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What is meant by contract furniture?

Dec. 06, 2023
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Is this a question you have asked or been asked? Whilst it might be obvious to us (we live and breathe the stuff!) we understand that it might not be obvious to everyone else. Let us explain the difference.


We supply contract furniture, not domestic. That means that we supply for all commercial venues rather than for the home. Want a bar stool for your kitchen? Sorry! That's not our bag!

Think: hotels, cafes, restaurants, bars, lounges, airports, gyms, offices... (deep breath) ... education, care homes, spas, pubs, bakeries... the list goes on and on. Essentially, we provide furniture for businesses. Not for your house.

There's a difference between the furniture that's provided for the home and for commercial venues. Comercial venues have a much larger set of requirements to keep customers safe and to survive wear and tear from high usage.

We hunt out the best products that fit these requirements:

  • Crib 5 - In the UK contract furniture must have a Crib 5 rating which means that it is not flammable.
  • High durability - Think about the number of people who are going to sit on that chair in a single day. Probably a whole lot more than the number of people who will sit on your living room sofa. So it needs to be manufactured to withstand that. It must have high-quality construction and sturdy materials.
  • Availability - If you want to add to your venue's collection of furniture, you need to be assured that it will still be in stock. Our manufacturers don't often discontinue product lines, they design and produce pieces that are timeless. On the other hand, retail stores change their product lines continuously and so you may not find the same piece a few years down the line.

We ensure that we expertly choose our product range to perfectly adhere to the requirements of contract venues. To talk to one of our account managers today, click here.

Furniture is a central aspect of residential areas, workplaces, local stores, and most other places you would usually frequent. While style and design are the most notable differences in residential furniture, fundamental differences in how furniture can and should be used also exist. 

Essentially, there are two types of furniture depending on your intended use: contract-grade furniture and residential-grade furniture.

In this article, we've compiled a comprehensive guide on contract-grade furniture, answering questions like "is contract-grade furniture better?" and explaining what exactly these differences mean for your spaces.

Contract-Grade Furniture Meaning 

To find the best fit for your needs, let's first delve into the contract-grade meaning. Contract-grade furniture refers to furniture designed for commercial space purposes – it is also commonly known as commercial-grade furniture. It is mostly used in commercial settings such as restaurants and airports and can last longer due to its sturdy construction.

Contract-grade furniture must meet the industry's standards and compliance requirements. To this end, it is worth noting that this furniture may not be available for purchase at the local retail furniture store but only from an authorized commercial furniture dealer who offers this service.

Difference between Contract & Residential-Grade Furniture 

You may be wondering what the difference is between commercial vs residential furniture. Residential and contract-grade furniture may not seem to differ much in their overall design and style. In fact, some contract-grade furniture may be more stylish than residential furniture. However, the most notable differences are more fundamental than technical, and they involve these two important aspects:

Compliance Requirements 

Various industries have varying requirements for their commercial space furniture. For example, restaurant furniture must meet strict fire safety regulations and requirements, including using fire-resistant upholstery. Such compliance requirements are designed to ensure users' safety, and non-compliance can lead to fines and other penalties.

Usage & Durability 

Usually, industrial-grade furniture is used more frequently than residential-grade furniture. As you create a comfortable and safe environment, remember that, for example, restaurant chairs are usually occupied most of the time, and their users' weights can range from light to heavy. Ideally, these commercial purpose chairs (and other furniture) should support their occupants' weights without breaking or caving in, potentially hurting the user – they should be durable and safe to use. 

Qualities & Standards of Contract-Grade Furniture 

Contract-grade furniture is held to a higher standard than residential-grade furniture. Ideally, the former should meet the following qualities and high standards: 

Use Quality Materials 

Contract-grade furniture should be built using strong and durable materials. For example, commercial-grade metal furniture made of steel should use small-gauge steel for optimal strength – notably, residential-grade steel furniture uses 22-gauge steel, while contract-grade ones use 18-gauge steel. 

It is also worth noting that contract-grade wooden furniture must be made from hardwood, while residential ones can be made from softwood. Ideally, commercial use wooden furniture should also feature reinforcement bars to support their frequent usage. The materials' strength is especially important if the user's weight is a consideration. 

An Overall Comfortable Design 

Contract furniture should also be comfortable and designed for the locations of their intended use. For example, a restaurant chair shouldn't be too big or too small for diners. The chair should also feature a comfortable sitting surface, such as padded foam upholstery. It is also worth noting that comfort helps improve the users' experience, essentially improving customers' experience in commercial-purpose settings such as restaurants and hotels.

Style & Finish 

Ideally, contract-grade furniture should be more than practical – it should also be presentable. For example, outdoor wooden furniture should feature a smooth finish – users shouldn't have to worry about loose splinters scratching their skin and clothes. Similarly, a collection of metal furniture should feature a powder-coated or liquid-coated finish to make them scratch-resistant. It is worth noting that furniture's style, finish, and overall presentation also impact the users' (and your customers') experience. 

Warranty 

Commercial-grade furniture is used frequently and may be more prone to physical stress and damage. Ideally, it should come with a reliable warranty in case it gets damaged because of sub-par quality and other production-related faults. 

Benefits of Commercial-Grade Furniture 

Quality contract-grade furniture offers a wide range of benefits, including: 

  • The furniture is durable, saving you money on repairs and replacements. 

  • Your clients enjoy a good customer experience from comfortable and presentable furniture, boosting your brand's marketability. 

  • Your employees can also work in comfort, which can

    boost their productivity

  • High-quality contract-grade furniture is generally easy to clean and maintain. 

Overall, contract-grade furniture will serve you well for a long time. It can also offer many other benefits unique to your business or industry. 

Conclusion 

Commercial furniture is an integral part of your business, and prudence demands that you invest in reliable, high-quality contract-grade furniture. Fortunately, you have come to the right place as Juniper Office offers the best commercial furniture business solutions. 

Juniper Office offers ready-made and custom-made furniture, and our manufacturers will work closely with you to bring your desired designs to life. We are versatile enough to handle projects of varying sizes, and we are well equipped to outfit workspaces of more than 500 employees with your standard or custom-made commercial-grade furniture. Visit our website to explore our vast inventory of contract-grade furniture, or get in touch to learn more about how we can help.  

What is meant by contract furniture?

What is Contract-Grade Furniture?

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