What really is ‘contract quality’?
Around 40% of furniture used in a contract environment isn’t contract quality. The term ‘contract quality’ is used by companies who usually don’t know the true meaning of it. It is essentially being used as a marketing term to sell products to a wider market.
Products are being designed with planned obsolescence in mind – this means a product has been designed with an artificially limited useful life, so it won’t be functional after a certain period of time. Basically it’s been purposely designed to break at some point, which forces you to return to buy more!
Whilst products may look the same… how they’re made and what they’re made out of might be completely different. Cheap Chinese imports are a prime example of this.
Design is so important that we often sacrifice durability to get the look that the client wants. Online furniture shops like Made, Wayfair and Swoon often set the trend when it comes to furniture design, but their products are not contract quality.
The furniture range at UHS Group is put through a state of the art testing facility in Oxfordshire called “RIGA”. As well as the British standard tests, RIGA has also developed additional tests to ensure UHS products are suitable for the hospitality environment.
How to prove its contract quality?
Simply ask them what makes it contract quality. If it’s got a product guarantee or passed a standardised test like RIGA, BIFMA or FIRA you have every right to ask for the certificate to prove it. Key tests to look out for include:
BS EN 1022:2005 Seating Stability
BS EN 16136 Safety Strength & Durability
Buy sensibly and do your due diligence as it can save you a lot of money on repairs or replacements.
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