Metal furniture is steadily growing in popularity.It is popping up in project specifications and contract design trade publications. But why? It turns out there are several valid reasons why metal furniture is increasing in popularity for group living environments.
Here are the top three:
- IT IS DURABLE. Both wood and metal furniture have had their place in the history of furniture design. Both offer durability and can stand the test of time. But, metal is showing its might as a work horse of the contract furniture market. Metal furniture is relatively lightweight but has a practically impenetrable surface. Metal surfaces can show ink marks or scratches so some facilities prefer laminate tops on metal case goods to provide a more scratch and dent resistant top. Metal finishes can be spot repaired so over time surfaces can be preserved to look pristine even when used heavily.
- IT IS EASY TO CLEAN. When heavy cleaning agents or pesticide treatments are a must, metal furniture surfaces can be less absorbent than wood surfaces allowing for less harmful residues. In some facilities that have to face bed bugs or other pests, metal is an easy surface to treat and clean of pesticides. While there is no evidence that metal is less attractive than wood to bed bugs and other pests, there can be fewer hiding places in soldered metal joints. But, a hiding place is a hiding place and bed bugs or other tiny pests will not discriminate and can find dark, cozy hiding spots in any piece of furniture – wood or metal. Caulking and other sealants are effective ways to seal seams and joints in any piece of furniture that will help deter pest nesting.
- IT IS ATTRACTIVE. Metal furniture can be basic like metal beds and case goods, but metal can also be highly re-configurable and gives rise to endless possibilities for space planning. For example, metal loft beds can be positioned at heights that can accommodate storage and work areas underneath. As needs change, the bed and accessories can be reconfigured to lower or higher points to meet current residents’ needs. Additionally, metal can be finished in a variety of colors from natural colors to bold, primary colors. Metal finishes can be customized to easily match an overall color-scheme and can match team or community color preferences. Chrome finishes used in mixed material designs in upholstered seating and dining or occasional tables provide high-end looks and will stand the test of time.
When considering adding metal furniture to your facility design, it is important to understand what metal furniture does (and does not) do. Metal can be used as a complement to wood furniture or can be a substitute for wood furniture. Regardless of why you may be thinking about metal, always consult with a contract furniture expert to get all the information you need to make the right choice.