When choosing which base to use for a project there are a number of factors to consider, like the size, weight and material of your table top, and whether the table will be located inside or outside. Having a variety of options for metals and finishes can make the choices feel overwhelming, but we’re here today to help clear up some of the confusion! We will address the differences between powder coating, chrome plating, stainless steel, and aluminum- and the best uses for each one.
Black Powder Coat Finish
The first finish example we’ll discuss is powder coating. Powder coating is a different process than spray painting. Spray painting involves a liquid paint sprayed across the surface and left to dry. Powder coating, as the name suggests, starts as a dry powder, typically made up of polyester microbeads. The metal to be finished is electrostatically charged and when the powdered color is sprayed the microbeads cling to the surface. Next, the metal item is cured, either in a curing oven or under a UV light. This bakes the coating, similar to a glaze on ceramics, and permanently bonds it to the surface. This makes powder coating much more durable than painting. Spray paint sits on the surface of metal, but isn’t permanently bonded, which means it can chip and scratch easily with minimal force. Powder coated bases such as our Braga series are therefore well suited for heavy duty use in restaurants and hotels.
Chrome is the shiny silver finish most commonly associated with accents on classic cars and furniture. It’s manufactured similarly to powder coating, both are electrostatically charged, but chrome is dipped in a liquid chromium solution to achieve its mirror shine, this is also how it gets its name. Because chrome plating is thinner than a powder coated finish it can be susceptible to chipping or flaking if subjected to rough use or left outdoors which then leaves it vulnerable to rusting. Chrome bases like the RWG series would be perfectly suited for inside a home, office, or hotel lobby.
Brushed Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is the MVP of many homes. We see it everywhere, from jewelry to home appliances, but what makes it different from regular steel? And why does it cost more? Stainless steel is created when chromium, nickel, nitrogen, and molybdenum are added to regular steel. The chromium is an essential component because it reacts with oxygen to create a film that is naturally resistant to corrosion, which means it doesn’t require any additional finish. This makes stainless steel bases like the RSQ series an excellent choice for outdoor tables as the stainless components will not rust, even with heavy use. It also perfectly complements many home kitchen appliances for a cohesive aesthetic indoors as well. You can learn more about different types of stainless steel in our blog post here.
Aluminum is shiny like stainless steel, and they are both naturally corrosion resistant and suitable for outdoor applications, so what makes them different? Aluminum is a lower density metal, which makes it lighter weight than stainless steel. Volume wise this also makes it less expensive as well. These make aluminum bases like our No-Rock series a great option for outdoor cafes where tables need to be moved around often. However because aluminum is lighter weight and more malleable than stainless steel it isn’t suitable for use under heavy table tops, like stone. And while aluminum and stainless steel are both resistant to moisture aluminum can be corroded by salt, so it isn't suitable for beach side use unless it has been powder coated, like our Amalfi bases.
While there are many finishes to choose from, each has their own strengths and weaknesses. The best base for your project will be the one that works with your table top and is harmonious with its setting, both aesthetically and practically. If you still aren’t sure which base or finish would work best for your project please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help guide you and answer your questions!