to find quality patio furniture that can stand up to the elements?

Dear Furniture expert;

I have a question about outdoor furniture. Anything plastic seems to crack in the sun, metal rusts down here in the salty air and fabrics disintegrate after a while. What type of outdoor furniture do you recommend for this Florida climate?

Consumer from Palm Coast Florida.

Dear Palm Coast consumer;

Out door furniture is a problem for sure. Here in Florida, mold, rust and bugs seem to be the main culprits. There are basically three types of material used in making frames for patio furniture, metal/aluminum, wood/wicker, and plastic/PVC. While there is acceptation, these three represent the majority.

As a furniture repair technician, I would have to recommend painted metal/aluminum frames. Mold is easily removed, bugs will only be interested in the covers, and I can always sand the rust off and repaint. Best of all, there are paints on the market that are rust resistant. Depending on the design; straps, cushions and covers can also be replaced fairly inexpensively.

Expect to pay somewhere around $799 to $1500 for a decent quality set; especially if it has been painted with weather resistant paint. Shop around and consider buying used. You can get great deals at garage sales and estate sales. Remember, there are a lot of inexpensive sets out there. If you need to save money then go with an inexpensive set,

but don’t expect to get more than two or three seasons out of the set.

My second choice would Teak patio furniture. Teak is a tropical hardwood that looks wonderful on any patio or deck and does very well out doors. It can be sanded and refinishes as needed. There are a couple of down sides to wooden patio furniture such as whicker or teak. Mold growth and loose Joints. Mold gets into the grain and can be difficult to remove. But if you are diligent in washing your set with a mold remover at least once a month, you should be able to keep it nice for a long time. Joints and cross rail tend to loosen with use. This problem usually requires someone like me to come out and return them to their original strength. It can be done but the expense will be determined by how bad you let them get before you call. Expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $7500 depending on what you buy. Be a smart shopper and Keep in mind Teak wood is imported from Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia. It is going to cost more than you would expect.

It is important to keep in mind that patio furniture is like all furniture. The better you care for it the longer it lasts. When neglected, it falls apart. If you just want to stick it out on the patio and forget about it then go aluminum. Aluminum will last the longest.

If you are on a budget and can’t spend allot of money on a piece of furniture for your deck or patio, then go ahead and get what you can. Th e trick is keeping it clean and dry. It would be best if you could keep it indoors out of the weather during the winter months and while it’s not in use. At the very least, try to keep your patio furniture covered, safe from the rain. As in all things, prevention is always you best defense.

I hope this helps

Aaron Rushing


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