Contract vs domestic furniture


If you’ve been looking at the Mayfair Furniture website, the chances are that you’ll have seen the words ‘contract furniture, or ‘ commercial furniture’ dotted about, but what exactly does that mean?

Contract furniture explained

Commercial, (or contract) furniture is made specifically for commercial establishments.  This can be anything from chairs and tables in a restaurant, to sofas and mattresses in a hotel.

The term ‘Contract Furniture’ comes from the fact that in the ‘olde’ days, a formal contract was published stating that the furniture being supplied to a commercial establishment was made to a very high standard and was robust enough to withstand extended use in high traffic, commercial locations.

Today, the same sentiment about robust furniture is true, but more importantly, contract furniture is manufactured using materials that will pass three stringent fire safety tests, including Crib 5.

This also means that businesses won’t be having to spend money on replacing furniture unnecessarily, and they won’t be risking having to face stiff penalties for having furniture that doesn’t meet the UK fire safety standards.

Domestic furniture

Retail, or domestic furniture, is manufactured with lower amounts of usage in mind so it’s usually nowhere near as robust as contract furniture.  What’s more, it generally has only two fire safety regulations to pass (BS EN 597-1 – Smouldering cigarette test and BS EN 597-2 – Match test).

There’s a big difference between domestic and contract quality

In simple terms, contract furniture is stronger, more durable and less likely to catch fire than domestic furniture.  So, contract furniture can be used in a domestic home, but it is illegal to use domestic furniture in a commercial setting.

Of course, you’d expect all this extra durability and added fire safety to come with a bigger price tag on contract furniture than on everyday household furniture, but because Mayfair Furniture often buys in bulk directly from the manufacturers, prices are surprisingly affordable.