Frequently Asked Questions - everything furniture related
Q Why does Deka Design use stainless steel instead of other metals?
A We noticed as soon as we moved to the Gold Coast from Finland in the 1970's that every metal fitting in beachside homes was corroded, including light fittings, hinges, switches, door knobs and metal furniture. We quickly realised that stainless steel is the only metal fit for this coastal climate. We use stainless steel for table legs, chair legs and bases and custom handles and hinges. Stainless steel does have high embedded energy due to its manufacture, but its use is more than justified in applications where longevity and ease of maintenance is needed. Stainless steel does not need a coating to make it corrosion resistant like aluminium or mild steel requires in the form of powdercoating, chromeplating or anodising, and it is fully recyclable without the need to strip off coating. Once polished it has a very smooth surface impervious to corrosion, but if the stainless steel has a brushed finish it will build up some surface pitting, even so this is easily removed with a scourer and a little bit of elbow grease. And yes, it is important to note that there are different qualities of stainless steel! So, while we prefer to use stainless steel for these reasons in our own furniture range, there are applications where other metals work well so we do not disregard their use entirely.
Q Does Deka Design have products that have been certified to GECA standards?
A No, not yet. Our catalogue of products runs into the hundreds, and since our strength is in custom making, much of our work is custom which has made it inefficient to pursue this formal certification process. We have an inhouse environmental policy that exceeds the requirements of the Good Environmental Choice Australia - Environmental Performace Standard for Furniture and Fittings (GECA 28-2010). We use this standard to establish best practice and continuously improve our inhouse standards. More information is available here: Our commitement to sustainability.
Q What warranty does Deka Design offer for their furniture?
A We have a ten year structural warranty for furniture used in a interior residential application, and two-five years (depending on use) for furniture used in an interior commercial application. This warranty covers the workmanship and structural integrity of the furniture. It does not cover wear and tear, mis-use, and fabrics or leathers. Please contact us for specific terms and conditions of our warranty.
Q What material does Deka Design make their sofa frames from?
A We use a solid seasoned hardwood frame in most of our upholstered sofa designs, and welded steel structure for others requiring thinner profiles. The use of solid timber for internal frames is just as durable and fit-for-purpose as steel frames in general sofa construction. We like to point out that the key to longevity in sofas is always quality of manufacture, and while poor quality is not often obvious from the outside, some markers of poor quality are noticeable: flimsy or skewed legs, misalignment of stitching, spongy seats, hard armrests and light weight.
Q How do I chose an appropriate surface for my new coffee table?
A There are many considerations when selecting the surface on a high use furniture piece. Common materials for table tops include timber veneer, solid timber, lacquer, laminate, corian, natural stone, glass. In choosing which is best for you, consider the characteristics of the material and the surface finish options, but most importantly please remember that quality of manufacture is most important:
- Timber veneer on MDF: gives a precise surface that does not move with changes in humidity; many environmentally responsible veneers are readily available; has a surface finish that creates a barrier against water is required; water and heat will damage a veneer surface; as surface wears it will need re-treatment
- Solid timber: a very attractive and long lasting option; timber can expand and contract considerably with changes in humidity so the table must be well designed to accommodate the movement both structurally and visually,
- Lacquer: white 2 pack polyurethane lacquer has been a popular choice for many years: has hard wearing surface; marks can be buffed out by hand; heat and moisture will damage surface; recommend re-lacquering when surface wears.
- Laminate: a large selection of laminates are readily available; very hardwearing surface; laminate edging is often unattractive and postforming gives a kitchen-like aesthetic.
- Corian and other reconstituted surfaces: a large selection of colours and finishes available; can be relatively expensive and heavy; has strong surface that is impervious to dirt and moisture and withstands heat, although there are specific limitations with some; scratches and marks can be easily buffed out, and the surface can be re-sanded over time.
- Natural stone: beautiful finish; is relatively expensive and heavy; needs proper surface seal to protect against moisture and needs re-sealing regularly; needs particular care when moving; cracks are difficult if impossible to repair.
- Glass: hard wearing surface impervious to moisture; relatively heat resistant; colour and opacity options available; is susceptible to cracks and breakages during moving or from accidental damage; is a noisy surface.
Q What surface finish does Deka Design recommend for a timber veneer or solid timber surface?
A There are several options for finishing a timber surface, including 2 pac polyurethane lacquer, waterbased lacquers and stains, shellac, oil, wax and soap finish. Each has properties that make them more desirable for for certain applications. For example 2 pac lacquer is very high wearing and resists scratches and damage; and oil and wax finishes give a more natural finish, emit lower levels of VOCs and are less harmful during application. As they are becoming available we welcome a move to low VOC and natural finishes, at the same time recognising that maintenance of the furniture is affected, so promoting ongoing care of the furniture to our customers.
Q How do I chose the right type of fabric for my family room sofa?
A As with any material selection, the selection of fabric is very important and will govern the life of your sofa. Many fabrics are a blend of cotton, linen, polyester, acrylic and rayon each giving a different feel, strength, wear and fading properties; and leathers are graded according to their manufacture process and wear properties, eg. anline, semi-aniline, corrected grain, nubuck. We always assist our customers in chosing the best quality and most appropriate fabric or leather, and often for high use family rooms recommend the use of loose cotton covers that can be machine washed.
Q What specific tools are required for small upholstery jobs?
A These are the basics: a staple gun (electric and pneumatic powered ones are available), upholstery hammer, staple remover, upholstery plyers, webbing stretcher, webbing plyers, side cutters, good scissors and straight and curved needles and a sewing machine for any fabric sewing.
Q I want to re-upholster my dining chair, where do I access small quantities of materials for this?
A We buy bulk from local wholesalers so are able to on-sell small quantities of fabrics, twine, wadding, foam, webbing. There are also online suppliers who may have what you are looking for. Contact us for more information, we can discuss your needs and point you in the right direction.