Due to the elements, selecting outdoor furniture is a very different process to selecting indoor furniture. HomeHQ Artarmon’s Wintons Teak has created this simple and easy to follow guide to ensure you are purchasing good quality outdoor furniture.
A-grade teak is one of the highest quality timbers available, as it naturally contains more oil than other types of timber and has a higher grain density. This grade of teak will remain smooth, while cheaper timbers with a larger grain will erode more easily, form gaps in the timber and feel rougher to touch.
One of the biggest benefits of A-grade teak is that it requires no specific maintenance or re-oiling, unlike many other types of timber used in outdoor furniture. This is because the natural oil content repels water naturally, so there is no need to add any preservatives, colouring or bleach to the timber. Many companies often use colouring and bleach to give their furniture the appearance of A-grade teak.
Another material common in outdoor furniture is wicker. With this material, it is most important to look at the aluminum frame which supports it, and ensure it is strong enough to support repeated use. Consumers need to look out for brands that use unsupportive frames.
As metal is rarely the main material used in outdoor furniture, it is often overlooked by consumers. However, just as the selection of timber is essential, it is equally important that all hardware and fittings are made from top quality brass or stainless steel. This will ensure that all the mechanisms and joints remain rust-free for longer, and will prolong the life of the furniture.
There are three common grades of stainless steel: 301, 304, and 316. The grade often used by outdoor furniture companies is 301, which is most likely to rust. Consumers should always select outdoor furniture which uses grade 304 stainless steel, as this will withstand the elements a lot longer. Marine Grade stainless steel is 316, and is not used in residential outdoor furniture. As your retailer what grade the stainless steel is.
It is important to maintain your stainless steel furniture with some liquid metal polisher to prevent discolourisation.
Regardless of the material, if the joinery in the furniture is not sound, then it will not last. So when selecting which outdoor furniture, often machine-made joinery is the best option. For stainless steel, look for quality welding of joints.
According to Winton’s Teak Anton Siswoyo, “Every joint should be constructed through machine-made mortice and tenon, as this ensures absolute precision of joints and cuts, which can be hard to achieve using hand held tools. Machine-made furniture, when used with top quality adhesive, can also ensure that there is no visible glue line. This is important to consider, as visible glue lines can cheapen the look of furniture and may become more obvious over time.”