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Commercial Grade Furniture and Residential Furniture Insights and Guides

Commercial metal bar stools

As a commercial business owner, you should always remember the importance of your front of house, because this is the only thing besides your food and service that influences how customers perceive your brand. Your restaurant's furniture and interior design reflects your brand and style. You cannot afford to compromise on quality when it comes to the furniture you buy. Worn out furniture will leave your customers displeased and unimpressed, meaning that your food will need to be amazing to counteract the bad first impression created by a sub par seating. When you decide to furnish your restaurant you may look at items that seem identical and base your choice solely on price but that's why making the distinction between residential and commercial grade furniture is so important.

Residential vs. Commercial Indoor Furniture

Interior design is commonly associated with residential designers that specifically concentrate on space planning and design for a home or any personalized space. However, commercial interior design, also referred to as contract design, has a niche of interior design for space planning as well. Such specialized interior designers plan spaces for hotels, restaurants, corporations, gyms, hospitals, medical facilities, and schools in the most adroit and meticulous way.

Indoor Use Commercial Grade Furniture

Before making your purchases, you first need to learn about the type of furniture, the manufacturing process, and the product itself. Commercial furniture is known for its high durability and ability to resist against wear and tear from constant usage for long periods of time. Because of its longevity, superior construction, and professional appearance, owners of commercial spaces have strong preferences for commercial grade furniture.

1. Quality

Quality in furniture is an important business aspect to commercial environments with high foot traffic. Functionality, durability and style define the quality of furniture. For instance, various hardwoods are used for the wood seating components, assembled together with Mortise & Tenon jointing which guarantee lasting strength and durability. High density foam padding, premium vinyl and stain resistant fabrics are offered in a variety of colors for the padded seating.

In comparison, furniture for residential use doesn’t need to withstand high levels of daily use and abuse as they are used to serve mainly one family and occasional visitors. While the furniture is made to last, it’s not as strong, durable and easy to maintain when compared to commercial furniture.

2. Design

Furniture designed for commercial spaces are often crafted with heavy use in mind. Because commercial furniture is meant to last at least for 10 years, the furniture designs have smaller variations. They are typically more neutral in design as they need to be fluid enough to adapt to different interior design trends. Customization options are available for most commercial furniture though allowing you to choose color options and upholstery.

In Contrast, designs on residential furniture are extremely varied and aim to be stylish, follow the most current trends or be as classy as the home owner wants them to be. They can be highly ornamental or stark and modern. There are countless designs to fit each and every individual taste.

3. Durability

Though commercial and residential furniture items may look similar, durability stands in between them. However, commercial furniture must be built to meet durability standards for the rigorous demands in the food service and hospitality industry. Items made from metal are finished in a protective powder coat that stands against rusting, flaking, and scratches. Fabric or other materials used as upholstery for the restaurant seating should be fire retardant and stain resistant.

Residential furniture doesn’t necessarily have to adhere to any specific coding or regulations and are mainly bought for their visual appeal. This is not to say all residential furniture is flimsy or unsafe but it certainly be outlasted by its commercial grade counterpart.

Residential vs. Commercial Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor Use Commercial Grade Furniture

Whether commercial or residential, most people look for the same characteristics they value in furniture for indoor use when they evaluate outdoor furniture. They look for quality, durability, style, comfort, and of course affordability. The only difference is patio furniture is built to endure exposure to harsh weather elements. Just as it is for indoor commercial and residential furniture, there are big differences for residential and commercial grade outdoor furniture based on how their construction and the materials used.

1. Materials

In areas with frequent rainstorms or intense humidity, patio furniture made from aluminum is your best option as they are resistant to water-based damages. In temperate climates you can opt for commercial grade steel or iron outdoor furniture which is protected by a powder-coat finish that prevents rusting and discoloration. Tempered glass, plastic teak and resin are often used outdoors as they are resistant to temperature changes.

With the look of teak wood without the upkeep, plastic teak is quickly becoming the popular choice as it is lightweight, long lasting, eco-friendly, low maintenance and waterproof. Resin table tops don’t require painting or sealing. They natural maintain their vibrancy and won’t easily fade, crack, rot or peel. They are also fire retardant and stand against extreme temperatures.

2. Design

When the weather permits, a lot of guests like to dine outdoors. A restaurant patio design can help set the mood and create an outdoor oasis. The right patio furniture setup and arrangement can significantly contribute to the design. Plastic teak tables and chairs with contrasting aluminum frames lend a vacation vibe that make guests feel relaxed. Aluminum bamboo rattan chairs paired with a resin table with a light marble finish create the allure of an outdoor Parisian sidewalk cafe.

A rooftop bar or outdoor lounge can be a perfect spot for pure relaxation and for hosting elegant happy hours with dim romantic outdoor lighting, scenic views and faux wicker bar stools accompanied with matching cushioned chairs. There are even beach style metal chairs that will allow your guests to feel like they are on vacation.

3. Durability

Materials used for commercial outdoor furniture last for years under ideal conditions and occasional maintenance whereas outdoor furniture geared towards residential use need to be replaced every couple of seasons, especially when exposed to inclement weather. Most patio furniture items can withstand a myriad of elements for a lifetime and still look as good as new since the day they were purchased. Usage is another important variable that relates to durability.

Residential patio tables have less wear and tear because they are not used as often as outdoor furniture seen at restaurant patios or by the poolside at popular hotels and resorts. Restaurant outdoor chairs and bar stools feature a support bar underneath to ensure optimal strength. Overall, materials used for commercial patio furniture are more durable.
For more information on our variety of restaurant furniture we recommend you browse through our extensive guides section or speak with a customer service agent for further assistance.