Terms & Conditions of Purchase and Ownership
Note: Abacus is a trademark of Abacus Home Limited. Abacus Tables is a trading name of Abacus Home Limited. UK company number 8305747.
The following terms and conditions explain what you should expect when buying and owning our products.
Each product falls into one of the following categories, each with its own terms and conditions of purchase and ownership:
Category 1 – Real Wood Tables
These are tables with wooden tops up to 65mm thick, made from kiln-dried timber.
Category 2 – Oak Beam Tables
These are tables that contain oak beams between 80mm to 300mm thick. These include the Arabica, Mantis, Chameleon and Pedestal side tables.
Category 3 – Chairs
All chairs are custom-built to order and fall under their respective manufacturers guarantee and warranty.
Terms of Purchase
Confirming Your Order
An order is confirmed upon receipt of 100% payment of the sales invoice. If any non-standard payment terms are agreed for special orders, they will be noted on the sales invoice. Because we custom build every order to each customer’s specifications, we do not start the manufacturing process until the agreed payment has been received. Regardless of the terms, payment in full is due prior to delivery.
It is our top priority that your order at least meets, if not exceeds, your expectations. During the sales process there may be many emails and conversations to reach an agreed specification. Therefore it is critical that any and all notes, relating to any details that are important to you, are included on the sales invoice to ensure they transfer from the sales process to the production process.
If no special notes are included on the sales invoice then your product(s) will be made in accordance with our normal specifications as detailed below.
30 Day Guarantee
For your peace of mind, all of our products come with a 30 day Repair or Replace Guarantee. This is in accordance with (and over and above the requirement of) the Bespoke Product classification within The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
If a product is received with aesthetic damage or and structural fault, we will expedite the repair and return to you. If it cannot be repaired to the quality of a brand new product, we will replace the affected part or component.
These terms, along with our sales process and hundreds of photos and descriptions across our website, attempt to set expectations as accurately as possible of how your natural furniture may look. There is a broad spectrum of timber appearance and, where there are any special requirements noted on the sales invoice, we will always try to achieve your specification as closely as practicable. 2 piece and 3 piece table tops use the widest pieces of timber from a tree and therefore give us the smallest degree of choice in their appearance.
If the product has not met your expectations aesthetically, if replacing that product with another like-for-like specification will guarantee your satisfaction, we will replace the product.
However, if you have any aesthetic issue which is due to the unpredictable nature of the natural timber product, a like-for-like replacement may not guarantee avoiding the same issue. In this situation a change of spec may be required to achieve your requirements.
The limits or predictability of natural timber products include the frequency and size of knots and cracks (dictated by the timber grading), consistency of colouring between table top pieces and the waviness, angle and colouring of a live edge.
If you are concerned or have any specific needs relating to any of these natural variations in the timber of your table, or the standard production process outlined below, please ensure your special requirements have been included in your sales invoice or otherwise please contact your sales consultant before confirming your order so we can account for your needs and set expectations accurately.
We will provide you with a target delivery month at the time of order. This is an estimated lead time based on payment being received within 48 hours of the invoice date, plus current known lead times on all materials and parts at the time of order.
Please note – we do not provide full or partial refunds or compensation for delayed deliveries. If the predicted delivery is subject to any delay during the production process, you will be offered a courtesy table (and seating if included on the order) to use until your order is delivered.
All of our timber products come with one optional refurbishment service, to address any visible signs of wood movement that occur during the first 12 months in your home. This is a one-time refurbishment service of your timber, so we recommend waiting at least 12 months so your timber has acclimatised to the full 12 month cycle of temperature, humidity and sunlight exposure in your home. It is not a mandatory service as not all products will experience visible wood movement, but it is there for your peace of mind in case it is required.
The warranty is activated when payment in full has been received.
Please note, timber generally loses moisture in the first 12 months in a modern indoor environment, which results in shrinkage across the width and thickness of the timber. It is this shrinkage / movement that can create the need for refurbishment. Any woodworking that is needed to refurbish the timber normally requires further material loss. The degree of material loss will be kept to an absolute minimum by the workshop team, but the many factors affecting movement and shrinkage (both in the material and the table’s environment) means we are unable to predict the change in width or thickness of a table, both during the initial 12 months or after refurbishment.
Please also note, the warranty is there to rectify visible or structural issues that arise as a result of wood movement. Damage repairs and refinishing work can be provided too – please send photos by email to [email protected] to request a quotation for repairs or refinishing work.
If you are purchasing a table destined for outside mainland UK, we will honour our warranty to any address in mainland UK. That means you are responsible for the transportation of the table to and from the UK mainland, we will be responsible for any collection, remedial work or re-delivery within the UK mainland.
If an order is cancelled after the production process has started, depending on the stage of production, Abacus Home Limited reserves the right to retain up to 50% of the order value.
If you are unable to accept delivery of an order, we will store your order until you are ready for delivery and there will be no charge for this.
But please be aware – Natural timber table tops are subject to movement as they acclimatise to their surroundings and our table legs and bases are designed to mitigate the effects of this movement when the top is fastened down to its legs / base in your home.
However, we do not have the facility to store tables fully assembled. So if your stored table top does move (twist / crack) in storage, any refurbishment that the table top needs will take the place of the inclusive warranty refurbishment that comes with each table.
Product Category 1 – Real Wood Tables & Benches
1. Cracking in the wood
Before the table is made:
There may be cracks present in the oak pieces when we make our tables (and other furniture). There are 2 possible reasons – Firstly from the kiln drying process, which is the commercial seasoning of timber to prepare it for use indoors. Secondly from the air-drying process, which is the seasoning of the tree before kiln drying. The wider the pieces of oak you choose for your table, the more likelihood there is that cracks will be present.
There are 2 ways we can prepare these cracks – As standard we will fill these cracks with a naturally dark coloured filler. But if you would prefer the table to have a more characterful / rustic look we can leave the cracks open and hand finish them to emphasise these natural features.
After the furniture is made an in your home:
It is perfectly normal for cracking to occur in a new table indoors. Depending on the time of year and the conditions indoors (see below), this can happen immediately or any time in the first 12 months.
The initial shrinkage / cracking of timber indoors is primarily caused by the moisture content of the air indoors being lower than the moisture content of the kiln dried timber. The dry air inside the home is a result of indoor central heating drying the air out, combined with a lack of fresh air circulating to replace the lost moisture. Modern homes with underfloor heating and / or air conditioning, combined with well-sealed doors between rooms, normally have the driest air.
As a guide, kiln dried timber products can have a moisture content anywhere between 8% and 15%, depending on the thickness of the timber, the time of year and a variety of other factors outside the control of the furniture maker.
The warm dry air indoors will act as a kiln to dry / shrink the wood further, causing cracking and other visible changes in the surface and edges of the oak pieces.
Many of our customers like the natural development of cracks to emphasise the authentic character of their oak as it ages.
However, there are steps that you can take to minimise this shrinkage and the chances of cracking. These steps allow the oak to acclimatise to the indoor conditions of your home as gently / slowly as possible. Here are our recommendations:
• Have a house plant or plants growing in the room, because they naturally put moisture back into the air through their breathing process (photosynthesis).
• Have a humidifier, controlling the moisture level in the room
• Allow fresh air to circulate through the home as much as possible. With central heating / air conditioning on and doors closed there will be virtually no moisture in the air of a room, so you can expect the fastest and greatest degree of shrinkage and cracking, visible even within hours.
• If you cannot allow fresh air to circulate through the home (in the cold winter months for example) then as a minimum you can have a container / bucket of water standing in the room, to evaporate into the air and help keep some moisture content in the atmosphere.
The Settling / Acclimatisation Period:
As the timber acclimatises, new tables may develop cracks (new or widening of existing cracks), splits at glued joints, bends or deflected straight edges. This wood movement will normally take place over the first 12 months in the table’s new home (the acclimatisation / settling period) as it experiences the changing humidity levels through the changing seasons in your home for the first time.
If you are unhappy with the condition of the woodwork and have taken reasonable preventative steps to minimise the degree of movement, we will be able to refurbish the wood for you and we will carry out this service once without charge.
This refurbishment includes restoring (filling and finishing) cracks and splits, straightening joining edges that are no longer parallel and flattening pieces that have bowed up or down. We will also remove all staining that we can in the top surface before completely refinishing the affected surface(s).
We strongly recommend refurbishment only after the acclimatisation period, which is a minimum of 12 months, to allow the timber to find its resting state in your home. Its also important to wait for the wood to settle because wood can move differently (in all planes) throughout the year, so any refurbishment work carried out before the wood has settled may not be permanent and could even result in excessive cracking or distortion.
Please be aware that refurbishment will involve losing material from the table surfaces and edges and the amount of material loss is dictated by the degree of wood movement caused by the table’s home environment. The steps above should be followed to minimise the degree of wood movement and the necessary material loss at refurbishment.
Please note that cracks under 1mm in width are too fine to fill and part of the natural character of real wood tables.
Direct Heat and Sunlight:
Wooden furniture is susceptible to shrinkage, cracking and / or warping if an external face is subjected to direct heat or direct sunlight. Damage can occur at any time of year so shading is advised. If your table is placed in a conservatory or in direct sunlight, we recommend that the table is covered with something breathable when not in use for this period of time to avoid the surface of the wood drying too fast, which can cause excessive cracking, bending or twisting (movement) of the pieces. If possible we also recommend any under floor heating directly under the table is switched off during this first 2 months to minimise any movement of the wood. If this is not possible you should follow the steps above to mitigate the risk and degree of movement.
Damage due to severe temperature fluctuations or direct heat, resulting in the moisture content of the wood reducing too quickly and unevenly, is not covered by our Guarantee. If you are not going to be at your property to monitor this, or you do not have the means to ensure a stable temperature and humidity is maintained, please get in touch so we can advise you.
If your table is damaged by a direct heat source but refurbishment is still possible, we will provide a quote for this work on a case by case basis.
2. Natural features
We select our oak for its natural beauty, so you should expect knots, areas of lighter or darker colour and other natural features of the wood to be visible. During the manufacturing process, any natural features will dealt with at the judgement of the workshop, unless specifically asked to do otherwise by the table owner at the time of order. Cracks are normal in the size of oak pieces we use, from the Kiln drying process. As standard, we will fill any open cracks during the manufacturing process for stability and safety unless specifically requested to do otherwise.
3. Overall Table Width
The widths of oak planks in any table top varies depending on your chosen specification. The overall table width may vary by up to 5% so we can avoid natural imperfections in individual pieces that would cause an aesthetic or structural issue.
After production, the oak may lose moisture resulting in shrinkage of up to 5% across the grain, or width and thickness, of the table during the first 5 years.
4. Live Edge Table Width
Because the live-edge of a table undulates, the finished table width in a live edge table top may be +/-5% of the specified width at the time of order.
Because our live-edge tables have a 100% natural edge, we’re unable to offer “more” or “less” degrees of live-edge. For anyone who doesn’t want a 100% live-edge, we offer a straight / square edge or knife / bevelled edge table top options.
5. Gaps in Planks
Because of the seasonal movement in the oak planks, due to their natural breathing throughout the year, gaps may develop and close back up between the planks. The table structure is designed so the planks can be loosened by the owner and pushed back together. This may eliminate the gaps, or simply reduce them, but the table will maintain 100% of its strength and integrity. Gaps may develop and close back up between planks as the table ages, this is simply due to the nature of real oak pieces of this size breathing and adapting to their environment throughout the year. Due to these seasonal changes in temperature and humidity in the home, it is not possible to permanently eliminate gaps between individual pieces of real timber. If you would like any gaps reducing from your table, we offer a service to our customers to do this at cost price and can provide a quote on request. It may be necessary to take the table away to do this work, but not always.
6. Differences in Colour
Because we use 100% natural oak, variations in the colour within a plank, between planks and between different pieces of furniture in the same order are to be expected, but we always aim to select oak that keeps these natural variations to a minimum.
7. Colour Matching
Because of the individual nature of each tree, we are unable to offer exact colour-matching due to natural variations in wood tone. We may be able to use a particular finish that we don’t offer as standard, just ask at the time of ordering for details. Please be aware that a non-standard finish is likely to incur an additional cost.
8. Staining and Marking
The oak finish provides a level of protection against staining and marking, but the finish can still mark and stain. So we advise using placemats and coasters 100% of the time to avoid this issue. If your table is accidentally marked or damaged we may be able to help, so get in touch with some photos to find out your options.
When the finish begins to fade it can be replenished with a hand-applied coat of oil. Please contact us for instructions on how to do this. If you do not apply the oil in accordance with our instructions, the table’s finished colour, sheen and evenness can be affected. If your table finish is detrimentally affected by incorrect application of the oil, we can repair this at cost price (labour and materials) for our customers. Please send photos of the surface to us for a quote if you would like this work carrying out.
9. Glass Spec
All glass supplied with Abacus tables is 10mm toughened to European safety standard to prevent shattering. This means it is able to support any reasonable amount of weight from common indoor living room items, but extra care should be taken when removing or moving the glass as the edges can chip. If you chip a piece of glass we would be happy to provide a price for a replacement.
10. Restoration Work
Our tables are designed so that if any part of the table is damaged it can be removed and repaired, or if necessary replaced. If your table isn’t covered by, or is outside of the 5 year cover period of the Premier Care, warranty (optional extra), we can provide a quote for any restoration, refurbishment or damage repair on request.
11. Marks on Legs
The stainless steel bases come in a brushed finish as standard. This finish can be damaged with impact from another object, but can be restored by hand using the correct brushing pads. Please contact us for any recommendations on how to do this.
12. Steelwork and Stainless Spec
The stainless steel used to make our table bases is 304 grade. That means it is resistant to corrosion if kept clean and moisture-free. A stainless steel cleaning product should be used on a regular (monthly) basis to maintain their condition and they should always (daily) be checked and kept dry.
If a table top is out of level due to the movement in the top pieces or supporting steelwork, we will level the table top using the appropriate shims / packers. Any shims / packers installed will be visibly out of sight when in use, so as to not affect the aesthetics of the table design from a standing (in the room) or normal sitting position.
13. Painted Finish
Our powder coated (painted) table bases can be chipped with impact from another object. Any damage should be repaired (touched-up) by a professional to avoid corrosion of the parent steel.
14. Farmhouse table
Our oak-base tables are susceptible (as all oak is) to seasonal movement and slight shrinkage over time. The design allows this to happen, but the table top planks may need occasional adjustment (loosening-repositioning-tightening) to maintain the table’s appearance.
15. Laminated Table Tops
Table tops made from a plywood, MDF or chipboard core will have a laminated surface. The bonding of this surface to the core material is guaranteed for 2 years if the table is kept at 15-20 degrees Centigrade. At temperatures above this, the bonding agent may be compromised and delamination is a risk. In such instances, where a repair cannot be done on site by our team, we will provide a quote (at cost price to our customers) to undertake any repairs / replacement for off-site work.
Product Category 2 – Oak Beam Tables (Arabica, Mantis, Chameleon, Pedestal)
1 – As we use 100% natural oak beams, the appearance of each table will be unique. This means we are unable to replicate the features and exact coloring of a particular table in a photo on the website.
1a- Colour Finish – The images across the site are intended to give an indication of the variation in the finished appearance of the tables, however due to the unique nature of light levels we are unable to colour-match based on photographs. If you require a specific colour or finish then please provide the product and application that you would like us to use on your table. Please note there may be an additional cost for using a non-standard finish.
1b – Natural Features – Every beam is unique and will have its own unique features. As a result, we cannot guarantee what natural features will appear in the beams of any table, but we will always strive to get as close as our stock allows us, to any particular requirement that you have. Based on the photos online, when a table is new or as it ages, you can expect any or all the following features in your table: wide splits (up to 20mm) and cracks, natural colour variations (from white / cream to dark brown) within a single beam and between beams, knots (left unfilled or filled depending on structural needs to solidify the area), curves or chamfers along beam edges, undulations in the beam surface and edges, areas of varying texture or sheen level (from rougher matt areas to shiny glossy areas), depressions or gouges in beam surfaces either from their origins in the forest (too deep to remove without compromising the natural appearance of the surface) or from the removal of unsightly features during the manufacturing process, extinct woodworm holes in beams that have been treated (we always aim to keep these restricted to non-visible surfaces where possible).
2 – As the oak beams are partially dried before the tables are made, it is likely that cracks, knots and natural features will be present in the table when new . Cracks may widen within the first 12 months up to 20mm as the table acclimatises to your home. Beams may twist and raised areas may develop across the surface. This is to be expected with any oak beam table over 3″ thick. Abacus oak beam tables are approximately 5″ thick (110mm). Beam width and thickness can vary +/- 10% depending on the batch of oak and its level of seasoning.
3 – You have 30 days from receiving your table to inform us if your with to exchange it, if you are not satisfied that the table(s) you have received meets the expectations described on this website including these terms and conditions. We will arrange collection of the table on the next available delivery to your area which may be any time up to 10 weeks away in England or Wales or 3 months in Scotland. Any rectification / modification work will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
4 – You should care for your table by dusting (or soft-brush vacuuming) once every 1-2 weeks. You can wipe the surfaces clean with a damp cloth, then immediately drying the surface.
5. The table is finished in a stain-resistant coating but it is not stain-proof. Coasters should always be used under cups and place-mats used under plates to protect the table surface from scratching, moisture and heat. If anything is spilled on the table it should be dried immediately, then wiped clean with a damp cloth and dried again to remove any residual moisture. If the table stains it can always be repaired so please don’t worry, either by you for light stains or by a professional. Please contact us at [email protected] with photos and we’ll provide options for you. For re-coating of the protective finish, for highly used tables like coffee and kitchen tables we advise applying another coat of finish after the first 6 months, then every 12 months after that to maintain the level of protection. For lower-traffic tables like TV and occasional dining tables, we recommend applying a new coat of finish every 12-24 months, or whenever you feel the surface needs to be refreshed.
6. As the oak beams dry out in the warm dry home environment, there will be movement in the beams which mostly takes place in the first 12 months. Some minor movement may take place after this due to the seasonal change in humidity in the home. As the oak loses moisture it shrinks across the grain, causing cracks to appear and / or widen and the beams to potentially twist (detailed in item 2 above). Abacus tables are designed specifically to allow this movement to take place without any unnatural constraint of the beams, so whatever state the beams are in is their natural dry resting state, so a table will always look natural and maintain the maximum level of their natural strength.
The table top beams are fitted with 4 adjustable threaded supports (feet) so that if a beam develops a wobble, its supports can be adjusted manually to correct the wobble. If any steps between beams develop due to settling / acclimatisation, the adjustable bolts can be used to level these steps. If any cracks open up and a sharp edge becomes a concern, we can supply a small kit for you to quickly sand the edge smooth by hand and re-coat the area with the same finish used on the table. Abacus cannot be held responsible for any cuts, splinters or scrapes as a result of cracks or sharp edges not being smoothed out. Please note that positioning a table close to a heat source, skylight or on underfloor heating is likely to accelerate the rate and degree of any shrinkage, cracking or warping movement that may take place in oak.
7. The Nature of oak beams is that they are likely to move as they age, its impossible to predict the degree to which this will occur and when you purchase an oak beam table you are accepting that the table beams may change shape. As mentioned in item 6 above, the beams in each tables are fitted with adjustabIe bolts to correct any wobbles or steps between beams. But it is impossible to guarantee that the edges or faces of beams will remain straight and flat as the beams age.
However, if you choose to, due to the unique construction of our oak beam tables we can restore the machined straight, square edges and faces of the beams after the beams have settled (minimum 12 months after installation). If you are interested in having beam restoration work done, then please get in touch with photos and we’ll advise on your options. This may involve a technician visit in your home (which we do not charge for) or if necessary a collection of the table for refurbishment back at the workshop. Refurbishment work is charged at cost price only and we are happy to give an estimated cost before purchase and / or an accurate cost based on photos before the work is carried out. We’ll always aim to get the table back to you as quickly as possible but this may take up to 10 weeks depending on your location in England and Wales, or 3 months in Scotland. Please Note: Table refurbishment may reduce the width, thickness and height of the table by up to 12% as the surfaces need to be planed straight so there will be some material loss.
8. Because of the weight of the beams and the nature of the drying oak, Abacus oak beam tables are help together under their own weight using a series of grooves, rails and feet. This allows them to be taken apart very quickly to be moved around. Please take extra care when lifting the beams, we advise that 2 people should always be used to lift any beam with normal best-lifting practices (bent legs and straight back). We can not be responsible for any injuries or personal or property damage caused when lifting, moving or dropping any table or beam. We advise that when moving a table, always take off the top beams and move the legs (and glass) separately, then place the top pieces back on the legs. No tools are required, it is very quick for 2 people to do. Smaller tables (up to 3 beams, up to 1m long) may be slid along the floor by 2 people, but should always be pushed by the base pieces simultaneously, never pushed by the top of the table. If you would like any advice before moving a table or re-assembling, please contact us at [email protected]
8. All Abacus tables are designed for purpose and NOT to support the weight of any person or child. Abacus can not be held responsible for any accident, injury or damage to property that occurs as a result of a person attempting to support any part of their body on the table. If you have a particular concern about children or anyone susceptible to this risk please discuss it with us at the time of order so we can incorporate any necessary additional design measures into your table.
9. All glass supplied with Abacus tables is 10mm toughened to European safety standard to prevent shattering. This means it is able to support any reasonable amount of weight from common indoor living room items, but extra care should be taken when removing or moving the glass as the edges can chip. If you chip a piece of glass we would be happy to provide a price for a replacement.
By purchasing a table from Abacus Tables (Abacus Home Limited) you accept these terms and conditions of the sale agreement. If you would like any further info about any of these terms and conditions before purchasing please contact us at [email protected]
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