School Furniture – Empowering the Learning Environment

One of the most crucial tasks school administrators face is establishing a positive atmosphere for learning, and school furniture plays a major role in the way a school looks and feels to the students learning within its walls. Classrooms that are cheerful and bright encourage a far more positive learning experience than ones that are colorless and drab.

On the other hand, school furniture that is too colorful and busy can actually present a distraction to students. Besides aesthetics, comfort, size, space, durability and – don’t forget – budget, are all factors that need to be taken into account when planning furniture for schools. Whether you’re designing a new school or upgrading an older one, the classroom furniture you choose will have a decisive impact on the way students feel about their studies.

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Say What? A Little Terminology…
First, a little school furniture terminology to help make things clear.

School chair seats are manufactured out of one of three materials: wood, soft plastic and hard plastic as you can see in Wood means just that, wood. Soft plastic is the colloquial name for polyethylene and polypropylene. Polyethylene has a lot of give; polypropylene, while not actually bendable, does conform somewhat so that students can lean back a bit in their chairs. Hard plastic is far more rigid than its soft counterpart and has no bend whatsoever.

The legs and supports of school chairs are usually made of one of three gauges of steel: 18, 16, and 14 gauge. Contrary to what one might assume, the lower the gauge the stronger the steel, so if you’re looking for the strongest supports around, you would look for chairs with 14 gauge steel.

Down to Size – How High Should School Chairs Really Be?
Ideally, children should be able to plant their feet firmly on the floor even when sitting with their backs against their chairs. This position minimizes fidgeting and provides proper back support. Practically speaking, there will always be some children whose feet dangle when they sit all the way back, or who will have to lean forward if they want their feet to reach the floor. When measuring school chairs, the height is always measured from the floor to the highest point on the seat surface.

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