Fun facts on furniture material

Published on 10/11/2016

Organisations often base their office furniture purchasing decisions on the physical appearance of products. However, it would be a sensible idea to go beyond this and get a better understanding of the actual materials that are being used to construct such items.

You don’t have to become an interior design expert but it would cause no harm to have a substantial amount of knowledge on the subject before placing any orders for your office space. Advancing your own knowledge combined with seeking expert advice from interior design specialists, would undoubtedly lead to you choosing the best type of furniture for your workplace.

Nowadays the typical materials used to build trendy looking contemporary office furniture include melamine faced chipboard (MFC), glass, wood-veneers, laminates & high density polyurethane. Below are a range of fun must know facts about these listed materials that you may find interesting to know more about.

Fact 1: Melamine faced chipboard (MFC) is found to be the preferred choice of furniture material for the education environment:

As the schools & collages are surrounded with energetic students, it becomes increasingly important to think carefully about the furniture that is used in this type of setting. The safest option would be to go for furniture which is greatly strong and durable to avoid any hazards from taking place. It wouldn’t make financial sense to go for low-quality, weaker goods that would break after a short period of time.

It has been found that due to melamine faced chipboard (MFC) being eco-friendlier and generally stronger compared to medium density fibreboard (MDF) and many other popular furniture materials this is preferred to be used for educational furniture.

In fact, past findings have shown that MDF contains formaldehyde, an organic compound that has been associated with several types of cancer in humans. This is not the case with MFC. It’s important to keep this in mind for schools because if any of the MDF type of furniture is damaged then this would lead to a higher chance for formaldehyde to be released in the air. This would in turn expose thousands of students at risk, which is why it’s extremely important to choose the safest type of furniture in order to avoid such unsafe situations.


Fact 2: Wood veneer is eco-friendly material and can be easily recycled comparatively to the other materials

We often pay attention to the economic benefits office furniture materials provide us with instead of the eco-friendly factors. In reality however, it’s just as important to take the eco-friendly factors on board as it is the economic factors in the production process.

Past research illustrates using wood veneer is a more ecologically friendly alternative to use by comparison to solid hardwoods. This is because less natural wood is used in production by comparison. Instead, only very thin slices of wood are used from a tree log, which causes an increasingly reduced level of destruction to the environment. This is also a great way for wood veneer products to look greatly distinctive, modern and top of the range which is always a bonus for consumers.


Fact 3: Glass materials were popular then and are popular now

It’s still quite common for several offices across the globe to still be investing in glass tables & glass desks in various areas of the business. It’s evidently still fashionable to use this type of furniture as it was many decades ago. One of the key reasons for this could be due to the fact that it gives he illusion of space. This is because it’s transparency doesn’t block the views behind it and goes well with other materials that accompany the glass furniture like wood or marble.

According to historical data, glass coffee tables were first introduced in the Victorian era. During this time the base of these coffee tables would normally be formed of wood and the surface of the would be made out of glass. Some findings have interestingly also shown that the existence of coffee tables actually became most prevalent in the 1950s. This is the period when people started to firmly believe that coffee tables as seen on television were essential living room furniture items.


Fact 4: Laminate materials promotes cleanliness and prevents any form of allergies from occurring

Laminate materials, which are widely used for flooring purposes require minimal level of maintenance and are one of the easiest to clean compared to many other materials. This would be an ideal solution for fast-paced businesses that have a limited amount of time to keep up with office furniture maintenance for items like office cupboards that may be getting dirty on a regular basis. All you would simply need to use is a vacuum and sometimes a dust-mop to clean this type of material.

Past research has even demonstrated that laminate type of flooring is hypoallergenic and they’re guaranteed not to collect dust. On the other hand, dust accumulates in carpet fibres, which can be a health hazard for people with allergies. This is crucial to keep in mind especially in an office environment which is filled with a wide range of business professionals.


Fact 5: Polyurethane (PU) Material is also extensively used in the automotive industry

Unlike many other materials polyurethane (PU) is used in a diverse set of industries ranging from furnishings, apparel to automotive. In fact, they help reduce the weight in cars, increase fuel economy while providing comfort, safety and provide excellent resistance to weathering to a variety of vehicles.

According to some facts and figures, a typical medium sized car of 1,000 kg total weight consists of 100 kg of plastics, of which about 15 kg are Polyurethane (PU). Car manufacturers understand that, by selecting PU they can greatly improve the quality, safety & cost-effectiveness of modern vehicles. They can also at the same time increase their technical, environmental and economic performance, making it a very beneficial type of material to make use of.

To sum up:

Majority of the time, it’s helpful not to just focus on the physical appearance of office furniture products but to also acquire a better understanding of the functionality of these goods. By knowing some of the popular facts and figures that are associated with the materials used in such items, we’re immediately a step closer to expanding our knowledge for these products. It’s absolutely true when they say knowledge is power, so why not become one of the most powerful leaders in your industry by knowing more about the products you sell? 


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