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Choosing Patio Furniture

"A consumer would be hard pressed to find any material better suited to outdoor furniture than cedar wood."

Why You Should Invest in Cedar Patio Furniture

Website: The Cedar Site

A Look at the Unique Attributes of Cedar Wood and an Assessment of its Potential as Outdoor Furniture Material

Patio furniture can be constructed from a range of different materials, including plastic, metal, and a variety of woods. It can also be produced and marketed at a wide array of prices, ranging from relatively cheap to outrageously expensive.

It is certainly true that the market is swamped with varieties of outdoor furniture, and the average consumer is faced with a large amount of choice when shopping for suitable patio furniture. While the end result of that choice will largely be dependent upon the needs and desires of the consumer, such a consumer may occasionally be tempted to buy a piece of poorly-crafted outdoor furniture, based solely upon its inexpensive price. Although cost is certainly an important matter of consideration for any shopper, a choice based exclusively upon price is often an uneducated, rash assessment, and the consumer would soon regret such a decision.

Because of the wide variety of patio furniture available to consumers and the completely preventable regret of a rash decision in buying outdoor furniture, it is the purpose of this article to educate consumers about the attributes and characteristics of cedar wood that make it so ideally suited for use in outdoor furniture. Outdoor patio furniture constructed from plastic or inferior wooden materials is undoubtedly initially less expensive than patio furniture constructed from more quality woods like cedar, but are such items of furniture ultimately less expensive? In order to answer this question, let's take a brief look at the unique history and characteristics of cedar.

The majority of cedar wood available in the United States and Canada actually comes from the Western Red Cedar, a tree of the cypress family. True cedar, of the small cedrus genus, is not indigent to North America. The Western Red Cedar is a tall, stately tree, reaching up to 200 feet at its full height. Its aromatic, cinnamon-colored wood is both aesthetically pleasing and incredibly durable.

The Western Red Cedar has a long, interesting history, and its wood has been used for several purposes throughout time. For centuries, American Indians utilized the bark of the Western Red Cedar for cribs and sandals and the timbers for construction of lodges and canoes. Interestingly, Lewis and Clark also utilized timbers of the Western Red Cedar to construct the canoes used in their famous expedition.

Cedar wood has several attributes that make it ideal for use in outdoor patio furniture. These attributes include:

  • Resistance to rot and insects: Cedar wood is imbued with natural oil that protects it from fungus and other pathogens. The same oil that is so aromatically pleasing to humans is repellant to insects and protects the wood from infestations.
  • Durability: Cedar wood is incredibly strong and durable, due to the fact that the Western Red Cedar belongs to the gymnosperm family of trees. Gymnosperms, including all evergreen and conifer trees, are uniquely designed for skeletal strength. Their elongated xylem cells limit the amount of water that may be conducted from the roots to the leaves but greatly add to the overall strength of the tree. Angiosperms, or flower-bearing trees like oak and maple, have more rounded xylem cells that conduct more water through the tree but do not provide the same structural support to the wood. Thus, they are limited in their durability.
  • Resistance to heat: One reason wood is better suited than plastic or metal for the construction of patio furniture is its ability to stay cool, even in extreme heat. No matter what the temperature, cedar outdoor furniture is always cool to the touch and pleasant to sit on.
  • Simple natural beauty: Cedar outdoor furniture lends an element of natural elegance to any patio or deck area. The beautiful, cinnamon-colored wood is perfectly suited to nearly any decorative style.

A consumer would be hard pressed to find any material better suited to outdoor furniture than cedar wood. The construction of the wood is uniquely designed for durability and resistance. If treated well, a finely crafted piece of cedar patio furniture could last for more than a lifetime.

Ultimately, it is less expensive to invest in quality cedar outdoor furniture as opposed to more cheaply built plastic or oak patio furniture. Avoid making a rash decision or a regrettable mistake when shopping for outdoor furniture. Cedar is absolutely the best material available, and the purchase of cedar outdoor furniture is an investment that will offer quality relaxation and repose for years to come.

2005 The Cedar Site

Editors Note: The Cedar Site offers a large variety of premium oil-finished teak and western red cedar outdoor and patio furniture which are available completely assembled and also easy to assemble variations. Your investment in cedar furniture will reward you with years of comfortable, low maintenance, attractive, and practical outdoor furniture.

Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

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