The interior environment of a classroom plays an important role in the overall learning experience of the students. In fact, some researchers have considered the physical environment of the classroom as the students’ “third teacher.” This is why it’s extremely necessary for schools to invest in durable school furniture with excellent quality.
The choice of school furniture is a critical decision that all educators must take into consideration, not only for the comfort of the students but for their safety as well. But what makes school furniture durable? Read on to find out.
How to Tell the Durability of School Furniture
Durability is a major consideration when buying school furniture, especially if they are to be used by young and active kids. Furthermore, if you choose to invest in durable school furniture, you can minimize the expense needed for constant repair and replacements. So here’s how to tell if the furniture is durable.
- Excellent finish – the number one sign that certain furniture is cheaply made is its finish. Whether it is the feel or touch of the fabric, sheen or color of the wood stain, or the patina of a metal. Therefore, when buying school furniture, take time to inspect the furniture closely so you can determine if it has an excellent finish.
- High-quality material – sometimes, you could be lucky enough to end up buying high quality but inexpensive school furniture. But take note that cheap furniture means cheap quality. Having a small knowledge of the different materials used for making durable school furniture can help you in making the right decision. High-quality school furniture is generally made from solid hardwood and the joints are integrated within frame components. Moreover, the parts are often reinforced using screws and glue. One of the best places to find school furniture with excellent quality is Office Plus. As for the upholstery and fabric, they should be made from natural fibre fabrics such as wool, cotton, and linen.
- Handcrafted furniture – handcrafted furniture may be more expensive, but they are highly durable. These furniture pieces are often made with utmost care and attention to detail, unlike the mass-produced pieces. Handcrafted school furniture is guaranteed to last for a long time and they are usually more refined, which enhances the look and feel of the classroom interior.
- Weight – when shopping for furniture, weight can be an important factor in determining the furniture’s durability. For instance, if you’re buying a desk that’s made from cast iron, yet the desk is unexpectedly light, there’s a good chance that it’s made from counterfeit materials. But remember that heavier does not necessarily mean better. Generally, something that is made of wood should not be too light and not too heavy as well.
Aside from the tips above, another way to determine the durability of the school furniture is to test it. For instance, if you’re buying seating furniture that the students will lounge upon, the easiest way to figure out its quality is to have someone to sit on it. If you are buying a desk, shelving, or a table, try to put some weight on the furniture and try to wiggle it. See if it can hold up well under pressure.
Aside from the durability, there are other important factors to consider when buying school furniture. Here are some of them.
- Mobility and functionality – today’s collaborative learning atmosphere require that school furniture has to be rearranged in order to keep up with the school’s diverse teaching styles. Some school facilities are now constructed with no built-in furniture. In this case, school furniture that has more than one use would be a great investment. Examples are rectangular tables that are lightweight and can be easily reconfigured and arranged in rows for lectures, group workshops, etc.
- Appropriate sizing – kids are not miniature adults, thus, their furniture should be something that’s appropriate for them. The rise of musculoskeletal disorders among students means that more attention is needed when it comes to choosing the furniture that is appropriate for their body size. Seat heights must be suitable to the student’s age. Seats that come with adjustable seating, which can be altered quickly for the height and position is perfect for workstations and classrooms.
- Safety – safety is very important when buying furniture to be used by the students, especially small kids. When buying chairs or desks, make sure they are stable enough. The chairs should not tip back easily and the shelves should not pinch. If there are certain parts that are moving, they should be lightweight and easy for the kids to maneuver. That way, hands or fingers will not get stuck.
- Health standards – the construction of the school furniture must meet the health standards set for low-level VOC (Volatile Organic Compound). You will find that some school furniture comes with green certifications, which means that they are constructed without any formaldehyde, a type of substance that’s harmful to the kids’ health.
- Support – when looking for a furniture manufacturer, choose the company that can provide you with excellent customer support. They should be able to attend to the schedule you set, especially in terms of delivery and installation options. Above all, they should be able to offer after-sales service and support. Smaller furniture companies usually have limited quantities of school furniture and often have long lead times that may not fit within your time frame.
Remember that classroom furniture plays an important role in how well the students can perform in school. If the kids are not comfortable with the chair they are seating on or the desk they are using, you cannot expect them to concentrate in lectures or participate in class discussions.
Whether you are building a new school or you simply want to upgrade your existing school furniture, the tips above should be helpful in choosing the right school furniture to invest in. Before you start shopping for school furniture, take time to decide what you really want. This should help in narrowing down your options especially since there are so many furniture manufacturers nowadays. Knowing what you want beforehand can also help to minimize the hassle and stress that comes with buying new sets of school furniture.