Yes, there is a difference in construction. Yes, there is a difference in price. Now, the question is, is it worth all the differences for you to have commercial fabric vs residential?
Many stores will not even have commercial fabrics available to show you. Similar to flooring.
If you walk into a Lowes or Home Depot, the flooring there mainly are all residential that they sell. The wear layers, thickness, install details and construction is all for residential home use only. They do not anticipate that you will be using rolling big carts, wheel chairs, motorized carts, 1000 people walking on it daily or cleaning it with harsh chemicals 3 times a day. Residential products have less protection.
Now, I know you may not need commercial, but maybe you have kids who roll Monster Trucks or wear rollerblades in the house. Maybe your husband does constriction on the floor. Maybe you rearrange the room and drag your items across the floor. With a little more of understanding on why you may want something stronger, more cleanable and more durable, lets talk about how it works in the world of Commercial fabrics.
Side note- Many furniture and flooring companies that you may have grown up that were built well with quality construction and parts are now an import company. The company was bought, because the NAME was trusted and regarded as a good company. The new owners though most often changed the insides and the materials though to fit their budget and production. They are not the same product now that they once were guaranteed.
Commercial fabrics: Many American manufactures are making very durable fabrics that are closer to commercial style fabrics with have amazing durability and are still soft and comfortable. Many of them are using solution dyed fivers so the strength and clean ability is outstanding.
Solution dyed fiber: it is the way that the fibers is dyed in the colors. Most fiber is dipped so the color is on the outside of the fiber, and has a white core....much like a cucumber. If you think about the cucumber it is green on the outside and white in the middle. If you would drop bleach on this fabric, the color would come out and it would leave a white spot. The bleach is taking color off the outside of that fiber thread, but solution dyed means that the fiber is dyed all the way through. If we are thinking and talking vegetables- this would be compared to a carrot. Orange all the way through to the middle. So if you put it in bleach or clean and sanitized it, it would not take the color off, because the color is all the way through. The stain or germs would come off, but the color is still there. Many commercial carpets are made this way.
Fiber that is woven tighter is stronger. They put these fabrics through a rub test. Some 50,000 times and others will have a 200,000 rub test. This will play out the durability of the uses within your home or office.
There are many types of commercial fabrics. Some are firmer, some are softer. There are solids, textures and patterns. There are family and pet friendly fabrics. Induvial who may have cats may not want a soft or tweed like fabric, because the hairs may get into the tweed vs sitting on top.
Sunbrella fabric are great for sunrooms or outside. Cryton fabrics are great commercial options too. Yes, you can have them in your Livingroom or out on the sunporch. They feel great, look great and wear great!