As the summer season approached we found ourselves needing to purchase our third patio dining set in four years.  The shore salt-air makes quick work of the inexpensive aluminum tables and chairs we had been purchasing. 

Inexpensive, rusting patio furniture
(click to view larger image)

The corroding metal was unsightly but the rust stains left on the deck were even more of a problem.  And this is to say nothing of the frustration of assembly and lugging everything up our many flights of stairs.  If it was possible to purchase something that would not rust, was simple to care for, could be easily moved yet heavy enough I did not have to worry about it flying off the deck in a storm and would last…then it would be worth a financial investment.  So what to purchase?

Pretty quickly I narrowed the choices to Teak or Polypropylene (Polywood).  The chart below demonstrates the pros and cons of each type of patio material.

Each characteristic is not equal however, or I would just buy cheap plastic furniture and replace it each time it became brittle from the sun or blew off the deck in a nor’easter.  Since that is obviously not a route I could consider, I pretty quickly narrowed my choices to Teak or High Density Polyethylene or HDPE (eponymously known by the brand Polywood). 

The Teak furniture really spoke to me, but the prospect of needing to oil it on occasion to maintain the rich color seemed too onerous.  Polywood seemed my best choice as it would require virtually no maintenance, would never rust or need painting and there was no chance it could blow away.  Made of high density recycled plastic milk jugs, polywood offered unparalleled durability and appearance at a reasonable price. 

Since our deck is a rather tight space, I spent the entire off-season trying to find a slimmer profile polywood table that could seat six.  I found you can purchase polyethylene furniture from Polywood direct, from distributors like Costco, Hayneedle, Wayfair, etc. or other “poly” makers like Breezesta or Luxcraft.

If ordering a table and chairs direct from, as was my case, then your order should arrive well packaged on a pallet within ten days.  Assembly is very easy. It mostly consists of attaching armrests and table legs. 

Attach arm rest to chairs
Table out of the box
Attach table legs

Flip it all over and you are done.

We opted to pair the Nautical dining table with the the Nautic Café chairs as we liked the minimalist style of the chairs and the ability of these to stack.

Care for these items should be very easy.  While I recognize there is some metal hardware involved, Polywood uses high-performance marine-grade quality metal which is warrantied. From prior experience with poly furniture I know this can be left out all year (even in a coastal climate) and generally just needs a light wipe with soapy water to remove pollen or residue and then appears as good as new.

The furniture really only needs to last 4-6 years to pay for itself in comparison to the cheap aluminum furniture we had been buying. Here is to hoping this furniture lasts much longer than that!

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