Selecting Outdoor Benches

Outdoor  benches  are an excellent way to enhance a garden, create additional seating in a backyard or add a resting spot for a business. With outdoor  benches , you will discover a huge selection of materials such as stone, wood, concrete, brick, etc. Keep in mind that one type of material is not necessarily better than another with a few exceptions. As an example, if you choose something like granite, marble, stone, or concrete, the seats will be hard so if you are looking to provide a comfortable resting area, cushions would be required. In addition, some types of wood do better than others. Teak, redwood, beech, birch, cherry, ash, maple, oak, mahogany, poplar, walnut, pecan, and cedar are excellent choices for outdoors.

Since wood outdoor  benches  are the most popular, we will address those in particular for this article. First, wood is easy to work with, offers a warm, rich, and inviting appearance, and is very durable. Depending on the design of the outdoor  bench , it may or may not be made with a combination of solid wood and veneer. Regardless of the type of wood being used, the quality of construction for the outdoor  bench  is crucial. First, the outdoor  bench  needs to be made using the best joint method and second, the outdoor  bench  must be stable and sturdy.


For the joints, manufacturers use a number of methods. The tongue and groove method is very popular in that it looks nice and neat while providing the needed stability. Another method is known as mortise and tenon, which involves a socket and two pieces of projecting wood. Other options for the joints include a doweled joint where a wood pin fits tightly into a drilled out hole, rabbeted and butted joint that has two pieces of wood placed at angles, glued, and stapled, bolted or corner blocked if rigidity is a concern, and finally, the least expensive method for outdoor  bench  joints is with stapling. The downside to this is that as people sit down and get up from the outdoor  bench , the staples can eventually work free.

The second factor for selecting wooden outdoor  benches  is the stability and sturdiness. Since people of all sizes will be sitting down, you obviously want a  bench  that will accommodate various  weights . To ensure sturdiness, you would need to make sure the  bench  meets certain criteria. If the  bench  has a back, then the outside posts or rungs on either side will need to go all the way through the  bench  seat to the underside, making the posts and rungs less likely to break. In addition, the legs of the outdoor  bench  need to be solid and large enough to handle  weight .

One way to tell if the  bench  is not sturdy enough is to sit on it. If you hear a creaking noise, then you should be concerned. While sitting, move your  weight  back and forth a little to see if the  bench  feels secure or wobbly. You can also do a push/pull test with your hands, pressing on the  bench’s  legs to see if they feel solid or loose. Most manufacturers will provide specifications on the various types of outdoor  benches  so you will know exactly the  weight  limitations, type of wood used, the joint process, and so on. Use this information to your advantage when selecting an outdoor  bench  so you end up with the type that best suits your needs.

Source by Jennifer Akre


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