Your school needs new furniture pieces for students, but you’re not sure where to start. It can be time-consuming and confusing to purchase student furniture in bulk. You need to balance budget considerations with quality. The furniture should be well-made so that it will stand the test of time. When you provide students and faculty with quality furniture choices, they are able to learn and teach to the best of their ability. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best bulk student furniture for your school:
1) Administrators Should Choose
Take the lead as a school administrator to choose your school’s furniture carefully. Everyone will have an opinion about what should be purchased but they won’t always be right. Consider consulting different department heads to get feedback on individual needs. Ultimately, you must make the decision after considering everyone’s input.
2) Design Choices
There are basic options that will work in nearly every school design or you can choose custom options. For example, you can purchase furniture that matches perfectly the color and aesthetic of your school’s theme. Classroom Essentials Online offers a plethora of color choices on many of our furniture options for no additional charge.
3) New Trends
Classroom trends are evolving quickly and fresh, innovative ideas for how students interact and study at school play a huge role in your furniture choice. With that said, you don’t want to rush into a new trending idea if it’s not a sustainable one. But if your school embraces progressive ways of teaching, you might consider these ideas. You can buy tables and desks that are built to stack, allowing for more flexible uses of the classroom space. Soft seating areas are also popular with younger students. You might consider integrating more relaxing spaces into the classroom so your students can work together comfortably.
4) Be Timely!
Order long before you need the furniture for your classroom makeovers. Though many items may be in stock, some manufacturers’ have a normal delivery time of 4-6 weeks which can extend to 8-10 weeks during busy seasons. It’s never too early to place orders in December, January, or February. This would work for a school transition during the following summer. Another good option is to order in the fall. Then you can have everything delivered during winter or spring break.
Budgets are always a huge consideration for schools. It’s important to buy furniture that will stand the test of time, especially when it comes to school furniture. Less expensive furniture might seem temporarily appealing. However, the wear and tear they will sustain will mean you will need new furniture sooner than you think. Remember that school furniture should last 15-30 or more years. Choose wisely.
Tips for Each Furniture Type
It might seem overwhelming when you realize just how many choices there are for classroom furniture. Here are some helpful tips for buying classroom furniture, broken down by category.
There are ample choices when it comes to choosing chairs. There are options for small children all the way to adults. Additionally, you can choose chairs to fit teachers desks and administrative offices.
How to measure seat heights – Children and adults should be comfortable in their chairs. Thus, choosing the correct height is vital. For middle school, high school, and beyond, an 18-inch chair is most appropriate. For younger children, there are several sizes available depending on their ages. 10-inch chairs are great for toddlers and smaller preschoolers. 12-inch chairs work for taller preschoolers and kindergarteners. Chairs that are 14 inches work for taller kindergarteners, first graders, and some second graders. The 16-inch chairs will work for taller second graders, third graders, and most fourth graders. After that, 18-inch chairs will do the trick for everyone else. You can measure your existing chairs from floor to the top of the seatback to establish what sizes they are.
Here are some important questions to ask about seating:
Do you need to stack the chairs in your classrooms? – Stackable chairs are made differently so they can fit together when stacked. Do your classrooms need to serve multiple purposes and have flexible furniture options? Then stackable chairs might be the right choice for you.
What is the difference between a “soft-plastic” chair and a “hard (or solid) plastic” chair? – A soft plastic chair is simply a chair whose back and seat is made from polypropylene or polyethylene plastics which are very durable and suitable for most classrooms. The hard plastic chair is made from materials that go through a complex process. It is made from a combination of finely ground wood and resin. It is then put through a plastination process which seals and hardens it.
Which color should you choose? – Select chair colors that will complement your school’s style and school color theme. Another choice is to select colors that are neutral. This might be a great idea if you foresee a school change or update happening in the near future.
Should you buy a painted frame or chrome frame chair? – The painting process used on chairs today are high-tech and the finishes are long-lasting. But no paint finish will last forever. If your chairs are going to get a lot of use, they will likely chip over time. Chrome is the best choice for most schools as they will look great through many school years to come.
Do you need a book basket on student chairs? – Most student desks have areas to store student materials. This makes the book basket typically unused. However, in a college classroom environment, a book basket might be more useful.
You want to make sure that the seat is comfortable. But just as important is the comfort and usefulness of the desk height. Thankfully, many student desks are made so that you can adjust the height. Generally, the typical student desk range for height is 22 inches to 30 inches.
Here are a few of the different styles of desks – You can choose small desks with a storage compartment located directly under the desk. Or there are chairs with built-in storage baskets under the seat. Some desks have bigger storage options and some are a simple table. You can also use activity tables, library tables or lab tables for classrooms that need more space and less storage. We recently wrote a blog postto help you figure out what kind of desk would work in your particular classroom.
Open-Front Desks – These desks are the go-to standard for children’s classrooms. They are adjustable, so they will grow with the children. They provide storage options for workbooks, notebooks, pencils, and other classroom essentials. And they are made so children can focus on their schoolwork and not on figuring out where they put something.
Lift-Lid Desks – These desks are similar to the desks above. The difference is that you must lift the top of the desk to access the storage located inside it. This might be useful for young students who tend to fiddle around inside their desks during class. However, they also tend to be inconvenient as you must clear the desk before lifting the lid.
Chair Desks – These desks are best for middle school, high school, and college students. Students moving from classroom-to-classroom don’t need permanent storage options. Chairs with a built-in desk platform allow them to take notes. The built-in storage basket under the chair gives them a place to put their books and other items.
Here are some important questions to ask about student desks:
Do you need hard or soft plastic seats, backs and writing surfaces? – You’ll need to determine if a hard or soft plastic seat will hold up to the wear and tear that you anticipate. Hard plastic seats will last longer under more rigorous use. You’ll also need to consider how much space your students need for their writing surfaces. If they will be using laptops, they might need more than a tiny desk space. Some of the more modern options have made the desk area larger by default.
What colors are available? – You’ll need to figure out which wood options will fit in with your design scheme. You will also need to decide which options will last longer. Most student desks are some variation of wood stain, but they also come in colors.
Here are the different styles of tables available for your classroom:
1. Activity Tables
Sometimes your students need to work on an activity together. This might mean that an activity table is more appropriate for the learning space. For small children, be sure to choose tables that are short and easy for them to work from. For preschool ages, there are lots of fun colors to choose from for these tables that stimulate growing minds. Often activity tables come with adjustable legs and multiple shapes and sizes, allowing them to work for various age groups and different classroom setups.
2. Folding Tables
Folding tables are a necessity to have in your school. They are easy to set up and take down, and useful for various events and needs. You can get folding tables in different materials, shapes, and sizes. Some even have adjustable height. Here are a few of the typical folding tables you might want to purchase.
When it comes to wooden tables, particleboard folding tables are the most typical. They are typically the cheapest option and are quite durable. You can get them in a wide variety of colors, and they are made with a high-pressure laminate top. However, they do tend to be heavy which can make it difficult when moving them.
When you’re searching for higher quality, high pressure laminate folding tables are an excellent choice. They are made with a plywood core with a high-pressure laminate top. These also come in a wide variety of colors. Plywood won’t dent or break as easily as particleboard will. However, they are also more expensive and tend to be heavy.
Plastic folding tables are a great choice for schools. They are lighter and more durable than both plywood and particleboard. Plus, they are easy to clean. Since they are plastic, you can use them outside without fear of harming them with moisture. They are great to use for children, as they are quick to wipe down after use.
Student furniture is one of the most important investments you will make for your school. From preschoolers to teachers, the furniture must be durable enough to stand up to everyday use. You’ll want to make wise choices for your school. These choices include the best quality at the best price for your school’s budget. Ensure that you choose the best furniture for all your classrooms and school functions. For the best prices and wonderful customer service, give Classroom Essentials Online a call. We offer a large variety of student furniture options. Plus we give helpful tips on what will work best for your situation. Visit our website. We would love to help you make these important choices for your students!