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Patio Furniture Glossary

Adirondack Furniture

Adirondack furniture style dates back to the mid-1800's. Created by Thomas Lee, Adirondack furniture features contoured seats and wide arm rests. Adirondack style furniture will add a feeling of rugged beauty to any patio or garden. Many people enjoy it because the large arm rests are great for placing plates and drinks, making a patio table nearly obsolete.


One of the most popular material choices for patio furniture, aluminum can be used in all climate conditions. Lightweight and durable, aluminum patio furniture will never rust and can be easily formed into any furniture style imaginable. Aluminum furniture is easy to carry and transport, for moving or winter storage.

All Weather

All weather is a term to describe any type of furniture that can be left out in any weather condition without fear of ruining the material. Although a particular piece of patio furniture is labeled as all weather, it is still wise to bring your all weather furniture out of the elements during inclement weather.

Bar Furniture

Outdoor bar furniture will add a casual look and feel to any outdoor setting. Bar furniture traditionally features taller tables and seating than other outdoor furniture. Bar tables are traditionally smaller, allowing room for drinks and possibly a board game with seating from 2 to 5 people.

Bar Height

The standard bar height for a bar table is 40 - 42 inches from the floor. For this reason, bar height stools are traditionally considered to be those having a seat height ranging from 29 - 34 inches high. In comparision in most kitchens, 36 inches is the standard counter height or gathering height for a bar stool.

Bistro Furniture

Bistro furniture is designed for intimate conversations and meals. Perfect for a cozy outdoor setting, bistro furniture features smaller tables and traditional bistro sets are usually designed for two. Great for outdoor areas such as apartments, condos, and small patios where you want a nice patio furniture set, but you are limited on space.

Cast Aluminum

Cast Aluminum is a slightly heavier material than traditional aluminum used in the construction of patio furniture. Metal Casts are created by pressing wood molds of the patio furniture piece into sand, creating the cast. Molten aluminum is poured into the sand cast and allowed to harden, creating a single piece of patio furniture. Because cast aluminum patio furniture is a single piece and not welded together, it is much more durable.

Counter Height / Gathering Height

In most kitchens, 36 inches is the standard counter height or gathering height which is traditionally lower than the standard bar height. For this reason, counter height stools are traditionally those under 30 inches in height. Counter height bar stools have a seat height of 21-27 inches and work with a surface height ranging from 31-39 inches.

Patio Conversation Sets

Patio Conversation furniture also known as chat seating or lounge furniture is a style which is set lower to the floor and has a deeper cushion setting. This allows for a more relaxed seating position than traditional patio furniture. The conversation style is commonly used in patio lounge sets and indoor furniture, such as sofas and loveseats.

Dining Furniture

Outdoor dining furniture is available in a wide array of materials. With seating for up to 10, outdoor dining sets are made for any size deck, patio or garden. Dining furniture is very versatile and can be used for meals, playing board games and late night conversations.


Fiberglass is a material that is made from very fine fibers of glass, just as the name implies. As with traditional glass products, such as windows, fiberglass is a highly durable material that will not warp, rust, corrode, rot, fade, crack or split. Because of this durability, fiberglass is a material commonly used in umbrella poles, boat hulls, automobiles and even containers for highly corrosive materials.


Fiberstone is a patented material process that combines fiberglass with crushed limestone. This process provides the lightweight durability and versatility of fiberglass and the look and feel of natural stone. Fiberstone is commonly used in planters and umbrella bases.


Gazebos are an outdoor structure that are designed to give a view to all sides. Gazebos are traditionally octagonal and are constructed of five pillars, an enclosed roof and may have either lattice work or other connections between the pillars. Gazebos are freestanding outdoor structures and are often built in gardens or other outdoor areas with a view to all sides.


A pavilion is an outdoor structure that is usually located a short distance from the main residence and designed for entertaining. Pavilions can be a permanent structure or portable and typically constructed of a fade-resistant fabric. These structures are great for parties, family gatherings or just enjoying the outdoors in the shade.


By definition, a pergola is a structure that is specifically designed to support climbing plants. Pergolas traditionally are made of hardwood, such as cedar, but can be made out of any durable material used for patio products. Pergolas are designed with four columns and have a latticed roof. Climbing plants are trained to grow up the columns and then will work through the latticed roof to create a shaded outdoor living space.


Polyester products are made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, which is the material used in the manufacture of milk bottles. When PET is made into polyester fiber, it is an easy to form and dye material that is commonly used in the production of automobile upholstery, clothing and patio furniture.


Polypropylene is a synthetic fiber that can be used as both a structural plastic in construction or as a fiber, in textiles. Because of the extremely high melting point and high durability of polypropylene as well as its ability to accept dyes, it is often used in the manufacturing of outdoor carpeting and can be left out in any climate.

Recycled Plastic

Recycled Plastic is a popular material used not only in the manufacture of patio furniture, but also in the construction industry due to its durability and ability to be molded into very attractive shapes and impregnated with any color imaginable. It is also a heavy product and is often used for umbrella bases as it can be made hollow to be filled by sand or water.

Recycled Plastic Wood / Tekwood

Recycled plastic wood or Tekwood patio furniture is a highly durable, attractive and environmentally friendly choice for any outdoor living space. It is made from recycled milk bottles and is virtually maintenance free, and resistant to rot, cracking, staining and even graffiti. Recycled plastic wood furniture is impregnated with the color pigment, which means it will never need to be painted and best of all, recycled plastic has the look and feel of natural wood furniture.

Resin Wicker

Resin wicker, also known as all-weather wicker furniture, is made from a polyethylene fiber that is formed into the shape used in traditional wicker furniture and woven in the same manner. Resin wicker furniture offers the same beauty of natural wicker furniture with additional benefits, including the ability to have colors impregnated into the fibers, meaning the paint will not chip or flake. It will not split like natural wicker and can be left out all year in any climate condition.


Steel is one of the strongest and most durable materials known to man. Used in the construction of patio products, such as umbrella bases, steel will hold up to even the harshest weather conditions, including high winds, intense sunlight and salt water. Steel is also environmentally friendly and is the most recycled material in the United States.


Sunbrella fabric has been a leading choice for more than 45 years in the manufacture of outdoor awnings, boat covers and convertible tops for automobiles. Sunbrella fabric is highly resistant to water and staining and can be easily dyed, making it a top choice for umbrellas, patio furniture cushions and pillows.

Sustainable Wood

Sustainable wood products use only lumber that is harvested from a carefully managed forest to help ensure that the forest will be preserved and protected from clear-cutting and other deforestation. Used for patio furniture and other outdoor products, sustainable wood is an eco-friendly choice and is often categorized as a green furniture product.

Teak Wood

Grown in tropical rain forests, teak wood is a highly durable hardwood that has been used for centuries in the construction of sea going vessels. Teak is sought after for patio furniture due to its resistance to rotting, infestation and water. When left untreated, teak wood will slowly age from its original golden coloring to a beautiful gray patina finish.


Highly durable and resistant to water and stains, textilene is made from a polyester yarn with a resin coat and is commonly used by outdoor venues for speaker covers. Textilene furniture can be left outdoors in any climate and offers a worry free solution to poolside seating as it will not stain from wet suits and suntan lotions.


Wicker furniture is created by weaving wicker, which can be any of several types of flexible vines, branches or grasses into the furnitures pattern. Most wicker furniture has a weather resistant stain or coating applied to it and can be used as outdoor furniture in most climates. The wicker look will provide for a comfortable, casual setting in any living space and wicker furniture is available in a variety of styles and colors.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is a term that is used to describe both the material from which wrought iron patio furniture is made and the process used to make it. Wrought iron is a highly sought after metal for patio furniture because of its strength, the ease at which it can be formed and it's resistance to corrosion.