Choosing Church Seating

Best Sanctuary Seating Options

 Which questions should a church ask when choosing auditorium or sanctuary seating?  All churches desire to be good stewards of their budget; with so many different types of seating available, how do they make the best decision?

Pews, chairs or theatre seating:

Q. What factors should a church consider when deciding to purchase pews, chairs or theatre seating?

A. Different Styles of Worship require different styles of seating. The most important factor to consider is that different styles of seating require different spacing, and this will affect your total seating capacity.

                  Traditional Style: Pews can be used throughout, but can be combined with wood frame chairs

                  Contemporary Style: Theatre Style seating which is especially designed for the Worship Market and can be mixed with interlocking chairs to match.  If all non-fixed seating is required in your sanctuary, using only interlocking chairs is also appropriate for this style.

                   Multi-Use: Chairs that are interlocked for your formal services can be re-positioned and used together with tables for a banquet style setting. For                              frequent multi-use setups, we recommend using a metal frame chair as they are more resilient than wood when moving and stacking repeatedly.

When a Worship Style has been determined, you can then work with different seating configurations which will help determine your final seating capacity.

Types of Seating:

Q. What are some of the different kinds of seating available?

A. Pews:-Straight, Curved, Defined (Individual cushion), Traditional Pew with individual Flip up Seats

Auditorium: Theatre Style

Chairs: Look for designs that ensure maximum support and that suit your specific needs.  This could include chairs for your sanctuary, clergy or platform, choir, classroom, chapel, banquet hall, café and social gathering places. Metal frame chairs and Wood frame chairs are available.

Seating on sloped floors:

Q. Can all seating be installed on a sloped auditorium floor?

A. Most seating can be installed on a sloped auditorium floor, but will depend on the degree of slope.

Church seating warranties:

Q: Realistically, how long can a church expect seating to last? What are some typical manufacturer’s warranties?

A: The “lifetime” of church seating will depend generally on the overall usage per week. Realistically a church can expect their seating to last:

Pews:   Upholstered – 20-35 years

Pews:   All wood –50-100 years

Auditorium theatre seating – 10-20 years

Chairs: Metal frame –15-25 years

Chairs: Wood frame- 20-25 years

Make sure you understand what “lifetime” means. You may be surprised to learn that a “Lifetime Warranty” only covers the lifetime of the product. If the product has an expected life of ten years than that “lifetime” warranty is only good for ten years.  A Manufacturer’s Warranty’s will typically cover all defects in material and workmanship under normal usage during their warranty period. Keep in mind that there will be normal wear and tear during your weekly and sometimes daily usage.

The warranty information outlined here is a general guideline. Be sure to understand each manufacturer’s product warranty before placing your order.

Seating and Sustainability: 

Q. For a church that wants to make sustainable choices, what seating products should they consider?

A. The first and most important consideration is to find a company that uses sustainable practices. This starts with a commitment to stewardship and it means the company actively seeks to conserve, recycle and act with respect toward the environment. This could include, but is not limited to, sourcing of raw materials, and recycling.  Some manufacturing companies will operate co-generation plants where it converts wood scraps to electricity.

Need more information?

While this information is a good place to start, if you’re serious about purchasing new seating for your church  we recommend you get in touch with an expert who can help you make your best decision.

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