Caring for and correctly maintaining your furniture could and should add years to its life. First off, it is absolutely vital to identify the surface finish before deciding on what techniques and products to use to clean and maintain your furniture – a hard lacquer may require a different approach to a sealed surface, for instance.
Looking after furniture also requires a positive approach; problems should be addressed immediately and furniture should be kept clean – a regular wipe tends to be better than an occasional scrub.
Caring for seating and tables means avoiding damage. It may be time consuming setting out regular cleaning schedules, but it will save you money on replacement furniture & repairs and it will keep your venue looking on top of its game for longer which has its own implications for customer footfall.
Here is a list, compiled from our experience, of the 17 most common causes of furniture damage. Tackle these to improve the lifespan of your contract furniture.
The most common causes of indoor contract furniture damage
- Chairs falling off tables usually during floor cleaning
- Screws coming loose
- Abrasive cleaning cloths or abrasive cleaning compounds scratching surfaces
- Tables being lifted by their tops leaving the table base unsupported causing fixing plates to come away
- Furniture being dragged across an uneven floor
- Chairs (and tables) being stacked when they are not designed to be stacked
- Table tops being etched by spills of acidic liquids, particularly wine
- Furniture being cleaned with aggressive sanitiser sprays (some of which can damage surfaces)
- Wooden furniture being subjected to abrupt fluctuations in temperature or excessive levels of humidity
- Wooden table tops with inlays or metal edging being damaged by rough handling
The most common causes of outdoor contract furniture damage
- Indoor furniture being used outdoors
- Furniture rapidly ageing by being left unprotected for too long
- Salt in the air corroding metal items (clearly this applies particularly in coastal environments or aboard ships)
- Sunlight causing colour bleaching, particularly of vibrant colours
- Furniture being blown over
- Water being left to sit on furniture, causing a stain
- Footrests on stools being used as ladders, causing them to bend or snap
The importance of chair glides
Chair glides, the pads often fixed to the bottom of chair legs, which are typically plastic or felt do wear over time and normally need replacing after two years of contract use. Nonetheless we recommend inspecting their condition every six months. If replacement glides are needed we can provide these free of charge.
Some glides need to be nailed or snapped in and others screwed; make sure not to over-fasten the screw glides as this may strip the screw-hole and inhibit future use. Also pay attention to the floor under your chairs; if the floor is getting scratched, hard glides may be replaced with softer felt versions.
Free Furniture Care & Maintenance Guide
Get more from your contract furniture by caring for it properly. Download our Furniture Care & Maintenance Guide to learn how to make your furniture last longer in a hospitality space.