How do you know if you need commercial furniture, or if residential furniture will suit your needs?
Sure, the cost is higher for commercial furniture, so you might be led to think that residential furniture is the better deal, price-wise. However, you do get what you pay for. Consider that custom commercial-grade furniture is made to a different standard, often using different materials, than residential.
Commercial-grade furniture’s overall purpose, beside the intended purpose for each piece, is to remain solid and sturdy, holding up for many years to come. When it comes to businesses, a chair is not just a chair.
The differences between commercial and residential furniture is all in the construction. Looks do matter, and although residential furniture might sometimes be considered pretty, commercial-grade isn’t far behind in the visual department.
Depending on the type of furniture and the industry your business is in, commercial furniture can be in use for 10-12 hours per day, every day, especially if it’s in a restaurant or bar. When a piece of furniture gets 10 times or more use daily than a residential piece would, that equates to more stress put on it over the lifetime of the piece. This is where commercial-grade furniture really begins to shine.
Commercial furniture is made using heavier materials in both metal and wood. Generally, they use 16 or 18-gauge steel as opposed to the lighter 22 or 24-gauge and the wood products are much harder, such as European Beechwood, rather than the softer rubberwood that is often used for crafting residential furniture.
Mortise and tenon joinery as well as additional bracing is often used on commercial furniture as well. When all the components are put together, it adds up to furniture that is much stronger and can take a lot of use and abuse throughout its life. Even when it looks beat up, commercial-grade furniture can often be refinished and put back into use, extending its life, and lowering its per-year cost considerably.
Commercial-grade furniture is also tested for durability, stability and how much weight it can bear. These properties help to determine that the furniture is safe for your customers, in your environment. It also helps keep you safe from lawsuits arising from safety issues with furniture.
Look at Your Traffic
Take a good look at the traffic you get in your business, including employees. How much time do they use the furniture? Do children come into your business? Do animals?
Also, look at the specific furniture and how it will be used. Chances are it will get rougher use than you plan on. The bench in the hallway, for instance, might have a mother with her baby one minute and an hour later a man with a great dane dog that keeps trying to sit on the bench.
Savings in the Long Run
A key benefit to commercial-grade furniture is its ability to outlast the residential furniture competition. While the upfront cost of commercial grade is more, the overall cost when considering how long the furniture will last makes it the better bargain, all the way around.
At Wehrli Furniture, we custom-make commercial furniture to the exacting specifications of our customers. Get in touch today to find out more about what we can do for you.