Patio chairs are typically made up of a back, seat, legs and, at times, arm rests. Chairs come in various shapes and forms, from simple to ornate, and are made from various materials. With patio chair furniture it is the leg that gives the most information about its character - like its style and the period where it came from or was inspired from.
- Cabriole Legs. These are shaped in two curves: a convex upper curve and concave lower curve. The front of the legs might be a ball and claw or a club. The knee is usually carved with an ornament like a scallop shell. This is originally from the ancient Greeks and Chinese, but in the 18th century, European chairs and tables were popularly fitted with cabriole legs. An example is the Fleur de Lis Cast Aluminum Bistro Set by Alfresco Home.
- Marlborough Legs. These are straight legs that are heavy, fluted and fitted with a block foot. These types of legs were used in English and American furniture, especially during the mid-18th century. The leg’s name is derived from the Duke of Marlborough for furniture designed for him. Thomas Chippendale favored this style of legs for his furniture.
- Spiral Legs. These are straight and carved so they look like a twisted or spiral rope with a winding groove or flute. Their roots originate in India and Portugal, and were popular during the Restoration period in the late 17th century.
- Hock Legs. These are a variation on the cabriole leg, and feature a broken curve on the inner side of the knee. This means that the legs feature a straight, perpendicular section between the upper convex section and their foot. An example is the The Djursholm Arm Chair by Control Brand.
- Lyre-Shaped Legs. These two legs come together to form the shape of a lyre, a hard-like instrument used in many French and English designs. The lyre motif is also used extensively in back chairs. These were popular among chairs in the early 19th to mid-19th century during the Empire Period; often referred to as the Classic Style.
- Tapered Legs. These are wide at the top, gradually becoming narrower at the bottom. English furniture designed by George Hepplewhite in the 18th century usually had tapered legs. Shield back chairs made by Hepplewhite had tapered legs, as were many of the early-classical style chairs.
The tips that cover the feet of your patio furniture might seem insignificant, but they provide a lot more than just extra flourish. Depending on the size of your chair’s feet and its construction, there are many available options for tips.
- Nail Head Glides. Wood and wood frame wicker furniture with rectangular or square feet may use nail head glides. These glides put a PVC plastic head on a nail that is driven into the foot’s bottom. When installed on larger feet, they are completely hidden and will not spoil the design of the furniture while protecting the chair and your patio.
- Plastic Leg Inserts. Steel and aluminum furniture made from hollow tubing usually use plastic inserts as tips on their feet. These inserts pound into the open end of the chair leg with an overlap on the top that covers the leg’s metal edge. Because these feet attach to legs through friction, you should size them exactly to the chair’s leg.
- Teflon Glides. Traditional felt glides soak up moisture and do not give the protective barrier to maintain your furniture against the elements, but Teflon versions of stick-on glides work well in an outdoor environment. Available in many sizes, opt for a low-profile teflon glide smaller than the leg so it is hidden underneath the leg while the chair is placed on its feet.
- Crutch Tips. Rubber tips that slip over the outside of a chair leg, they are available in several styles and colors, and are sized to match the leg size of the furniture.
- Forever Glides. They combine the sliding and durability aspects of teflon glides with a self-leveling foam pad. Forever Glides directly affix to the base of your chair legs and are available in shapes that fit inside recessed leg tips or screw directly into wood or the plastic bottom surface if the feet.
Aside from protecting the surface of your deck or patio, chair tips also help keep your furniture off the ground, preventing the quick deterioration or oxidation that come in constant contact hard surfaces.