Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture... A Complete Guide
Cast aluminum patio furniture is one of today's best options to furnish your outdoor living spaces. It is traditional and classic, with the look and feel of wrought iron, but at the same time modern, lightweight, and more durable.
If you choose cast aluminum furniture for your patio, you are most likely only going to need one set in your lifetime. It is usually finished with powder coat paint. This is a rock-hard finish that very durable. Unlike many other types of patio furniture, cast aluminum products just keep lasting and lasting with very little maintenance.
Before we go any further, you'll want to know there are different types of aluminum furniture. The two common choices are hollow aluminum tube based furniture and solid cast aluminum patio furniture. Please don't confuse the two types. While both are composed of the same material, they really have little else in common.
Ten Benefits of Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture
1. No Rust - Aluminum doesn't rust. Steel and iron do.
2. Long Lasting - No rust, durable finishes, and strong construction. Expect 30+ years out of a good set.
3. Low Maintenance - Besides cleaning occasionally, there is really no other upkeep.
4. Nearly Weather Proof - Handles severe environments well, including heat, rain, sunlight, salt, etc. Also handles cold better than most other types of outdoor furniture.
5. Easy to Clean - Just hose down every once in awhile and use a mild soap if necessary.
6. Solid and Strong - Can withstand many years of frequent use. Hard to bend or break. Will feel more stable than some other types of furniture.
7. Many Styles and Designs - An abundance of styles to choose from. From traditional to trendy, you pick.
8. Many Finishes Available - While usually powder coated, many color options and "textures" can be had.
9. Works well with Cushions - Use cast aluminum patio furniture with or without cushions or pillows.
10. Perfect Weight - Light enough to be easily moved and lifted. Heavy enough to feel firm and stable and not blow around in the wind.
Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture Compared to Other Types of Patio Furniture
Cast aluminum furniture is comparable to wrought iron furniture. They can have very similar designs and can look very much alike. Pricing tends to be similar. The major differences are in durability (aluminum doesn't rust and the finish is less likely to chip) and weight.
A hardwood patio furniture, such as teak, is obviously very different than aluminum furniture. However, they can be compared by their long life durability, traditional styles, and often-similar prices.
Besides generally being more expensive and longer lasting, cast aluminum furniture is really not comparable to other types of outdoor furniture such as resin, plastic, and hollow aluminum pieces.
Quality and Pricing of Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture
There are different quality levels within the cast aluminum category. Lesser quality sets are mostly likely machine manufactured or assembled. There is nothing wrong with this, but the attention to detail, such as the welding work, might not be quite as detailed. Also, watch out for finish quality. If a piece has a poor or damaged finish when it is new, it will develop further problems as it ages.
On the other hand, skilled craftsmen with a very high standard of perfection often put high quality sets together. The moulds that form the aluminum can be hand carved into intricate patterns and designs. The finishes are going to be richer and more detailed. Also, the higher quality the furniture, the more likely it will be "beefed-up" using thicker aluminum and perhaps more bracing.
Usually, prices are directly proportional to the furniture's quality. Higher prices most likely mean higher quality, but not always. Warranties also are a large factor or patio furniture pricing. The longer the warranty, the better a manufacturer expects the furniture to hold up. This is gauged in the price.
Accessories for Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture
You might want to get cushions for your patio furniture. These can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and designs. They might already be included with your furniture set.
Cushions will need to be stored when not in use in order to prolong their life and keep them from becoming covered with mildew. Chances are, the cushions will not last as long as the aluminum furniture itself, but replacement patio chair cushions are available.
While not absolutely necessary with cast aluminum, you might consider covers for your patio furniture. Aluminum is durable on its own, but even so, patio furniture covers will help prolong the lifespan.
Cleaning and Care of Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture
Even though cast aluminum furniture is low maintenance, it will still occasionally need to be cleaned. When this is necessary, you'll want to follow the manufacturer's recommendations closely. Commonly, this involves wiping it down with a mild detergent with a soft sponge and rinsing with water. Sometimes, it is advised to coat cast aluminum patio furniture yearly with a liquid spray wax. This type of wax is frequently used on automobiles. If your finish does ever become severely scratched or nicked, it is important to prepare and cover the blemish with touchup paint. Usually this is obtained from the furniture's maker. They will have the proper paint color and formula match.