Outdoor furniture made out of cast aluminum has become very popular. Its ornamental styling is attractive. Cast aluminum furniture pieces are available in many sets and configurations. The main set pieces in outdoor furnishing are used to make up a dining area and a deep seating area. These correspond to the indoor dining room and the living room. Adding set pieces such as a BBQ and a fire pit create an outdoor kitchen + dining area and an outdoor family room. Additional pieces such as a fireplace or a weatherproof flat screen TV carry the family room/entertainment center concept even further.
What is a furniture glide?
Furniture glides are the little feet placed at the bottom of each leg to protect the flooring from unwanted scratches. A bare metal leg can literally gouge stamped concrete and flagstone patio surfaces. Cast aluminum furniture glides look like little bolts with plastic heads on them.
Some people believe that the main benefit of the threaded glide is that it can be adjusted to level the furniture. Outdoor hardscape has many rough surfaces. It isn’t made to be perfectly level because water runoff is more important in the design than a perfectly level concrete floor. The glide protects both the hardscape and the furniture legs from excessive wear and scratches.
Taking care of your cast aluminum furniture glides
I recommend that you take each glide out of its leg and coat the threaded part with thread locker “blue” as soon as your new furniture arrives. Screw the glide all the way back in place before the thread locker sets. This will prevent the vibration that occurs when you drag your furniture across the patio from working loose glides out of the furniture. Glides usually get lost when they fall out. Contact me to order replacements.
It also prevents water from working its way into the joint between the leg and the glide through capillary action. This helps to stop another more serious problem from bothering you later on; namely, the treatment keeps corrosion from “cold welding” the glides permanently in place. Corrosion is a slow process that takes place over many months or years as a result of a chemical reaction between a metal and water. Aluminum develops a thick powdery surface as it deteriorates. Corroded material expands, and, in an enclosed space such as the inside of a pocket drilled to hold a bolt, it squeezes a bolt so tightly that it cannot be removed without breaking.
An ounce of prevention for your furniture glides really is worth a pound of cure!
You may want to replace worn out furniture glides in the future. You will certainly want to replace the glides if have your furniture refinished because the heat applied in the powder coating process will ruin them. That would be a bad time to find and read this post. Hindsight is great, but who wants to find himself saying, “Prevention? – What prevention?!!”