Wooden Outdoor Table and Chairs
When looking for a wooden outdoor table and chairs for your dining area, you will have several options to consider. After reading this post you should have a better idea of what kind of table and chairs will fit your area and what kind of wood will fit your lifestyle or taste.
The type of wood will be the first thing on your list and your budget may have something to say on the style of wood you purchase. Many styles will be available when you have decided on the wood choice.
Now let us look at some of the choices available for patio furniture for dining. Your choice should be easier when done with this information.
Types of wood
Treated is the cheapest of all the wood types and should be left to the furniture that sits in the yard. This type of wood is good for ground contact and with wet surfaces. It does not last as long as the other wood types even with yearly cleaning and treatments. In my opinion, this type of wood should only be used for picnic tables.
Cedar is a softwood that does last well if taken care of. It can be easily damaged because of the soft surface. It can be stained or painted in many colors or left to age into a gray patina. This type of wood can be used on all types of outdoor tables but does not hold up under the outdoor conditions as well as the hardwoods.
Most of the hardwoods below will require a solid surface to sit on. It would be better suited for a wooden deck or a solid patio area made of concrete or paver stones.
Acadia wood is a lightweight variety. It is extremely rotting and insect resistant. Like the other hardwood varieties, it can either be aged to a silver patina or be treated regularly with an oil bath to keep its color finish.
Teak wood has natural oils that will help with resistance to weathering, decaying, or insect damage. Annual treatments will make this wood last a lifetime. If you do not want to treat the surface it will turn a silver-gray. This wood will still not decay or be damaged by insects. It should last a very long time without other kinds of abuse.
Size of tables and the number of chairs
Your space will determine the size and number of chairs that you will need. A small patio area will only hold a small table and two chairs. Some sets will come with folding chairs for a small area. A larger area will be able to hold a big table with four to six chairs and you can make it into a big dining area. Having an expandable table will allow many guests to sit at one table.
The table size and shape will be determined by the size of the area. Tables will come in round, square, oval, and rectangular shapes. Some larger tables will come with extensions to make it as big as an inside dining table. Most of these extensions will be stored under the top of the table so that they can be easily be installed.
Most small patio tables will be round or square. The next thing to look at is table height. The average height of a regular table about 29 to 30 inches tall. You can also get a short pub height and tall pub height. These are covered in another article as we will only cover the regular height tables here.
Look for options on the number of chairs for each set. A small patio set will come with only two chairs, some of these will fold for storage. Larger sets will come with either four or six chairs. Some of these can stack for storage, other options are a captain or swivel chairs. Having a variety of styles of chairs will allow you to use them for casual sitting when not dining.
Upkeep and storage
Almost all wooden outdoor furniture will require some upkeep. Check with the owner's manual on each type to make sure that the warranty is not voided by a cleaning method.
Cleaning with a powerful power washer is not very good for some softwoods and not recommended for the hardwoods. Test on the bottom of your furniture to see if you are doing any damage to the wood. A good pressure washer will have a way to adjust the water pressure. If you are going to use a power washer. use the softest setting that will still clean the surface without damage. The use of cleaning liquids will be better in the long run for your furniture to last.
There are several liquid detergents that are made to clean wood furniture. Make sure you test these on the bottom or an area that does not show so that you can see that it does not damage the wood. You can use a soft scrub brush or cleaning pad with the grain on the softer woods such as Cedar. The harder woods will not matter if you do not go with the grain, you may want to test on the bottom of the table or chair before working on the top.
Teak and other hardwoods can be cleaned with a mild soap mixed with warm water. Some do not recommend putting oil on the wood right after cleaning, they say that it will keep in moisture in spots and create mold under the oil finish.
If after cleaning the surface is very rough, you may want to take sandpaper and sand down the rough areas. Be careful not to gouge or use coarse sandpaper as this will leave streaks or lines on your surface.
Storage of your outdoor table and chairs can be as easy as getting a vinyl cover and just leaving it out. Several manufacturers make their own cover that fits their furniture very well. Some smaller sets with folding or stacking chairs can be stored in a weatherproof storage area.
Finding the correct outdoor wooden table and chairs for you will take several considerations explained above. Ultimately this will be your choice. I hope I have given you enough information to make your choice less stressful.
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