If you’re buying used office furniture, your top concern after price is likely quality. You know that some used office furniture pieces could last for decades, but you’re not sure which ones. Whenever you are buying furniture, it is important to make sure you’re not buying anything that will need to be replaced after just a few years.
Many businesses choose used office furniture to save money and reduce their environmental impact. Here’s how to make sure you’re saving time and expense in the long run.
How to find high-quality wood office furniture
1. Look for thick, scratch-resistant wood
The number one characteristic that determines the quality of used wood office furniture is the wood itself. The wood should be scratch-resistant, uncracked, and hard enough to last.
Knots can easily crack, so try to avoid any furniture with knots. If a piece of office furniture is already significantly scratched or cracked, you can generally assume the material is too soft to hold up for long term use.
Similarly, particleboard and thinner plywoods are not likely to stand the test of time. Look for hard, sturdy materials like solid wood or thicker plywoods.
Keep in mind that hardness has nothing to do with whether the office furniture is hardwood or softwood. These terms refer to wood from deciduous and coniferous trees, not to the physical sturdiness of the wood.
2. Check the joints of each piece of used office furniture
With wood office furniture, joint construction is one of the main factors in quality.
Look for used office furniture held together with dovetail joints, which are made of interlocking pieces that look a bit like teeth. Ideally, corners should be reinforced with a block attached at an angle.
Other good options include screws and dowels, which are wooden pegs that slot into holes on each side of the joint. Avoid wood office furniture held together with nails, staples, or visible glue.
3. Examine office furniture drawers to ensure they’ll last
For lasting quality and minimal noise, pay close attention to drawers in wood office furniture.
Drawers shouldn’t slide directly on another piece of wood. Wood-on-wood is likely to cause problems during humidity changes, which cause the material to expand or contract slightly. Look for drawers that run on glides made from a non-wood material.
Dust panels, or thin sheets of wood between drawers, protect drawer contents, and improve the strength of the structure. The best quality drawers often have dust panels and stops to prevent users from accidentally pulling the drawers all the way out.
How to find high-quality upholstered office furniture
1. Make the office furniture properly supports your weight
Support is important in any piece of used furniture, but it’s most likely to be a problem in upholstered office furniture. Softer materials may not be as resistant to pressure, which can become more of a problem over time.
Make sure there’s even support for your body throughout upholstered office furniture pieces. You don’t want to sink or tip around when you sit in different parts of your chair.
2. Look for thick padding
Check the arms and back of upholstered office furniture to determine its quality. You shouldn’t be able to feel the frame through the cushioning material.
If you’re choosing an office chair or another piece of used office furniture with a seat, unzip one of the seat covers and check the material underneath. You want a seat cover that contains more than foam for maximum durability and comfort. Make sure the foam layer is wrapped with cotton, dacron, or down.
3. Choose reversible cushions
While reversible cushions are not a requirement, they are a nice bonus. You can get twice as much wear on your used office furniture as long as the upholstery pattern matches up both ways.
Make sure used office furniture is 100% safe before buying
It goes without saying that safety should always be your number one concern in a work environment. While offices might seem safe at first glance, thousands of administrative and support services workers are injured every year.
Office furniture that lacks proper support or tips over is an accident waiting to happen. Make sure any used office furniture you buy is as safe as possible. A “good deal” isn’t worth it if it presents even a slight safety risk.
Look for a warranty as a guarantee of quality
Finally, one of the best signs you’re getting high-quality used office furniture is if the dealer provides a warranty. You want to find used office furniture from someone who’s willing to stand by their product and deal with any defects.
The warranty doesn’t necessarily have to cover everything about your used office furniture. Some protection is still a better sign than none.
Get high-quality used furniture from Everett Office Furniture
Everett Office Furniture is your local full-service used office furniture dealer. We offer an in-house design team to provide customized consultations, computer space planning, ergonomic evaluations, and other office furniture assistance.
Whether you’re looking to remodel a large office or just find the perfect conference table, our team is fully equipped to meet your facilities needs. Contact us today to find the best used office furniture for your needs.