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Bonded Leather Couch

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  • Mar 3rd, 2013 9:59 pm
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Deal Addict
May 9, 2008
1345 posts
133 upvotes
Barrie
Riving an old one here...

Anyone comment on how long their lower-end bonded leather furniture has been holding up?
Newbie
Jun 10, 2011
1 posts
1 upvote
BRAMPTON
Yeah heres the thing about bonded leather.....it okay for the price. I got 3 and 1/2 years out of it. lol. good thing i paid for the warrenty. Got the full refund and a reselect at the Brick. Ofcourse it took a bit of complaining but I was right.
The couches started to crack and rip. After following thier policy, 2 failed attepts to repair the couches, I won the battle. I look at it as that if I pay the $300 warrenty, I get a new couch every 4 years. keep it coming BRICK OF CRAP.
Newbie
Sep 10, 2011
3 posts
TORONTO
I bought a sofa from The Brick six months ago (costed $399). The upholstery started to bubble and peel for the short period time I have owned it. The sofa was lightly used as I am not a large or heavy person and live alone with no children or pets, and the sofa wasn't subjected to direct sunlight. I bought the sofa thinking it was leather and thought it was strange the surface was peeling. When I called customer service I was told it was made of "bonded leather" which they explained was a vinyl/leather by-product, and wasn't fully covered under warranty because it is considered as vinyl upholstery, so I only had the choice of an exchange (which the customer service rep warned me that the upholstery will still peel in the same manner) or an in-store credit.
I was not told nor was explained what "bonded leather" was when I bought the sofa (and don't even remember seeing the term mentioned in the in-store display and tags), and assumed it was real leather. The Brick also sells furniture labelled as Faux Leather (a known vinyl product), so I thought I was mislead as I would never would purchase furniture with vinyl upholstery. After some complaining and how I could not accept an in-store credit (there was nothing I liked in the store) I was later told that I could return the sofa for a full refund -- the delivery person who picked up my sofa mentioned that he had taken back a lot of these "Bonded Leather" sofas to The Brick for the same problems.
A friend later told be that at $399 it has to be vinyl, but I thought that because it was from The Brick it would be be cheap in price and in quality -- I only wanted a temporary sofa to use as I just moved into town and waiting for my new home to be completed, so I wasn't looking for something high quality.

The vinyl coating of the upholstery started to delaminate, bubble and peel not only on the seat surface, but also side surfaces where it wasn't subjected to direct contact. It seems that the vinyl coating lost adhesion from the base layer especially where the upholstery is subjected to movement (bending and stretching).
Upon close inspection of the "bonded leather" material (I managed to cut a piece from the inside of the sofa and took it apart), the uphostery consist of a vinyl film embossed in a leather texture over a thin layer of suede fiber over a fabric backing. There is very little leather content in this upholstery and this leather content is infact a reconsituted leather fiber most likely mixed with other fabric fibers (the fabric equivilent to particle board).

When I went back to The Brick store to inspect other "Bonded Leather" furniture I noticed that they were not wearing well either and was highly unforgiving to scratches and abrasions, and the seams were also deteriorating. Many of the scratches revealed the fabric backing material.

I would stay away from furniture upholstered in "bonded leather" as it is not a durable material (definitely not suitable if you have pets or kids) and has a very short lifespan. Because it is made of vinyl, it is not the most comfortable material to sit on as it does not breathe like leather and will feel sweaty/sticky just like vinyl. Save your money and get fabric instead.

Now I am enjoying my Ikea sofa which is much more comfortable, looks nicer, has better construction and materials, has a no-nonsense return/warranty policy, and doesn't cost that much more than the sofas from The Brick. Sure you may need to spend 15 minutes to so some minor assembly, but it is definitely worth it.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 7, 2006
7186 posts
228 upvotes
Toronto
I recently bought a big round dining room set from Costco with 4 chairs that were bonded leather. I thought it was leather all along as it said leather LOL. The surface looked nothing but PVC - shiny, thin and smooth.

Then I wiki'd bonded leather and basically it is fake and it can be obviously fake like the vinyl chair that I got.

The rest of the set is decent with pretty heavy hardwood (they called it rubber wood and maybe I should google it also LOL)

Well, it is unethical for the gullible I am :)
Sr. Member
Mar 6, 2007
950 posts
59 upvotes
ppl4golf wrote:
Sep 19th, 2011 5:27 pm
I recently bought a big round dining room set from Costco with 4 chairs that were bonded leather. I thought it was leather all along as it said leather LOL. The surface looked nothing but PVC - shiny, thin and smooth.

Then I wiki'd bonded leather and basically it is fake and it can be obviously fake like the vinyl chair that I got.

The rest of the set is decent with pretty heavy hardwood (they called it rubber wood and maybe I should google it also LOL)

Well, it is unethical for the gullible I am :)

Heh. my dining room set cost me $600 for a nice table (hardwood vaneer) and 6 parson's chairs which is the vinyl leather. 4 years now, and everything still looks new. (minus the abuse that a niece wrecked onto a part of the table top..). The chairs are still in great condition though.
Sr. Member
Jul 25, 2006
917 posts
44 upvotes
Hamilton
Lots of people are fooled by the term bonded leather. I actually looked it up when I opened my store because I wanted to know what it was so I could explain it to customers. I found out it's illegal to even use the term leather for this product in several other countries, but in Canada & the US it's ok because it has some actual leather content. There seems to be tighter rules & more transparency over in europe. I make sure to label it as a synthetic on my website - I might lose some sales, but I'd rather build a reputation for honesty.
Newbie
Sep 10, 2011
3 posts
TORONTO
After discovering my leather sofa from The Brick wasn't real leather, but Bonded Leather, I did some research on this material and aparently Bonded Leather has garnered some controversy in the industry.

Bonded Leather is not a regulated material. The material content, manufacturing process and quality varies greatly. While the material content tags decribes the percentages of different fibers a fabric contains (cotton, polyester, wool, etc.), there is no such requirement for Bonded Leather eventhough Bonded Leather could contain various different compounds (polyurethane, petroleum-based plastics, fibers of unknown origins, leather fiber and other animal by-products, etc.), and could contain fewer than 5% leather by-products. Because the sofa was made in China, I am concerned about the unknown chemicals, bonding agents, animal by-products and possibly lead that is contained in the bonded leather.

What I am really annoyed about is how The Brick deceives its customers by not only categorizing their Bonded Leather furniture in the leather section on their website, but through a separate link on these pieces of furniture it describes its material as:
"100% all bonded leather - all leather covering using leather cuts from many different skins that are then bonded and dyed to make one uniform colour and highly durable leather product"
Which is false and highly deceptive. It makes it sound like swaths of leather are pieced together when in fact it is actually animal skin fibers combined with fabric with a patterned vinyl film applied to the surface to resemble leather. "100%" and "all" before "bonded leather" makes it sounds like it is a higher quality product when it is not.

What is interesting is that The Brick's competitor, Leon's sells an identical sofa, but Leon's accurately describes it as made of Faux Leather:
http://www.leons.ca/living-room-furnitu ... 27969.aspx
Here's The Brick's page for the same sofa:
http://www1.thebrick.com/brickb2c/jsp/c ... navCount=2
Newbie
Jun 8, 2009
48 posts
4 upvotes
Toronto
Bonded leather as used in upholstery is in fact Vinyl or Polyurethane that is reinforced on the back with a paste made from recycled leather and various chemicals to hold it together. So you are sitting on vinyl and plenty of chemicals.
Reason it's popular is because it's less than a quarter the price of genuine 100% leather, which makes the piece of furniture really cheap. Stick the word "leather" and everybody salivates.
Durability is obviously an issue but then in North America we are used to buying disposable items, instead of a piece of furniture that can last 25+ years.
Member
Dec 31, 2007
298 posts
28 upvotes
beemer2009 wrote:
Sep 27th, 2011 4:09 pm
Bonded leather as used in upholstery is in fact Vinyl or Polyurethane that is reinforced on the back with a paste made from recycled leather and various chemicals to hold it together. So you are sitting on vinyl and plenty of chemicals.
Reason it's popular is because it's less than a quarter the price of genuine 100% leather, which makes the piece of furniture really cheap. Stick the word "leather" and everybody salivates.
Durability is obviously an issue but then in North America we are used to buying disposable items, instead of a piece of furniture that can last 25+ years.

so true. reminds me of corinthian leather!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corinthian_leather
Newbie
Dec 20, 2012
3 posts
BURNABY
I bought a faux leather couch from the Brick 3 years ago. Take in mind we have no kids or dogs that jump on it. About 3 months ago it started to tear...first one little one....then another then another. Now it is in shreds and if you come to visit don't wear beige pants as you will take the couch pieces with you!! This is sooo embarrassing. I cannot tell you how mortified I am. So I called then, sent pics and ended up with 1/2 of what I paid. I put it towards one on sale....faux leather is all I can afford. We are a one income Special Needs family that doesn't have money to burn. Now I see there is a bonded leather one, even bigger for the same price. They will switch it over but I am nervous now reading about bonded leather. Which is going to last longer? Faux leather or Bonded leather? Can anyone help? Thanks : )
Newbie
Dec 20, 2012
3 posts
BURNABY
Hi there....Brick shopping here too. I'm interested in the Spartan Bonded leather one...$399.97.....do you think it's going to be better than a Faux leather one??? Joining you in your frustration.... : )
Newbie
Dec 20, 2012
3 posts
BURNABY
Wow you must have raised and stink....and well done ( clap clap). They only gave me 1/2 of what my couch was worth. It was faux leather we and payed $500.00 for it. Lasted for three years and in the last few months it's shredding all over. No dogs or kids jumping on it here...really shouldn't have shredded like that. Now I'm considering the bonded leather one that's in the boxing day flyer. Cheers !
Newbie
Feb 2, 2013
1 posts
0
Phoenix88 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2008 3:50 pm
Hi:

I just came back from the Brick and selected what I thought was a Leather Sofa, however I went online later that night to find it was a bonded leather sofa (Not the black one for $299).

I was wondering what peoples opinion on this product was? It looks and feels like real leather and to my knowledge the difference is price and durrability (both being lower). I've read that bonded leather is rather a type of 'recycled' leather bits then glued together and made to look like real leather.

The couches were a good price ($500, $480 sofa and loveseat). I might be stuck with this design since I can't find any good couches which are under 86" (I live in a condo with a smaller elevator). I am sort of worried about the quality of this product and hope someone can shed some light.
I was temped by the price of it too, so I did a bit of research. Everything I've found on bonded leather seems to indicate to stay away from it. It is no where near as durable, and doesn't wear well. Here are some links.

http://www.ehow.com/about_5504934_bonde ... tml#page=5

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 557AAqJTyh
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2003
1239 posts
59 upvotes
hedleyk wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2013 8:01 pm
I was temped by the price of it too, so I did a bit of research. Everything I've found on bonded leather seems to indicate to stay away from it. It is no where near as durable, and doesn't wear well. Here are some links.

http://www.ehow.com/about_5504934_bonde ... tml#page=5

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 557AAqJTyh
Couch did its job... but bonded leather is garbage. Couch's leather are flaking off and the frame / foam is garbage. I'd say these couches are worth 300-400 a piece new not the 500 I paid. I will never buy a) from the brick and b) any furniture made outside of North America.

We bought a pair of Jaymar leather couches, a pair of Lee Industries fabric couches and a Barrymore sofabed. What a difference in quality!

Our 'condo' couches are still alive and in the part of the home I don't care about. Stay away from the Brick and Bonded Leather.
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