Eco-Friendly Furniture & Bar Stools in Raleigh
Eco-Friendly Bar Stools
What is eco-friendly furniture?
We believe that eco-friendly furniture and bar stools should consider the environmental impact throughout the supply chain of all the materials. Not only should the bar stools materials used to create green furniture be free of toxins when it reaches the consumer, but it should also be safe for the people and the planet throughout the manufacturing process. Furniture and bar stools that are created with the environment in mind also considers factors like carbon-footprint, sustainability of materials and processes, conservation of resources like water, contributions to air, water and land and much more.
So, what is eco-friendly furniture and bar stools made from? Here are five excellent reasons for you to invest in buying green furniture and bar stools for your home:
1. Green sofas don’t harm your health
Whether someone in your family has multiple chemical sensitivities or you simply want to fill your space with organic furniture that is healthy for your family, it is important to understand the health impacts of conventional furniture..
CHOOSE A GREEN SOFA MADE FROM FSC-CERTIFIED HARDWOODS
First, consider the frame inside the sofa. Most conventional manufacturers use plywood to create the frame that provides the structure for a sofa or chair. Composite wood products like plywood contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. According to the EPA, formaldehyde exposure can have a negative effect on health, both in the short and long term. Formaldehyde can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. High levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers.
Everyone wants to keep their new sofa stain-free for as long as possible. What is not common knowledge, however, is that the waterproof, stain-proof, wrinkle-proof and anti-microbe fabric finishes used by furniture manufacturers present long-term health concerns through the addition of toxic Perfluorocarbons (PFC’s). Perfluorocarbons are a group of human-made chemicals composed of carbon and fluorine only. PFCs have been found to contribute to reduced female fertility and sperm quality, reduced birth weight, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), increased total and non-HDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and changes in thyroid hormone levels.
Volatile organic compounds (VOC) used in furniture paints, varnishes and wax are a source of indoor air pollution that can lead to health impacts. Once these chemicals are in our homes, they are released or “off-gas” into the indoor air we breathe. They may or may not be able to be smelled, and smell is not a good indicator of health risk. VOCs enter the body through breathing and skin contact. irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, nausea, fatigue, loss of coordination, dizziness, damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system and cancer according to the US National Library of Medicine.
Because of the prevalence of greenwashing, it is important to ask manufacturers whether they use any of these chemicals in their upholstered furniture. Instead, look for green furniture that has been crafted using kiln-dried FSC-certified hardwoods. By drying wood in a kiln, most of the moisture in the wood is removed, which prevents warping and bowing. Hardwood, with a higher density than softwood, has better fire resistance, and is harder, stronger, and more durable than softwood.
2. Green sofas don’t contain any petrochemicals
In the 1950’s, furniture manufacturers started using polyurethane foam as a cushioning material because of its amazingly low cost: synthetic plastics like polyurethane could be produced at a fraction of the cost of naturally-derived latex.
Today, most furniture manufacturers continue to use petroleum-based polyfoam which is highly flammable and continues to show toxic effects, even post-production, on household air quality. Polyurethane foam is so flammable that it’s often referred to by fire marshals as “solid gasoline.” When the untreated foam is ignited, it burns extremely fast. Ignited polyurethane foam sofas can reach temperatures over 1400 degrees Fahrenheit within minutes.
Worse yet, the process of producing plastics like polyurethane is much more toxic to workers than latex production and has been criticized by the EPA and OSHA for exposing workers to carcinogenic substances. A 2013 article by the New York Times found that workers manufacturing polyurethane pillows in the US were suffering from severe nerve damage thanks to glues that had been used– nerve damage that led workers to lose feeling in their limbs, leaving them unable to walk.
CHOOSE ORGANIC LATEX
Many manufacturers claim to use soy-based foam in their “green sofas”. However, polyurethane still makes up more than 50% of this product. In some soy foams, soy actually makes up less than 5% of the cushion. Buying soy foam doesn’t address the concerns of flammability, because all that polyfoam will still light up.
Authentically green sofas are manufactured using latex, with no fillers or fire-retardant treatments, to make seat cushions, armrests, and backs cushions. Organic latex is non-toxic, recyclable, biodegradable, incredibly comfortable and safe for any space.
3. Green sofas are naturally flame retardant
To offset the risks associated with highly flammable petrochemical foam, furniture manufacturers may coat seat cushions with chemical flame retardants, According to Green Science Policy, flame retardant chemicals are associated with a variety of serious health concerns, including disruption of hormones, developmental and reproductive problems. These chemicals do not stay in products- they are found in the blood, fat and breast milk of nearly all people tested, as well being ubiquitous in wildlife and the environment worldwide.
ORGANIC WOOL IS NATURALLY FLAME RESISTANT
Green sofas that are wrapped in wool like Oeko-Tex® certified French biowool, are naturally flame resistant. Wool offers a natural alternative to chemical flame retardants. According to the International Wool Textile Association, because of the way the wool fiber is structured, wool requires more oxygen than is available in the air to become flammable. Of the commonly used textile fibers (cotton, rayon, polyester, acrylic and nylon), wool is widely recognized as the most flame resistant.
4. Certified non-toxic fabrics don’t harm people or the planet
Clearly, the fabric is the most visible part of a green sofa. It also can be a source of unintended impacts to the people who produce it as well as those who experience it on a piece of furniture. That’s why it is critical to ensure that your green sofa is encased in fabric that carries one of two certifications: GOTS (Global Organic Textiles Standard) or Oeko-tex Standard 100. Both guarantee that the fabric in your home is entirely non-toxic and completely safe. The difference between the two is simple: GOTS certifies every step of the production process, and an Oeko-tex certification guarantees the safety of the post-production material.
ENSURE YOUR SOFA IS GREEN BY CHOOSING THIRD-PARTY CERTIFIED FABRICS
If you care about the environmental impacts of your sofa during its production, you should insist on fabric that is GOTs-certified. During the production process, the process of soaking fabric in chemicals and then rinsing in water is repeated over and over. Most of the water used during fabric production is not cleaned or treated before it leaves a factory, entering directly into local water systems like groundwater. GOTS ensures that local communities aren’t devastated by water pollution. It also ensures that workers are not being exposed to dangerous working conditions and unlivable wages.
5. Your green sofa can last a lifetime
Because eco-friendly furniture is made using only natural materials rather than composites, they outlast most commercially manufactured sofas. This is becoming increasingly important for many furniture buyers who are rejecting the idea of using up the things they buy and then simply throwing them away. By investing in products that are built to last from both a materials and manufacturing perspective, today’s conscious furniture buyers are further protecting the environment by keeping large products out of landfills.
And when it is time to retire a sofa made from natural materials, owners are reassured to know that their piece is biodegradable.
Invest in quality
It should come as no surprise that it costs more to produce eco-friendly furniture. Organic, natural and 3rd party-certified materials tend to be more expensive than man-made, chemically treated materials. However, this is an investment worth making, for your home, for the environment and for the people who are impacted throughout the production process.
We welcome you to work with us to create a beautiful, luxurious organic sofa, sectional, chair, headboard – or whatever your dream up – for your green home.
Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read these suggestions followed by some tips from the experts.
Are you confused about dusting vs. cleaning, or waxing vs. polishing wood furniture?
While experts have varying opinions on the care of wood furniture, it usually depends on the finish of the piece.
Tip #1: Always ask for specific care and cleaning guidelines when purchasing new or old furnishings.P
Don’t avoid dusting furniture. Frequent dusting removes airborne deposits that build up in a filmy layer and can scratch the surface.
Clean, dry, soft cloths or feather dusters will effectively remove dust; however, to avoid scattering the dust into the air, where it floats until landing back on furniture surfaces, dampen the cloth very slightly.
Never use all-purpose cleaning sprays unless your furniture has a plastic coating, such as the kind used on kitchen tables and children’s furniture.
You’ll usually want to avoid cleaning wood with water. However, sticky spots may need to be treated with soap and water.
Here’s how: dip the cloth in mild soap or detergent dissolved in water, wring the cloth nearly dry, and wipe the area. Rinse and immediately dry with a clean, soft cloth.
Oil polishes, cleaners, and furniture oils protect wood by making the surface more slippery; they do not offer a hard protective layer.
Products that contain a high percentage of oil make the surface smear, showing fingerprints. Avoid polishing with pure olive oil, which smears and attracts dust.
Most commercial spray and liquid furniture polishes contain silicone oil, which provides some protection. If you have used sprays and polishes in the past or suspect that furniture has been polished with them, be aware that residues can interfere with refinishing and may need professional attention.
Homemade recipe for cleaning wood: Some experts recommend reviving grimy wood furniture with a mixture of equal parts olive oil, denatured alcohol, gum turpentine, and strained lemon juice. Apply with a soft cloth and buff with a clean cloth.
Typically during manufacture, varnish, polyurethane, or shellac is applied to wood to protect the surface. Applying wax or polish protects the manufacturer’s finish and helps to reduce surface scratches.
Wax provides a hard finish and long-lasting protection, doesn’t smear, and is more durable than sprays or polishes.
Use paste wax or liquid wax made specifically for furniture. Depending on use, paste wax finishes may last as long as two years. Liquid wax is easier to apply but leaves a thinner coating; it may need to be applied more frequently than paste wax.
Learn how to properly apply waxes to eliminate streaks or a cloudy appearance. Always apply wax in light coats, rubbing into the surface with the grain. Allow to dry and buff to a clear shine with a soft cloth.
Tips for Applying Paste Wax to Barstools & Dinettes
Rub in a circular motion, one small area at a time, until the waxing is complete. When the surface dulls, wipe off the excess wax. Use a clean, soft cotton cloth and turn it frequently. Repeat waxing and wiping until the entire piece is waxed. If you notice a streak, keep wiping to remove excess wax. Polish the wood, with a soft cloth or lamb’s-wool pad attached to an electric drill or power buffer. If the wax smears, wipe with a soft cloth and continue buffing.For a deep shine, apply a second coat of wax in the same manner; to maintain waxed furniture, dust with a lamb’s-wool duster.
Never use liquid or aerosol furniture polishes because they can dissolve the wax and leave a hazy film.
For fine furniture or treasured family heirlooms, use this three-step cleaning and care routine.
1. Clean approximately every year with a commercial cleaning product (such as Formby’s Deep Cleaning Build-Up Remover) using #0000 steel wool. Work with the grain and follow product directions carefully.
2. Restore as needed, especially from sun fading, using a commercial finish restoring product such as Howard Restor-A-Finish. Choose a shade closest to the wood stain and apply with #0000 steel wool to a small section at a time. Work with the grain of the wood and use light to moderate pressure. Immediately wipe with a soft, lint-free cloth, such as cheesecloth.
3. Feed as a monthly routine using an orange oil or wax (try Feed-N-Wax beeswax) to prevent drying and cracking.
Okay, so you’ve found that perfect piece at a garage or tag sale! Now, how can you bring out its best?
Deep Cleaning Barstools & Dinettes
As a first step to removing layers of grime, use an oil soap and water. Rinse and dry well. If the finish still seems dirty, clean lightly with #0000 steel wool dipped in a cleaning product. Some products with a milky appearance are formulated to dissolve both solvent-based and oil-based residues. Do not use mixtures containing boiled linseed oil, turpentine, or white vinegars. Museum conservators say these things darken wood and attract dust and lint. Instead, apply clear paste wax.
Polishing Hardware for Barstools & Dinettes
Remove hardware from the furniture piece. Clean with a metal or brass cleaner and buff. Reattach when completely dry.
Scratching the Surface on Barstools & Dinettes
If the top of wood furniture is slightly scratched, apply paste wax or use a felt-tip touch-up pen.
To treat deeper scratches that gouge into the wood, use wood filler or a colored filler wax stick available at hardware and home improvement stores. Match as closely as possible to the color of your piece, applying in several thin layers rather than in one thick layer.
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Caster Dining is a great way to promote conversation around the room. An elegant approach to a set of kitchen furniture, consisting of a round dining table made out of dark walnut wood with a shiny polish and a frame made out of wrought iron, fitted with four matching dining chairs on wheels.
Dining chairs with casters move easily across the floor, allowing you to quickly rearrange seating and slide to and from the table with little effort. But as the dining chairs glide across the floor, food particles and dirt build up on the wheels, eventually limiting movement and turning your functional piece of furniture into a source of frustration. Most casters can be fixed with a thorough cleaning. If the casing or wheel is actually broken, the simplest solution is to replace the casters.
Remove Dirt and Debris
Turn the dining chair on its side or upside-down. Position a scrap piece of cardboard or old towel underneath it to protect your floors.
Snip pet hairs, carpet fibers and other strings wrapped around the caster wheel to loosen them, turning the wheel as you work. Pull off the fibers with your fingers or a pair of tweezers. Depending on how tightly the fibers are wound around the wheel, this may prove more difficult than it sounds. Use a utility knife to cut across the fibers if necessary, taking care not to scratch the chair’s base or the wheel.
Scrape buildup off the wheel with a butter knife. Push the end of a pipe cleaner between the wheel and the casing, using a back-and-forth scrubbing motion to loosen dirt and crumbs. Hook an angled vacuum cleaner attachment to your vacuum hose and suck away the debris.
Spritz the caster with a degreasing cleaner. Clean the wheel and the casing with an old toothbrush, turning the wheel as you work. Wipe down everything with a damp rag and let the caster dry.
Apply a lubricant to the wheel base and turn the wheel to ensure an even coating. Remove the protective floor covering and clean the floor thoroughly before returning the dining chair to its upright position.
Measure the wheel base of the casters and procure replacements. The manufacturer of the dining chairs may offer the same type, or you can purchase stock replacement casters based on the width of the existing part. If you’re buying a replacement, ensure you choose a style that installs the same way as the old one. Swivel casters typically snap in place or twist into the chair leg with a bolt, while stationary casters are installed with screws on the leg of the chair.
Pry or unscrew the casters from the chair’s base. A small crowbar works well for dislodging swivel casters. Loosen a twist-on caster with a wrench or by hand, and unscrew a stationary caster with a screwdriver.
Secure the new casters to the base of the chair. When installing snap-in swivel casters, hold the stem portion at a slight angle against the socket in the chair’s leg or base. This compresses the seal so that the caster slides in easily. Push the caster in while simultaneously moving it to a vertical position; listen for a “snap,” which indicates the new caster is locked in.
- If you’re tired of rolling dining chairs, remove the casters and replace them with chair glides, rendering the seating stationary
TYPES OF CASTERS
Before purchasing casters, make sure you’re purchasing the right kind.
Most swivel casters fall into four main groups:
- Plate Caster: good for carts, dollies, and heavy-duty equipment
- Expanding Stem Caster: seen on shelving, carts and work tables
- Threaded Stem Caster: used for the same applications as a plate caster, just a different installation
- Push-In/Friction Caster: carts, dollies and mop buckets
When shopping for casters, take into account load height and capacity. When a caster is installed, the height on your equipment will increase; may seem like common sense, but just a few inches of added height can really affect your commercial kitchen layout. And load capacity, well, what good is buying a set of casters that could prematurely break because you put something too heavy on them?
Industrial casters are one of the unsung heroes in your kitchen. These ubiquitous restaurant parts are found on everything from ice machines, to griddles and fryers all the way down to your mop bucket.
Why? Swivel casters make it easy to move large equipment around, enabling you to properly clean your restaurant kitchen (earning you some bonus points from the health inspectors) while also making the equipment itself easily accessible for any service repairs. Though most heavy-duty restaurant equipment do not come with casters installed you’ll be happy to hear that installation is easier than you think (and can save you the cost of a service call).
TYPES OF CHAIRS