What Exactly Is Commercial Cafe Furniture Anyway?

what-is-commercial-furnitureHere at Cafe Furniture Brisbane our sales team are often asked about the difference between residential and commercial furniture. After all a chair is a chair and a table is a table. This is irrespective of whether you buy it from a bricks and mortar furniture showroom or a commercial retailer right? Unfortunately that line of thinking is incorrect for a number of reasons. Let’s take a closer look.

How often do you sit on your kitchen or dining room chairs at home? If you’re like the vast majority of people the answer is probably less than 2 hours a day. Now contrast that to cafe’s, bars, and restaurants where that particular chair is continually in use for anything up to 12-14 hours a day. It’s understandable therefore that getting 6-7 times more use per day than your typical residential chair means that it’s subjected to far more stress.

In addition your chair at home is used by the same people all the time. Whereas in any given day a typical cafe chair can be used by a multitude of people of differing shapes and sizes. For this reason very few residential chairs are built to accommodate weight of up to 160kgs (350lbs). Whereas commercial grade furniture is; and some are built to accommodate even more weight.

Can you tell the difference?

Most people assume that they can tell the difference between commercial-grade and residential furniture simply by looking at them, but the truth is that it has nothing to do with aesthetics. In fact in these days of advanced technology, modern day commercial furniture can appear incredibly design-led and inspiring. Instead the difference lies in the construction. It’s about the materials; it’s about how the piece is bolted, glued, riveted together; and it’s about how practical the furniture is. For example a heavily lacquered real teak wood table looks great, but in a commercial setting it probably wouldn’t last 5 minutes. Spills would cause stains in the lacquer and heat from endless cups of coffee would cause it to bubble. On the contrary commercial cafe furniture might incorporate hard-pressed laminate which can also be made to look like real wood, but at the same time has been treated to prevent warping, buckling, and bubbling.

Longevity vs price

Although commercial-grade furniture can (but not always) cost more than residential furniture it’s worth considering the longevity factor. As we mentioned at the start of this post commercial furniture can easily accommodate 6-7 times more wear and tear than residential furniture, yet it might only be 1.5 to 2 times the price. So in the long term, if you want to save money then you really should consider commercial-grade furniture for your establishment.

If you’re in the market for high quality commercial cafe furniture at great prices then look no further than Cafe Furniture Brisbane. We have over 400 products ranging from Tolix inspired bar stools, rustic ladder-back chairs and sumptuous tub-chairs, through to state-of-the-art polypropylene chairs and fantastic Isotop tables. So why not log on and take a closer look. In addition our highly experienced team are here to answer any questions you may have about our products, so feel free to call them on 07 3205 1616 today.

We Love The Rustic Trend and Why You Should Too

cargo-darkWant a look for your cafe that oozes simplicity and understated elegance? Something that’s easy to pair with other decors? Organic and relaxed? Then an industrial theme is just right for you.

Splashed across pinterest, showcased in weddings, and featured in home magazines, the industrial theme is still going strong in 2016 and showing no signs of abatement. But what has caused this unfaltering trend?


As a culture Australians are obsessed with authenticity and we love to see genuine, honest, heart felt labour, turned into a thing of beauty. Showcasing wear and tear, cracks and dents, timber and steel embody this trend. So what does this mean exactly for your cafe?

Within the last 10 to 12 years cafe goers have seen a rise in local produce, fair trade, and sustainability, with cafe owners making use of these distinctions to set them apart from their competition. Customers are more likely to trust these establishments that do things in their own original way. The key is to make your cafe stand out from the others in your neighbourhood and if you can get your customers to embrace your particular mission, it will set you apart from your competition. It’s this desire for authenticity that signalled the start of the rustic industrial trend since the originality of a cafe’s interior is just as important as the food and drinks that are being serving.

Raw Aesthetics

One feature which ties cafe interiors into this look is that of craftmanship being very much in evidence. The raw aesthetic of these type of cafe interiors remind customers of the labour that went into producing the various markings. Common features of industrial interiors include high ceilings, exposed beams, natural materials, and accents of unfinished wood.

While we can’t provide the high ceilings and beams, we do have a large range of industrial furniture and timber products to help you rock the look, and with a November sale on timber, there’s never been a better time to buy. Explore our range of replica Tolix bar and cafe tables which can be paired with a wide choice of replica Tolix chairs and stools in a rainbow of colours and different finishes. Our Cargo stools with their saddle back seats and metal frames offer a quirky addition to your bar. Or how about cross back metal bentwood chairs to add that certain “je ne sais quoi”.

Offered at very affordable prices, why not browse our online store for inspiration and visit our showroom in Brendale to test them out. Meanwhile if you need any more information on any of our products then please don’t hesitate to call us on (07) 3205 1616 and we’ll do all we can to assist.

Wood Veneer, Laminate, or Solid Timber – Which Is It To Be?

square-timber-table-with-tolix-baseWood veneer, laminate, and solid timber have all been used in cafe furniture for many years and continue to be popular choices despite other materials such as aluminium and polypropylene coming to the fore. That said, there’s something about wooden cafe furniture that gives the appearance of being solid, rugged, and reliable. With this in mind, do you opt for wood veneer, laminate, or solid timber? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between them and their uses.

Laminate veneer

Laminate is made up of layers of thin paper-like sheets which are then glued together and pressed using great force onto a particle board substrate. This makes it incredibly durable and hard wearing Laminate is resistant to water (up to 180°C) plus any staining or cracking, making it perfect for use both indoors and outdoors. When it comes to cost, laminate is also considerably cheaper than solid timber, so it’s a great product for budget conscious owners and comes in a plethora of shades colours and styles.

The main disadvantage with laminate is that in some instances it can look quite unrealistic when compared to solid timber as it can lack the grain feel, warmth, and smell that real wood gives. That said, as laminate production is becoming more refined, modern laminate furniture is more life-like than every before.

Wood Veneer

For those who like the realistic feel and look of real wood, but don’t want to pay ‘solid wood’ prices, then they might want to opt for wood veneer cafe furniture. As the name suggests furniture does contain real wood but only the top layer, which is sliced very thinly. This is then usually glued onto a particle board base. It comes in a wide variety of woods, finishes, and grain directions and what’s more,veneer is also flexible enough to be bent into a wide variety of shapes and designs which solid wood isn’t. Finally if cared for and not exposed to moisture, wood veneer can last for many years.

The disadvantages of wood veneer are that when moisture gets underneath the surface it can bubble and swell, ruining the furniture. It’s also prone to cracking, so isn’t ideal for outdoor use. In addition wood veneer table tops also easily dented and scratched and therefore isn’t advisable for use in high traffic areas.

Solid timber

Let’s face it solid timber furniture is the real deal. It’s rugged, durable, and really makes a statement as part of your overall cafe design. It’s often referred to as a lifetime product with many pieces having a 10-15 year guarantee. Solid timber furniture is natural and unique and comes in a wide variety of timbers including oak, beech, maple, and cherry.

On the flip side and as you might expect, solid timber furniture is very expensive when compared to other options and it can be extremely heavy. This means that it’s not ideal for busy areas where furniture may need to be moved around to accommodate the needs of guests. In addition solid timber furniture needs regular varnishing and waxing to keep it looking in tip top condition, so in this respect it’s quite needy. It can also be prone to cracking, warping, and fading in adverse weather conditions and therefore isn’t the ideal furniture for use outdoors. All that said, solid timber cafe furniture adds that touch of class that you mightn’t always be able to achieve using laminate or wood veneer.

At Cafe Furniture Brisbane we’re having a timber sale this November on a wide range of laminate and wood veneer cafe furniture. So why not check out our website and grab yourself a real bargain To find out more contact us on 07 3205 1616 today.