If you’re looking to furnish a patio at your restaurant, bar, or café, aluminum furniture might be for you. This metal is durable and easy to clean, and resistant to rust, making it perfect for outdoor use. There are several reasons to consider aluminum for commercial patio use.

Why Aluminum Furniture for Commercial Outdoor Seating?

  • While aluminum is lightweight, it is very durable. It can stand up to frequent use and exposure to outdoor elements.
  • Aluminum is easy to clean and maintain. Easy cleaning can save you time and effort when maintaining your patio dining area.
  • It is resistant to rust, allowing for extended use outside.
  • This metal has an attractive, uniform look for any restaurant design or theme.
  • Aluminum is often reasonably priced, typically costing less than traditional steel or other patio furniture.
  • The light weight construction makes aluminum furniture easier to maneuver and store.

Types of Aluminum Finishes

Painted

  • Painted aluminum is either powder coated or treated with paint made specifically for metal objects and crafted for outdoor use to resist weather and damaging UV rays. This treatment offers an extra layer of protection against naturally occurring oxidation and fading, which can lead to corrosion. With proper care, painted aluminum furniture can last for years.

Natural

  • Natural finish aluminum furniture is not painted. Unfinished aluminum provides a modern look and requires less maintenance due to no paint touch-ups. Using natural aluminum could mean that it is more subject to oxidation (pitting), which can cause white dots to appear on the furniture and holes to form.
  • Note: Oxidation and pitting can be prevented! Be sure to read our maintenance tips below to learn more.

What Should You Choose?

Looking For? Pick this Finish
Low to no maintenance for outdoor furniture Natural
Sleek, modern look Natural
Durable against scratching and chipping Natural
Fun, formal look to match any current decor Painted
Most resistant against oxidation and pitting Painted
Long product life Painted

Styles of Commercial Aluminum Seating

AlChairNoArms

Chairs

Aluminum chairs without arms are easy to move, stack, and store. These chairs are lightweight and will hold up to the needs of a commercial setting. Furnish an outdoor dining area with this style of aluminum seat for a modern look and flexible seating. 

aluminum barstool

Barstools

Outfit your bar indoors or outdoors with an aluminum barstool. These stools are perfect for a modern or rustic style and will last for years to come. The durability of aluminum is perfect for a fast-paced commercial bar or patio.

Aluminum chair

Chairs with Arms

Aluminum armchairs can give customers a reason to stay at your restaurant’s outdoor patio. These chairs are comfortable and durable for long-term use. A chair with arms provides additional comfort and style for your diners.

Mixed Material Chair

Mixed Materials with Aluminum

If you’re looking for an aluminum chair with a little more style, consider mixed materials. An aluminum chair that also has wood, polypropylene, or other materials will offer added style with no additional maintenance.

Maintaining Aluminum Outdoor Furniture

While aluminum requires very little maintenance, there are still some things that you need to consider after purchasing. When properly cared for, aluminum furniture can last for years on your commercial patio.

  • Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning aluminum, as they can react with the metal and oxidize it, causing structural damage.
  • Wash aluminum frequently with warm, soapy water to preserve the metal’s natural luster and shine.
  • Remove scuff marks with a soft cloth dampened with a nonabrasive product.
  • If your furniture is painted, touch up the paint as soon as it gets chipped to avoid oxidation.
  • Apply a coat of automotive wax to protect the metal after cleaning.
  • If using unfinished aluminum near a coast, pitting can occur (white marks as a result of corrosion). These pits can be removed with a metal polish/compound to remove the oxidation carefully.
  • It’s always best to store outdoor furniture inside during off seasons. Storing can help protect the furniture from exposure to the elements.

Frequently Asked Questions About Aluminum Furniture

What's better for outdoor patio furniture; aluminum or steel?

Aluminum is a more durable metal than steel. Aluminum alloy has no iron making it a non-ferrous metal, which enables it to withstand outdoor elements better and resist rust. However, aluminum is more expensive than wrought iron or steel furniture. Steel is much more prone to corrosion and may need replacing more frequently than aluminum.

What is the difference between aluminum and cast aluminum?

Standard aluminum furniture features a hollow aluminum frame, and cast aluminum has a solid frame. Cast aluminum is better if you’re looking for something heavyweight and aren’t looking to move the furniture. Consider standard aluminum for outdoor patio seating at a restaurant because it’s easier to rearrange for diners.

Should you cover aluminum patio furniture?

If you’re expecting inclement weather during the patio seating season, it’s best to store furniture away to keep it from blowing away or being damaged. However, if you can’t store it away, make sure to cover it with a tarp or pull it under an awning.

Final Thoughts 

Aluminum furniture is perfect for commercial outdoor use because of its durability and lightweight. This material is low maintenance and can last for years with simple care and cleaning. There are several types of aluminum furniture available to fit your current décor and preferences. 

Are you wanting metal furniture, but aren’t sure if aluminum is the right choice? Check out our blog post on wrought iron furniture to learn about another type of outdoor metal furniture! 

Are you looking for more information on aluminum as a construction material? Read our article on stainless steel versus aluminum to learn more about this metal.