If you're looking at restaurant furniture for an outdoor seating area, you've probably already come to the conclusion that metal is the way to go, but now you need to decide which metal would best meet your needs.
Cast aluminium and wrought iron are two of the most popular choices, but they each present their own strengths and weaknesses. Here are three things to consider when you need to select between them.
1. Solidity Vs Portability
One of the best things about wrought iron is that it is very heavy. This provides a strong, reassuring feel for diners, and it also makes wrought iron ideal for outdoor furniture that is going to sit in windier environments. If you're by the sea, on the side of a hill, or in a breezy side-street, you want something that isn't going to be blown around.
Cast aluminium won't serve you as well in the wind. After all, its lightness is one of the reasons people like using it. Though you'll make sacrifices when it comes to stability, cast aluminium outdoor furniture is far easier to move. If you need to move your outdoor furniture around quite a lot, cast aluminium will probably make a better choice than wrought iron.
One other thing to consider is that cast aluminium furniture isn't just light because of the weight of the metal; its portability also owes a lot to the fact that it is hollow. Unfortunately, this does mean that cast aluminium furniture is more likely to bend or dent than wrought iron furniture. If your chairs and tables do get blown over, damage is more likely to occur.
2. Price Vs Intricacy
Cost is almost always going to be a concern when you're dealing with outdoor furniture, and the price of wrought iron is often far higher than that of cast aluminium. If you'd like to keep costs down, cast aluminium should work out better, and it's simpler styling will usually fit well with more casual eateries.
Wrought iron might be expensive, but it is generally worked in more intricate and appealing shapes. Wrought iron furniture is often quite ornate, but there are plenty of styles available. If you're looking at outfitting a more upscale restaurant, wrought iron outdoor furniture is probably going to fit in better than cast aluminium.
3. Weather-Resistant Vs Stain-Resistant
Both wrought iron and cast aluminium will last for years if you treat them correctly, but they aren't immune from damage. In fact, each one comes with its own kind of Achilles heel. Wrought iron is actually a little more durable than cast aluminium. You could strike it with a hammer and see very little damage as a result. However, it can rust, so care should be taken if the furniture will be regularly exposed to moisture, particularly if you're close to the sea. Cast aluminium, on the other hand, will resist rust, but it will take stains more easily than wrought iron.
When we started building a home together, my husband and I got a lot of furniture donations from friends and family. While this saved us a lot of cash, it did mean that we didn’t have a lot of say in the designs we ended up with; some of our larger pieces are a little old-fashioned and heavier than a lot of modern stuff you can buy in the shops now. While we like the eclectic look, it's still important for us to know how to keep this furniture clean and how to keep the flooring from getting damaged by these larger additions. After a bit of trial and error we found ways to prevent furniture and flooring from getting damaged.