Maintaining furniture in a school is an ongoing challenge. Everyday heavy usage within schools and colleges calls for quality school furniture that will withstand rough treatment and last for as long as you need them to.
Choosing good quality, fit-for-purpose furniture isn’t difficult when you know how! We have compiled a list of a few things that you need to check:Always make sure that your furniture is BS EN1729 approved.
Establish whether or not your manufacturer has invested in product testing. If the furniture has withstood various tests, you can be confident that it will last in your school environment. The two tests to look for are SATRA and FIRA .
Check the number of fixings used. For example, if a table top is only held to the frame by 4 bolts it is going to be less durable that one with 8 bolts.Take a look at the welding on table legs etc –check that this is neat and well finished.If a classroom table has adjustable feet, this is a good sign of quality furniture as the manufacturer has not cut corners.
Check edging on tables and storage. A good quality edging will be at least 2mm impact resistant edging. If there is no edging strip, then check for a rounded edge as this will be safer for children.
Ask your furniture supplier about the materials from which your furniture is constructed. Are your table tops Solid Grade Laminate (SGL), High Pressure Laminate (HPL), Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC) or Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF). The most durable surface constructions are Solid Grade Laminate and High Pressure Laminate. MFC and MDF tables are less durable, but if well-built, can still last well in your school environmentIf your furniture is a solid wood or veneered item, check the smoothness of the wood surface. A smoother surface will mean that it has been better prepared and will have more coats of lacquer. This will not only feel better, but will also be more hardwearing.
Always check for guarantees. Any furniture manufacturer that has confidence in their products will guarantee their furniture for a minimum of 5 years.
Make sure that you are installing good quality school furniture in your learning environments. Choose products that are the best value for money, and remember that these are not necessarily the ones with the cheapest price tag.
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