Sanctuary Church Chairs
Sanctuary church chairs come in many different varieties from metal framed models, to wooden framed models, polymer framed models and more. Sanctuary church chairs can have padding for the seats or no padding for the comfort of the users.
Sanctuary church chairs come in an extensive range of colors and can have imperial wood stains and even bronze overlay siding. Sanctuary church chairs are typically associated with a church but can be found in temples, mosques, concert halls, meeting places, stadiums and many other places.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING SANCTUARY CHURCH CHAIRS by Dr. Thomas McElheny
Metal framed upholstered chairs are rapidly replacing more traditional choices of wooden pews or theatre style seating in the majority of new and replacement church seating decisions. Offering comfort, flexibility and economy, these “church” or “sanctuary” chairs are especially popular in rapidly growing churches that use floor space for multiple purposes to include; worship, recreation, education, meetings and more.
Expanding just as rapidly in recent years have been the proliferation of those manufacturing and/or reselling these chairs. So what should a church look for in deciding upon best chair and best chair provider to work with? Here’s a quick but effective primer for churches, ministries and related organizations about to make this decision.
Everything begins with the quality of the frame. Insist upon quality 16 gauge steel foundations (some manufacturers will use 30% weaker 18 gauge and less expensive steel to save money. Ask if the sanctuary church chairs provider can tell you where the steel came from. If they can’t, it’s because they are usually reselling chairs or steel purchased at the cheapest price.
Weld lines should be about 1 inch in length and not spot welds. Cross supports should be strong and not simply torsion rods with spot welds. Paint should be “Powder Coated”, the same process used in manufacturing automobiles. Frames should have at least a multi-step documented acid and rust cleaning before painting to assure rust remnants aren’t hidden and sealed away inside the tube only to erupt months or years after the chairs have been purchased.
Insist upon TRUE INDUSTRIAL GRADE PLYWOOD or QUALITY POLYMER FOUNDATIONS. These foundations are stronger, last longer and have more holding power than imitation plywood such as Strandboard, OSB or Multi-Ply™.
Insist upon quality and certified VIRGIN FOAM. Some sanctuary church chairs providers will substitute remanufactured foam with fillers such as chalk or older foam to save manufacturing costs. The substitutions will not be as comfortable nor last as long. If the provider won’t certify in writing that ALL FOAM IS VIRGIN, change providers.
Believe it or not, HOW and WHAT IS USED to secure the seat and back of the chair to the frame is critically important. Insist that ALL FASTENING SYSTEMS are quality steel to steel “T-Nuts”. These fasteners provide 5X the holding power of wood screws (which will work loose) and stronger and longer lasting holding than “steel to plastic” systems used with some molded plastic seat and back foundations.
Make sure your chair provider is using only the highest INDUSTRIAL GRADE fabrics with certified wear and strength characteristics available to you. A respected industry standard is the Wyzenbeek double rub test. Avoid chair providers that can’t or won’t provide this information or won’t provide the name of their fabric supplier, which usually means the fabric is an inexpensive off market brand.
A good chair provider will offer the option of quality stitched card pockets and not simply glued, stapled or prefabricated and screwed on. Book pouches need the same high standards if they are going to last. Under seat bookracks should be accessible, strong, finished well and free from “burred” edges that will cut fingers.
Insure that the chairs will stack as promoted. Talk with other churches that have ordered similar chairs and find out their experiences. If the company you are working with can’t or won’t provide this information, find another provider.
Almost all reputable sanctuary church chairs providers will send a free sample for churches looking for 100 chairs or more. If someone won’t, be careful. Only purchase a chair after you’ve obtained a sample and had several from your congregation examine and sit in it. THEN, cut the chair open and examine the materials and quality used in the chairs construction. This is the only way you’ll know if the company’s representations are accurate.
Probably the single most important factor in selecting sanctuary church chairs are the reputation and credibility of the chair provider. How long have they been in business, are they endorsed or recommended by any denominations or national ministries, can they provide references, are they helpful answering your questions or intent on criticizing other providers, etc.?
Flexible church seating can be a tremendous blessing and help to churches and ministries. But be careful because not everyone providing these products is selling a quality product.
God has blessed your congregation with the resources to buy seating. Honor HIM by using good stewardship and business sense in making that purchase.