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(403) 988-3375



108, 3442 118 Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta T2Z 3X1

Showroom By Appointment Only

Why Marco Polo?

Marco Polo Furnishings products are manufactured with meticulous attention to detail to be high quality, durable, and long-lasting.

Unlike many internet-based businesses: Marco Polo Furnishings is located in Western Canada.  Many companies use selling tactics that show websites that look like they are from “Alberta” or “Canada” where they’re actually from the US and/or the pricing is all in US dollars.

In addition, Marco Polo is not hiding behind the quote system, if you are looking to get a budget price on chairs, our list prices are posted on our website.  If you would like us to quote on a larger quantity of chairs, we can do that for you, giving you a price break based on the quantity.

Differences between retail and commercial quality

Commercial furniture is often crafted with heavy use in mind. It can withstand environmental changes, like being moved often or jostled around. The materials we use are higher quality and durable to provide a long life span. The goal with commercial furniture is to aim to replace it every ten years, meaning that the designs are typically more neutral and less eye-catching since they need to be fluid enough to adapt to different trends.

Residential furniture isn’t created with sturdy materials and usually has flashier designs that aim to follow trends and be more stylish. The pricing is lower on these, making them great for a residential setting where you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to replace.

How often do you sit on the dining chairs in your home?  If you’re like most people, the answer is probably an hour or less per day.  Contrast that to restaurants, bars, and other hospitality industry establishments where the furniture is likely to be in use for up to 10-12 hours per day, every day.  Getting ten times, or even more, usage than a typical residential chair means that commercial furniture is subjected to far more stress in its lifetime.  That stress can weaken the integrity of the chair if not properly constructed.  While you and your family and friends are the only ones sitting on your dining chairs, commercial furniture is used by people of all shapes and sizes.  In fact, most commercial chairs are weight tested up to 300 pounds, and some can accommodate much more.

The difference between commercial and residential furniture has nothing to do with looks, although residential furniture is often considered more aesthetically pleasing.  Instead, it’s all about construction.  Commercial furniture has to withstand continuous usage and abuse at the hands of customers and staff, because of that, it is built with heavier materials.  Commercial manufacturers typically use 16 or 18 gauge steel instead of the 22 or 24 gauge found in retail furniture.

Commercial furniture often costs more than residential furniture and is less expensive when you consider cost per use.  Commercial furniture can easily get 10 times or more usage than residential furniture, and it often costs only 2-3 times as much, making it very cost-effective for restaurants, bars, resorts, and offices.

Furniture Certification

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA) is a US-based association that provides voluntary product and industry standards that apply to general purpose furniture such as our restaurant wood chairs. Compliance with these standards is strictly voluntary and requires a variety of different types of tests to be passed before compliance is approved.

Some of the tests that restaurant furniture is required to pass for compliance are listed below, including the results as they relate to the products sold by Marco Polo:

The BIFMA Test Summary:

  • Back Rest Strength -150 lbf. Functional - PASS, 250lbf. Proof with no loss of serviceability to the chair.

  • Drop Test -225 lb. Functional Drop Weight- PASS, 300 lb. Proof Drop Weight with no structural breakage or loss of serviceability.

  • Seating Impact Test - 165 lbs. 100,000 cycles with no loss of serviceability to the chair after completion of both the Impact and Load Ease tests.

  • Stability Test - Front- 21 lbf. to tip, Rear - 45 lbf. to tip resulting in the chair not tipping over as a result of the force application.

  • Back Durability Test 75 lbf. Applied to back - 80,000 cycles with no structural breakage or loss of serviceability.

  • Leg Strength Test - 150 lbf. Functional Load - PASS 250 lbf. Proof Load with no loss of serviceability to the chair.

The BIFMA standards are voluntary, this means that not all manufacturers invest the time and money required to manufacture their furniture to these higher standards. When purchasing chairs from Marco Polo Furnishings you know that they are made to last and withstand the heavy daily use that is part of the hospitality industry.

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