What Is The Best Material For An Outdoor Porch Bench?
Posted on - Last updated:
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
There's nothing like the feeling of lounging on a porch bench, enjoying a cool drink, and having a good conversation. If you are going to invest in a quality outdoor bench, you need to factor in aesthetic preferences, comfort, and durability. So, what are the best materials for a bench that is supportive and can withstand the elements? We researched different construction materials for benches to uncover the top choices.
Before purchasing a porch bench, you may want to choose one made from the following materials. The following substances are useful for outdoor furniture because of their longevity, resistance to insects, rot, and moisture, and cost-effectiveness.
Create a stunning porch or patio with a beautiful and comfortable bench you'll love for years.
Top Choice Porch Benches
The most sought-after and versatile bench is one made of wood. Different types of wood offer the most versatility for creating unique and artful furniture. And, benches and chairs made from specific woods better resist rot, insects and handle moisture without rapid deterioration. Wood seating provides a medium-weight choice, with benches made from metal being either very lightweight or heavy. Another alternative that is gaining popularity is wicker seating made from high-density polyethylene resin.
When seeking out a bench, no matter the material, it should be durable, handle fading from the sun, torrential downpours, plummeting temperatures, and resist insects, mold, and mildew. Be careful about the weather patterns in your area and how a bench will hold up. High winds can knock about a bench that is too light. Exposure to grime and water if a bench is untreated and unsealed makes it hard to clean and protect.
Wood is a trusted material used to construct durable and elegant outdoor furniture and ages well. Consumer demand, availability, ease of working with the material, and desirable properties, make the price and value of woods vary. Cedar, Mahogany, Teak, and Shorea are a few types of wood that make excellent outdoor furniture. Some woods are better suited for a wetter or drier climate, so do your research.
Consider investing in acacia wood if you don't have deep enough pockets to afford a teak or wrought iron bench. Benches made from this workable material resist the elements, are rich in natural oils and are highly attractive. Make sure to seal the wood so it won't be easily subject to bug infestations, rot, and to preserve its rich color.
Originating from Australia, eucalyptus is a strong and desirable wood for outdoor benches. The natural oils within this wood make it excellent at resisting rot and putting off insects. Also, the high amount of oil equally fends off moisture, which would encourage mold and mildew. The wood is dense, makes for beautiful furniture, and it has antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Outdoor furniture made from teak wood is increasingly popular despite the expensive price tag. People love having teak benches and other furniture outdoors because this wood develops a beautiful patina over time. Additionally, this wood is naturally resistant to rot, mildew, mold, and insects.
Need a less expensive metal bench than steel or wrought iron? Consider lightweight aluminum for its ability to resist fading and rusting. There are various styles available, from vintage-inspired to modern editions to complement your patio's style.
Simple and ornate benches made of steel are sought after for their timeless designs, quality, and toughness. However, steel can become hot and uncomfortable after prolonged sun exposure or high temperatures. Plus, it can be heavy to move about. Furniture in this material is not as lightweight as resin or aluminum, and it should be treated to prevent corrosion.
If you want a patio bench that comes in elegant vintage designs and provides plenty of visual interest, consider wrought iron. The weight of this material makes excellent seating and tables that are hardy, weather-resistant, and solid. There is no need to fear that a bench made from wrought iron will be flimsy. Prepare to spend more on this type of bench and treat it to prevent rust but enjoy high style points.
Outdoor furniture made from rattan or natural wicker doesn't fare well after prolonged exposure to moisture and inclement weather. Benches made from resin or polyethylene resin are gaining popularity for their durability and ease of cleaning. Seating made from resin shares a similar aesthetic appeal as the real thing, but it is available in a broader range of colors and is low maintenance.
When resin furniture needs cleaning, apply some soap and water or some diluted bleach as needed. Typically, the resin includes metal supports that are non-corrosive and contribute to the furniture's longevity outdoors.
If you are looking for seating outdoors, the average height for an outdoor bench falls between 16 to 20 inches above the ground. Some benches can be as low as 14 inches in height. Ideally, most bench heights need to be 12 inches below any nearby tables on a deck or patio if you wish to play cards or share a meal. The average thickness for a bench is 1 inch, so prepare to snag some decorative throw cushion for style and comfort.
How Do You Waterproof An Outdoor Bench?
Even if your outdoor bench naturally resists rain, snow, and sleet, you should consider some waterproofing method to protect your investment. Consider applying a layer of protective oil, cream, or sealant as needed to wood furniture. Coating furniture with linseed or Tung oil and then applying a varnish followed up with a sealer can work wonders.
If you don't feel it is necessary to use an agent to protect a bench from the elements, invest in a durable furniture cover. Keep out the sun, moisture, dirt, and dust by covering up outdoor benches, chairs, or tables when not in use or during inclement weather.
Grab a firm tape measure with little to no give for the most accurate measurements. Make sure to add an extra 1/2 inch to your numbers for the best fit. Jot down the seat's width and depth measurements to configure the size of your bench cushion. Note, most cushions will be between 2 inches to 8 inches in thickness. If you wish, you can also create custom cushions to meet your ergonomic support needs and aesthetic preferences.
If you are going to order a cushion for the back of your bench and one for the seat, make allowances for the fit. Subtract the measurements of the seat's thickness from the back cushion's height. Otherwise, you might have a back cushion that pushes the seat cushion forward, or it will push past the top of the bench.
We hope you feel confident about the best choices of outdoor benches for your porch or patio. Please factor in local weather patterns impact, methods of protecting your furniture, and a bench's natural attributes before making a final decision. It is possible to find a durable, inexpensive bench that provides comfortable seating and aesthetic details you'll gush over for ages.
Before you go, check out the following articles of interest.