When looking for furniture, you may have come across the term contract furniture used in certain stores or websites, but what exactly is contract furniture?
What is Contract Furniture?
The term contract furniture refers to furniture designed specifically for commercial purposes. This can be anything from Beds and Tables designed for use in Hotels to sofas and tub chairs for office receptions and waiting rooms. Any furniture that a commercial business may require in a business location.
Who uses it?
Contract furniture is required for use by all commercial entities. This is due to Crib fire regulation 5 (BS7177) this regulation is imposed on commercial establishments expected to use Contract furniture. This is why any furniture used for commercial use will be Contract Furniture and must meet Crib 5 safety standards. This includes organizations such as University accommodation, Hotels, Offices, Pubs and Restaurants etc.
The term Contract Design is also related, it refers more to the materials and fabrics used in Contract Furniture or the fabrics used for things like rugs or curtains. These ingredients are certainly useful in a commercial sense, but there’s nothing stopping them for home use if you’re looking for a very coarse material. Contract fabrics can come in much more unique patterns and colors that may not be available from mainstream retail. They can be used at home if you need something more durable for the home. Contract furniture is less likely to be used in domestic settings as generally contract furniture prioritizes durability over comfort and so in some cases may not be as comfortable as equivalent household furniture.
Why is it used?
There are several main reasons why contract furniture is used over publicly available furniture. One of them is because of the quality standards expected of the furniture. Generally Contract furniture it is used very frequently in its lifetime, far more than any other piece of household furniture. This means that the quality has to be much higher to meet the demands demanded, this means that the company will not spend money replacing unnecessary furniture. In most cases, there is a guaranteed warranty on the product of at least 5 years or more meaning the furniture will be durable enough for continued heavy use.
Not only does it have to have a certain level of durability but Contract Furniture also has to meet certain health and safety standards which is one of the main differences between domestic furniture and Contract Furniture.
Contract furniture construction must be of very high quality using very durable materials. This also means that contract furniture is more expensive than standard furniture because of its better build quality and compliance with safety regulations.
Contract furniture must meet Crib 5 / Ignition Source 5 (BS7177) BSEN597-1 (Cigarette) BS EN597-1 BS EN597-2 (Match) fire regulations ensuring that your business complies with government laws. Using Contract Furniture means businesses can rest assured they are using lawful furniture and they won’t be sued in the event of a fire. However, this does not mean that the furniture is durable, although fire-resistant materials are usually selected for Contract Furniture whenever possible.
Finally the designs available from Contract Furniture can be much wider than that of general retail. Much of the contract furniture is designed for commercial spaces, the designs can be much more modern and can be made in a much larger range of colors and designs allowing for a unique look of the furniture in commercial spaces.
It completes this brief guide on Contract Furniture and will help clarify what Contract Furniture is and why it is used commercially.
Ed Sloane is the MD of TubChairs, an online retailer and supplier of high-quality furniture and contract tub chairs. Visit their website for more information.