How Long Should Office Furniture Last?

Written by Stan Bennett on Aug 18, 2017 9:00:00 AM

As one of the leading sources of office furniture in the San Joaquin valley for the past five decades, we at Cal Bennetts are often asked about how long one should expect office furniture to last. Of course, we’re in the business of selling office furniture, but we understand that it’s a major expense for most companies, and something that you don’t want to re-do too often. It’s reasonable to want to have some expectation as to what you can expect as the lifespan of your furnishings.


As it is with so many things, the general answers is that “it depends”. How long your office furniture will last depends upon a number of factors, including how it’s used and the quality of the items you purchase. Different pieces of furniture have different functions, which also affects how long they will last. Let’s take a look at some of the basic items.


How long should an office chair last?


Your office chairs are the single piece of office furniture that gets the most wear and tear. Keep in mind that most of your employees spend 40 hours or more sitting at their desks every week and that’s going to put a lot of stress on your chairs. As a general rule, a well-built office chair should be expected to last somewhere in the range of seven to ten years. You’re likely to find that most chairs come with a five year warranty. If your chairs are warrantied by the manufacturer for ten years, it’s an indication that the materials used will be longer lasting, and those chairs should have a lifetime closer to 12 to 15 years.


Office chairs are also one of the items that will let you know when it’s time to replace them. When the covering begins to show signs of being worn out, or the fabric starts to fray, it’s a safe bet that you need to replace that chair. Similarly, if the chair is becoming much less comfortable than it previously was, it’s an indication that the cushioning is wearing out, and it’s time for a new chair.


How long should desks last?


Desks don’t take the sort of constant beatings that your chairs have to withstand, so they can be expected to last much longer. Good office desks have been known to last for decades, and I’ve been in offices where I’ve seen venerable desks, still in perfect working order, that are over a century old. Still, they don’t last forever, and in today’s rapidly changing world, they may become functionally obsolete.


Signs that you need to replace your desks include:


  • Legs or other parts becoming loose or beginning to fall off.
  • The finish is wearing off, exposing bare wood.
  • Hardware / accessories like drawers and extensions aren’t working as they should.
  • You’re making a change to the overall look-and-feel of your office.


How long do conference tables last?


Conference tables are exposed to less use and abuse than desks, and in most cases can be expected to last even longer. Nonetheless, there are times when it makes sense to replace them, for example:


  • You need to expand to fit more people at the table
  • You need to accommodate more modern technology, like videoconferencing or other devices that require more wiring, connections, etc.
  • You’re changing the decor or theme of your conference room.

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Topics: Office Furniture