The Pros and Cons of Wooden and Plastic Chairs for Your Commercial Space?

Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right chairs for your commercial space. Whether you’re creating comfortable seating for a restaurant, lounge, or bar, the right chairs can make or break the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve.

Though there are a variety of materials available to commercial owners, we’re often asked our preference between two materials—wood or plastic. At the risk of sounding like a parent who assures people they love both children equally, this really is an impossible decision for us to make. The right answer for you may not be the right answer for the next entrepreneur. What you choose will depend, in large part, upon your budget, design style, and space.

But, in an effort to provide a little clarity, we’ve created a list of pros and cons for both plastic and wood commercial chairs in the hopes this information will help you make the right choice for your business. Let’s dive in!

Wooden Chairs

Pros

Wood chairs can suit a variety of aesthetics, from strong and rustic to delicate and classy. Regardless of your design preference, wooden chairs add an organic element to the décor and create a warm and welcoming ambiance.

Oak, teak, and pine woods are often used for commercial chairs and can be stained to blend seamlessly with and complement any décor. Most wooden commercial chairs are designed to withstand high use and the constant wear and tear that results from being in a commercial space. Another pro—they’ve often been treated with special protective finishes that make them resistant to the spills and stains that can ruin non-commercial wooden chairs.

If you are using wooden chairs outdoors, you won’t have to worry about them getting too hot or cold when compared to plastic or metal seating options.

Wooden chairs are incredibly durable and long lasting, so you can rest easy knowing your patrons will enjoy stylish seating for years to come.

Cons

There’s no two ways around it—wooden chairs will likely cost more than their plastic counterparts. They may also require more maintenance (i.e., polishing) to maintain their lovely appearance.

If you opt for painted wood, chipping will likely become a problem at some point, forcing you to make regular touch ups to keep them from looking worn.

If you’re going to be using your wooden chairs on an outdoor patio, you’ll need to do your homework regarding the type of wood you purchase. Certain varieties will not fare well if exposed to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.

If you purchased commercial wooden chairs that were not treated to resist moisture, there is a chance you’ll notice warping, cracking, or discoloration over time.

A final con—wood chairs tend to be heavier than plastics and can be harder to stack without scratching. If you enjoy regularly changing the layout of your tables, you may want to avoid wooden chairs, or pass by the oak seating and opt for a light-weight version.

Plastic Chairs

Pros

Plastic chairs are often chosen for their durability since you don’t have to worry about them drying out, cracking, or warping when exposed to heat or moisture.

Plastic chairs are remarkably sturdy and require little to no regular maintenance. A quick wash with a commercial cleaner is all that is required to keep them in tip top shape. Plastic chairs are also remarkably lightweight, which makes changing up the arrangement of tables and chairs in your space infinitely easier.

If you want to explore a variety of styles and color options, you’ll love what is waiting for you in the world of plastic chairs, as they can be created in an endless number of styles and shades. Regardless of the design style of your business, you can rest easy knowing the perfect chair for your space can be made from plastics.

Finally, plastic chairs offer you an economical way to make a big impact on your space. They are perfect for the new entrepreneur who doesn’t have the budget for wooden chairs, or the seasoned professional who prefers to spend their hard-earned money on other design elements.

Cons

Not all plastics are created to the same standard. It is important to do your research before making a purchase. Ask what the weight limit is on chairs and make sure they can withstand commercial use (this is not the time to buy low-cost chairs in bulk from your local big box store).

If you live in an area where high winds are an issue, make sure the furniture you’re purchasing is heavy enough to withstand strong gusts.

Some owners hesitate to use plastic chairs for fear they will look cheap. Again, do your due diligence and find a commercial retailer who offers a wide variety in plastic chair options.

At the end of the day, the right choice for you will depend on your budget and needs. Don’t listen to the “influencers” telling you what chair option is a must have for 2021. You are the one making the purchase. You are the one who will have to look at your selection for the foreseeable future. No one knows your business the way you do…so, go with your gut and make the choice that’s going to compliment your brand. You’ll be happier in the long run if you do, we guarantee it!

Thanks for reading,
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