When you’re shopping for chairs, there are many different features to consider. From the fabric options to the dimensions, you’re actively comparing a lot of things. One thing you should pay extra attention to is the frame.
You may come across a variety of different gauges and not think much of it, but this is a very important measurement that affects the strength of your chair. Read on to learn what steel gauge means for the durability of the chair.
What Is Gauge?
Gauge is a measure of the thickness of sheet metal. Gauge measurements range from 3-gauge (0.2391” thick) to 38-gauge (0.0060” thick). Something important to keep in mind is that when you’re measuring gauge, the smaller the measurement, the thicker the metal.
What Is the Typical Gauge of Chair Frames?
When you’re shopping for chairs, you will mainly come across 16-gauge or 18-gauge steel in the frames. This is a good range because it’s lightweight enough to allow you to move the chairs and stack them, yet thick enough to ensure durability.
When looking at a chair with a 16-gauge frame and comparing it to a chair with an 18-gauge frame, you may be wondering if there is a difference. Know that 16-gauge steel is by far the superior choice, since 18-gauge is 30% weaker.
Other Frame Considerations
You should also verify the process used to create the frame, specifically cold rolled or hot rolled steel. Hot rolled steel is not as precise since it shrinks slightly as it cools down. Cold rolled steel, on the other hand, will hold its shape and size better.
Another thing to consider is whether the chairs are made with mandrel bends. This means a steel rod was put into the chair frame as it was being bent into shape.
How to Evaluate a Chair Frame
As you’re shopping for chairs, be sure to read all product specifications in full. Look for the features mentioned above. However, the best way to truly evaluate the frame is to request a sample chair. Be wary of any manufacturer that won’t provide you with a free sample to try.
When you receive your free sample, be sure to inspect the frame thoroughly. Look carefully for rust bleeding through the drain holes punched in the crossbars. You should remove the floor plugs and look inside the frame barrel to see if there is any rusting inside. This will eventually spread to the outside and become a problem down the road.
Buying a good chair comes down to finding a manufacturer you can trust. A good manufacturer will care about the quality and integrity of their chairs and use superior materials in the frames.
ChurchPlaza has earned the endorsements of 46 national denominations over our 30+ years of business. We manufacture our chairs using only cold rolled, 16-gauge steel and true mandrel bends. We use our signature StaFast™ steel-to-steel fastening systems for superior durability, and our frames support 1700 pounds. Check out our selection of high-quality church and multipurpose chairs, and be sure to ask for a free sample chair to try!