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Aluminum vs. Steel Patio Furniture


The al fresco dining season is well underway. How is your outdoor patio working for your restaurant?

Midsummer can be a great time to evaluate your outdoor dining area, and as summer wanes, it can even be a great time to make some changes--and snag some deals on setup for next year. Just like the indoor aesthetic of your restaurant, an outdoor dining room is a cumulative experience. From the layout, shading, furniture selection, and decor, it's important to pull together a space that boasts the feel of your restaurant inside and makes it comfortable and easy for your guests to dine and converse.

One of the most important factors, of course, will be your furniture selection. There are many, many options when it comes to outdoor dining furniture; and even once you choose a specific type, you still have more decisions to make. The perfect example of this is selecting metal furniture, which is really common in outdoor dining spaces. Two normal choices are either aluminum or steel, and we asked Jackie Dods of East Coast Chair and Barstool to give some points on the differences between both so you can make an educated decision.

"Alumninum is a softer metal," began Dods, "So alumninum chairs should only be used outdoors rather than both inside and outside where it would be required to hold up to every day rigors." This means if your patio is open full-time in the summer, alumninum might not be the best choice either. It's a great lightweight option for sidewalk seating outside a coffee shop or for similar use.

Steel, on the other hand, is sturdy enough to be used both inside and outside. Of course this makes steel a heavier option, which could be a pro or a con. Steel furniture can be cumbersome to move around; but then aluminum furniture is light enough that, if you live in a windy climate, you might want to reconsider.

Also regarding climate, steel furniture will rust, though it is often weatherized in the factory. Alumninum furniture is weather resistant, and therefore can also be found in many different styles and options. 

Whatever your needs, our consultants are experts in restaurant design and interior and outdoor decor. We are here to help you make the best and most informed decisions.