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Safe Environments

Outdoor Furniture: 4 Considerations for Your Constant Use Environment

Who hasn’t gathered around an old rickety, wooden picnic table – homemade or otherwise – during a summer barbeque at a friend’s house or in a relative’s backyard? It’s become an integral part of our culture. And while inanimate, the picnic table has become a vehicle that allows us to sit down, enjoy the weather and spend time with one another.

Now imagine that same, old rickety picnic table in a park area or in a similar space, sitting there in the sun and weather, 365 days a year, being constantly used by family after family. Before long you would find the table stained, cracked and in need a serious repair or a trip to the dumpster.

For that reason, it’s important that proper outdoor furniture is selected for park facilities, outdoor educational spaces, healthcare courtyards, shelters and correctional environments – appropriate products that will stand up to intensive use and the changing weather throughout the year. It starts with metal, but there’s much more to consider. Below we list the four things to look for in outdoor furniture.

Material

Outdoor Furniture

Norix Furniture’s Hilltop Series

There are many different types of materials out there that are used for outdoor furniture, each with their own merits. But for constant and intensive use environments, nothing says “durability” like steel. For example, Norix Furniture’s Hilltop Outdoor Furniture Series features table tops and seats that are made of 14 gauge, high impact steel. You can pound and pound on this product, and tests have proven it’s highly durable and engineered for the toughest spaces.

Additionally, the legs and bracing are 12-gauge steel, and all fasteners are made with tamper-resistant and corrosion-resistant steel, ensuring this product stands the test of time, year after year.

Coating

Unfortunately, high quality steel is not enough. In many cases, outdoor furniture is sitting in the sun and icy weather, and takes a beating from the hours and hours of use it is subjected to from those who have no ill intentions or those who, well, use the product as a jungle gym.

It’s important to look for steel outdoor furniture that is coated in a smooth, UV-stabilized vinyl coating. This addition to the table will protect your furniture from the elements and rough use. In fact, our Hilltop Outdoor Furniture has been tested in the extremes of icy northern winters to the intense heat of the southwest to the salt air of the oceans – not to mention the numerous facilities where the product has been placed.

Additionally, after applying the coating, the Hilltop steel is then put into a hot salt bath that cures and securely binds the coating to the metal. Other companies let their product air dry because it’s a less expensive process. Their method results in the coating not adhering to the metal. If you cut it with a knife you can peel the coating completely off.

Perforated Tops

It probably comes as no surprise that the tops and seats of outdoor furniture take the most beating. These are the areas were food and other items are placed and often spilled, and where users sit. Additionally, when it rains this is where water collects, often causing rust on your average metal table or rot on unprotected wood tables.

Perforated metal – as featured on our Hilltop furniture – is a safeguard against these challenges. Water drains away since the tops and seats have tiny holes over their entire surface. Additionally, dirt, food, bodily fluids and grime easily fall through the perforated holes or off the product completely when cleaned with a solution or garden hose.

Options

Outdoor Furniture

Norix Furniture’s Hilltop Series

So you have your tables, but what about other items that are commonly found in outdoor spaces? Be sure to pick outdoor furniture from a manufacturer that provides an entire series of outdoor products that keep a harmonious feeling in your constant use environment.

Our Hilltop Outdoor Furniture Series goes beyond the table, and offers benches and trash cans that are made of the same sturdy construction that we have previously mentioned. Additionally, our benches come with or without backs, and all products are offered in a variety of colors including taupe, red, blue, dark green and brown.

Lastly, Hilltop products come in a variety of sizes, including square and rectangle tables, a model for ADA applications, and six foot and eight foot benches that can be surface mounted, in-ground mounted or portable – providing additional options which help you match your furniture to your specific needs.

Conclusion

Outdoor furniture, obviously, is presented with a set of challenges that are quite different than residential furniture you would have in a home. And for constant use environments, these challenges are more extreme.

For this reason, park facilities, outdoor educational spaces, healthcare courtyards, shelters and correctional environments should pick high impact metal tables, with intensive-use coatings, that come in a variety of color options and sizes, and with companion pieces such as benches and trash cans.

Doing your research and picking the appropriate product will ensure that your furniture will remain in place for a long time, saving you from having to purchase new products after breakdown occurs shortly after installation.

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