When it comes to the type of material your outdoor furnishings are made from, there are plenty of choices in today’s market. Many purists insist on only solid wood furniture, such as teak or Ipe wood, while others swear by the durability and good looks of aluminum. But there is another choice we’d like you to consider, and that is polymer. Here is what you need to know about this versatile material and why it might be the best choice for your next outdoor furniture purchase.
What is Polymer?
Polymer is a type of durable synthetic material. A designation you will often see is MGP, which stands for “Marine Grade Polymer.” Another choice is HDPE, or “High Density Polyethylene.” Both names refer to a plastic made to resemble lumber and an environmentally friendly alternative to wood. The material itself is recyclable and is often made from recycled plastics such as milk jugs.
Many of our top outdoor furnishing manufacturers, such as Telescope Casual furniture, use polymer to create pieces that are hard to distinguish from real wood. It is even nearly as heavy as wooden outdoor furniture – a great advantage during high wind days – but comes with many distinct benefits.
Advantages of Polymer Outdoor Furniture
In addition to being good for the environment, HDPE or MGP outdoor furniture resists swelling, rotting and warping, so it is very durable. Pieces such as a Telescope Casual marine grade polymer top table are made to last, with a hefty warranty of 15 years.
Polymer outdoor furniture is also immune to peeling, cracking or separation. The color pigment goes the entire way through the thickness of the material so it will never need to be repainted or sealed, unlike its wood counterparts. Look for pieces that are colored with UV-stabilizing pigments to avoid fading.
Polymer outdoor furniture is also very easy to maintain. Although we recommend covering it during the off season, these pieces can be left out in the elements with little to no adverse effects. When outdoor season starts, simply rinse off your polymer furniture with a spray of water. Use a mild detergent solution to remove any stains or spills but do be careful not to use an abrasive scrubber or nylon pad. After rinsing, let it air dry before covering.
Types of Polymer Outdoor Furniture
MGP is often used to craft seating pieces and outdoor tables. Because it does not “give” like real wood, you may want to take a polymer chair for a test drive to ensure you find it comfortable. Polymer chaise lounge chairs with a sling seat are very popular and you may find them to be cozier than a seat made of synthetic boards.
Some HDPE outdoor furniture is made to resemble rattan material, such as a chaise lounge sofa with gorgeously styled frame. Since polymer is so much more durable than real rattan, it just makes sense to go with this option, especially to withstand the marine layer fog, sea spray and other adverse weather effects found here in Southern California.
When you want beautiful pieces made to last and look like new for many decades, polymer outdoor furniture is an excellent choice.