When it comes to outdoor furniture, a wide range of materials are available, from wood to metal, wicker, plastic, and even concrete. While concrete might not be the first material that comes to mind when considering outdoor furniture, it certainly has advantages. We will explore the benefits and drawbacks of concrete for outdoor furniture and whether it’s a good choice for your needs.
Why Choose Concrete For Furniture?
- Durability: One of the biggest advantages of concrete furniture is its durability. Unlike other materials that can deteriorate over time due to exposure to weather and other elements, concrete is extremely resistant to wear and tear. It can withstand harsh weather conditions, heavy use, and even vandalism.
- Low Maintenance: Concrete furniture is also very low maintenance, as it does not require regular sealing, staining, or painting. It can be easily cleaned with soap and water, making it an ideal choice for those who want to spend less time maintaining their outdoor furniture.
- Customizable: Concrete can be molded into any shape and size, allowing for customized designs and unique pieces of furniture that can perfectly fit your outdoor space. This versatility also makes creating furniture that matches your outdoor decor and style easy.
- Eco-Friendly: Concrete is an environmentally friendly material that can be recycled and reused, reducing waste and carbon footprint. Additionally, it is a natural material that does not contain harmful chemicals, making it a safe and healthy choice for outdoor furniture.
What Is The Disadvantage Of Concrete Furniture?
- Heavy: Concrete furniture is extremely heavy and can be difficult to move around. This makes it less suitable for those who frequently rearrange their outdoor furniture or move it around to different locations.
- Limited Comfort: Concrete furniture can be uncomfortable to sit on for long periods, as it is hard and does not have any give. This can be addressed by adding cushions or padding, but this can add to the cost and maintenance requirements of the furniture.
- Cost: Concrete furniture can be more expensive than other materials, such as plastic or metal. This is due to the cost of the materials and the fact that it requires specialized knowledge and tools to create custom designs.
How To Make Concrete Outdoor Furniture
Making concrete outdoor furniture requires some knowledge of concrete mixing and mold-making techniques. Here are the basic steps to make concrete outdoor furniture:
- Concrete mix
- Mold release agent
- Reinforcing steel (optional)
- Wood or metal supports for the mold
- Wood, plastic, or metal pieces to create the shape of the furniture
- Sandpaper or concrete sealer (optional)
- Create a mold: Start by creating a mold for your furniture. You can use wood, plastic, or metal pieces to create the shape of your furniture. Make sure the mold is sturdy and able to withstand the weight of the wet concrete. You can use wood or metal supports to keep the mold in place and to provide stability.
- Apply mold release agent: To make sure your furniture comes out of the mold easily, apply a mold release agent to the inside. This can be a spray-on product or a brush-on product.
- Mix the concrete: Mix the concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You may want to add reinforcing steel to the mix to increase the strength of the furniture. The amount of steel you need will depend on the size and shape of your furniture.
- Pour the concrete: Pour the mixed concrete into the mold. Make sure to fill the mold completely and smooth out the surface with a trowel or float.
- Add supports: If your furniture is large or has thin sections, you may need to add supports to the concrete as it cures. This can be done with wood or metal pieces that are inserted into the wet concrete.
- Cure the concrete: Let the concrete cure for at least 24 hours. Depending on the size and thickness of your furniture, it may need to cure for several days.
- Remove the mold: Once the concrete is fully cured, remove the mold from the furniture. If the mold is stuck, you can use a pry bar or rubber mallet to loosen it.
- Finish the furniture: Sand the edges of the furniture with sandpaper or apply a concrete sealer to give it a smooth finish. You can also add cushions or padding to make the furniture more comfortable to sit on.
Making concrete outdoor furniture requires some skill and patience, but the results can be impressive and long-lasting. Make sure to take the time to prepare the mold and mix the concrete properly and to follow all safety precautions when working with concrete.
Conclusion: Is Concrete Good For Outdoors?
Concrete can be a good choice for outdoor furniture, particularly for those who value durability and low maintenance. Its customizable nature and eco-friendliness make it a unique and interesting material that can add character and style to any outdoor space. However, its weight and limited comfort may not be suitable for everyone, and its higher cost may make it less accessible to those on a budget. As with any material, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences before deciding.