We are often asked about the foam in church worship chairs and the new “cold-cured foam”. Here are some important facts about foam in general that can be helpful as you consider your church worship chair purchase and then some information about cold-cured foam.
- Always remember that foam will only get softer, never firmer, over time. This is important to keep in mind as that sample church chair may seem very soft and comfortable during the shopping process. But three years down the road as it has softened up more, you may find yourself bottoming out onto the seat base. Often a firmer sample chair, while not as comfortable initially, will be the wiser long-term choice.
- Be aware that foam is rated by density in pounds per cubic foot. Some foam might have a rating of 2.4 lbs. per cubic foot while another might have a rating of 2.1 lbs. per cubic foot. This simply means that more material was used in the former foam than the latter, making it more dense, and also more firm. For a manufacturer seeking to lessen the cost of production, the less foam used the less their cost. Always request the rating on foam density.
- Understand that all foam is not fire-rated. Your church should be sure and request a certificate of compliance that the chairs you are considering have at least a CAL117 fire rating. In a few localities an even stricter rating CAL133 is needed But in no environment should the chairs have less than a CAL117. You never want to be in a situation where your local Fire Marshall rules your chairs unusable because they do meet this standard.
- Most church worship chairs today have “slab” foam. Essentially this means that the foam comes in rolls, a piece is cut off, it is then trimmed to size, and placed on the seat base before being upholstered. Many church worship chairs will actually have two layers of foam, such as a 1/2″ layer of denser foam on the seat base itself, and then a 2.5″ upper layer of foam. Most slab foam is warranted for five years.
- Consider upgrading to “cold-cured air foam”. When you sit down in the front seat of your car, or in a seat at the local theater, the chances are you are sitting on cold-cured foam. This foam is produced in a mold. Material is injected into the mold, the material firms up, and then the mold is opened and out comes a seat. Cold-cured foam will often have 70% more material used to produce it than standard slab foam. The density rating is 3.7 lbs. per cubic foot! This means this foam will seem much more firm during the shopping process. However, over time, the support and comfortableness of cold-cured foam will shine. In addition, this foam will carry a 15 year warranty normally and also resist any sort of absorption of spilled liquids.
At Church Furniture Partner, we recommend that if you are purchasing new church chairs, that you strongly consider cold-cured foam for those chairs. We would be pleased to arrange a sample of a cold-cured foam seat for your church. Please contact us about doing so!