Cypress, redwood and cedar are three soft woods that have natural moisture wicking properties and are good choices for outdoor furniture. But in our opinion, the best wood for outdoor furniture comes from premium hardwoods, such as ipe, mahogany and teak. Cedar is a light and rot-resistant wood. It is a durable wood that tends not to crack due to its moisture retention.
What I love about cedar is that it requires minimal maintenance and ages to a beautiful shade of silver if left alone. Some types of hardwood, such as cedar and white oak, are naturally rot-resistant. But no type of wood is completely immune to all the elements outside. Naturally rot-resistant woods are more expensive, making treated wood a more cost-effective solution for patio furniture.
But these may not last as long as furniture made from natural redwood or cedar. ArtWood specializes in creating wooden furniture from reclaimed wood (mainly trees cut down by Hurricane Sandy), but also furniture that needs to be salvaged. Wood treatments are available to extend the life of types of wood that are not as strong as other durable hardwoods. While the tight grain of wood generally prevents it from absorbing most stains, oils and other finishes, this can limit the ability to stain them and also expose furniture to UV-related color discoloration.
Black lobster requires more labor to cut by hand and machine than cypress, redwood and cedar, so it may not be the best wood for outdoor furniture that you plan to build yourself. So what makes some wood species better for outdoor use than others? Well, there are wood species that rot more slowly than others, such as Black Locust and Bois D'Arc. Don't just cover the wood with plastic, as dew can form underneath and it can't evaporate quickly enough for the wood to dry out. I had to find out what is the best wood for outdoor furniture so that my benches would stand the test of time.
Over time, UV rays break down all wood, and fungi, mold, and insects that decay wood need excessive moisture. While wood harvested commercially these days may not be as prized, it is still a viable wood for outdoor use. However, some people believe that wood treatment processes are unhealthy and prefer to spend time keeping furniture untreated. Teak is the preferred wood for outdoor furniture on the beach because of its ability to withstand all types of weather conditions.
Although it is a natural material, most wooden furniture must be treated or finished properly to withstand the heat, cold, rain, rot and pests that occur with outdoor use. As arguably the best wood alternative for outdoor furniture, polyvinyl wood can be used in a variety of ways, from patio tables to lounging by the pool. A little knowledge and the best wood for outdoor furniture is all you need to make your own stunning decorations, as are my benches for seating.