salon upholstery

Salon Upholstery Guide: Is It Cheaper To Reupholster Or Buy New Furniture?

SALON UPHOLSTERY and furniture, in general, face one major problem, TIME! meaning, everything gets old. Consequently, today we ask the question, is it cheaper to reupholster or buy new?

But before we get to it, we must first ask the question, what is upholstery repair?

As the name suggests, upholstery repair is a process of restoring furniture to near original condition. This process consists of steps such as the replacement of support systems, fabrics, padding, and frames depending on the nature of the damaged item.

How much does it cost to repair salon upholstery in Australia?

In Australia, the re-upholstering cost depends on a variety of factors including the type and quantity of fabric used, whether or not the item requires re-stuffing and the condition of springs and the frame.

Typically, re-upholstering a 2-seater couch costs upwards of $1,000 or more, whereas, an armchair $600 or more. Furthermore, if the service includes re-stuffing and backboard or spring repair, you might be looking at a $2,000 repair bill, why?

Factored into the final price is… the cost of labour, materials and in some cases transportation. Many people end up buying new purely for convenience! I mean, have you ever tried to transport a waiting lounge, salon chairs and basins across a city? You haven’t, lucky you!

How much does it cost to buy new salon upholstery in Australia?

Normally, salon upholstery, depending on type and quality. Costs anywhere from $100 to $1,000 plus.

Notice something?

The truth is, in some cases it is cheaper to buy new than it is to re-upholster/repair. But it all depends on your contractor and the nature of materials and fabrics used. So, we advise that you get several quotes from repairmen before deciding whether to reupholster or buy new.

Another important question you should ask is, when should I replace my salon furniture?

Most salon owners replace upholstery mainly to re-decorate. However, some scenarios warrant the immediate replacement of salon upholstery such as:

  • Your waiting lounge or washing chair doesn’t fit your space.
  • Creaking noises or accidents caused by old upholstery.
  • Flat cushions and no lumbar support.
  • Bad odour, itching, or allergic reactions to upholstery.
  • Customer and employee complaints such as back pain.
  • Low-quality upholstery.

Whether you decide to replace or repair salon upholstery, this is what you must do.

Ask: how do I choose fabric for salon upholstery?

Upholstery fabric choice should be made with respect to three guiding factors, that is, durability, colour, and harmony, what do I mean?

Why durability is important

The reason beauty beds such as the ones below, washing chairs, massage chairs, etc. are made of durable vinyl PVC material or leather is… this type of material is best suited for the nature of the job. Think about it, if you reupholster your salon washing chair with say cotton, silk, or any other type of material that absorbs liquid. The result will be a bad odour, stains you can’t get rid of, and an overall “dirty feel” to your space.

Whether you choose to reupholster or buy new, carefully consider the durability of the material used.

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Why colour matters

The nature of a salon business is plenty of people will come to your place. Consequently, your upholstery will get dirty and thus require cleaning. The colour of the material used on upholstery combined with the fabric determines how difficult or easy the item is to clean.

That is why we recommend dark coloured upholstery to hide dirt and prevent stains from standing out.

Another problem with bright coloured salon upholstery is brighter colours fade faster, but at the end of it, when it comes to colours you are free to do as you wish.

Create harmony

Fabrics used on upholstery should create harmony and or contrast depending on the aesthetic you envisioned. The idea is to look at your current décor, then re-upholster or buy salon furniture that’s most suitable.

Are there cheaper options?

If you don’t have the resources to buy new salon upholstery or to re-upholster, you should consider getting loose covers, what are loose covers?

Loose covers are fabrics, typically cotton or nylon that can be removed and washed. Therefore, if you have an old faded lounge chair, you can give it a fresh look by simply covering it. Just make sure that what you buy fits.

Remember, loose covers are a temporary fix until you can afford repairs or replacements.

How do I find a quality upholsterer in Australia?

Furniture scams are a worldwide phenomenon, consequently, homeowners and business owners lose millions every year, how?

Let’s say you hire an upholsterer and he or she deliberately forgets to mention that your item is beyond repair. So, he goes ahead, does the job, and you are left with your “fixed” sofa. A few days, or months later, the item finally gives. That’s wasted money!

To avoid this trap, start by asking for referrals from friends or family or simply buy new furniture. It is also a good idea to find an upholsterer near your place, as this will make it easier to find them if something goes wrong.

If you can’t find referrals, ask for examples of previous work.

Re-upholster or buy new salon furniture: what is the best choice?

Weigh your options and costs, then ask, long run, which is the cheaper option?

See the thing is, it is better to spend lots of money on an item that will last five years than on one that will only last 8 months. Furthermore, upholstery that requires complete frame replacement often costs much more than new furniture, and don’t forget, you also have to consider labour cost and other hidden fees.

The point is, determine the amount of money you are willing to part with. Then look for new upholstery within that budget and then decide whether to buy or repair.

Part 2: 7 tips for buying new/ reupholstered salon furniture

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Buying upholstery will put a huge dent in your savings, or you might find yourself in debt. Consequently, this is an Endeavor that requires forethought and careful planning.

Let’s be real here, you want to get the highest quality upholstery at the lowest price possible.

To that end, the first thing you should do is set a ‘grounded budget’.

1.     How to budget for salon upholstery/furniture

Unfortunately, budgeting is not something you make up, meaning, your estimates may be very far from reality. Therefore, the first thing you should do when buying upholstery is to identify the bigger and often more expensive items and compare prices.

To clarify, find a base price, and how far up from it you are willing to go. For example, if you identify a washing chair, check the prices of that item from multiple retailers and don’t shy away from clearance sales and discounts. Alternatively, if you verify that the item is of high quality, there is no harm in looking for it at second-hand dealers.

2.      Educate yourself about quality

YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and similar sites are chock full of furniture and electronic reviews. Accordingly, professional reviewers often buy products and test them. This is beneficial to you in that, you’ll know whether a reviewed item is of good quality or a waste of cash.

The idea is to check manufacturer details, input identifying details such as name and model number into your preferred such engine and search. It goes without saying that if an item has overwhelming negative feedback, stay away from it!

3.      Has it been recalled?

To encourage healthy competition and to protect buyers, the Australian government set up Product Safety Australia. There, you can find lists of recalled items that have been found unsuitable for the market, why?

Could be low-quality upholstery, use of dangerous adhesives, or lots of other problems.

4.      Second hand ‘Self-assembled’ furniture may not be sturdy

When buying used upholstery or furniture, you should shy away from anything that says “requires assembly”, why? There is no telling how many times the item has been taken apart and reassembled.

That’s problematic in that disassembling often causes wear and tear thus affecting furniture sturdiness.

  1. Cut hidden costs by renting or borrowing a truck/pickup truck

How will your new or re-upholstered washing chair get to your home? Delivering it yourself is not only cheaper, but it is also safer because the item won’t have to share space with other deliveries that may damage it.

  1. Verify furniture quality by renting first

In some places, it is possible to rent salon furniture.

Renting upholstery is a good choice because you get to test the item before buying your own. But be careful, renting for too long can be more expensive than purchasing.

My advice, rent salon furniture for a month or less.

  1. Shop with dimensions in hand

When buying new salon upholstery, it’s important to ensure that what you get fits your space. Henceforth, measure your space and figure out how much room an item will require before purchase.


As we have seen, the cost of buying new salon upholstery versus that of repairing salon furniture in Australia is almost the same. To avoid losing money in either case, you must plan your purchases in a way that gets you the most value for money.

Remember, Situations are different, therefore prioritize durability, quality, and the overall aesthetic you want to create.

Looking for new salon upholstery at affordable rates? Check out this months’ deals here!!

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