Patio Furniture that’s Durable, Sustainable

Furniture made from recycled materials is a popular patio trend right now, and it’s not just because these products are eco-friendly.

PolyTuf is a recycled plastic lumber made by Tangent, and it’s 95 percent post-consumer recycled material.

“They recycle milk jugs and plastic bottles and convert them into pellets and mold them into chairs and other furniture,” says Steve Olson, vice president of Viking Ski and Patio in Barrington. Olson sells the Berlin Gardens line of patio furniture, which is made from PolyTuf.
Besides the eco-friendly factor, PolyTuf furniture is heavier than many other plastic patio furnishings.

“It has a lot more weight to it, so you don’t have to worry about it blowing away,” says Olson. “We provide furniture to a lot of customers with piers and lake houses.”

But what really sells people is its low-maintenance quality, which goes hand-in-hand with its waterproof, UV-resistant and mold-, mildew- and bug-free surface.

“You just take a hose and hose it off,” says Olson. “If you get a little more dirt on it, a soft scrub brush cleans it right up and it’s ready to go.”

When PolyTuf first came out, the only pieces available were Adirondack chairs. Today, the line offers dining sets, sofas, cushions and deep-seat chairs. The company has even added fire pits, with the fire bowl strategically spaced so the heat can’t reach the recycled plastic.

“They keep coming up with new designs and changes as they work with the material more,” Olson says.

Before you visit the patio store, remember to take measurements of the outdoor space you wish to accessorize. You’ll need approximately 2.5 to 3 feet around each side of a table for chairs, Olson says. And don’t forget the walkway – save 2 to 3 feet for walking space around the furniture, as well.

“Cramming too much in a space is the biggest mistake customers make, plus forgetting about walkways,” Olson says. “You’re usually carrying drinks and little serving trays, so you don’t want to have to try to wedge through everywhere.” ❚

Viking Ski and Patio is located at 131 W. Northwest Hwy. in Barrington, (847) 381-1188,