4 Questions About Vinyl Restaurant Chairs, Barstools and Booths

restaurant bar stoolsHave you noticed the abundance of vinyl furniture used in restaurants?  Vinyl has long been one of the most popular options in restaurant furniture.  There are many vinyl seating options for restaurants such as booths, barstools and chairs. Why is vinyl so popular for use in restaurants?  Vinyl is attractive, easy to clean, comes in an infinite array of color options, and works with most any décor.  This blog covers some of the basics of vinyl and its use in restaurants.

1. What is vinyl?

Vinyl is a material processed from ethylene and salt to create a type of plastic.  The term vinyl is shortened from PVC, or polyvinyl chloride.  Basically, vinyl is a fabric created to be similar to natural leather, while being much less expensive but still very durable.  Here’s an interesting tip if looking at fabric and leather — you can tell if a fabric is leather as both sides look alike, while the back side of vinyl will look vastly different.

2. Why is Vinyl Used in Restaurants?

Vinyl has long been a popular choice for all types of restaurant furniture as it is easy to clean and maintain.  Cleaning normally just involves a little soap and water.  Vinyl material requires little maintenance.  Many types of vinyl furniture, such as metal or wood chairs with vinyl seats, can be recovered should the seating suffer any irreparable damage.

There are many different colors of vinyl available.  Since vinyl matches almost any style of restaurant table, it can seamlessly integrate into almost every restaurant décor.  Some less expensive chairs covered in vinyl could be matched with a similar color luxurious upholstered fabric chairs to dress up the restaurant, while still maintaining your budget.   Many restaurant furniture suppliers offer chair and barstool options with different grades of vinyl.  Since there are a variety of grades of vinyl available, there is an option for every budget.

3. How do I clean vinyl?

Cleaning vinyl is very simple.  A mild soap and a little water will easily clean your vinyl restaurant chairs, booths and barstools.  If any stains are noticed on your restaurant furniture, clean them quickly with a little soap and water.  If this does not remove the spill, try a mild commercial vinyl cleaner recommended for vinyl furniture.  Be careful when you are cleaning vinyl with soap and water to completely dry the vinyl after cleaning.  If an excessive amount of water is left on too long, it could soak through and damage the vinyl.

4. How do I maintain vinyl?

Routinely caring for your vinyl fabrics will increase their longevity and durability.  It is important to set up a routine maintenance plan to inspect, clean, and condition your vinyl furniture.  What should this maintenance plan involve?  As discussed above, cleaning vinyl is relatively simple with a little soap and water.  While vinyl is fairly easy to maintain, it can be damaged by sunlight, harsh chemicals and prolonged exposure to water.  If possible before purchasing vinyl furniture, carefully consider whether it will be placed in a very sunny location.  Using a conditioner specifically recommended for use on vinyl will help prevent damage from sunlight.  Make sure the conditioner you purchase is specifically recommended for vinyl fabrics and not leather. You can avoid damage from harsh chemicals by quickly wiping up anything spilled on your vinyl, and ensuring you are using a mild cleaner specifically for vinyl fabrics.  To avoid damage from water or other liquids, make sure water, drinks or spills are wiped up and dried off quickly.

Minor tears in vinyl can be repaired with vinyl repair kits.  If the damage to the vinyl is more severe, recovering the whole seat can be considered.  Recovering the seat is a much less expensive option than replacing a whole chair or barstool that is in otherwise good condition.  Knowing just these few basics regarding vinyl restaurant seating will maximize your investment and keep your furniture looking great for a long time.