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2 ways commercial furniture manufacturers can work within your budget


You’re knee-deep in product cut sheets and your web browser’s bookmarks are an endless list of commercial furniture manufacturers’ websites.  You’ve presented options upon options to the client, and the choices have been narrowed down to a few select pieces. It’s love at first sight, and you think your specification job is almost done, only to find that despite your careful attention to budgetary concerns the client was hoping for something, well, cheaper.

So what’s a designer to do when a client has champagne taste on a beer budget? You could go back to square one and wade through what can be an endless sea of product options. Or go through the headache and dubious process of trying to find someone to replicate the piece for less. Or not. 

While it's not always an option, many commercial furniture manufacturers can make modifications or use alternate materials on one of their standard products to better accommodate a variety of budgets. When you want to specify commercial furniture that’s a just a bit out of budget, ask the manufacturer the following questions before you go back to the drawing board or travel down that slippery slope of compromised ethics inherent to copying an existing, established design.


Can the finishes be substituted?

High end commercial furniture utilizes the best materials and finishes available for a simple reason: the best materials yield the best furniture—in beauty and integrity.  When a client has their heart set on a high-end item, but can't stomach the price tag, sometimes the sum of a product’s lesser-grade parts will still yield beautiful, durable results.

When vetting your furniture options, make sure you understand the capabilities of the standard materials used on a piece. Are those finishes vital to the product's performance in its intended environment? Or will a less expensive material suffice?

For example, an outdoor bench’s standard construction might utilize a high grade of stainless steel. Think about where the bench will be installed. Will it be more susceptible to rust and corrosion? A less expensive alternative to stainless steel may be a powder coated aluminum.  Or, if the bench isn’t being installed in a corrosive environment, a lesser grade of stainless steel may just fit your needs.

Ask the manufacturer’s representative if there are alternate finishes available, and if they might be suitable for your project. Commercial furniture manufacturers may be willing to produce their products in a different finish for a minimum order to help reduce the per-unit cost.


Can the construction be altered?

In addition to the materials used on a piece of furniture, the nitty gritty design of a piece will determine a product’s price tag. The more refined the design is, the more it will cost, and the best products don’t sacrifice durability, comfort, or aesthetic. If a client’s budget can’t afford all three, it’s up to your client to decide what the most important characteristic of their furniture will be.

Are they selecting dining chairs for a restaurant that needs to turn over tables quickly to be profitable? Maybe comfort isn’t the most important factor if they don’t want patrons lingering too long, but a cool aesthetic is necessary to draw people in the door. Perhaps the dining chairs can be manufactured in a smaller size or ergonomic attributes can be sacrificed. 

Ask the manufacturer if things like a curved seat back can be manufactured with a straight back instead. While these changes can be difficult for some manufacturing processes, it can’t hurt to ask, and depending on the order size, a manufacturer may be willing to work with you and your client to achieve the right product for your project.

While value engineering isn’t always the easiest option, sometimes it can be the perfect compromise between desire and practicality. Always ask the manufacturer of your preferred product what their options are; you may be pleased by the answer.

Prolong the life of your commercial furniture upholstery



        Upholstery can be a delicate thing. Susceptible to spills and stains, the upholstery in commercial furniture can look very tired, very fast if the right fabric hasn’t been selected, or damages aren’t treated appropriately in a timely manner. Luckily, commercial furniture manufacturers have a few tricks up their sleeve to help you prolong the life of your upholstered items so that your investment isn’t in vain.


Slipcover Hat Chair

Removeable cushion covers and slipcovers make cleaning your upholstered items easy.



Choosing the appropriate fabric grade and/or type for your C.O.M. is key to ensuring a long life for your upholstered item.  When selecting fabrics, pay close attention to criteria such as the double-rub count, maintenance and cleaning instructions, and appropriate application.

If installing an upholstered furniture piece in a public commercial setting such as a restaurant or food court, choosing a C.O.M. such as vinyl or synthetic leather will be easier to clean than a wool or polyester fabric. Liquid spills won’t penetrate as quickly, and a fabric such as vinyl can be routinely cleaned with a damp sponge or cloth.


Fabric treatments

For upholstered pieces installed in a public area, we reccomend applying a treatment such as Nano-Tex™ to fabrics as the first line of defense against damage.

Unlike the home stain repellant you can purchase at your local retailer, which is topical and impermanent, Nano-Tex™ is an immersion process that can’t wear off or be washed away over time.

"Nanotexing" of fabrics is generally applied at the textile mill during the last stage of manufacturing. Because this treatment takes place at the molecular level, it doesn’t alter the fabric’s texture or breathability.

When spills occur, liquids will bead on the surface of treated textiles, allowing them to be wiped away. Tougher stains, like inks, dyes or organic substances like mustard, while not fully preventable, can be cleaned much more easily from treated fabrics.

As a second line of defense you could apply a treatment such as DuraBlock™, a moisture proof backing that can be applied to Nano-Tex™ treated fabrics. It is a breathable, liquid-proof barrier that keeps moisture from reaching the fiber fill or foam of a seat cushion. 

Many major textile suppliers and manufacturers offer a variety of Nano-Tex™-approved fabrics. Ask your textiles representative what the available options are at the time of specification.



Upholstered commercial grade furniture can take up a pretty big portion of the FF&E budget, so it can be disheartening when cosmetic damages occur to a commercial sofa and chair. Even though the bones of the piece are still good, an ugly stain can ruin the piece for all intents and purposes. Enter slipcovers.

Discard any notions of clear, plastic sofa coverings or ill-fitting polyester tie-on covers from your grandmother’s living room sofa. A good upholsterer can craft custom slipcovers and cushion covers that in no way resemble the cheesy upholstery protectors of yesteryear.

High quality, commercial grade upholstery coverings should be indiscernable from "fixed" upholstery if they're produced well. A good slip cover should fit snugly around the cushions and corners. They should be somewhat difficult to remove, so that the average person in a mall or public space cannot steal or damage them. A skilled maintenance person would be the only person you want removing them.

While having custom slipcovers produced for your upholstery order isn’t the most inexpensive option, they’re any easy way to prolong the life of your high-quality upholstered items without having to shell out for a brand new upholstery piece.  Ask the sofa or chair manufacturer if they can produce slip covers for their upholstered products, or if they can recommend a good local upholsterer or tailor.


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Specifying commercial grade furniture? Keep these things in mind


broken chair


When specifying furniture for a commercial application, it's not always clear how one manufacturer differs from another, or what sets commercial furniture pieces apart from something you might find at a local retail store. With so many options out there, it's hard to be sure you're selecting the right furniture for your project. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make the best decision possible.


You get what you pay for.

We’ve all heard horror stories about FF&E installations gone awry. One designer remembers a specific client who insisted on spending less than 100 dollars per chair for their new office space.

“As a designer, you’re under pressure from the client to spend as little as possible. Often, they like the look of something they saw in a retail store, and they like the price tag that goes along with it. They’re not thinking about the possible repercussions that occur when a chair is being used day in and day out by hundreds of people when it is really only designed to be used inside a private home.”

In this designer’s case, her client went cheap and ended up paying in the long run. Retail grade furniture and cheaper furniture options simply aren't built to stand up to the rigors of high usage in the same way that commercial grade pieces are. Despite warning her client that the chintzy chairs that they selected might cause issues down the road, they were adamant about sticking to their tight budget.

“A few weeks after the install I went in to follow up, and more than half of the chairs were in pieces, stacked up in their conference room while they negotiated with the manufacturer’s claims department.”

Paying a bit more means a better bottom line.

Commercial furniture manufacturers take into account the high usage their furniture will undergo, and must be held to stringent standards that deem them commercial grade. Did you know that most commercial furniture is manufactured to withstand at least 300 pounds? Or that the materials used in commercial furniture undergo tests like the Martindale abrasion test for fabric, to ensure that it won't wear thin too quickly? Even things like how long an item takes to burn in the event of a fire are taken into consideration.

A good commercial grade manufacturer makes pieces with durability and longevity. When you specify and buy contract grade, you’re buying items that are built to stand up to the rigors of high usage. A little more up front ultimately means a better bottom line for you.


Commercial furniture does not have magical properties.

Another surprisingly common misconception about commercial furniture is that it requires no maintenance. Buy it, install it, and NEVER WORRY ABOUT IT AGAIN, right? Wrong.

Another designer recalls a client calling her in to look at a flaw in their commercial-grade carpeting shortly after the install.

When she got there, she found that the "flaw" in the carpeting was a giant coffee stain that no one had cleaned or treated.

"They expected the carpeting to be self-cleaning because it was commercial quality," she says. "Contract grade materials are capable of amazing things, but there is nothing out there that will magically clean itself when it gets dirty."

While it is true that paying for high quality materials and manufacturing means better durability and a better bottom-line investment for your clients, the items are still subjected to heavy usage by a lot of people in public spaces. Sometimes, those people don’t always have your furniture’s best interests at heart.   

Take, for example, the sixteen-year-old who proclaims to the entire world his undying love for Betsy—on your new table.  Or the maintenance team tasked with setting up and tearing down entire event spaces in minutes. Some cosmetic damages are impossible to avoid, and understanding the capabilities of the materials selected and how they will perform in their intended environment is crucial in order to minimize damage.

Show your furniture a little love every now and then.

Like everything in life, routine maintenance is also necessary for your commercial furniture, and can often be as simple as hosing down your outdoor pieces once a month, or applying some soapy water to tougher spills and stains. Following the manufacturer's care and maintenance instructions and showing a little love and affection every now and then ensures that you'll have commercial furniture that will love you back for years to come.



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Our commercial grade Belta pieces are in Interior Design magazine!


Did you get your copy of Interior Design's 2013 Fall Market Tabloid? We're thrilled to have some of our favorite commercial grade Belta Collection pieces included on page 34!

Among the Jane Hamley Wells items making their starring debut are the EDGE modular upholstered bench, the CAMP sofas and sectionals series, EVEN lounge chair, and TOUPIE swivel chair!


IDMAG MktTab Oct2013


describe the image


EDGE bench

Living on the edge is easy with these upholstered, angular bench modules. Add instant attitude to any installation in a variety of compositions. Available in two shapes with both left and right-facing versions, these upholstered geometric modules can be ganged together to create a variety of clever compositions.


CAMP sofas and sectionals

The unique curves of the Camp line of sofas and sectionals are enticing and comfortable. Camp is available with a hidden wood leg, or wooden base option. Customer's own fabric or graded fabrics are available, with the option to use two fabrics.



Spin to your heart's content in this 'spinning top' swivel lounge piece. The high walls and deep seat of the TOUPIE lounge chair create a cozy nook appropriate for hospitality and contract applications alike. Available in customer's own fabric, or graded fabric options, Toupie has a swivel base and the frame is available in red, black, or white, with a matte or gloss finish.



Pretty as a petal, this whimsical, contract grade armchair features solid beech wood, a removable seat cushion, as well as built-in lumbar support. It can be upholstered in customer's own fabric, or in graded fabric options, and single or multiple fabrics can be used for a unique, two-toned look.


Want to know more about these products? Give us a call or shoot us an e-mail!


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5 things to know about commercial furniture company Jane Hamley Wells

Jane Hamley Wells project Look Book download

Jane Hamley Wells is much more than a commercial furniture company. We’re writers, designers, artists. We’re admirers of architecture and Mad Men, good food, good wine, good conversation and really good thin crust pizza (in moderation), and we love working with creative people of all stripes ... which is why we love the line of work we're in.

JHW Jane at Showroom BW copy

Collectively, we have some pretty lofty ideals that  come into play every single day when we work with you, from the very first time we answer your phone call, to the follow up email after your project has installed. 

Below are some of the things we believe in. We hope you do, too.


Our passion:

We bring great designs to market.  We thrill our architecture and design clients with commercial-grade furniture that oozes quality, intelligence and style and that results in both stunning-looking and bottom-line successful installations for our clients and their clients. We admire beautiful design, but we know that form follows function, and the quality of your ancillary furnishings should be of the highest caliber possible, for beautiful, comfortable pieces that last for years and minimuze your client's lifetime cost of ownership.


Our values:

We believe in being straightforward and direct; we do not sugarcoat and we do not engage in misleading marketing of our products, capabilities or achievements. We say what we mean and we mean what we say. We expect this of ourselves and of our suppliers and we enjoy working with clients who hold similar values.


Our Philosophy:

We believe very strongly that in order to live well, to work well, to perform well and to be well, we all must make good choices along the way.  We believe in the causal relationship between inputs and outcomes. We believe in asking questions, in operating with our eyes open, in taking responsibility for our choices, and accepting the consequences of our own actions.      


Our commitment:

We believe in helping our clients solve their challenges. We hope that the solution includes the purchase and use of some (actually, many) of our commercial grade furnishings. But sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s ok. If not this time, then hopefully next time. What is most important to us is to have earned the respect and trust of our clients. We are your resource and we want you to be successful. Because if our clients are successful, then so shall we be.

We always do the best that we possibly can. We are as responsive and proactive as we can be. We understand that everyone is under pressure, and our clients appreciate our sense of urgency. Your project is important to you, and therefore it’s important to us, too.


Our Esprit de corps:

We take our business very seriously, but with that said, let’s be real – at the end of the day, we’re talking about furniture. Did anybody die? No! So chill and don’t give yourself an early heart attack. If there’s a problem, we’ll fix it. Thankfully, there are rarely any problems with our products. So don’t worry. Really. We've got you covered.

We're really nice people. Truly. Ask anybody who knows us and who has worked with us. We strive to please – but we don’t put up with nasty or disrespectful behavior towards our employees. And we make no apologies for this. Life is too short. So if you too are a nice person, then we’d love to hear from you and we hope to have an opportunity to work with you soon. Hopefully, many, many times.

We’ll get off our high horse now. There is work to be done. Choose Well. Live Well and enjoy!

Let’s work together: 5 pieces for a more collaborative workspace



When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer implemented a ban on telecommuting this past summer in order to foster workplace collaboration, among other things, many were left scratching their heads at the controversial decision and questioning the fate of the struggling tech giant.  


After all, the back-to-basics approach seemed counter to the notion of the way an internet company would operate. But, in the initial months after the ban, Mayer is standing by her decision, claiming that the increased face time among employees has already spurred better productivity and innovation.  


While only time will tell whether Mayer’s directive was a good one or not, there’s no denying that the modern workplace is an ever-evolving space that not only embraces collaboration, but requires it. In today’s fast paced environment, impromptu meetings and face-to-face communication can be key when it comes to developing the next big idea. Meetings are no longer limited to formal conference rooms, but can happen anywhere, at anytime.  


With that in mind we’ve cherry-picked a few Jane Hamley Wells pieces that are ideal for quick meetings, idea sessions, and anytime you could use a little help from your (coworker) friends.   


SAT  SAT stool chair

Selected by the ADI Design Index as a contender for the Design for Living award this “satellite” chair is made of rotationally molded polyethylene, and is safe for both indoor and outdoor use. SAT is completely mobile and slides easily for working, meeting, learning, and brainstorming wherever you like. The clever, simplistic design of the seat allows the user to sit in multiple positions and face multiple directions for easy interaction and collaboration, while the swivel tablet arm is ideally sized for notepads and tablets.    


Opof stoolOPOF  

Have a seat, and take it with you. This fully upholstered, lightweight stool is utilized well in informal common spaces. A clever play on the shape of a bucket, the design features a dual-purpose handle and backrest, available in brushed aluminum or solid wood finish. This unique utilitarian feature allows people to create meeting spots on the fly, while the lounge feel that the upholstery provides creates a casual, comfortable atmosphere to foster creativity.



ENTAEnta stool table  

Another safe option for both outdoor and indoor use, the ENTA is a mobile piece that can be whatever you want it to.  Perfect for use as a side table or stool, polyethylene ENTA is lightweight and portable, perfect for picking up and taking your meeting outside on a sunny day. It’s versatile size also makes it a good desk-side companion- a handy spot for those printouts you’re working on or a quick seat for a colleague who wants to chat about that looming deadline.    


Cake lounge furnitureCAKE  

Workspace collaboration becomes a piece of CAKE with this upholstered 5-seat sectional set. The triangle seats converge around a tabletop, making it an ideal place for longer, casual meetings. The upholstered seating provides a comfortable lounge option and it’s circular design allows for 360° face time during brainstorming sessions, ensuring every voice is heard and no idea lost.


SOFT  Soft ottoman

For informal environments where creativity must thrive, the SOFT series of lounge ottomans are a casual, moveable option perfect for when your company’s aesthetics are more sophisticated than the bean bags of yesteryear, and is available in a variety of shapes and sizes, C.O.M. or graded fabrics.



6 things you didn't know about the wood in your teak furniture

teak logs

Teak logs about to be processed into lumber.

Teak furniture, particularly Grade A Teak furniture, has a long and storied history. Prized for it’s extreme durability and rich color, teak wood has  been used for many practical applications for centuries now. It’s high oil content makes it naturally resistant to insects, water, and the drying effects of the sun, while a tight, even wood grain makes it an extremely durable hardwood. Unlike other woods used for outdoor applications like cedar and pine, teak has a rich golden-red hue that makes it an extremely coveted material for furniture. Here a few fun facts we've compiled about this extraordinary timber. Enjoy!

1. Teak hails from a faraway land.

Teak trees are native to India and Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Myanmar. The hot, tropical climate in those countries are ideal for teak growth. Teak trees can take anywhere from 40-60 years to fully mature, and in some old-growth forests the tall, narrow trees can reach heights of 200 feet, and have trunks that can span anywhere from 3-6 feet wide.

2. The secret has been out for centuries.

Commercial harvesting of teak dates all the way back to the 17th Century, when teak was introduced in Sri Lanka.  In the mid 19th Century commercial teak saw a big boom, when the wood was used heavily for ship building.

3. Teak tea was a thing that people drank.

Long before teak wood was used for furniture, the native tribes of Southeast Asia caught on to teak wood’s many useful applications. Used not only to build homes, boats, and tools, it was used medicinally to combat headaches, fever, digestive issues, and stomach pain by brewing the bark into a tea.

4. In England, you can sit on a teak park bench older than your grandmother.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, outdoor living was just coming into it’s own as a concept, and was particularly in vogue with the upper class.  Teak wood had already been used prominently in English ship building, and throughout the 19th Century, much of the English Navy fleet was constructed from teak. Even before the notion of recycling, British naval crews would tear apart decommissioned ships and use the teak wood to build park benches for the nation’s great outdoors. From park benches came all sorts of outdoor décor, from serving trays to chairs, to tables and umbrellas. You can still find many of these teak items still in use today, nearly one hundred years later.

5. It'll go straight to the bottom.

While teak wood was often used in ship building, the actual teak log itself is so dense that it does not float.

6. It's an international wood.

While teak is native to Southeast Asia, modern farming methods have allowed for commercial planting in other warm, tropical climates like Mexico and other Central and South American countries. In the right conditions, teak can be grown without the use of artificial fertilizers and is sustainably managed.  However, most teak harvested from new plantation forests is harvested prematurely, producing lesser grades of teak that aren’t as oil-rich as Grade A teak from mature trees, and therefore making for less durable, weather-resistant items.


We know a lot about teak wood and teak furniture, but we don’t know everything. If you want to learn more about teak, we found this enlightening information about our favorite timber from these sources:

Encyclopedia Britannica

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

3 reasons why contract furniture manufacturers have a leg up on retail


chair cardboard box

When working on a project, furniture specification is one of the final challenges for a designer or architect in an already long and arduous process.  While it can be tempting to specify retail furniture for projects—the price point is appealing to clients—like most things, a corner cut and a few dollars saved early on can lead to big headaches later.  Retail furniture simply isn’t made to withstand the rigors of usage in high traffic areas the way that contract and commercial furniture is.

Before creating a spec page, here are a few things to think about when skimming through those binders, catalogs and websites, and reasons why contract furniture manufacturers’ products are the ones you should be bookmarking.



 Chair Mesh

Contract and retail-grade meshes used on outdoor chairs. The first is commercially rated with a 500,000 double rub test. The second is not rated and for home use only.

The whole is only greater than the sum of it’s parts- if those parts are top notch. Any good contract furniture company knows that only the best materials make for the most durable product, and cheap finishes just don’t last long.

That’s why a commercial furniture manufacturer will use materials such as Grade A Teak on their outdoor furniture as opposed to a lower grade, or marine grade stainless steel on a bench that’s going to be installed in a park where ocean breezes pose a big threat.

The mesh dining chair that you eat lunch on in the office cafeteria? It should pass a double rub-test in the hundreds of thousands or else it will wear thin pretty fast when hundreds of people sit on it day in and day out.



Chair comparison 

Notice the clean lines of the high-end, contract grade chair vs. the clunky, exposed hardware standard on many retail-grade items.

Do you remember assembling furniture that you bought from a big-box store for your first apartment or house? Chances are it’s an afternoon you’re trying hard to forget, and chances are there’s a wobbly table leg that’s not letting you.  

In warehouses around the country, there are boxes and boxes of not-yet assembled retail furniture items, and sometimes the only difference between the table you labored over and the one you buy from the higher-end retail store is that someone else does the assembling for you.

Good contract furniture is constructed completely by the skilled craftsman who made it, and the items are shipped from the manufacturer facility that way. When a product is shipped “knock-down," where things like table and chair legs are unattached so that they can be shipped more inexpensively, the quality and durability can be compromised, leading to wobbly furniture from screws and bolts that work their way loose in short order.




And it really all comes down to this.  Reputable contract furniture manufacturers will stand by their products with a replacement warranty, knowing full well that their furniture will see a lot of usage. Because most retail furniture is designed for use in private homes where it will see significantly less traffic, warranties aren’t always offered, and when they are, they generally don't cover much.

Quality outdoor contract furnishings will be able to withstand extreme weather, like the rain and sea breezes of Seattle, or the salt spray of a beach-y area like Miami. A commercial grade sofa in a mall lobby with the right grade of commercial fabric will see no spots wearing thin where hundreds of people have sat.

When good materials and construction are used in contract and commercial grade furniture, it can stand up to many different elements- whether it’s high usage, inclement weather, heavier bodies, or all of the above.  










Product spotlight: The BEO teak furniture collection


BEO Bar Sets


Year after year, the BEO collection of outdoor teak furniture remains one of our top selling product families.  Elegant and refined, BEO pieces are classic designs that have transitioned gracefully from season to season and trend to trend and will remain timeless icons of excellence in design.




BEO pieces are truly a labor of love, constructed by hand by skilled craftspeople who painstakingly fine-tune every detail. BEO items have an extraordinarily refined profile compared to other teak and stainless steel furnishings, and are notably different because of their very narrow and intricately detailed teak slats. You won’t find this proportion and refinement in most other teak furniture, because the engineering, construction and detail that go into these pieces is too painstaking for most manufacturers to try.

Attention to Detail

BEO teak wood feels like velvet to touch. Every inch of wood has been sanded meticulously, from the outer part of the slats, even to the very inner surfaces of wood in between every slat. You will not find this attention to detail in most furnishings.

Furniture Construction

Superior Strength

In retail furniture, most of the pieces you’ll find are shipped from their production facilities “knocked down” and require light assembly by the end-user.  “Knocked down” compromises the strength and quality of the furniture, and ususally means that unsightly hardware will be visible after final assembly.

BEO pieces are shipped fully constructed, with no visible weld seams or hardware anywhere -- not even underneath where most other manufacturers take their shortcuts. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in our BEO products result in beautiful pieces that will last a lifetime in a residential environment, and contract furnishings that can stand up against the rigors of high usage.



Grade A Teak

BEO items—in fact all Jane Hamley Wells teak furniture—are constructed from Grade A teak, the best teak available. These cuts of wood come from the inner part of sustainably managed, mature teak logs, and have the densest wood grain and highest natural oil concentration.  This means an even appearance in the wood grain, a richer amber color, and a supremely durable wood that is naturally water, weather, and insect-repellant.

Grade 304 Stainless Steel 

Short of marine-grade stainless steel (AISI 316), Grade 304 Stainless Steel is the most durable and robust stainless steel suitable for outdoor use, and this is used on all of our BEO products. However, our 304 stainless steel undergoes enhanced finishing processes to increase its overall resistance to corrosion to almost the same resistance as 316 but without the significant price premium that 316 carries. We process our 304 stainless steel with a Shot Blast and Electropolish finish. The steel is first machine-blasted with abrasive material that smooths the surface at a microscopic level. This process is especially important for furniture placed in a coastal area, as it doesn’t allow any place for salt particles to sit on the surface of the steel, increasing the item's resistance to oxidixation. It is then electropolished, a high tech process that conducts current through the surface of the alloy to realign molecules which further repel the settling of any microscopic salt or dirt particles...and also providing a smooth and shined the surface for a beautiful finish.





4 Things to Know Before Specifying Outdoor Teak Furniture

No Painting


1.  It’s exotic.

Teak trees grow in a relatively small section of the world, indigenous only to south and southeast Asia, but can be cultivated in other hot, tropical climates. All teak furniture and/or the lumber used for teak items in the United States has to be imported from these countries.

2.  It’s sustainably managed and environmentally friendly.

Grade A teak is harvested only from the inner rings of mature teak trees. These cuts of lumber have the tightest wood grain and highest oil content, thus making it the best of the best of an already supremely durable wood. Grade A teak furniture is smoother to touch, richer in color, and has a longer lifespan than a piece constructed with a lesser grade of teak.

Jane Hamley Wells Grade A teak is harvested from sustainably managed forests in southeast Asia.  Furthermore, because teak wood is naturally durable, no stains, sealants, veneers or adhesives are used in the construction of Jane Hamley Wells teak furniture, therefore no volatile organic compounds are used.

3.  It shouldn’t be painted or stained.

And why would you want to? Furniture made from Grade A teak is as beautiful as it is durable. Known for it’s deep, honey hue and and tight, even wood grain, Grade A teak is a tropical hardwood with an extremely high oil content, making it naturally resistant to water and insect damage, and the reason why it’s such a coveted material for outdoor furniture.

This high oil content is compromised when paints and wood stains are applied, because they dry out the wood, thus destroying it’s natural ability to protect itself against the elements.  Furthermore, paints or stains won't adhere properly to the surface of teak furniture because of the high oil content which acts to "repel" the stain or paint, causing an uneven surface look and eventually damage to the wood itself.  Teak wood can be treated with a teak wood oil if you want to maintain a deeper color in your teak furniture.

4. Patina is ok.

Patina is a silver-grey quality that teak furniture takes on when exposed to the sun and weather. This change can occur within three months to a year, depending on the amount of exposure the piece sees. Patina is merely a cosmetic change that your teak furniture undergoes, and does not diminish the durability or lifespan of the wood. ALL teak and tropical hardwoods will acquire patina, and it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with wood.  If you prefer the amber look of new teak, you can prevent patina, or restore teak that has acquired patina, by applying a teak wood oil such as WOCA.


 Learn more about the different grades of teak wood

 View our line of teak furnishings








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