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Metal Restaurant Furniture - What you need to know

Metal Restaurant Furniture

Metal restaurant furniture is popular because it is strong, durable and easy to clean. It can also accommodate many interior styles such as industrial, modern or traditional. When talking about metal furniture this can include materials such as steel, aluminum, chrome and iron. Each has its own distinctive attributes that make it special. There is more to consider than looks in order to get the most benefit out of your metal furniture. Certain materials are better for different environments. If you are looking for outdoor furniture, a rustproof metal like aluminum is a smart buy. If you need indoor furniture, there are many options such as iron, stainless steel, metal with a powder coat finish or shiny chrome.

The main types of metal used in commercial furniture construction are steel, aluminum, galvanized steel and cast iron. Restaurant furniture is, for the most part made of a combination of materials with metal comprising the main, load bearing frame. Depending on the type of use you have in mind for your furniture you will have a choice between various metals.

Steel (Indoor Use)

Steel is an alloy of carbon and iron making it stronger and more durable when compared to iron. Its high density helps prevent dents and other damage from frequent use. It is also heavier than aluminum making it ideal for locales that don’t require too much furniture movement but want extremely strong, long lasting and varied furniture. Steel chairs come in a variety of designs, styles and colors. Powder-coating not only provides color to the steel it also helps protect it from rust and corrosion, making it easy to maintain and long lasting.

The structural stability of steel means that even when used in ways that help reduce the furniture’s weight it will remain tough and will withstand heavy weights. Many of our metal (steel) restaurant chairs are made of 16 gauge steel tubes, have a capacity of 500 lbs and a limited lifetime warranty thanks to the intrinsic strength of the steel frame. Admittedly, steel furniture can be more expensive than aluminum but it is stronger and is less likely to bend or dent through heavy or careless use.


Aluminum is the most popular metal for outdoor furniture, is relatively inexpensive, low maintenance and never rusts. Although it is highly weather-resistant on its own, a polyester powder coating is recommended. This electrostatic process not only increases protection against the elements and scratching, but it also allows you to added color to the mix. While you can buy painted aluminum, powder coating adheres better to the metal and is much more resistant to fading. This is also helpful if your deck or poolside is exposed to salt air, which tends to eat away at paint and untreated metal. Like other metals, aluminum heats up, so it’s best to have seat cushions to keep your customers cool and comfortable.

When it comes to buying patio furniture aluminum’s characteristics mentioned above make it a popular choice. Aluminum framed chairs and tables are easier to move around when the sun becomes too hot. This makes them a hreat choice for sunny areas and those with high foot traffic, however in windy areas theirlight weight might be a hinderance unless the patio is protected from the wind. They are also cheaper than galvanized or stainless steel and easier to shape into attractive shapes.

Steel (Outdoor Use)

As sturdy metal alloys, galvanized and stainless steel are extremely strong and weather resistant, which makes them a great material for large weight-bearing outdoor dining tables, sofas and sectionals. Their high density helps prevent dents and other damage from frequent use. While outdoor use steel does get hot to the touch when exposed to the summer heat, galvanized steel, for example, endures extreme temperatures better than most metals. Its composition makes it virtually immune to rust and corrosion, but a powder coating is recommended for added resistance, especially in coastal areas where salt air and water are present.

The main differences between stainless and galvanizsed steel are price and strength. Galvanized steel is cheaper and is more in supply while stainless steel is stronger and slightly more durable. However, they are both stronger than most other metals used for commercial furniture and both are weather resistant making them ideal for outdoor pastio use. Garden and patio furniture made from galvanized / stainless steel is heavy and will not tip over or blow away under windy conditions. It’s a great material choice for high end modern outdoor furniture since its sleek silvery metallic finish has a chic contemporary look. Though it’s expensive, stainless steel is worth every penny. Not only is it relatively easy to clean, but it’s often made using recycled metals, making it an environmentally responsible choice.

Cast Iron

Most commonly used in commercial furniture as table bases, cast iron can sometimes be seen in chair frames as well. Non weather resistant, untreated cast iron will rust when exposed to the elements and to humidity making it less than ideal for outdoor use. Its heavy weight combined with a low price and ease of molding (via casting) makes it a good and popular choice mainly for table bases.

Casting the iron means we can creata a large variety of designs from intricate ones that iclude a web or lace desing to simple ones like the classic X prong or round bases. Strong and not as brittle as molded iron, cast iron is ideal for heavy table tops and will withstand heavy use for a long time. The large range of availalbe of cast iron table bases allows you to create tables that are eye catching and act as a focal point in the restaurant or create simple, functional tables perfect for fast food andcasual dining.