What is Contract Furniture?

What is Contract Furniture?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 furnishing that a commercial business may require on business premises.

Who uses it?

Contract furniture is necessary for all commercial entities to use. This is due to the fire regulation Crib 5 (BS7177) this regulation is imposed on commercial companies who are expected to be using Contract furniture.  This is why any furniture that is used for commercial use will be Contract Furniture and will be required to be 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 materials and fabrics used in Contract Furniture or fabrics used for things such as carpets or curtains. These materials can be of course useful in a commercial sense, but there is nothing stopping them being used at home if you are looking for particularly rugged materials. Contract fabrics can come in much more unique patterns and colours that may not be available from public retail. They can be used in the home if you need something more durable for the home.  Contract furniture is less likely to be used in a domestic environment as generally Contract furniture prioritises durability over comfort so in some cases may not be as comfortable as the domestic equivalent.

Why is it used?

There a few key reasons why Contract furniture is used over publicly available furniture.  One of which is due to the quality standards expected from the furniture. In most cases Contract furniture is to be used very frequently in its lifetime, much more so than any home furnishings. This means it needs to be of a much higher quality to meet the demands required of it, this means  companies won’t be spending money replacing furniture unnecessarily. In most cases there is a guaranteed warranty on the product of a minimum of 5 years or more meaning that the furniture will be durable enough to last continued heavy usage.

Not only must it have certain levels of durability but Contract furniture must also meet a certain set of health and safety standards which is one of the key differences between domestic furniture and Contract Furniture.

The construction of Contract furniture has to be of very high quality using very durable materials. This also means that contract furniture is more expensive than standard furniture due to its improved 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 the government legislation. Using Contract furniture will mean the businesses can be sure that they are using legally compliant furniture and they will not face prosecution should there be a fire. This does not mean that the furniture is resistant to far however, although Flame-retardant materials are typically chosen for Contract Furniture where possible.

Finally the designs available from Contract Furniture can be much broader than public retail. A lot of Contract furniture designed for commercial spaces its design can be much more modern and can be made in a much larger range of colours and designs allowing for a unique look to the furniture in a commercial space.

That completes this quick guide on Contract furniture and should help to clear up what Contract Furniture is and the reasons it is commercially used.

Ed Sloane is the MD of TubChairs, online retailer and supplier of high quality furniture and contract tub chairs. Visit their website for further informations.

Editorial Team
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