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Folding Chairs Buying Guide

A folding chair is a folding chair, right? Not necessarily. There are many features and points to consider when shopping for folding chairs, including:

Seat & Back Materials
Most folding chairs have a metal frame, but the seat and back can be made from many different materials.

Metal seats and backs are probably what you think of when imagining folding chairs. All-metal chairs are usually affordable and, depending on the gauge of the steel, quite durable.

Plastic seats and backs are easy to wipe clean and are a good choice for outdoor events. Since the plastic weighs less than steel, these folding chairs are easier to carry and stack.

Fabric-upholstered seats and backs typically make for the most comfortable type of folding chairs, so they are quite popular in banquet rooms and lecture halls. Most fabric-upholstered folding chairs are available in lots of different colors and patterns, making it easy to match your décor.

Vinyl-upholstered seats and backs are both comfortable and easy to wipe clean. It is common to see this type of folding chair used as "benches" at indoor sporting events because the athletes can comfortably sit during games without perspiration soaking into the padding of the chair.

Frame
At first glance, all folding chair frames seem to be the same. Look a little closer and you'll find small features that can make a big difference in the strength and durability of your chair.

Gauge is the strength of the steel frame. Most department store folding chairs have a 19- or 20-gauge steel frame; folding chairs from manufacturers like National Public Seating typically have a 18- or 19-gauge frame, as well as additional strengthening features. The lower the gauge, the stronger the steel and usually the higher the price of the chair. It is more affordable in the long run to invest in a stronger, long-lasting folding chair as opposed to replacing weaker chairs every few years.

Cross braces are the metal bars that connect the front or back legs to each other. The bars strengthen the frame by keeping your folding chairs from shifting side to side. If you want a folding chair for outdoor use, look for an inverted cross brace on the back legs. The brace is designed to keep your folding chair from sinking into grass or mud.

Hinges are the small metal bars that help your chair unfold and stay in place. Double hinges – two hinges on each side – allow for even better durability.

Folding Chair Dolly
Some of the advantages of folding chairs are that they are easy to move, set up and store with the use of a chair dolly. Some folding chairs only work on specific dollies, so be sure to check for compatibility before placing your order.

Click here to check out all of our folding chairs. If you have a question or just prefer ordering by phone, please call our sales team at 1-800-260-2776. We are happy to assist you.

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