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What You Should Know about Contract Furniture

Not everyone is familiar with the term “contract furniture”. In fact, many of them are not sure what it means. This term has multiple connotations which are used in the commercial furniture industry and therefore often confused with one another. Furniture designed for commercial applications are normally tested and manufactured to specific quality standards which ensure personal safety, long lasting durability and sustainability. They are required to meet these criteria and when they do, they are more likely to support better productivity and minimize work-related injuries and accidents.

What is contract furniture?

Commercial furniture is also referred to as contract furniture and restaurant furniture in many cases. It is also hospitality furniture that is used for commercial purposes only. Restaurants, offices, hotels, schools, corporations and airports are some of the many top purchasers of contract furniture. They can range from sofas, chairs, to restaurant tables and even patio furniture.


Residential furniture differ from commercial grade furniture due to frequency of use and meeting compliance requirements. Crib 5 Regulation is imposed upon businesses, institutions and organizations. This regulation requires these entities to meet their fire safety standards, including fire-resistant upholstery materials used on the furniture. In contrast to residential/household furniture, contract furniture tends to be more expensive as high quality construction enables them to stand the test of time.

Contract and Retail Furniture Examples and Distinctions

Contract furniture is used in a variety of commercial environments. Almost every place we visit is furnished with contract furniture. We may even use contract furniture items without realizing that they are. Office furniture is one of many examples though contract furniture is a much broader term. Hospitality furniture and restaurant furniture are contract grade furniture as they are subjected to stringent testing and a certification process to meet industry standards. They are then manufactured and sold by distributors.


A common perception of such furnishings is that they are lacking in style depending on your décor and taste. Though they are suitable for retail use, they may or may not be contract either. Evidently, retail and contract furniture are often confused with one another. They both possess many similarities. When deciding between purchasing contract and retail furniture, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort, style, and design. However, contract furniture includes some perks that retail furniture may not have: wholesale prices, longer warranties, and customization options. Expertise of certified furniture suppliers is another bonus. For instance, buying a table base to fit with your table top from the same contract grade furniture manufacturer is guaranteed to fit into place.

Criteria for Contract Furniture

Built and manufactured for long-term commercial use is one of the most critical aspects of contract furniture. It therefore needs to be more durable and resistant than residential furniture as they will considerably deal with more wear and tear. When looking for contract furniture, assurance of lasting at least 5 years is highly recommended. Because commercial furniture is usually purchased in bulk, careful consideration must be given to the space and layout as well as how the furniture intends to be used. Budget, contract terms, design, style, color, adherence to safety regulations, maintenance and delivery requirements are other important elements to factor in when deciding on a contract furniture item to buy.

Distributors and Services

A contract furniture dealer plays an important role in providing informed and tailored solutions for the customer’s furnishing needs based on experience and knowledge of the product. Furnishing requirements, specifications, budget and goals vary by industry which the dealer should understand very well. Design on contract grade furniture prioritizes and emphasizes on durability. Retail furniture, on the other hand, does not focus on the ability to withstand rigors of usage in high traffic commercial establishments. Furniture designs in general strive to synch with motifs and tastes. Product development increasingly concentrates on ergonomics.


Economies of scale make contract furniture a better and more affordable product to have. As an online leading distributor of top quality commercial furniture, RestaurantFurniture.net aims to bring confidence and assurance to customers looking for the right seating solution for their venue. Our furniture is presented in a myriad of styles suitable for any décor and is built to comfort. Many of our chairs are featured with matching bar stools and tables to complete your décor with. We also deliver in customer service and ready to help you with your inquiries and floor layout plans at no additional charge. Talk to our experts at (800) 409-1115.