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Teak, which is harvested from tropical tree plantations, is one of the most durable -- and priciest -- choices for outdoor furniture. Even when exposed to elements year-round it will last at least 50 years. Like many wood types, untreated teak fades to silvery gray. Apply teak oil once or twice a year to maintain its reddish-brown color.
Jarrah, like teak, is an extremely durable tropical hardwood that will last decades. Its deep, delicious reddish tones bring warmth to outdoor seating areas. Use a treatment specifically designed for jarrah to preserve its natural color.
Wrought-iron furniture has its roots in the Victorian Era, evident in its elaborate curves. Its heaviness makes it a great pick for windy sites, but iron furniture can be difficult to move with ease. You'll need cushions to soften the hard seats and add a splash of color to the finish, which is usually black, white, or green. Many manufacturers include a finish that protects the iron from rust. Cost depends on the intricacy of the ironwork.
Extruded aluminum furniture frames are tubular and usually feature strap or sling seats. They're lightweight, so they're easy to move, and their simple designs often make them suitable for stacking. Prices range from inexpensive at mass merchants to moderately expensive at specialty stores.
Cast aluminum offers more intricate design options and heftier weight than extruded aluminum, although it's far lighter than wrought iron. Expect to pay slightly more for cast aluminum than extruded. Both types require little maintenance thanks to powder-coated finishes applied by manufacturers.
The woven look of wicker comes in two forms -- regular and all-weather wicker. Both look similar, but their uses and care are quite different. Regular wicker is suitable for use only in covered areas outdoors. Use a vacuum, soft brush, or damp cloth to clean it. All-weather wicker can be exposed to rain with no ill effects. Clean it by hosing it off every few weeks.
All-weather or outdoor wicker is made from twisted-paper or synthetic fibers, which are woven around a frame and coated with a weather-resistant finish. It stands up to the elements and poolside use, although most manufacturers recommend the furniture be protected from prolonged exposure to full sun.
FULL YEAR just $5.99