Outdoor benches are more than just places to sit; they are the unsung heroes of our outdoor spaces. Whether relaxing in your backyard, strolling through a park, or taking in the view at a scenic overlook, outdoor benches provide a comfortable and convenient resting spot. However, these benches face a constant battle against the elements – sun, rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations can take a toll on their durability. To ensure your outdoor seating bench withstands the test of time and nature, choosing the right materials is crucial. This article will shed light on the best materials for durable outdoor benches.
Wood: Classic Elegance with Proper Maintenance
Wood has been a popular choice for outdoor benches for generations, and for good reason. Its natural beauty, classic appeal, and versatility make it a timeless favourite. However, to ensure the longevity of a wooden outdoor bench, you must select the right type of wood and perform regular maintenance.
Cedar: Cedar is a fantastic choice for outdoor benches due to its natural resistance to decay, insects, and rot. Its reddish-brown hue gives it an attractive appearance that weathers gracefully over time. Regular sealing or staining will help maintain its colour and protect it from the elements.
Teak: Teak is another premium wood choice for outdoor benches. Its natural oils make it resistant to insects and decaying even in the most challenging environments. Teak develops a beautiful silver-grey patina when left untreated, but applying teak oil can preserve its original golden-brown colour.
Metal: Strength and Resilience
Metal outdoor benches are appreciated for their strength and resilience. They are able to withstand harsh weather conditions and require minimal maintenance.
Aluminium: Aluminium is an excellent choice for outdoor benches. It is lightweight, resistant to rust and corrosion, and can endure extreme temperatures. Powder-coated aluminium benches are available in various styles and colours, ensuring they fit into any outdoor setting. Maintenance is straightforward – a periodic wipe-down with soapy water is usually sufficient to keep them looking great.
Steel: Steel benches are incredibly durable and provide a more substantial feel compared to aluminium. They are often finished with a powder coating to protect against rust. While steel can be susceptible to corrosion over time, proper maintenance, such as repainting when necessary, can extend its lifespan.
Wrought Iron: Wrought iron benches are known for their timeless elegance and intricate designs. They are exceptionally durable, but they do require regular maintenance to prevent rust. Periodic repainting and applying a rust inhibitor can help preserve their beauty.
Plastic: Low-Maintenance and Affordable
Plastic or resin outdoor benches are low-maintenance and affordable options for those seeking durability without breaking the bank.
Polyethylene: Polyethylene benches are made from a type of plastic known for its resistance to fading, cracking, and peeling. They are easy to clean, making them a hassle-free choice for outdoor seating. However, they may not have the same aesthetic appeal as wood or metal benches.
Recycled Plastic: Environmentalists will appreciate recycled plastic benches, which are constructed from reclaimed materials. They are eco-friendly, sturdy, and resistant to weathering. Recycled plastic benches come in various colours and styles to suit your outdoor space.
While plastic benches may lack the classic charm of wood or the strength of metal, their low maintenance requirements and affordability make them an appealing option for many.
In conclusion, choosing the right material for your outdoor seating bench is crucial to ensuring its durability and longevity. Each material has its own unique advantages and drawbacks, so your choice should be based on your specific needs and preferences. For classic elegance and a timeless look, wood, particularly cedar, teak, and redwood, remains an excellent choice, provided you are willing to invest time in maintenance. Metal options like aluminium, steel, and wrought iron offer strength and resilience with minimal maintenance requirements. Plastic and resin benches are affordable and low-maintenance, making them suitable for budget-conscious buyers. With the right material and proper care, your outdoor bench will weather the elements and provide a comfortable spot to rest for years to come.