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Top 6 Tips to Improve the Longevity of Your Plastic Chair

Mar. 07, 2024
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Plastic chairs are the most suitable for a school setting. Because of their durability, affordability, and simplicity of maintenance, plastic chairs have become a standard in educational institutions. However, in order to maximize their longevity and assure peak performance, they must be appropriately cared for and maintained. We will provide six helpful hints for extending the life of your plastic school chairs and keeping their quality and usefulness for many years to come.

Quality Chairs:

The cornerstone of long-lasting plastic chairs is to start with high-quality items. Invest in chairs constructed of high-quality plastic materials that can survive repeated usage. Look for chairs that have extra support elements for added stability and longevity. By beginning with high-quality chairs, you can ensure their durability. Maskeen Overseas is one of the most reliable School Plastic Chair Manufacturers in Delhi and provides top-quality furniture items. We ensure that our chairs will last for a long time and provide the best value for money. Moreover, our chairs are designed to provide maximum comfort and ergonomic support. We also offer customized solutions to suit your exact requirements. Contact us today to get the best plastic chairs for your school.

Cleaning:

Regular cleaning and maintenance are critical for keeping plastic chairs in good shape. Create a cleaning plan and ensure that chairs are washed down on a regular basis using a mild soap and water solution. Abrasive cleaning and aggressive chemicals that might harm the plastic surface should be avoided. Check for any loose screws or fittings and tighten them as required to ensure the chair's structural integrity.

Avoid Excessive Weight:

Plastic chairs are meant to bear a particular amount of weight, but too much weight may cause them to deteriorate or fracture. Encourage appropriate chair usage by informing students about suggested weight limits and discouraging harsh handling or overuse. Reiterate the necessity of utilizing the chairs with care and avoiding excessive rocking or leaning back since these activities may cause stress on the joints. Maskeen Overseas is one of the leading Institutional Furniture Manufacturers due to their high-quality products and customer service. Our chairs are designed to provide support and comfort while also being captivating and durable enough to withstand regular use. We also offer a wide variety of designs and styles to choose from.

Heat Protection:

Extreme temperatures may shorten the lifespan of plastic chairs. Long-term exposure to intense sunshine may cause the plastic to fade or become brittle, while excessive cold can make it shatter more easily. Keep the chairs in a shady place or offer covers to protect them from extended sun exposure whenever feasible. Likewise, do not expose the chairs to frigid conditions for lengthy periods of time.

Store in Bad Weather:

When the chairs are not in use, such as during holidays or vacations, they must be properly stored to maintain their life. Before storing the chairs, carefully stack them and make sure they are clean and dry. Use protective coverings or storage bags to protect your chairs from dust and debris. Store the chairs inside or in a dedicated storage place away from excessive temperature variations if space permits.

Routine Inspections and Repairs:

Inspect the chairs on a regular basis to look for indications of wear, damage, or loose pieces. Address any concerns as soon as possible by repairing or replacing damaged components. Consider keeping a maintenance record to keep track of inspections and repairs to ensure a proactive approach to chair maintenance.

Plastic chairs are among the most versatile, value-for-money, durable and stylish chairs you can buy. However, there’s a huge range of different models to choose from. If you want to make sure you buy the perfect plastic chairs for your building, then read this guide to buying plastic chairs from the Rosehill team first…

What are the different types of plastic chair? 

The first thing to note is that there are several types of chair covered by the term ‘plastic chair’ or ‘poly chair’. One person’s idea of a plastic chair isn’t necessarily the same as another person’s. 

This is because plastic chairs are available in different configurations, with varying features and (sometimes) incorporating materials other than plastic. 

Below, we’ve provided more detail on the different types of plastic chairs that are available. 

One-piece plastic chairs

As their name suggests, one-piece plastic chairs are made from a single piece of injection moulded plastic. 

This design and manufacturing technique makes one-piece plastic chairs very robust – there aren’t any separate parts or fixings to come loose or break! 

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Whilst one-piece plastic chairs are traditionally associated with classroom use, today’s modern plastic chairs feature very stylish designs and can be found in environments as varied as high-end restaurants and bars, breakout spaces, co-working spaces and more. 

Despite being made from a single piece of plastic, many one-piece plastic chairs are designed with ergonomics at the forefront of mind, being shaped to provide exceptional comfort and postural support. 

A number of one-piece plastic chairs also include additional features such as arms, breathable backs, carry handles and even tablets. Additionally, many one-piece plastic chairs are stackable and can be linked together. Many one-piece plastic chairs are also available with an optional seat pad, too.

Plastic chairs with metal frames and legs

One of the most popular forms of plastic chair is the chair that has a plastic seat and back, but metal legs or a sled base.

Think of your classic classroom chair – and that’s pretty much what we’re referring to. 

But, don’t pigeonhole this type of chair as being suitable only for the school environment!

School chairs often get a bad wrap – but that’s largely based on our collective memories of the rickety old school chairs of the 1980s and 1990s. Modern poly chairs have come on leaps and bounds in all areas over the past two decades. 

Today’s plastic chairs with metal legs are available in a veritable constellation of styles, colours, and finishes. In fact, it’s possible to buy high-end premium plastic chairs with metal legs that wouldn’t look out of place in the finest of dining establishments or executive office spaces. 

It’s important to note that there are three main types of plastic chair with metal legs: 

  • Plastic chairs that feature a tubular lightweight frame and legs.

  • Plastic chairs that feature a heavy duty steel frame and legs.

  • Plastic chairs with a metal skid frame (this frame can be either tubular or a solid rod frame).

Each type of chair has its pros and cons, with plastic chairs with tubular lightweight frames being easy to lift and carry, and plastic chairs with solid steel frames being more robust and long-lasting, and often suitable for higher weight capacities.

Like one-piece plastic chairs, many plastic chairs with metal legs are available with a broad range of features, such as arms, and breathable backs and seats. 

Plastic chairs with metal legs are also available in a wide array of colours, from bright primaries to more subtle pastels. With these designs you can customise both the shell colour and the frame colour, on a lot of models. 

This type of plastic chair is also eminently practical; in many cases they can be linked together. It’s also possible to buy plastic chairs with metal legs that can be stacked to high-density – making them ideal for multi-use settings where chairs often need to be moved around or stored away on a regular basis. 

Plastic task chairs

Another popular type of plastic chair is the plastic task chair. This type of chair usually features a single pedestal which branches out into four or five ‘feet’ that have glides or are on castor wheels. 

In other words, what we’re describing is your typical office chair, but with a plastic seat and back.

Your typical plastic task chair can be adjusted to accommodate multiple body types, will roll and swivel easily, is available to fit a wide range of desk heights, and allows you to get up quickly and easily. 

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Plastic task chairs – like the other plastic chairs detailed in this article – are available in a broad range of styles and colours, and are designed for use in multiple contexts including offices, co-working spaces, breakout spaces, colleges, and other similar locations. 

Depending on the exact model of plastic task chair you select, you may be able to specify additional features such as arms, foot rests and padded seats.

It’s also possible to buy taller plastic task chairs that are known as ‘draughtsman chairs’. These are chairs which allow an individual to sit at a raised height at a drafting table (e.g. for working on detailed technical drawings). 

These draughtsman chairs are not only taller than your average task chair, but will typically feature an integrated footrest/foot bar. These types of chairs are sometimes also known as industrial chairs and are found in laboratories, factories and other similar settings.

A fantastic example of a plastic draughtsman task chair is the Grafton, as is the Prema Draughtsman Chair.

Plastic stools

For those who want to work at higher-level desks, laboratory counters or other higher-than-normal surfaces, plastic stools are a great choice. 

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Plastic stools typically feature a plastic seat and back combined with a metal frame and legs. The legs will normally feature a cross brace, which not only adds torsional strength, but provides a handy footrest. 

As with other types of plastic chairs, plastic stools will normally have either a lightweight tubular frame and legs or a solid steel rod frame and legs. 

It’s possible to buy plastic stools in a broad range of colours and finishes, from bold primary colours to more nuanced pastels. You can often match designs with chairs and stools from the same family, for continuity throughout your space.

Folding plastic chairs

Last, but certainly not least, are folding plastic chairs. These are chairs which feature a plastic seat and back pad coupled with a metal flame which allows the chair to fold flat. 

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As with the other plastic chairs listed above, folding plastic chairs are available in a huge variety of different colours and finishes. 

You’ll also find that there are folding chairs which have a plastic back pad, but an upholstered seat. 

As you would expect, this is to provide additional comfort for the user. Padded seats can be warmer in buildings which are less used (and not always heated every day!), such as church halls and village halls.

Guide – for more information, read our complete guide to folding chairs.

A (very) brief history of the plastic chair

Compared to other types of chair, the humble plastic chair doesn’t necessarily have a long heritage or pedigree. However, plastic chairs have nevertheless developed over time, with certain models even becoming design icons. 

According to The New York Times, the first all-plastic chair – called the Universale – was designed by Joe Colombo in 1965. This was followed a number of years later by the Panton – the first chair to be made from a single piece of plastic. 

However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that mass-produced plastic chairs made an appearance with the ‘monobloc’. Since then, plastic chairs have continued to develop, until we reach the contract-quality plastic chairs of today that are available with a wealth of features, colours, and finishes.

It’s important to note that plastic chairs are very rarely ‘generic’. 

Each manufacturer tends to have their own unique mould (which is very often patented). Whilst a one-piece plastic chair from one manufacturer may look similar to a chair from another manufacturer – they really will be different.

In some instances, manufacturers will sell or licence the designs for their moulds to manufacturers in other countries. 

A perfect example of this is the Postura+. This is a one-piece plastic chair which was originally designed in Australia in the early 1990s. As the first polypropylene chair designed for education environments, it rapidly gained a cult following and became exceptionally popular. 

KI Europe brought the design to Europe where it manufactures the Postura+ in the UK in line with European safety, quality and durability standards. 

What are plastic chairs made from? 

Surely the answer to this question is just ‘plastic’ right?! Well, yes, but the reality is a little more nuanced than that. 

Although it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, the majority of plastic chairs are made from a type of plastic called polypropylene (PP). 

Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer which was first discovered by the chemists J. Paul Hogan and Robert Banks, who were able to demonstrate the polymerisation of propylene in the early 1950s. 

Large-scale production of polypropylene began from 1957 onwards. 

Being derived from petroleum hydrocarbons, polypropylene is a highly-affordable substance (although, as we’ll see later, this has raised some environmental concerns). Aside from being low cost, polypropylene also possesses the following beneficial characteristics: 

  • Excellent fatigue resistance – it lasts a long time!

  • It is highly resistant to a broad range of chemical agents. 

  • Exceptional strength and impact resistance. 

  • High flexural strength, meaning it can resist twisting forces and other similar loads. 

  • Water and moisture resistant. 

It’s for these reasons that polypropylene has become the material of choice for many contract seating manufacturers. 

It’s worth noting that because polypropylene can be combined with other materials, you’ll often find that plastic chairs that are made from polypropylene incorporate other materials such as glass fibre to add further strength etc.

Did you know? – if you’ve ever wondered why plastic chairs are typically referred to as ‘poly’ chairs, now you know! It’s because poly is short for polypropylene. 

What are the benefits of plastic chairs? 

As you’ve just read, there are plenty of choices open to you when it comes to buying plastic chairs. 

Whether you’re looking to fit out an uber-stylish office breakout space, or you’re looking for tough, great value chairs for a community centre, there’s bound to be a plastic chair that fits your needs. 

But, you may be wondering if plastic chairs are worth choosing over other types of chair such as wooden, upholstered chairs. To help you come to an informed decision, we’ve set out the main benefits of plastic chairs below. 

Longevity

There’s no getting away from the fact that plastic chairs are tough and long-lasting!

Because they are made from an inorganic material, plastic chairs aren’t subject to decay in the same way that chairs made from other materials can be. 

As we mentioned earlier, the majority of plastic chairs are made from polypropylene, which has a bunch of characteristics that ensure it lasts a great deal of time.

Because of these characteristics, plastic chairs can last decades. Plus, given they are so durable and tough, they’ll last even when placed in high-impact environments (e.g. classrooms). 

Aside from being tough, many plastic chairs are now designed with UV protection, meaning they won’t fade in the sun as older plastic chairs tended to do. This also means many types of plastic chairs can be used outside without worry of excessive wear or discolouration. 

Affordable


Compared to many other types of chairs, plastic chairs tend to sit at the more affordable end of the price spectrum. 

It’s this combination of affordability and longevity/durability that makes plastic chairs the first choice for particularly budget-conscious caretakers and building managers at institutions such as schools, colleges, and community centres. 

To give you an idea of just how affordable plastic chairs can be, one-piece plastic chairs such as the KI Postura+ can cost under £35 per chair (correct at the time of writing – January 2023, and subject to change).

Compared to wooden framed, upholstered chairs which can start from £80+ per chair, it’s easy to see why plastic chairs are often the first choice for very budget-aware buyers. 

Low maintenance

Plastic chairs – especially one-piece plastic chairs – are very low maintenance items of furniture. 

Because there’s very little to go wrong with plastic chairs, maintenance usually involves little more than giving them a thorough wipe down and clean on a periodic basis. 

This contrasts nicely with other types of chair that may require occasional repairs or general maintenance. Or with upholstered chairs, the life-expectancy tends to be dependent on the wear of the fabrics used.

Because of their near maintenance-free nature, plastic chairs are ideal for ‘high impact’ environments where they could be subject to being dropped, knocked, scratched or just generally mishandled. 

Easy to clean

Related to the above point about maintenance, plastic chairs have the benefit of being easy to clean. 

Should you buy a good quality contract-standard plastic chair, then you’ll be able to clean it with any general multipurpose cleaning spray and a cloth. 

Unless the chair is heavily stained or marked, that’s about all you’ll need to do to get a plastic chair looking like new again. 

Plus, given that plastic chairs tend to include UV protection these days, a plastic chair should retain its vivid colour – making the chair look even better when cleaned!

Antimicrobial

Should you be buying plastic chairs for environments in which hygiene is particularly important (e.g. GP surgeries, hospitals, veterinarians, and dental surgeries), then you may want to buy a chair which incorporates antimicrobial resistance. 

The way this tends to work is that when the polypropylene for the chair is being created, it is imbued with an integrated and active ingredient that prevents microbial growth. Known as antimicrobial additives, these tend to be silver-ion-based inorganic compounds.

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Not only do antimicrobial additives prevent microbial growth, they can also prevent the formation of fungi and even micro animals such as dust mites. 

Don’t get us wrong, all plastic chairs are highly hygienic and easy to clean. However, if you need to actively demonstrate that your chairs have antimicrobial properties (for example as part of an infection control regimen in a hospital), then select ones that have integrated antimicrobial resistance. 

A great example of a plastic chair that has antimicrobial properties is the Titan Arc.

Water-resistant

As plastic naturally repels water, plastic chairs are water-resistant – and thus suitable for outdoor use e.g. for outdoor dining areas at cafés, school sports days etc.

Many plastic chairs are designed with outdoor use explicitly in mind, and have features such as drain holes in the seat. Therefore, when it rains, rainwater won’t collect and will drain away, allowing the chair to dry out more quickly. 

Stackable

Plastic chairs are generally stackable (how stackable depends on which exact model you buy), which means they’re perfect for environments where chairs need to be regularly moved around and put away (e.g. church halls and community centres). 

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Depending on how stackable you want your chairs to be, you’ll want to err towards a particular type of plastic chair. For example, although one-piece plastic chairs can be stackable, they mostly don’t stack as high as plastic chairs with metal sled frames. 

As we wrote a short while ago, it’s possible to buy what are known as ‘high density’ stacking chairs. As the name suggests, these are plastic chairs which can be stacked to a very high density – with our highest stackable option, the Tower, going to an impressive 60 high, on a trolley that will fit through most standard doorways!

Comfort

Comfort isn’t a word that’s traditionally been associated with plastic chairs, but advances in design and ergonomic knowledge mean that today’s plastic chairs can be surprisingly comfortable.

Because polyethylene (which is used in the manufacture of the majority of plastic chairs) is able to flex, and with furniture designers incorporating ergonomic best practices into their designs, it’s now possible to buy plastic chairs which offer hours of comfortable sitting.

Many models of plastic chair also offer you the option of adding an upholstered pad to the seat. 

So, if comfort is a concern, but you don’t want to spend significant sums of money, an upholstered plastic chair could be the perfect solution. Plus, don’t forget our earlier point. Today’s plastic chairs are far more comfortable than the ones you probably remember from your school days!

Colour!

We realise this is an aesthetic benefit as opposed to a practical one, but plastic chairs are available in a near-infinite range of colours. 

This is a great benefit if you’re looking to create a truly stand-out and custom space within your building. 

Whether you want to match the chairs to your brand or building’s colour scheme, or you simply want to create a bright, fun seating area, plastic chairs can help you achieve this. 

In fact, some manufacturers of plastic chairs will allow you to specify their chairs in completely custom colours (however, this is usually accompanied by an extra charge and longer lead times). 

Plastic chairs buying tips

Have you decided that plastic chairs are the right choice for your building or venue? Then, before you start browsing or picking up the phone, there are a few essential things you need to know. 

Below, the Rosehill team has set out the key things to look for – and to think about – when you’re selecting plastic chairs. 

Material

The first thing you want to look for when selecting a plastic chair is the materials it is made from. 

In the case of one-piece plastic chairs, you’ll want to ensure your chosen chair is made from high-impact polypropylene. In many instances, you’ll find that plastic chairs aren’t solely made from polypropylene, but also add in glass fibre to the mix, which adds extra strength. 

If you’re buying a plastic chair with a metal frame and legs, then it’s a good idea to see what metal is used (and how it’s used). 

Many plastic chairs will feature either a solid steel rod frame and legs – which is slightly heavier, but exceptionally strong. Other types of plastic chair use a steel tubular lightweight frame and legs. The tubular nature of this manufacturing method means these types of chairs tend to be lighter in weight. 

Tip – when buying a plastic chair, check that it includes UV protection. This will prevent the chair from being discoloured when exposed to sunlight if you are planning to use the chairs outdoors.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Related closely to the point above about materials, it’s also worth checking if your chosen plastic chair is Indoor Advantage rated. 

If a plastic chair is Indoor Advantage rated, this means it has been subjected to rigorous testing to ensure it doesn’t give off harmful levels of volatile organic compounds. 

Volatile organic compounds are chemicals such as formaldehyde (H-CHO) which are commonly given off by polymer-based products (e.g. plastic chairs). VOCs tend to have a distinct odour – that new car smell that so many people enjoy is caused by VOCs!

Whilst VOCs aren’t acutely toxic, long term exposure to high levels of these compounds can cause eye and throat irritation and other adverse health impacts. 

So, if you’re concerned about maintaining good air quality within your building, and minimising the presence of VOCs as much as possible, ensure you buy a plastic chair which is Indoor Advantage rated.

Info – the Indoor Advantage furniture certification scheme is run by SCS Global Services. You can find out more about the certification here.

Contract-quality

Should you be buying plastic chairs for use in a public building, then it’s essential that you buy chairs that are of ‘contract quality’. 

Contract quality means that the chairs have been designed and manufactured to withstand much heavier use than a piece of furniture in a domestic environment such as the home. 

Whilst contract quality plastic chairs tend to be more expensive than the cheap plastic chairs you find in supermarkets, you’ll find they last considerably longer. In fact, in some contexts, it is a requirement that you use contract-quality seating. 

Here at Rosehill, every item of furniture that we sell is of contract quality and designed to last in high-impact, high-traffic public environments.

Strength and weight standards

Any plastic chair that you buy should be designed and manufactured to appropriate weight and strength standards. 

One of the key standards you should look out for is BS EN16139 (Furniture. Strength, Durability and Safety. Requirements for Non-Domestic Seating). 

This standard sets out the strength, durability, and safety requirements for seating to be used in non-domestic settings such as offices. This standard also sets out the requirements for seats to accommodate weights of up to 110 kg. Some models from Rosehill have additional testing, making them suitable for heavier weight loads too.

Standards for educational settings

If you’re buying plastic chairs for use in educational settings (e.g. a school, college, sixth form or university), then there is another, specific, standard you should look for. 

This standard is BS EN 1729 (Furniture. Chairs and tables for educational settings). The standard includes two parts:

  • Part 1: Furniture. Chairs and tables for educational institutions. Functional dimensions.

  • Part 2: Furniture. Chairs and tables for educational institutions. Safety requirements and test methods. 

By ensuring any plastic chairs that you buy meet these standards, you’ll ensure you have furniture that is safe and durable.

Guide – for more information, read our guide to contract furniture strength and weight testing standards.

Sizing

Not only should your chosen plastic chairs adhere to the relevant safety and quality standards, but they should be of the correct size for their use and context. 

This is particularly true if your plastic chairs are going to be used in educational settings. 

When selecting plastic chairs for a school, look out for the chair’s ‘size mark’. These size marks correlate to the age and size of the child that the chair has been designed for. 

Guide – for much more detailed information on this topic, read our guide to the different sizes of school furniture.

Stackable

This is an important thing to consider if you’re going to be moving and storing your plastic chairs around a great deal. 

Whether you’re going for one-piece plastic chairs or plastic chairs with metal frames and legs, you’ll want to check the degree to which they can be stacked. 

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As we mentioned earlier, you’ll generally find that plastic chairs with metal frames and legs are those which can be stacked to the greatest extent (some will stack up to 60 high!). 

Remember that when you’re looking at the stackability of plastic chairs to check whether their ‘total stacking height’ of your chosen chair is based on whether you are using a complementary trolley. 

For example, some chairs – like the Tower 60 HD Stacking Chair – will stack 20 high on the floor, but up to 60 high when stacked on a special table trolley. So, be sure to check this when you’re selecting your own plastic chairs!

Warranty

Plastic chairs may be incredibly durable and long-lasting – but it’s still worth checking to see what warranty your chosen chair comes with. 

The exact warranty you’ll get will depend on the model you select. However, you’ll generally find that plastic chairs with metal frames and legs have warranties in the five to 10 year range, whilst one-piece plastic chairs (because there’s so little that can go wrong with them), can have warranties as long as 25 years!

Note – you will often see contract furniture suppliers talk about warranties and life expectancies. These are different things! Warranty refers to the length of time a chair is covered by the manufacturer if it develops a defect. Life expectancy refers to the total length of time you can expect a chair to be usable for.

Lead time

Given the various supply chain issues that are currently affecting the global economy, this is a difficult point to address, but a necessary one. 

Because many plastic chairs are made to order, lead times can vary considerably between manufacturers. 

However, for models where the only customisation is the colour, quite a lot are held in stock. If a chair is stocked in the UK, delivery times can be one to three weeks, depending on the quantity you order, availability and your location.

Nevertheless, this makes it important to plan ahead as much as possible. 

For example, if you’re planning to buy plastic chairs for the new school year, then July or August are the peak season for school furniture, with lead times always increasing at this time of the year. 

If you leave it late, you’ll find that you’re at the back of the queue and facing a longer wait!

To reiterate the point (because it’s so important!) a huge variety of factors impact lead times. These include the colours you specify, any additional optional extras you want adding to the furniture, where the manufacturer is based and a whole lot more!

In short, when it comes to lead times the general rule is – the sooner you order the better!

Guide – for more information, read our guide to contract furniture lead times.

Cost 

Buying plastic chairs for your public building is quite a bit different from buying regular chairs for your home. 

Aside from the factors outlined above, the chances are you’ll be buying more than one chair. 

If that’s the case, then you should check if your chosen chair is available with a bulk buying discount. This is fairly standard practice in the contract furniture industry, with the more chairs being purchased at once equating to a bigger bulk buying discount. 

Here at Rosehill, this is something we do as standard (not all contract furniture retailers do). As the image below shows, we detail our bulk buying offers within each product description: 

With most models, as long as it’s the same design you’ll get the bulk quantity saving even if you mix the colours. For example 50 Postura+ chairs in Ink Blue and 50 in Iron Grey, as long as they are ordered together (to one delivery address and to be delivered all together) would qualify for the 100+ bulk discount.

Call – if you want to discuss bulk buying discounts for a particular plastic chair, then our friendly expert team are happy to provide further information. You can reach them on 0161 485 1717 or at: sales@rosehill.co.uk.

Recycled versus recyclable

You may recall that earlier in this article we talked about how the majority of plastic chairs are made from polypropylene – which is derived from oil. 

Because of the increasing awareness amongst consumers of environmental issues, more and more people are looking for plastic chairs which are eco-friendly. 

However, there’s an important distinction that you need to be aware of… the difference between recycled versus recyclable. 

Some manufacturers produce recycled plastic chairs. These are chairs which are made from recycled chips of polypropylene (generally mixed with other materials). 

Other manufacturers produce plastic chairs, which they advertise as ‘recyclable’. These are plastic chairs which can be recycled – but which have been produced using fresh polypropylene. 

For people who are particularly eco-conscious, this is an essential distinction. Should you want to go for the green option for your building, then select recycled plastic chairs as opposed to recyclable plastic chairs. 

Other features to look for in a plastic chair

Whilst we’ve set out the essential things to look for in a plastic chair above, there are some additional features that may come in handy depending on how and where you’ll be using your chosen chairs. 

Arms

Perhaps the users of your building would benefit from plastic chairs with arms. 

Plastic chairs with arms are far more ergonomic and offer plenty of postural support. This means they can be more comfortable to use for longer periods of time. So, plastic chairs with arms are ideal for environments such as dining rooms, study areas etc.

Tablets

Some plastic chairs are available with an integrated tablet. This is basically a mini table which can be swivelled into position once someone has sat down. It allows for the user of the chair to make notes on a flat surface or use a laptop. 

As you can imagine, plastic chairs with tablets are particularly favoured by educational establishments as they reduce the need to use tables. 

Note – only a limited number of plastic chairs are available with tablets. This is because tablets require the chair to have arms – and there aren’t as many plastic chairs available with arms.

Upholstered pads

If you want to quickly and easily add an extra layer of comfort (literally!) to your plastic chairs, then it’s possible to specify many plastic chairs with a removable upholstered seat pad. 

A great example of this is the Klia Stacking Chair, which is available with either a permanently fixed or removable upholstered seat pad.

Castor wheels

What if you want to be able to move your chairs around easily, but don’t want to buy task chairs? 

The solution is to buy a plastic chair with castor wheels. A number of manufacturers now offer traditional four-legged plastic chairs that can be selected with a castor wheel connected to the foot of each leg. 

This provides you with a chair that resembles a standard chair – but which can be easily wheeled around by the user. 

A perfect example of this type of chair is the Grafton Stacking Chair, which can be selected with castors.

The very best plastic chairs for public buildings

Okay, so now you’ve read about all the things you need to know when buying a plastic chair, are you ready to make a purchase? 

If your answer is ‘yes’, then you’ll find a selection of our most popular plastic chairs below!

KI Hatton Stacking Chair

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Viewed by many building managers and caretakers as the perfect ‘all-rounder’, the KI Hatton Stacking Chair is a plastic chair that is at once very practical and stylish.

Featuring a very contemporary shape and silhouette, the Hatton is available in a range of modern, interesting colours. Colours which are bright and bold, without being garish and gauche. 

Manufactured from a single piece of injection-moulded polypropylene, the Hatton will withstand hard wear and remain looking fresh and bright. For added peace of mind, though, the Hatton comes with a five-year warranty. 

Then Hatton also features a handy lip at the rear of the back pad, making this chair exceptionally easy to handle, move and store. When placed on the floor, the Hatton can stack eight high. Use a special transport trolley, and you’ll be able to stack the Hatton 16 high.

For added practicality, the Hatton is equipped with glides which will protect your flooring.

Klia Stacking Chair & Armchair

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If you want to buy a plastic chair that practically oozes the word ‘designer’, then look no further than the Klia. 

This is a chair that won’t look out of place in even the most high-end of establishments. That’s thanks in large part to its modern silhouette and stance – as well as the selection of subtle colours that it’s available in. 

The Klia doesn’t skimp on the practical side of things, either. Manufactured from glass-fibre reinforced polypropylene, the Klia is designed to last. That’s backed up by a solid five-year guarantee, too. 

It’s possible to stack the Klia up to 12 high (the armchair version can stack 10 high), making it an ideal chair for settings where you may need to regularly move and store your seating. 

Being UV tested to European Standard EN16139 Level 1, the Klia can also be used outside without risk of discolouration. 

Origin Flux Chairs & Stools

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A modern interpretation of the classic plastic chair with a metal frame and legs, the Origin Flux is a chair that combines style and practicality into a single attractive package. 

Manufactured in the UK, with the plastic shell moulded in South Yorkshire, the metal frame made in Lancashire, and final assembly taking place in Cheshire, the Origin Flux is a chair that embodies modern craftsmanship. 

With a 10-year guarantee, the Flux is a chair that’ll provide you with the confidence that it’ll withstand the rigours that come with use in a public building.

What makes the Flux particularly stand out in the world of plastic chairs is the sheer range of options, variations and configurations that are available. 

You can select the Origin Flux as: 

  • A standard four-legged chair. 

  • A four-legged chair with armrests.

  • A sled-base chair. 

  • Two different heights of stool. 

Because of this, the Origin Flux is the ideal choice if you’re fitting out a building and need various types of chairs – but want to retain a consistent look and feel across all the various chairs.

For added comfort, the Origin Flux can be specified with an upholstered seat/back. It’s also possible to buy the Flux with wooden legs, or even with a task base.

Grafton Stacking Chair

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An amazing example of a plastic chair with a quality metal frame and legs is the Grafton Stacking Chair. 

Not only is this an exceptionally well-made plastic chair – with an outstanding 15-year warranty – but it’s a stylish chair too, available in a range of colours.

Thanks to its mesh-style back, and the slight flex that is inherent to polypropylene, the Grafton is a very comfortable chair. But, having said that, if you’d like further comfort it’s possible to buy the Grafton in an upholstered version. 

Where the Grafton particularly stands out is the fact that it’s made of 100% recycled polypropylene – making it an environmentally-friendly choice. What’s more, the Grafton is also Indoor Advantage Gold certified, meaning it doesn’t give off harmful levels of volatile organic compounds. 

Finally, the Grafton – like the Origin Flux – is available in numerous configurations and types, including with a task base, with castor wheels on four legs, a sled base and more. 

That’s why leading educational institutions and others have chosen the Grafton for their buildings.

Need help buying plastic chairs for your building? 

As you’ve probably gathered from reading this article, buying plastic chairs can sometimes be a complex business!

There can be a lot to think about and plenty of options to pick from. 

But, don’t worry. The Rosehill team is here to help. We are happy to answer any pre-purchase questions you may have. You can reach us on 0161 485 1717 or at: sales@rosehill.co.uk.

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For more commercial and contract furniture buying guides, information and advice, read the Rosehill blog

The Best Multipurpose Plastic Chairs | Why the Acoustics of Your Building Are So Important: A Guide to Acoustic Building Solutions | Contract Fabrics: What You Need to Know

Top 6 Tips to Improve the Longevity of Your Plastic Chair

Plastic Chairs Buying Guide

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