Aluminum is a popular choice for patio furniture. I am sure you have recently enjoyed sitting on an outdoor chair made from aluminum which is why you are considering the pros and cons of aluminum furniture on your deck.
Right of the top. Here are 8 pros of aluminum outdoor furniture.
- Will not rust
- Resistant to sun damage
- Easy to maintain
- Wide range of styles
- Cool to the Touch
Some very good reasons to have aluminum furniture on your deck. But wait!
I have 3 cons of aluminum patio furniture to consider.
- Light (I will explain later)
- Corrosion (Different than rust but still destroys)
- Material memory
Not everything is equal in value. So let’s go a little more in-depth of the pros and cons and explain myself.
What Are The Benefits Of Aluminum?
There are also several benefits to aluminum, at least when it comes to patio furniture.
Will Not Rust
One of the great things about aluminum is that it will not rust.
Actually, this is not true. Aluminum does rust, it just goes about it in a different way than iron and steel.
The most familiar rust would be an iron oxide, caused when the iron is exposed to oxygen and moisture – creating the red/orange colouring we most associate with the process.
This can serve as a weakness to the stability of the metal and is as such seen as a downside of the material.
However, what makes aluminum special is that, as rusting takes place, the aluminum oxide actually hardens, serving as a further protective layer to the metal, and in essence reinforcing it even further against damage, corrosion, and breakages of the metal.
Aluminum is a very sturdy metal, which makes it a firm favourite (excuse the pun) for patio furniture.
As the furniture will be bearing the weight of human beings of all shapes and sizes, as well as being exposed to fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions, it is important for the material to be strong enough to stand its ground.
Luckily, aluminum is more than capable of doing so.
Whether you are using extruded aluminum (hollow piping) or cast aluminum, it is incredibly hard to dent, chip, bend, or break, which makes it a great choice for patio furniture – as it keeps it sturdy and keeps it looking nice.
Resistant to Sun Damage
While aluminum can become hot to the touch, just like any metal that is left out in the sun’s heat, it will not discolour or degrade as a result.
This makes it perfect for leaving outdoors in most weather conditions – but be warned, just because it is resistant, does not mean it is impervious to damage, and areas with extreme temperatures can see some level of degradation over time.
Aluminum is also infinitely recyclable, meaning that it is much more environmentally friendly than similar materials.
This makes it great for producing consumer products, as they can be safely and efficiently disposed of and used for other things.
The resistance and longevity of aluminum also make it more effective and environmentally friendly, as people can use them for longer periods of time.
Easy To Maintain
The resistance of aluminum to environmental stressors means that it is easier to maintain than other materials – particularly wood, which requires constant maintenance and treatment to have anywhere near the same lifespan.
Similarly, aluminum is also fairly easy to keep clean, requiring just some soap and warm water to remove any stains or grime.
It is also more affordable than other pieces of patio furniture – even wooden ones.
This is because aluminum furniture can be produced more cheaply, and that saving trickles down to the consumers, who can then get it at a better price.
Wooden furniture, particularly that which is intricate, requires much more time and effort, which is why you usually wind up paying more for it.
Wide Range Of Outdoor Furniture Styles
There is also a wider range of styles in aluminum too, meaning you have more chance of finding something that suits your personal style, or that of your existing yard.
Cool to the Touch
Aluminum holds very little energy. Which is a real plus on a sunny deck.
Your composite decking may be burning hot in the blazing sun but not your aluminum furniture.
Aluminum does not store or transfer heat well. So regardless of how hot it is outside. You can still sit on your chair without getting burned. If you were sunscreen of course;-)
Aluminum is a good choice for sunny locations.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Of course, as with anything, aluminum does have some disadvantages.
This might not sound like a problem, but if you live somewhere with a lot of hills, heavy winds, or just temperamental weather conditions, then a light piece of patio furniture could mean it becoming damaged or blown away.
For this reason, those people living in areas would do well to weigh their furniture down to prevent damage to the pieces themselves or the property in general.
I have a full article on how to secure patio furniture in the wind. click the link to learn more and keep your furniture on your deck.
While aluminum doesn’t rust in the traditional sense of the word, it can still corrode – meaning that eventually, and with the right (or wrong) combination of weather conditions, it can still corrode and require replacement.
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and none of us can hope to purchase any form of consumer item and see it last in perfect condition for our entire lifetime.
But just how resilient is aluminum furniture, and how long do they last when left outside?
I struggled with the best name for this but let me explain.
Once aluminum buckles or bends under stress, it forever will be weak.
Unlike wood, or HDPE which has a little give in it. Bending under weight but bouncing back to its original shape. Aluminum does not.
Once you have a little kink or weak spot your chair is as good as junk.
It may have been that fierce wind storm, with 100-mile-hour wind that threw the chair across the deck. But it’s your light as a feather daughter which the chair will collapse under. Once damaged there is no going back. It cannot be trusted to hold up again.
How Resilient Is Aluminum Furniture?
Generally speaking, most retailers suggest that aluminum patio furniture could last between 15 and 20 years – although this depends entirely on the type of environment you happen to live in, and the type of weather it is exposed to.
This makes aluminum a good choice for most people, especially those who want some longevity and value for money from their garden furniture.
What Makes Aluminum Break Down?
One of the biggest threats to aluminum as a material is expansion and brittleness brought on by extremely hot temperatures.
While the general melting point for aluminum is around 660 degrees celsius (1,221 F), the temperature at which damage can begin to occur is much lower, especially when this temperature is near constant, or in situations where drastic temperature fluctuations can occur.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about aluminum patio furniture, and just how resilient it is against environmental damage.
Aluminum is a sturdy and resilient material, capable of withstanding extreme cold and extreme heat, however, like anything, continued exposure can indeed create damage (in the extreme), which is why covers are still recommended if you live in regions with particularly hostile climates.
However, if you are looking for affordability, durability, and variety, then aluminum furniture might just be the right choice for your patio!