If you're looking to buy an outdoor table, you've probably already realised just how many options are available. Within all those options, one key decision stands above the rest: What kind of material are you going to use?
There are plenty of options, but people who want a tough, heavy and low-maintenance outdoor table will often find themselves comparing wrought iron against solid wood. There's really no right answer; each material comes with its own pros and cons. However, you can work out which material would be best for your own outdoor table by working through these three key factors.
Both wood and wrought iron are prized for their durability. Unlike plastic or aluminium, wood and wrought iron are very hard to snap or dent. That said, there are some maintenance differences between them.
Wrought iron is extremely tough, but any chip in the paintwork is going to leave the metal itself prone to rusting. This will be a particular concern if you happen to live near the sea, or if your yard is active enough to make odd bumps and nicks quite likely to occur. On the other hand, wood is never going to rust. That said, it does require re-varnishing once very year or so, and you'll need to watch out for signs of pest infestations.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a material for outdoor furniture is just how that material will look, and this is an area where wrought iron and wood differ dramatically.
Wrought iron is extremely malleable, meaning it can be worked into very intricate designs. Most wrought iron outdoor tables will be quite ornate, incorporating many different shapes, so it's the material you might prefer if you're looking for a more upper-class, traditional appearance.
Wooden outdoor tables will usually be a lot plainer, without any intricate work of which to speak. Of course, this merely enhances their appeal for many homeowners, who appreciate the rustic and natural simplicity of solid wood.
Finally, make sure you take the time to think about how heavy your outdoor table should be.
If you want to be able to move your table around on a regular basis, whether for storage or simply to better catch the sun on a certain day, you'll want to go for wood. While still one of the heavier outdoor table materials, wood is light enough for a couple of people to move around. The same cannot be said of wrought iron, which is extremely heavy. Of course, that additional heft will prove advantageous if you're not planning on moving the table very often, especially if you live in an area frequently subjected to very strong winds.
Read more about outdoor furniture options to choose the best material for your table and other items.