What is Contract-Grade Furniture? [& Why You Should Buy It]
Before purchasing discounted furniture for your office, you should first understand what contract-grade furniture is and why it’s a better choice. Read it here.
Have you ever purchased a couch from a discount or big box store? It looks just like the one in the design magazine, but it was less than half the price. What a deal! You love the couch; it is so comfortable. You sit on it to watch TV every night…you even take your weekend naps on it.
Two years later though, on a particularly sunny day you look at the couch as you are cleaning and notice a few things. Those comfortable cushions you have been sitting on for the last two years have defined indents in your favorite sitting spots. The place where you sit is starting to fray and you notice the side of the couch away from the window is a difference color than the side in the sun.
It is time to get a new couch.
We have answered the question as to why buying commercial grade furniture matters.
Imagine you sat on that couch, or office chair, 8+ hours a day 5 days a week. How fast would it give out then?
Commercial grade furniture is meant to last for years and stand up the wear all those hours put on it. From office furniture to airport lobby’s, the product has been independently tested and certified for the parts to hold, the cushions to stay comfortable, and the fabric plush with extended use for 5 years, 10 years or a lifetime in many cases.
Not every part of the office needs to be ready to stand up to airport levels of traffic. So where is it important and where might there be an opportunity to save some cost but still have a great look in the office?
The key place not to cut on commercial quality is a task (desk) chair and the workstations. This is where most time is spent and where sustained ergonomic function is most important to employee health and productivity.
Some places to save are lobby seating and conference room chairs. Most lobby furniture is only used when someone is waiting. And someone is only waiting for a few minutes at a time, a few minutes a day. Your coach from the example above would last years with only that level of use. The same goes for conference chairs. We want something that looks good, but many conference chairs are only used for an hour at a time. They do not need the same ergonomic features as a desk chair.
Think of it this way. The more time you spend physically interacting with a piece of furniture at work, the less you should consider going bargain hunting for that item. Put another way, carpenters do not buy the cheapest hammers. Office workers should not seek out the cheapest chair.