Not all church chairs are created equal. At the minimum, a church chair has to be "gangable." Gangable means you can "gang," or link, the chairs together. A ganging device is a simple metal hook on one side of the chair that fits into a metal loop on the other side of the chair, securing the row in place, even as people get in and out of them and maneuver down the aisles. It is a must in church chairs.
The best church chairs include an elastic book pocket in the back. Book pockets in the back have the advantage over ones underneath the seat in that they keep the chair stackable. It's nice to have the option to buy an underseat bookrack; however, one in the back is a necessity.
The Inch-Per-Hour Rule
Of course, none of this functionality is worth the price of admission if the church chair is not comfortable. I have a funny rule, but it seems to hold true: an inch an hour. For every hour you sit in a chair, you need an inch of padding. For a service that lasts more than two hours, your people need a quality three-inch thick seat to sit on.
Folding chairs are good options for multi-purpose spaces. What is there to folding chairs, anyway? You fold it down, you sit on it, you fold it up, you store it away. Right? Well, you'd be surprised just how much diversity exists and engineering goes into that staple of the seating industry: the folding chair.
Folding chairs come in four basic styles:
* Padded with vinyl
* Padded with fabric
There's also some specialty types, including folding chairs with:
* Tablet arms
* A fan back
It's true. Folding chairs are not all created equal. Let's start with the leg brace that steadies the chair.
1. Riveted U-Braces
Back in the olden days (some time after the dinosaurs) folding chair legs were steadied by a horizontal bar soldered or welded to the legs. You can still find some of those on the market.
When engineers applied their know-how to the science of folding chairs, they realized an inverted U-brace that was riveted (not just welded) to the legs both better steadied the chair better and made it more durable. Some folding chairs have a double brace (one in the front, one in the back) and some even come with a triple brace (one in the front, two in the back).
Next, they realized that a single hinge at the point where the chair folded was often inadequate, especially after repeated folding and unfolding. So they came up with the double-hinge -- a double-hinge on the left and a double-hinge on the right. And – voila! – here comes a much more durable chair able to better withstand the slings and arrows of repeated foldings and unfoldings.
3. Stability Plugs
Finally, they came up with the "stability plug." This is a contoured rubber plug at the point where the back legs touch the front legs (behind the seat) that fits snuggly up against the front legs when the chair is open. This little plug stabilized the chair even more and made it more durable.
It's a big, wide world of folding chairs. Certainly bigger than one might think.
All around, church chairs have undergone a revolution. Today's church chair is comfortable, attractive, durable, inexpensive and flexible.