A Complete Guide To Contract Grade Furniture

It is a common question for people to ask, “what is contract furniture?” Contract furniture is becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives, providing us with comprehensive experiences in a unique atmosphere. Offering exceptional service is no longer sufficient; many businesses want to do their day-to-day business in their own space, where they may enjoy a singular and distinctive ambiance.

Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the need of projecting a positive image of their workplace through furnishings in order to make customers and workers feel at ease in a professional setting. Learning more about contract furniture is useful for you to select the right table and chair solution for your company or offer the right style of furniture to your market.

What is Contract Furniture?

Office Furniture
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1. Definition

Simply explained, contract furniture is any piece of furniture that is built and designed for commercial use in places like offices, waiting rooms, lounges, and other high-traffic areas.

These items are designed with commercial furniture requirements in mind, so they’re built with extra strength characteristics and outstanding features for usage in public spaces and high-traffic areas.

2. Benefits of Contract Furniture

The first benefit of modern furniture in the workplace is that it represents your company’s professionalism and dependability. Today’s modern, utilitarian furniture designs allow your clients to enter an office that is filled with dependable, effective, and stable-looking furniture.

In today’s world, an average employee usually spends around half of his or her day in an office setting. A person’s mood and productivity can be affected by a variety of factors in the workplace. Coworkers, cleanliness, and building temperature, for example, are all elements that most individuals would consider. This is true; nonetheless, one of the most important elements to the office’s atmosphere, the furniture, is frequently overlooked. Employee morale and productivity can both benefit from well-designed workplace furniture.

Investing in the correct desks, seats, and workstations for your office can help you cut down on idle time and increase staff productivity. Not only can contract grade furniture influence productivity, but it also has a significant impact on employee wellness. No one can operate effectively in a sweltering office environment. 

Unnecessary strains and pains might be caused by poor workstation and chair construction. Furniture that is created to stop these annoyances and provide an optimal working environment should be a top concern when furnishing your area. You will set your staff up for success and provide them the tools to prove their competence if you prioritize their health and well-being.

The ideal all-around selection for your workplace equipment is furniture with an ergonomic design. The purpose of ergonomic design is to create furniture that is specifically designed to optimize efficiency and comfort in the workplace environment. 

Common Applications of Contract Chairs and Tables

Furniture Design
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1. Contract Hotel Furniture

Contract furniture hospitality that is both durable and attractive is a necessity if you want to impress visitors from all over the world. The value of generating a terrific first impression when a visitor enters a guest room cannot be emphasized. Contract hotel furniture must be strong enough to resist heavy use and the passage of time while still looking good.

Hotel guests nap in beds, relax in chairs and work at desks in their suites, therefore the furniture in the hotel plays an important part in influencing the whole experience of the guest. Whether or not guests repeat their visit is determined by their feelings of comfort, cleanliness, and, in certain situations, even grandeur. It costs money to lose a guest’s loyalty because of outdated furnishings.

Choosing high-quality tables and chairs that will survive many years of frequent usage can save hotels money in the long term, despite the fact that hotel contract furniture is a considerable capital investment.

2. Contract Restaurant Furniture

When you consider the distinctions between contract furniture and domestic furniture, it’s easy to see why restaurant furniture is so crucial. Restaurants are essentially high-traffic establishments, and the furnishings within them must be able to withstand a wide range of patrons and the long term use. It’s also worth noting that the regulations governing contract restaurant furniture, and non-commercial furniture would not meet these standards.

3. Shopping Mall Furniture

Shopping malls and other retail establishments are more than just stores where you may buy things. Malls and shopping centers have long been popular destinations for shopping, dining, and social activities. The chairs and tables used in malls tend to be very comfortable for the visitors to rest after a long day of shopping. Shopping mall furniture suppliers can help you choose the ideal furniture for your business or your shopping mall projects.

What Sets Contract Grade Furniture Apart from Other Furniture 

Contract Grade Furniture
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1. Functionality

The contract channels must meet specific requirements in terms of requirement and usefulness, allowing contract furniture manufacturers to create environments in which their clients may work, speak, study, and interact. With the goal of providing the finest results and dynamism, contract items are integrated into the places for which they were created.

2. Contract Furniture Industry Standards: Fire and Safety Regulations

In an office setting, you must consider every possible person who might use the furniture. Persons of various heights and weights, as well as people with disabilities, may be included. It may even be the law in some regions that furniture must be accessible to those with mobility impairments. Even if it isn’t required, purchasing office furniture with accessibility in mind is a good business practice to think about.

Aside from accessibility, office tables and chairs are subject to extra workplace safety rules. Businesses that do not comply with these regulations may face difficulties and possible fines.

The Furniture and Furnishings Regulations 1988, as amended 1989, 1993, and 2010 (FFFSR) spells out the rules for upholstery residential furniture in the United Kingdom. The contract marketplace is subject to additional regulations. Curtains, seats, beds, and mattresses are all subject to three British Standards:

  • British Standard 7176 – Upholstered furniture for non-domestic use
  • BS 7177 – Bed bases and divans
  • BS 5867 – Window blinds, drapes, and curtains

BS 7176 is a British standard that assures that upholstered furniture is fire resistant to ensure the safety of users and others. The fabrics are subjected to BS EN 1021-2 testing, which includes ignition from various sources that mimic the settings in which the cloth may be used.

There are eight different exam sources to choose from. 0 (a smoldering cigarette), 1 (a match), and 5 are the most prevalent (smoldering and flaming). After passing test source 5, the fabric is said to have attained Crib 5 fire retardancy, which is in line with furniture industry norms for hospitality areas.

Tables and worktops must also adhere to a set of British Standards in addition to these test sources. The assessment is for mechanical damage (impact, scratch resistance, and abrasion), dry and wet temperature resistance (between 55°C and 160°C), and chemical resistance, not for combustibility (tea, coffee, oils, acids, and bleaches).

Tables are covered by British Standards, which include, but are not restricted to:

  • BS EN15372 – Furniture – Non-domestic tables – Strength, durability, and safety
  • BS 4875 part 5 – Endurance, durability, and stability of household and contract tables and trolleys
  • BS EN15186 – Furniture – Surface Resilience to Scratching Assessment
  • BS EN12729 – Furniture – Surface Resilience to Cold Liquids Assessment

3. Durability 

When purchasing chair and table sets for your business, you should anticipate them lasting at least ten years. The last thing you want is for your seats to break after a year or two, forcing you to spend even more money. Furthermore, weak seats might be a health and safety danger, so you can’t afford to take shortcuts here.

4. Construction Design

Contract furniture frames are often made from wood or steel, are designed to withstand a certain amount of weight, and come with a 5-year or longer guarantee. Contract furniture frames come in a wide range of styles. Some come with warranties, however, almost all of them are nullified by commercial use.

The foam used in contract furniture solutions is typically between 1.8 and 3 pounds in density, with indent load-deflection ratings that ensure foam maintains its structure and offers a firm seat for a wide range of users. Information about foam is usually not given in domestic retail furniture, as it is designed for light or infrequent home use. A feather or down cover is sometimes used on domestic furniture, which needs fluffing and reshaping over time.

Contract Furniture Design Examples

Furniture Design
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Aleta Collection

Aleta Collection Design
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The Aleta Collection is a line of contract furniture solutions. This collection was designed by Jaime Hayon for usage in both public and private settings (contract offices, offices, and theatres). The Aleta collection, which includes chairs, armchairs, and stools, is distinguished by the features of the base’s structure, as well as a backrest that expresses the collection’s individuality and style.

Copa Stool

Copa stools
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This contract chair is great for cafes and bustling open spaces because of its wide and soft seat. The Copa Stool’s base is made of wood or metal and can be swiveled or fixed.

Burin Table

Burin table
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This piece, created by Patricia Urquiola, received the #BestOfYear 2018 honors and is ideal for pairing with stools from the Aleta and Copa collections at university dining bars or offices. The Burin Table, which comes in a variety of heights, pays homage to classic carved wooden instruments.

Levitt Sofa

Levitt Sofa
Source: Pinterest

The Levitt Sofa is a contract sofa that works well in both the home and in public spaces. It has polyurethane-coat and curved wood in its backrest with feather cushions to add an aesthetic to the sofa.

Considerations when looking for contract furniture solutions

Stylish Contract Furniture
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1. The style of commercial venue

There is only one place to start, and that is with the seating and furniture styles. After all, various places serve different purposes, and the furniture you choose should reflect this. A vast choice of contract furniture provides something to suit every style, from historic classics to daring and contemporary designs.

Every contract piece must, without a doubt, incorporate design and detailing. Similarly, it is critical for businesses to invest in the layout of their meeting rooms or break rooms, which could result in a future return on investment. No one wants to negotiate in an uncoordinated conference room, which could lead to a bad negotiation.

2. Construction and design of contract furniture

Choose a design that is appropriate for your space. A beautiful design does not always imply that the products are expensive and difficult to use. Simple things with a stylish finish can sometimes be highly effective when you are using commercial contract furniture. You could mix and match different textiles if you don’t feel secure mixing and matching different chair designs. Please don’t put fanciful designs ahead of comfort. Between these two factors, there should be a perfect balance.

3. Materials of contract furniture

Another important factor to consider is the material used. Of course, the type of material utilized will influence the overall look of the objects. However, when it comes to longevity and ease of maintenance, the material plays a major role. If you’re looking for contract chairs for a restaurant, you’ll probably want to avoid anything with fabric. Instead, you’ll want something stain-resistant and long-lasting, as the chairs will be subjected to a lot of use and spills are probable.

The materials used to make contract furniture, as well as its construction and design, must be of excellent quality, multifunctional, and comfortable. This furniture must be able to resist the continual and everyday use of the public while still maintaining a consistent look.

4. The durability of contract furniture

When looking for contract furniture, another key factor to take into account is durability. When purchasing chairs for your business, you should anticipate them lasting at least 10 years. The very last thing you want is for the seats to break after a year or two, forcing you to spend more money. Furthermore, weak seats might be a health and safety danger, so you can’t afford to take shortcuts here.

5. Commercial place safety regulations 

Unlike furniture created for the home or specific rooms inside a home, contract furniture is more resistant to wear and tear since the environment in which it is used (universities, workplaces, or schools) is cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis. At the same time, because it operates on a national and worldwide scale, it adheres to safety and quality laws while also encouraging environmentally friendly practices.

6. Capacity

Another factor to consider is the average number of guests or clients in your hotel, restaurant, lounge, or reception area at any given time. This is crucial since it will influence the kind of chairs you buy, as you’ll want to ensure there’s enough room for your employees to do their jobs and for visitors to walk around comfortably. As a result, you may wish to go for more compact seating options. You should also consider whether you need stackable seats

7. Budget

It’s not a good idea to move on to the next step only to discover that the furniture you’ve chosen is out of your price range, leaving you back at square one. You must consider furniture as an asset when determining your budget. Obviously, if your institution has the correct mood, due to furniture, you will likely attract a larger number of guests and raise your revenue. The most essential thing, of course, is to create a decent profit!

8. Lead time 

The period of time between the start of a procedure and its conclusion is known as lead time. Lead Time refers to the time between a verified client order and its planned pick-up or delivery. This changes depending on the goods and the client.

Client satisfaction is heavily influenced by lead time. Customers typically want goods or services as soon as possible and with as little effort as possible.

The concept of Lead Time is wedded to and has a direct relation with the amount of inventory that exists at various points in the entire supply chain in production and assembly.

How to Choose a Trusted Contract Furniture Dealer/Manufacturer 

Workplace Contract Furniture
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Based on experience and product knowledge, a table and chair sets dealer/manufacturer can provide high-quality and customized solutions. Each industry has various furnishing needs and ambitions for contract furniture. New furniture designs aim to accommodate changes in our working and living habits. Therefore, working with a trusted contract furniture manufacturer/dealer is key to building your brand reputation and providing quality furniture to your clients.

1. Certificates

When choosing a contract furniture manufacturer, ISO 9001: 2008 certification is a critical measure to examine, but you should also consider two other related variables.

To begin, inquire if your prospective private label manufacturer’s most current ISO certification assessment revealed any issues that needed to be addressed. Just because a company is ISO 9001 certified does not really mean they’ve kept it since their last audit – and a shady company could be concealing the fact that their accreditation is in peril.

Look for a contract furniture manufacturer that is forthright about their ISO certification and has a track record of positive audit findings, rather than one whose accreditation is in jeopardy. If the potential furniture supplier isn’t upfront and honest, you should look for another outsourced manufacturing partner who follows an open-book philosophy.

Second, while ISO 9001:2008 certification is a powerful indicator of quality, it should only be part of a much broader and more extensive history of performance and production at that company.

2. Factory audit 

Factory audits affect the quality of furniture. Table and chair manufacture can be difficult for retailers and online stores, who must work with a contract furniture supplier while still considering customer safety and meeting time-to-market deadlines. In order to optimize their supply networks, they must conduct professional supplier audits to guarantee the quality of the furniture.

In addition, quality monitoring is an important aspect of the furniture production process. As tables and chairs manufacture shifts to lower-cost countries, the demand for dependable and skilled furniture inspection has never been stronger.

Inspections during the manufacturing process are crucial because they verify that your completed piece of furniture meets the specified quality standards and is ready for immediate dispatch. The inspection assesses the production status and production standards that are performed on the production line, in addition to the finished products. Any product faults should be recognized as soon as possible and remedied on the spot, and inspection reports should describe any quality issues, no matter how minor.

Furniture factory audits give a thorough examination of the supplier’s condition, advantages, and limitations. This service can also assist the chair and table set factory in identifying areas that need to be improved in order to better fulfill the needs of the importer.

The usual factory inspection comprises the following:

  • Background of the furniture manufacturer
  • Manpower
  • The ability to produce
  • Machines, facilities, and gear
  • Production line and manufacturing process
  • Internal quality control measures, such as testing and inspection
  • System and capability of management
  • Environment

3. The professionalism of the team

The professionalism of the team is another important factor to consider while choosing a contract furniture manufacturer because that will determine the quality, durability, and reliability of the furniture. It is a no-brainer that professionals can work better at making innovative furniture designs than amateurs. 


So, now that you know the basics of the contract furniture industry and the importance of selecting certain items for your hospitality or leisure location, we’ve answered the key question of ‘what is contract grade furniture?’ With so many distinct styles and types of seating, worktops, and beds to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which is the ideal contract furniture option for your company, so consider all of the factors listed above before making a decision.

Always contact a reputed chairs and tables manufacturer like Keekea that can address all your requirements and can also provide customization if needed.

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