The Difference Between Commercial and Residential Furniture

Are you hearing the words commercial and residential the first time? Well, don’t worry we were there too. Most people consider furniture as just furniture but didn’t know that there were terms like commercial and residential to describe it. Like what do these terms even mean, right? Well, it’s not your mistake that you don’t know the meaning of these words because most people don’t. You just see a table and a chair and that’s the furniture you use in your daily life so why bother about such words. So, what is commercial furniture, and what is residential furniture?

What Is Commercial Furniture?

commercial furniture
The Difference Between Commercial and Residential Furniture 1

What is commercial furniture? Office furniture is commercial furniture but commercial furniture is a broader term than that. To say it simply, commercial furniture is any furniture that is manufactured and designed for commercial installation in hotels, shopping malls, waiting rooms, public spaces, offices, or other high-use spaces. 

To say it specifically- furniture manufactured to meet fixed industry standards is known as commercial furniture. It goes through rigid testing and certification processes. You can always contact a trusted furniture provider like Keekea to address all your concerns.

1. Functions

Commercial furniture also goes by the name of contract furniture. The main function of commercial-grade tables and chairs includes catering to a large number of people since this type of furniture is mainly used in offices, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, and shopping malls.

Apart from this, commercial furniture is also expected to be used for longer periods of time, hence, durability is an important feature.

Commercial furniture is tested to make it perfect for environments where it will be used constantly by a range of people for a very long period of time.

2. Common Application

Contract hotel furniture– Contract hotel furniture is designed so that it can last in the long run. Whether you use it in your hotel rooms, hotel lobby, or reception it will surely last for a very long time. They are manufactured keeping such purposes in mind. 

  • Contract restaurant furniture- Commercial furniture can also be used in restaurants as these are the places where such types of furniture make the most use. To say it more clearly, the furniture in a restaurant is used on a daily basis and God knows how many times in a day. That is why commercial furniture is designed to be used in places like restaurants.
  • Shopping mall furniture- The furniture in the mall is touched, tested, seated on, and rested on many times a day. You cannot use such furniture which breaks when used more than two times. That is why commercial furniture is best suited for shopping mall furniture.
  • Educational institution furniture- An educational institution is a place where the furniture should last for a long time as no one has the time and money to buy furniture every month or every year. That is when commercial furniture comes to your rescue. They are designed specifically keeping such things in mind. Students when they are bored decide to take their boredom on their desk and their desk has to suffer from this so certain manufacturers make their furniture in such a way that it is almost impossible to get even a scratch on them.
  • Hospitals- Hospitals are the place where hygiene and patients are given the topmost priority other things like style, elegance, etc doesn’t matter at all to them. That is why commercial furniture is best suited for them. You might have noticed metal chairs in the waiting area of hospitals, these are commercial furniture. They are manufactured keeping in mind the durability not the style factor. The furniture should be functional and durable and nothing else matters.

3. Materials and Durability

Commercial furniture industries choose those fabrics that are scratch-free, UV-resistant, and stain removable and Whether it is suitable for the place or not. The furniture material should be cleaned easily when it gets dirty. 

For example, you probably do not want to buy microfiber furniture for a company where pets come on a regular basis. There are places where they require a specific level of protective coatings to make sure the furniture is fire resistant. 

For places where pets come regularly like the veterinarian Commercial tables and chairs are manufactured keeping in mind these factors and you will be all set. 

Residential and commercial might look the same but there are very vast differences between the durability of these two. 

Commercial furniture manufacturers make their furniture be it a table or chair, keeping in mind that it will be used by many different people constantly. This means that the wood will be tougher and will get its finishing by Polyurethane coatings that help in protecting the wood from huge levels of wear and tear and regular cleaning.

4. Design

Commercial furniture is manufactured taking into consideration that it will be used in high traffic environments where it will be exposed to constant use. So the commercial furniture design is made in such a way that it can tolerate everything and lasts for a long time. Also, the design of contract furniture should be available for the public with varying heights, weights, disabilities, etc.

5. Industry Standards

One should always look for top-notch quality and be suitable for heavy use while buying commercial furniture. Commercial furniture goes through several quality checks for its strength, load-bearing capacity, and stability. They are designed keeping in mind fire and safety regulations. 

The fabric should be guarded against fire. Some places also require the people working there to buy a specific type of furniture that can gather a lot of people regarding their disability, height, weight, and other factors. 

What is residential/ home furniture?

Residential furniture is not often created with those rigid materials that are more likely used to create commercial furniture. Residential furniture uses flashy material whose main purpose is to look stylish and stay updated with the trends. 

Residential furniture tends to be lightweight so that it can be moved around easily if you keep changing the look of your room.

1. Functions

Residential furniture is used in a residential environment to replace your old furniture. Residential furniture is usually used to show off and match it with the interior of the house. 

It is generally out in places where its only function would be to give an elegant and stylish look to the room. This type of furniture becomes the picture spot in your house where you go only when you want a picture for your social media handle. 

2. Common Application

Living rooms– Living rooms are the rooms in your house where your guest first enters and takes a snap of your whole room with their eyes, including your furniture! That is why you need residential furniture as they are stylish and you can choose them according to your choice. We are sure there is residential furniture suiting each one of your needs.

Bedroom– The bedroom is meant for sleeping, the sofas and the table are only to give a look to the room so as the room will not look empty. Residential furniture is used for such purposes so that your room does not look empty but beautiful.

Guest room– Guest rooms are used only on certain occasions so your residential furniture will sit there peacefully without getting disturbed by anybody. Even when your guests come they are not going to use every piece of furniture present in the room so there will be no harm given to it unless your guest decides to bring their pets with them and ruin the look of your room. The material with which residential furniture is made may or may not be scratch-proof. The main focus of the manufacturers is to maintain style and elegance. If you want good material then go for commercial furniture but then you will not get the style. 

3. Materials and Durability

Residential furniture is made from softer woods like pine and rubberwood which are one of the most popular woods used in manufacturing residential furniture. Softwood is not only scratch resistant but also cheaper so overall it makes residential furniture affordable for everyone. Residential tables and chairs can last up to one year depending on the type of material. 

If it is wood, it is most likely to last up to a year and if it is metal, it is likely to last from 1 to 6 months depending on how much it is being exposed to humidity. 

If you live in areas that receive huge rainfall or intense humidity, your outdoor residential furniture should be made from aluminum as they are the best waterproof material. Teakwood is also a good option as it is lightweight, low maintenance, waterproof, long-lasting, and eco-friendly. Their vibrancy will also not fade easily so that’s a good part too. Resin table tops do not need sealing or painting. 

Tables are chairs for home are manufactured specially to stand in extreme temperatures. However, it would be better if your pets and children were away from your residential furniture as these two worry about having fun only and destroy your furniture in this process.

Commercial and Residential furniture look the same bit durability is the factor that stands between them. Residential furniture does not have to stick to any specific rules as it is not exposed to constant use by different people. They are just present for visual pleasure unless used by a child or a pet, then only your furniture is at risk! 

4. Design

The designs of residential furniture aim to be stylish and are very varied. They are designed to keep up with the trend or be stylish. They can be ornamental, modern, or stark, too. Each individual has a different taste so residential furniture is designed in a range of designs so that people can easily pick their favorite. If the weather is good, you and your guest would prefer eating outside in the good weather so you need furniture according to that too. Furniture plays a major role in setting the mood and you probably don’t want to ruin that mood. The right patio furniture arrangement and setup will help in contributing to the design and style.

5. Industry Standards

Residential furniture does not have to stand by any specific coding unless you are buying it for a dorm room or a co-op area where items of certain types are not allowed. One thing should be kept in mind that purchasing quality furniture that meets strict standards is good for your home either.

Commercial vs Residential furniture

Below are the key differences between commercial and residential furniture:

Wood type

  • Commercial furniture is made from hardwood like oak, maple, beechwood which have 6-8% moisture content. 
  • Residential furniture is made from softwood like pine, rubberwood which have up to 12% moisture content.


  • Commercial furniture can last up to 3 years depending on the materials used. 
  • Residential furniture can last from 1 month to 12 months. 


  • Commercial furniture cannot be called cost-effective as it goes through several tests, the best material is used to make it durable, and it is made in a lot of time so by combining all of these factors commercial furniture becomes a little expensive.
  • Residential furniture on the other hand is provided at very reasonable costs so that everyone can style their homes at affordable rates. The cost might be calculated taking into consideration only the designing and styling factor. 


Not commercial furniture or residential furniture can be called the best because their use depends from person to person. If you require furniture for regular use then commercial furniture is best for you but if you require furniture for only showpieces then residential furniture is best for you. 

If you are looking for durability not style then again commercial furniture and vice versa. You should buy furniture according to your needs and do not hit furniture in any rush. Analyze all factors first, contact some of the leading brands like Keekea out there then buy the one that helped you in clearing your doubts and gave you some knowledge. Hope this blog cleared commercial vs residential furniture doubts. 

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