As the name suggests, commercial furniture is designed and made for commercial settings like offices, restaurants, lobbies etc. Contract furniture is manufactured or supplied for a specific contract; it is a much broader term. However, for a layman the terms contract furniture and commercial furniture are often used interchangeably.
A very basic definition of contract furniture is furniture not intended for residential use. There are varying degrees of quality and many different types of contract furniture. The styles and quality can range from strictly utilitarian to an appearance of high-end residential design (albeit designated for luxury hotels and restaurants). To an untrained eye, high-end contact furniture may appear to be made for residential homes, but because of the design engineering and the materials used, contract furniture is more durable and suited to the heavy demands of a commercial setting.
All commercial furniture, if selected for a particular contract, is considered to be contract furniture and all contract furniture bought for commercial purposes is considered commercial furniture. The line differentiating them is very thin. One basic difference between the two is that the contract furniture is designed for maximum durability and can be expected to have a longer lifespan.
The distinctions are even more blurred between residential and commercial furniture. While designed to suit a commercial application, commercial furniture is often found in residential settings. Often times, the only difference between residential and commercial furniture is that they have different uses. Stacking chairs, tables, desks, bar stools, outdoor seating, table and stools are a few examples of commercial furniture.
There are a few things that you need to consider and clarify with your supplier before ordering any contract furniture:
1.Material- Information about the material used in the manufacturing will give an in-depth understanding of the durability and also help you understand the true value of the piece.
2.Design Understanding whether the design is generic, custom or unique will make you aware of the true cost of the product. In some cases, unique designs will be most costly and generic designs will be least expensive. This is not always true and this should be emphasized- especially when working directly with a custom furniture manufacturer. Bypassing distributors and working directly with a manufacturer often leads to significant cost savings.
3.Maintenance – How will the furniture need to be cleaned and maintained? Will it be easy to procure the spare parts, etc.? What are the projected maintenance expenses? All of these issues will affect your bottom-line.
4.Methods- What methods are employed in manufacturing of the products? Can you be assured that the supplier adhering to all international standards?
5.Who will deliver the commercial furniture to the final destination? How will the furniture be installed?
6.Payment methods need to be agreed upon and finalized before placing an order.
Carefully consider all of these factors and select a manufacturer or supplier who will be appropriate for your project. The main objective is for all contract furniture to meet or exceed your requirements and add value to your commercial activity.