Mosaic Tile Patio Furniture
Mosaic Tile Patio Furniture Summary
Beautiful, artistic designs--one of the hottest trends in patio furniture
Weatherproof if the right materials are used, but check manufacturer's recommendations for winter treatment carefully
Beautiful Mosaic Tile Patio Furniture
Mosaic tile patio furniture is becoming more and more popular because of its beautiful designs. This increasingly popular patio furniture has an strong artistic flair and it lends a extra touch of elegance to outdoor and even indoor settings. Mosaic patio furniture designs are most often applied to the table tops of metal table frames that are made out of wrought iron or cast aluminum. Sometimes these mosaic designs are also used as insets on the backs of wrought iron or cast aluminum chairs or benches and are also found on cast concrete furniture.
What is Mosaic Tile Patio Furniture?
Most mosaic patio furniture designs are done using mosaic tile, although some manufacturers, like KNF Designs, use stained glass tiles. The variety of mosaic patio furniture designs is vast, from classical Greek and Roman mosaics to contemporary themes. Many manufacturers build their tables to order, allowing the customer to choose the colors in a particular design. Wrought iron and cast aluminum mosiac patio furniture is so elegant that in many cases it can be used indoors as well as on the patio.
The key to durability in designs is the mosaic substrate--the backing material for the tile. The backing material can be metal, concrete or wood. Metal backing is usually a shallow metal depression, similar in shape to a dish, that is filled with the grout compound upon which the tiles are set. Concrete backing is usually a table-top-sized piece of concrete board that is designed to accept the tile grout on which the tiles are placed. Wood backing is a piece of wood cut to the dimensions of the table top and then the grout and tiles are placed on top of the wood substrate. The question you need to ask your retailer is whether the tile and the backing material are weatherproof. In our experience, wood backing, even marine grade plywood, is not weatherproof. Concrete or metal can be weatherproof, depending on the quality of the materials. Tiles will pop off of non-weatherproof backing or non-weatherproof grout, especially in sub-freezing weather. If you live in a mild climate this is not such a concern, but a non-weatherproof mosaic table should not be left outside in cold winter areas. Some of the newest mosaic patio furniture designs use weatherproof concrete backing material and weatherproof grout and are very resistant to problems with tiles popping off.
Another problem that can occur with tiles is damage to the tile surface in freezing weather. This happens when tiles that are fired in low heat are used in these designs. A high heat firing process insures that there is no residual moisture in the tiles and this problem is minimized. Make sure that the manufacturer uses high heat fired tiles in their mosaic patio furniture.
Maintaining Mosaic Tile Patio Furniture
Traditionally, mosaic tables, chairs and benches have furniture frames made out of wrought iron or cast concrete. Wrought iron can rust and cast concrete is extremely heavy. The newest trend is to use cast aluminum frames which mimic the look of wrought iron without having the problems with rust. If you get patio furniture with a cast aluminum frame, concrete backing material and weatherproof grout, you will have beautiful, maintenance-free outdoor furniture with the best possible weatherproof characteristics.
One other trend is to make tables that look like they are made of cast concrete, but where the support pedestals are actually fiberglass or resin finished to look like concrete. The advantage is that the pedestals are much lighter than concrete, although the concrete backed table tops can still be very heavy. Ancient Mosaics is one manufacturer of this type of innovative mosaic patio furniture.