The Five Questions You Must Answer Before Selecting a Furniture Finish!


Laminate, leather, PVC vinyl, knit. Endless options mean endless opportunities for your perfect space.

Nothing says luxury and productivity like a well-designed office. A key component of achieving the office of your dreams is selecting the ideal furniture finishes. 

Selecting a furniture finish is one of the final steps in your design journey. You want to plan so you can choose the perfect finish carefully! The world of furniture finishes is extensive, and there are endless options! 

We want you to be as prepared as possible when selecting a finish for your dream piece of furniture. These are five questions you must answer before choosing your furniture finish! 

QUESTION 1: What quality are you looking for? 

If you are buying your furniture from a reputable dealership, you can be assured that you are receiving a high-quality finish. You will have an overwhelming number of options to start, so narrowing down what quality of fabric you want will also help narrow down your search.

A great way to evaluate a furniture finish is to look at its grade. Furniture finishes are assessed based on a letter grading system. This grading system mainly indicates the price group of the finish.

However, this isn’t like your standard high school curriculum. Grade F does not mean that your finishes are lousy quality or didn’t pass their necessary testing. Grade A is typically the most cost-effective, while Grade F+ are luxury options.

A majority of fabric finishes will fall into the Grade A-C category. For example, Haworth’s popular and sustainable Oceanic fabric line is a Grade B.

QUESTION 2: Who will help you select your finish?

You’ve most likely been working with a furniture specialist up until this part. 

It would be best if you considered working with this furniture specialist to help also pick out the furniture finishes. When a workspace planner begins to help you select a finish, they will want to know a few things. The finish of a piece of furniture is often the last item selected and will pull your entire room together. 

However, just because the finish is the last puzzle piece, it should still be considered during any part of the furniture buying process. Working with a professional is critical because a professional will ensure that your finishes work in your existing space and meet the requirements you need.

If you want specific fabric, patterns, or colours, you should let your representative know, and they will begin to work that into the process.

Typically, a workspace planner will tour your space or ask for pictures.

They want to know what big existing colours and finishes already exist in your area. The colour of floors, walls and any existing large furniture will need to be considered when selecting a finish. They will also want to know any colours or fabrics you like and are totally against using. 

Workspace planners will help you bring some of the current trends and to your existing space. Popular finishes you may see in offices today are light to medium tone greys with white trim. This brightens up any room while also staying neutral. 

If you are looking for a pop of colour, it’s excellent to consider your companies logo or any other loud colours found throughout the space. If you want to avoid your area looking darker and out of season, you should stay away from dated woods or conflicting colours. 

Workspace planners or your sales representative will also want to get an idea of your budget for the finish and help adapt finishes to meet your needs.

QUESTION 3: What if you want something unique?

If you have a wild or innovative idea and can’t find the perfect finish, you can also customize your order. That’s right! Most supplies offer a COM or a customer’s fabric option. 

The world is your oyster. Want a pink glitter panel? They can do that. Want a chair that looks like your mom’s 70s vintage kitchen? No problem. If you have an idea for an out-of-the-box fabric, speak to your planner, and they can help source it and do mockups with your ideal style. Most of the time, you can find a pre-approved alternative to the kind you are looking for.

If you have the exact fabric already, this also might be used on your new piece of furniture. If you are willing to pay an additional fee, then anything is possible! 

QUESTION 4: Do you need a warranty?

You want your furniture to stand the test of time. Not only do the materials play a significant role in furniture lifespan, but the furniture finish is a significant component. Let’s say there is a manufacturing defect. You want to be protected. These situations are where having a proper warranty is essential.

There are different warranties for different products. These warranties also differ based on the manufacturer, but there is always a warranty available. 

Haworth is a furniture manufacturer we work closely with here at Office Interiors. They have warranties ranging from 5 years to a lifetime, depending on the product or finish. These warranties typically cover and manufacturing defects in the material that may appear over that timeframe. 

For example, if you are promised to have a certain amount of wear and tear based on the finishes abrasion test. After two years, you notice that your fabric is degrading quicker than expected; this would most likely be covered under your finishing warranty.

When you are purchasing your finishes, this is when you will also be talking to your sales rep about the warranties available. All of the warranty info is typically found on manufacturing websites, but your sales representative will also be able to walk you through any questions you may have.

QUESTION 5: What supplier are you using?

If you’re deciding between buying furniture from different dealers or manufacturers, it’s worth checking out their finishing inventory beforehand, so you have an idea of what is available. 

Nearly all furniture suppliers and manufacturers offer a wide range of finishes and fabrics available for their products. You can read about the basics of furniture finishes in one of our articles.

All suppliers and manufacturers have thousands of finishes at their disposal. Often manufacturers and suppliers will carry over five different wood grains, 3-5 solid fabric finishes and then offer endless customizations. Most furniture finishes follow the trends, so expect to see other suppliers carrying similar finishes. 

Check out Haworth’s surface library for an idea of what is available on the market today.

This does not always mean that the finishes are made equal, in any case. It’s essential to ask about the quality and warranties available with each manufacturer. If you are buying through a reputable dealership, you can be assured that the workspace planners will help you select the perfect finish that works for your specific need.

If you are ready to jump into the world of furniture finishes, reach out to one of our furniture representatives today! They would be thrilled to answer any questions you have and bring your dream space to life. 

Emily Adams
Digital Content Specialist
Office Interiors

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