What are “Contract Furnishings”?

Contract furniture is nothing more than commercial furnishings that are usually manufactured in bulk quantities.  The term commercial furnishings casts a very large net, since CSI-Montage Galleries specializes in upholstery, we will focused in on that particular area.

Commercial seating is all around you & chances are you use it almost daily.  Waiting rooms of all types from a  doctor’s office to a lawyer’s office will have comfortable chairs, a sofa or two & possibly an ottoman. Restaurants, bars, and clubs are full of them.  From waiting benches, booth & dining chairs, bar stools and club chairs adorn them all.  Hotels & resorts complement their lobbies, concourse areas, and conference rooms with a variety of upholstered seating.  With sofas, sectionals, chairs & ottomans in high traffic areas, let’s not forget about the individual rooms.  Most hotel/resort rooms offer a living room environment offering a sofa/sleeper sofa, a chair or loveseat, and usually have two or more dining/office chairs around a table.  There are also commercial upholstery seating in a in places such as malls/shopping centers, movie theaters, beauty salons/boutiques, churches/places of worship, government building, colleges/schools and even your office break room.  CSI-Montage has manufactured, sold & installed furnishings to everyone of the industries listed above.


The term “contract furniture” was also synonymous with quality.  That is where the term “contract grade” came from.  Now days, you can tell the difference of quality seating just as soon as you set down.  For example: a solid seatboard with a thin foam top verses a seatboard with a routed center, latex webbed support & at least 2.5 inches of foam/fiber.  Which one would you rather be sitting in, waiting on the nurse to call your name?  Think about your favorite restaurant, are their booths/chairs comfortable, or are they stiff/rigid?  The term “contract grade” has really hit a crossroad in my opinion.  Where has the quality gone…


When we build commercial furnishings our main goal is to “beef” up the frame & spring system to ensure the piece can withstand the frequent use by persons of all shapes/sizes.  Foam is our next concern & this must be considered from many angles.  Higher density foam will give you more years of use, but may be a bit to firm for some applications.  Lower density foam will give you a softer seat, but may not hold up as long due to consistent usage.  One of the last steps in the manufacturing process is the fabric.  Depending on where the furniture is going & how it is going to be used has great impact on what type of fabric to use.  There are contract grade suede’s, woven prints, and coated vinyl’s just to name a few.  Wear ability of fabric is determined by the “double-rub” test.  A good contract fabric will at least pass a 30,000 to over 100,000 double-rubs.  When all of these factors are added together, you get a quality piece of furniture that will be a great ROI for your business, corporation or brand.


At CSI-Montage Galleries, we stress the quality of all of our furnishings.  The only difference between our contract & residential furnishings are the foam and the fabrics.  We build our frames to stand the test of time using quality hardwoods & other building materials.  Most of the fabrics we offer are both commercial & residential approved as well.  All of our furnishings are made here in Hickory, NC along with most of the materials that go into the manufacturing process.  We do not import frames & other materials, upholster them in the USA & call it “made in America”.


We encourage any & all commercial interior designers/decorators, hotel/resort purchasing agent/building managers, architects, local business owners and anyone in the hospitality trade to view our website to see how  our services can help meet the needs of your industry.  And as always, please feel free to contact us via phone, email or website forms if you have any questions or would like us to quote out a commercial bid for you.


Thank you for reading,

CSI-Montage Galleries


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