File cabinets are so common in offices, they can be an afterthought. But they are the key to office function, and can be excellent decorative elements.
The Characteristics of Cabinets
When you are shopping for office filing systems, there are many things to consider. Vertical or lateral file cabinets are two main styles to choose from and they come in many variations. They can be simple or complex, plain or decorated, they can lock or freely open. Whether your file cabinets are vertical or lateral depends on your needs and office design.
Vertical file cabinets are the traditional shape when one thinks of them. They are normally taller than they are wide and store files front to back. Usually, they have at least two drawers and come in many varieties and features. Many popular materials are metal, reinforced steel, wood, and wood laminates. A metal or reinforced steel vertical file cabinet is strong and protects important files and documents from fire. If they lock, they protect files from theft. They usually do not have much style. But steel cabinets are not bought for looks.
Vertical file cabinets that are bought for looks are usually made of wood or a wood laminate. A wood vertical file cabinet is often decorated and made expressly for home use or for unique office interior design. They range from simply being painted to featuring carved accents and highlights.
Your office space gets a plum deal with a lateral file cabinet. Lateral file cabinets store files from side to side, and they usually have drawers that are wider than they are tall. Lateral file cabinets can be stacked or have multiple drawers, making the cabinets quite tall. There is plenty of display or storage space on top of lateral files.
Truth be told, using hanging rails in lateral file cabinets will let you store folders front to back, just like a vertical file cabinet. Some lateral files also have slots for storing odd shaped documents or items like blueprints, display boards, large portfolios, etc.
They have space on top for picture frames, office decorations, phones, printers, or fax machines. Lateral file cabinets can be wood or metal, but many popular styles are wood melamine laminate. This material gives the appearance and texture of wood, but is quite durable. Cleaning is easy, and it will take years of punishment.
In designing your office, think about what is important to your office function. How much capacity will you need? Is appearance as important as function? Do files need protection with locks? Do you need additional shelf space? Answering these questions will help you determine if you need a lateral file or a vertical file.