Corten Named as Top Trend in Garden Design

Corten Planter Box

Corten Named as Top Trend in Garden Design

Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal identified three top trends in landscape design based on the results of a survey of the National Association of Landscape Professionals. The three noted trends included pergolas, unpolished metal finishes and multitasking built-ins. The article specified that the most popular choice for “unpolished metal finishes” was corten steel.

What is Cor-Ten® steel? 

Cor-Ten® is United States Steel Corporation’s trade name for an atmospheric corrosion resistant steel, which is often used when higher strength and longer life cycle material is desired. These steels naturally form a layer of rust, or patina, when exposed to various atmospheric conditions. This patina is what the guards the material against future corrosion. As Cor-Ten® became more popular, other producing mills began to develop their own atmospheric corrosion resistant steel. For instance, ASTM steeped in a created what is considered equivalent specifications to Cor-Ten® in most applications. The applicable equivalent ASTM specifications are ASTM A588, A242, A606-4, A847 and A709-50W.

The benefits of using weathering steel 

The WSJ article noted that contemporary landscape architects favor the “clean-lined expanses of unpolished metal” over cedar and wrought iron. The architect featured in the article complimented the appearance of the steel’s patina and praised its practicality. He said that the patina produced a “beautiful brown leather-like texture” and the steel is “dummy proof” requiring little-to no maintenance.   

Like cor-ten,  weathering steel offers significant advantages over other metals for structures that are exposed to outdoor elements, including low maintenance, high-strength, enhanced durability, minimal thickness, cost savings and decreased construction time. Plus, the rusty patina the steel develops overtime blends well in gardens, backyards, parks and other outdoor spaces. Ultimately, weathering steel’s aesthetically-pleasing appearance combined with its strength, durability and versatility allows it to serve in situations where a concrete wall, for instance, would not be ideal.

Weathering steel applications for landscape design and outdoor spaces

As a corten-equivalent steel supplier, Central Steel Service specializes in the distribution of specialty weathering steel products ideal for garden design, landscaping and other outdoor applications. Here are 7 ways to use weathering steel in landscape design and outdoor spaces: 

  1. Landscape Edging
  2. Retaining Walls
  3. Planter Boxes
  4. Fencing and Gates
  5. Bollards
  6. Roofing and Siding
  7. Bridges


Contact us to learn more about specialty weathering steel products or to request a quote! 

Established in 1981, Central Steel Service, Inc. specializes in the distribution of High Strength Weathering, High Strength and Abrasion Resistant Steel products.