What Should You Look for in Folding Tables and Chairs?
It may seem easy to pick out a folding table, but you’d be surprised how many considerations there are. One folding table is not the same as any other. Durability should be among your primary concerns. For example, a particleboard folding table is probably only going to last you a single year. On the other hand, a good ABS table will cost four times as much but last 10 to 15 times longer.
While durability is most often expressed as the most important feature, there are additional aspects to take into consideration when choosing a folding table. Here’s a comprehensive list:
* Table weight—Take into account the strength of all your volunteers who will help set up tables, not just the very strongest ones. You don’t want anyone straining their back or becoming otherwise injured by lifting tables.
* Leg attachment method—A sturdy leg mechanism should be bolted to the underside of the table, not attached by wood screws. You’ll be constantly folding and unfolding the legs, and you want to be sure that the legs will hold up under such use.
* Edge and corner construction—You never thought about this one, did you? A heavy-duty edge will help preserve the table. Corner construction of rectangular tables should be impact-resistant to prevent damage from being dropped accidentally.
* Ease of maintenance—If a table needs sanding or refinishing, forget about it. The table you choose should be able to resist stains, withstand contact with hot objects and remain easy to clean.
* Reliability testing—A good table will have been put through rigorous testing protocols, which ensures durability and lower cost of ownership over time.
* Cart options—You may require unique storage and cart needs. Consider the width of your doorways and storage areas and look at a supplier with a variety of cart options to help you get the most efficient use of your facility.
* Duration and depth of warranty—Reputable manufacturers back up their product with a solid warranty over a considerable length of time of at least 3 to 15 years or more depending on table style.
* Breadth of line—To pull off the variety of events demanded of today’s leading venues, a wide variety of shapes and sizes are required, from adjustable height cocktail tables to varying widths and lengths of rectangular tables, and to specialty half and quarter rounds. Sometimes the right table for the right application may be a completely different style and construction from the meeting room to the ballroom or banquet area.
Now, what about chairs? A folding chair isn’t just a chair. It’s a way to facilitate getting people together. It could be a finely fashioned piece of engineering, designed to provide a perch for your posterior. So, how do you tell the difference between the good chairs and the ones that just don’t sit right?
The most important considerations are comfort and durability. You should be able to sit in a chair for a long period of time without falling victim to painful pressure points. You should also be able to count on your chairs for many years of events before having to think about replacement.
Another consideration is safety. Quality folding chairs are built to support high static loads of 500 pounds or more without failure. All folding chairs have potential pinch points due to the folding mechanism. Look for robust chair designs that allow the chair to only fold when tearing down an event for storage. The use of ganging mechanisms for large events keep rows of chairs connected, preventing accidental folding when in-use and are required for fire-code for commercial institutions in most states.
Your final consideration should be storage. Many of today’s facilities are designed to maximize revenue generating square footage. Much to the dismay of facility operators, storage areas almost always take a back seat. Folding chairs by nature are one of the most efficient seating options when it comes to storage, but not all folding chairs are created equal. Look for folding chairs that fold densely together, have indexing features to minimize movement when stacked or nested together, and look for manufacturers that provide a variety of cart options that work well with the widths and heights of your doorways and storage areas.
This information is courtesy of MityLite, www.mitylite.com.