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Commercial vs Residential Furniture

Wondering what the difference is in furniture for commercial use vs furniture for residential use? In this guide we will cover everything you need to know so you can purchase the right furniture for your space.

When designing an office, you want your workplace furniture to reflect the modern, innovative ethos of your brand. But beyond the aesthetics, you’ll need a set up that’ll hold up to constant use and keep you comfortable as you aspire to new heights. 

Residential furniture could be suitable for your office’s lounge or break room, but it might not be the best choice work stations, conference rooms, and executive office suites. 

How are the intended uses of commercial vs residential furniture reflected in the design and construction of each? Let’s take a closer look at what sets these two categories apart so that you can be just as savvy about space-planning as you are about building your business. 

Commercial Furniture Is Made for Constant Use

When you’re at the office, consider where you spend most of your time. For many people, it’s likely at a desk and in a chair. Now, consider where you spend the majority of your time while you’re at home. Although an exciting movie marathon could keep you lounging for hours, we’re guessing a Netflix binge isn’t your full-time job. 

Translation? You likely spend more time in an office chair than you do sitting on your living room sofa. For that reason, commercial furniture has to endure constant use. 

What makes your office chair the right candidate for this high-demand job? It’s hardy construction:

  • Extra bolts and bars – Simply put, your office chair is built different. Adding extra bolts, bars, and screws to the construction provides office furniture with an extra level of reinforcement that residential furniture doesn’t typically have.
  • Stronger steel – When you design metal furniture, you want to be sure it’ll hold your weight. That means choosing stronger steel, typically one with a lower gauge. Most residential furniture has a 20 or 22 gauge steel frame, which supports roughly 250 pounds. Commercial furniture, on the other hand, uses 16-18 gauge steel, capable of holding about a hundred pounds more.1

While you might think all chairs, desks, and tables were built equal, think again! Commercial furniture is created and built with a much higher degree of use in mind. That way, no matter how many coffee runs you make during the day, you can trust your chair to support you when you sit back down.

Find the perfect workspaces at the height your team needs. Shop Desks!

Commercial Furniture Has Stronger Joints

You might hear a lot of creaking and groaning from your desks, sofas, and tables at home. But why does that creaking suddenly seem to vanish when you head to the office? The answer has to do with the stronger joints that are commonly used in commercial furniture.

Most commercial furniture uses a mortise and tenon to secure its joints and ensure they don’t wiggle. This joint is one of the most durable kinds available. It’s made with:2

  • A pin or peg (the tenon) on one piece of wood
  • A matching hole (the mortise) on the adjoining piece

The joint works by slotting the pin into its matching hole so that the two pieces of wood slide together at a ninety-degree angle. This fastening technique creates a very sturdy joint without the use of metal screws or nails. You can use some glue to adhere the tenon to the mortise for extra safety, but the joint is plenty strong even without it.

Residential Furniture is Often Made of Less Durable Materials

You might notice that you take a trip to the furniture store to replace a broken chair or wobbly end table nearly every year at home. Your desk chair, on the other hand, has been at your office longer than you have. So, why does your office furniture seem to have an infinite lifespan compared to your decor at home?

The answer lies in the materials used to make the two types of furniture. Since you should only aim to replace office furniture every ten years, it needs to be designed with more durable materials than typical residential furniture. 

High-quality office furniture designers use:

  • Scratch-proof fabric
  • Tougher woods such as oak, beechwood, or maple
  • Denser foam padding
  • A more extensive wood-finishing process

All these investments in quality and durability add up, giving your commercial furniture a longer lifespan than your residential furniture. 

Design Your Dream Office with Juniper

If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty details of commercial vs residential furniture, you understand the importance of a well-designed office. But where do you find the quality furniture you need to make your office sparkle?

That’s where Juniper Office comes in. Our experience in the office furniture industry makes us the perfect partner to discuss your workplace design project with. We can provide a team of knowledgeable design experts who can help guide you through the process and make sure you wind up with exactly what you need.

Plus, when you order from us, we’ll have your furniture packed and shipped within 24-48 hours, so you don’t have to work about long delays getting in the way of your work flow. We know your time is important, and we want to help you save more of it.

If you’re ready to take your office design to the next level, count on Juniper Office to equip you with high-quality furniture for long-lasting comfort. 


  1. TerraCast. What You Need To Know About Commercial Grade Furniture.
  2. The Spruce Crafts. How to Create a Mortise-And-Tenon Joint.