Commercial Planter Material Options
When it comes to interior and exterior design projects, selecting the right materials for your products is critical to creating a successful installation – it can make or break your overall design. Tournesol specializes in four different materials for commercial planters, we carefully fabricate and finish our planters to guarantee the highest satisfaction for our customers. How your planter is designed, manufactured, and delivered, is just as important as its look and feel, so we’ve created a basic overview of each material option.
Fiberglass (Fiber Reinforced Plastic)
Hand crafted from layers of glass fibers and resin, fiberglass is the most cost-effective planter material you can buy, and is the easiest to customize, when compared to concrete or metal. It’s also extremely durable and lasts longer than normal plastic containers.
You can choose from a range of fantastic finishes including smooth or flat, orange peel, which is an unsmooth, but softened texture that blends easily with other surfaces, or rough stucco which is ideal for matching with stucco exterior walls. Combine a color with the right texture to find the perfect look and durability to match the planters to your site design. Our pots and planters come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, and we can also create custom castings of this material to meet your specific needs.
Lightweight Concrete (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete, or GFRC)
Lightweight concrete is a mixture of glass fiber, concrete, and resin to reinforce the material, which makes the product a hybrid of fiberglass and concrete. For many designers, this is a huge benefit: A planter wall can be as thin as a half an inch, depending on a few things (e.g., planter shape, finish, overall area of wall, etc.). Also, the durable finishes can be refinished and repaired on-site as required.
With less material, the planter is lighter in weight, which makes shipping and installation easier. Think about it: You can add these planters to a roof deck or rooftop and not worry about adding stress to the building from the weight of the planter. You also don’t have to worry about waiting for the planter to cure. Tournesol planters are finished products that you can put in place in a day. Versatile GFRC lightweight concrete textures range from the rustic to the refined. Our GFRC planters come in 5 textures, Acid Etch, Sand Blast, Fine Grain, Natural Sand and Travertine.
Tournesol manufactures planters in mild steel, stainless steel, and weathering steel.
Our mild steel (or carbon steel) has a standard collection of colors for powder-coating, and we can paint custom colors as well.
Stainless steel is a material that is not finished but powder-coated, either in our standard colors or in a custom color; stainless steel is useful for its ability to not corrode. You may have seen weathering steel on the outside of city buildings: It will develop a rust-like patina when exposed to the elements and is a favorite of many landscape architects for its natural and earthy look.
Tournesol Siteworks uses vertical grain Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Thermally Modified Wood, and Ipe, for our site furnishing products. Ipe is a dense exotic hardwood that is naturally resistant to rot and decay. Woods used in site furnishings products will be treated with Penofin® oil to prolong the finish life. To maintain the initial color and prevent natural silver patina, retreatment with Penofin is required every 12-24 months. Other wood varieties are available on request.
Thermally Modified Wood
Our Thermally Modified wood is an ecologically responsible wood that performs like exotic hardwoods; we typically start with ash. The lumber is treated at high temperatures and essentially baked with steam in a special kiln to cook out all the sugar. The cell structure of the wood changes during the process, which helps stabilize moisture content, reduce moisture absorption (it absorbs less water than most other untreated wood) and produces a more resistant wood than other hardwoods to warp, twist, and other movement. Also, the high temperature makes the wood less susceptible to rot, pests, or decay. Thermally Modified wood is similar to Ipe, but is priced at a more affordable rate.
At Tournesol, we can create planters in any of the material options we’ve mentioned. Our project management, engineering, and production teams also work with custom designs and specifications to fabricate products as desired. They have a toolbox of varied engineered solutions for concepts to take your ideas from design to delivery.