Indoors or outside, quality wicker furniture often comes with a residential or a commercial use rating. While both can be premium choices, the latter is a higher quality wicker furniture and typically will cost more due to a variety of factors. Many homeowners today are opting for hospitality rated furnishings, especially in high traffic home patio and sunroom locations.
The Hospitality Edge
Sometimes called contract furniture, which is more of an umbrella term to cover every industry, hospitality or commercial grade wicker meets must meet stringent code standards for use in hotels, resort areas, restaurants and other similar locations. In areas open to customers, guests or the public, furniture typically sees more abuse and may receive less routine maintenance in many cases. Commercial indoor and outdoor wicker, regardless of material, undergoes performance testing to ensure it meets the various rigors of exposure to a wider range of activity. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is one such oversight agency.
Framework must often meet higher standards, including the grade of aluminum used in all-weather furnishings. Hardware, finishes, cushion filler and upholstery are all designed to meet the rigors of daily abuses while maintaining a like-new appearance. Incidentals might include the addition of floor protectors, but in higher-end furnishings, these should be standard on all pieces. In certain circumstances, they must also meet various local or state requirements for flammability.
Warranties on commercial grade wicker are structured differently from residential furniture. Typically, the warranty is from 3-5 years depending on manufacturer with prorating from year to year for various components. Always inspect each piece thoroughly and read the fine print before using any residential or commercially rated product.
Residential Wicker Benefits
First, price is a main benefit in selecting residential wicker, which may also be called recreational furniture. Outdoors, all-weather resin fiber construction has come a long way from the early plastics. During manufacturing, colors are dyed into the material, which means no fading under perpetually sunny conditions. In harsher environs ranging from coastal areas with exposure to sea breezes to humid regions or arid deserts, resins are highly resistant to splitting. Aluminum framework for residential pieces is rugged enough to resist the elements and the busiest of entertainment or family settings.
Rattan and bamboo furnishings for indoors are also solidly crafted. Premium grades of rattan are dense, and they undergo a penetrating staining process before sanding and colors or topcoats are applied. Today's U.S. manufacturers often ensure oversight of production even if facilities are located overseas, and many companies have facilities located stateside. Another bonus many residential wicker pieces offer is the option to upgrade fabrics used for seat and back cushions. Standard fabrics do have some wear resistance, but for additional fees, it is now possible to select commercial-grade fabrics that meet industry standards for stain and wear resistance.
Warranty coverage for residential furniture will vary by manufacturer, and if used in commercial areas, is automatically voided. One year on framework and materials for indoor pieces and up to three years or longer for outdoor wicker is typical. Fabrics coming from different suppliers and will have their own warranties in place with regard to normal wear or manufacturer defects.
When questions arise over usage and warranty details, companies are happy to supply answers pertaining to different brands. With so many specifics to consider along with the variances in cost, the decision to select residential or hospitality grades for home spaces should be based on both budget and lifestyle.