School Furniture: What Wears Out by the End of the School Year?

The end of the school year is a time of reflection, not just for students and teachers but also for the physical infrastructure that supports education. Among these, school furniture bears the brunt of daily use and often shows significant wear and tear. Here, we'll explore the pieces of school furniture most likely to break down or wear out by the end of the school year and the reasons behind their decline.

1. Student Desks and Chairs

Daily Use: Student desks and chairs are arguably the most frequently used pieces of furniture in any school. With students sitting for hours each day, these items experience constant wear.

Common Issues:

  • Loose Screws and Bolts: Over time, the constant movement and pressure can cause screws and bolts to loosen.
  • Surface Damage: Desks often become scratched, dented, or covered in graffiti.
  • Structural Weakening: The repeated weight and movement can weaken the joints, leading to wobbling chairs and desks.

2. Teacher Desks and Chairs

Frequent Use: Teachers spend significant time at their desks, grading papers, preparing lessons, and conducting administrative tasks.

Common Issues:

  • Drawer Malfunctions: Constant opening and closing can cause drawer mechanisms to fail.
  • Surface Wear: The desktop surface can get scratched, stained, or chipped from regular use.
  • Chair Degradation: Teacher chairs, often used for long periods, can suffer from worn-out cushions and faulty adjustment mechanisms.

3. Library Furniture

Heavy Traffic: School libraries see a lot of foot traffic, with students and teachers frequently using tables, chairs, and shelves.

Common Issues:

  • Shelf Damage: Shelves can become warped or cracked from the weight of numerous books.
  • Table and Chair Wear: Similar to classroom furniture, library tables and chairs can suffer from surface scratches, loose joints, and worn finishes.

4. Cafeteria Tables and Benches

High Turnover: Cafeteria furniture experiences a lot of use, often three times a day during breakfast, lunch, and sometimes after-school programs.

Common Issues:

  • Joint Weakening: The constant moving and cleaning can cause joints to loosen or break.
  • Surface Damage: Spills and heavy use can lead to stains, scratches, and dents.
  • Stability Issues: Regular shifting and stacking can make tables and benches unstable.

5. Lockers

Frequent Use: Students use lockers daily to store books, supplies, and personal items, leading to considerable wear.

Common Issues:

  • Lock Malfunctions: The locks can become jammed or fail due to frequent use.
  • Door Damage: Locker doors can become dented, scratched, or even broken off their hinges.
  • Rust and Corrosion: Exposure to moisture, particularly in older buildings, can cause rust and corrosion.

6. Playground Equipment

Intense Activity: Playground equipment, while not typically considered "furniture," undergoes significant wear due to vigorous daily use.

Common Issues:

  • Safety Hazards: Broken or worn-out parts can pose safety risks, such as sharp edges or weakened structural components.
  • Surface Wear: Swing seats, slides, and climbing structures can become worn, cracked, or faded from use and exposure to the elements.


Maintaining school furniture is crucial for providing a safe and conducive learning environment. By understanding which items are most prone to wear and tear, schools can better plan for maintenance and replacement, ensuring that students and staff have reliable and functional furniture throughout the school year. Regular inspections and timely repairs can extend the life of school furniture, saving costs and preventing disruptions in the educational process.

When your old school furniture begins to show signs of wear and tear, School Furniture by Simplova offers an excellent solution. As an Indigenous-owned, high-quality school furniture provider based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Simplova specializes in ergonomic furniture designed to enhance student comfort and productivity. Their durable, thoughtfully designed desks, chairs, and collaborative seating options ensure that your school environment remains conducive to learning. With a commitment to both quality and community, Simplova not only provides furniture that stands the test of time but also supports Indigenous business initiatives.