Banquet Table Buyer's Guide

Wood Folding Tables

Plastic folding tables

Cocktail Tables

Table Carts

Wood Folding Tables

Plastic Folding Tables

Cocktail Tables

Table Carts

Deciding between plywood and plastic
Guests at a table 
Quick-reference chart 
Shipping information for tables
Types of tables

The special event industry calls for a wide variety of shapes and sizes of folding tables. From seating guests at round tables in an indoor venue to family-style service at banquet tables under a tent, event coordinators and banquet managers have plenty of options to choose from. Here is our buyer’s guide for finding the right table for your venue or rental company.

Types of tables

If you know you need to seat a bunch of people, the most basic decision you have to make is whether to get round tables or banquet (rectangular) tables. However there are plenty of other shapes, like squares, serpentines, ½ rounds and cocktail tables which play important roles in your event.

Rounds tend to take up more area when set up in the event space, but there is room in the middle of the table for a centerpiece. Round tables are also great for guest interaction, as everyone can easily see the others at the table. The most common sizes of round tables for regular guest seating are 60” rounds and 72” rounds. At EventStable.com we sell a variety of other sizes as well, such as 48” round, 54” round and 66” round. Keep in mind though, that 60” and 72” tables are easier to find tablecloths for.

Rectangular tables are typically referred to as “Banquet Tables”. The most common size of these tables is the 8’x30” table, or simply an 8’ banquet, as 30” is the standard width. 6’ banquet tables are also quite common, and can be used for more than just guest seating. Again, we sell more widths like 8’x36”, 8’x40” and 8’x48” tables which are great for family style service. Banquet tables are also used for buffet lines, seminar seating (check our our 8’x18” and 6’x18” conference tables), and trade show booths.

Square folding tables are another popular option for guest seating, because they offer an interesting look when set up in the event space, and are again great for guest interaction. Think about putting 60” squares to use as wedding reception tables, as you can comfortably seat 2 couples on each side of the square.

Serpentine tables are used often for buffet lines, and named for the ability to “serpentine” or make the shape of a winding curve by alternating the tables end-to-end creating an interesting table layout.

1/2 round tables are great for displaying materials against a wall, or even as a small “sweetheart” table for the married couple at a wedding.

Cocktail tables are another absolute must-have for any event company. We’ve heard our customers call them “belly bars”, “bar tables”, “high boys”, and even “leaner tables”. Whatever you call them, these tables can be used for a wedding reception, sweetheart seating, displaying promotional materials - you name it. They’re super versatile, as the tables we sell include two poles to make a 42” height for elbow leaning, and a pole for standard 30” dining height. As each table is “knock down”, meaning the parts disassemble, consider getting a cocktail table cart for every 10 tables you buy, so it’s easy to keep track of all the components.

Deciding between plywood and plastic

All of the tables we’ve discussed so far are made out of plywood, which is a strong and durable material yet lightweight enough to be accepted for party rental use. However, some of the common sizes of tables are available with tabletops made from blow-molded plastic. Here’s some info to help you decide between wood folding tables and plastic folding tables.

Wood folding tables, as you can see are available in a much wider variety of shapes and sizes. Rental companies and hotels prefer plywood tables because of the more substantial feel of the table under the tablecloth, and plywood tables are easier to repair if damaged.

Wood tables are made from plywood, which is many thin layers of wood glued and pressed together to make a super-strong piece of wood. The shape of the tabletop is then cut, and grooves are routed in the edge to accept the vinyl bullnose edging. This edging protects the table, and also protects the tablecloths. All of our wood folding tables at EventStable.com feature “bolt-through” construction, meaning the legs are bolted to the tabletops using bolts that go all the way through the table and are flush on the tabletop. This method of construction is much stronger and more reliable than legs that simply are screwed to the bottom of the table.

Some of our customers prefer plastic folding tables, because they are lighter weight and more forgiving to damage. For example, if someone drops a 60” round plastic folding table off the back of a truck, it is less likely to be damaged than if it were made from wood. Some party rental companies also prefer plastic tables because the aren’t as susceptible to water damage if left out in the rain or in a damp storage environment.

At a glance:

 

Advantages

Possible Drawbacks

Wood folding tables

  • More shapes and sizes available

  • More solid “feel” under a tablecloth

  • Easy to repair

  • Strong

  • Heavier than Plastic

  • Should be stored dry

Plastic folding tables

  • Lighter than wood

  • Won’t damage when wet

  • Durable

  • Harder to find skirting clips

Whatever material you decide on for your folding tables, you can’t really go wrong. Our tables are all commercial-grade, and intended for rigorous, professional use.

Guests at a table

A question we are often asked is “how many guests fit at this table?”. It’s something that is important. Knowing the typical guest count, as well as the maximum amount of people you can fit at a table is crucial with planning your event space. Take a 60” round folding table for example: we tell our customers that 8-10 fit. That means, 8 people comfortably, but you can seat up to 10. For a wedding of approximately 300 people, that could mean the difference between needing 30 or 38 tables! If space is tight, not needing those extra 8 tables could mean the world.

Much of the decision to seat the minimum and maximum suggested guests comes down to...

1. What is on the table? Are you doing a big, complicated setting for a multi-course dinner or a simple buffet with a water and wine glass? The more tableware required for service, the more space each guest will need, and the fewer you can seat at each table.
2. How much overall space do you have for the event? As we saw above, although 8 people at a 60” round table is the most comfortable, sometimes your event space just can’t accommodate it.

A word about chair choice...

Some people believe that the type of chair plays a part in how many guests can be seated at a table. While that is true for wider, non-event types of chairs, many chairs are a similar width and don’t come into play all that much. To prove this point, consider our resin folding chairs vs. our chiavari chairs. The resin folding chairs are 17 ½” wide at the widest point, while chiavari chairs are just 16” wide. Considering that each guest needs at least 18” of the table’s edge, the place setting dictates guest count far more than the chair selection.

Quick-reference chart

Ok, after making you read all of that information, here is our quick-reference chart for recommendations for guests at a table, typical uses for each table we sell, table weights and more.

Table Type/Size

Recommended Seating

Typical Use

Table Weight for Wood (Plastic)

36” Round Folding

2

Couples table, display

25 lbs.

48” Round Folding

4-6

Good sweetheart table, cake table

40 lbs. (32 lbs)

54” Round Folding

7-8

General seating

46 lbs.

60” Round Folding

8-10

General seating, most popular round

54 lbs. (50 lbs)

66” Round Folding

9-11

General Seating

70 lbs.

72” Round Folding

10-12

General Seating, also popular size

76 lbs. (75 lbs)

48” Round Kids Folding

6-8 KIDS

Children’s parties

38 lbs.

6’x18” Conference

3 (1 side)

Seminar Seating

33 lbs.

8’x18” Conference

4 (1 side)

Seminar Seating

41 lbs.

4’x30” Banquet

2-4

Sweetheart table

35 lbs.

6’x30” Banquet

6-8

General Seating, tradeshow table, buffet service

45 lbs. (36 lbs)

8’x30” Banquet

8-10

General Seating, buffet service

56 lbs. (49 lbs)

8’x36” Banquet

8-10

General Seating

60 lbs.

8’x40” Queen Banquet

8-10

General Seating, Family-Style Service

68 lbs.

8’x48” King Banquet

8-12

General Seating, Family-Style Service

84 lbs.

6’x30” KIDS Banquet

6-10

Children’s table

42 lbs.

48”x48” Square Folding

4-6

General Seating

50 lbs.

60”x60” Square Folding

8-10

General Seating

75 lbs.

7’ Serpentine Table

1 (if any)

Buffet Service, Use your imagination

43 lbs.

60” ½ Round

2 (if any)

Use at end of 2 banquet tables for a rounded end, or against a wall

32 lbs.

48” ½ Round

1

Against a wall

23 lbs.

24” Round Cocktail

2

Cocktail Service, receptions

15 lbs.

30” Round Cocktail

2

Cocktail Service, receptions

20 lbs.

36” Round Cocktail

 

Cocktail Service, receptions

22 lbs.

30” Square Cocktail

 

Cocktail Service, receptions

22 lbs.

36” Square Cocktail

 

Cocktail Service, receptions

25 lbs.


Shipping information for tables

Due to the size and weight, many of our tables are ineligible to ship with a delivery company like UPS or FedEx. Both companies have published maximum package dimensions that preclude most of our tables from being shipped this way. For more on shipping limitations with these companies, take a look here: UPS - http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/prepare/oversize.html FedEx - http://images.fedex.com/us/services/pdf/packaging/GrlPkgGuidelines_fxcom.pdf For smaller tables, such as cocktail tables, we do often ship with these companies because the parts can be combined into smaller boxes. For large tables though, it is most often best to ship on a pallet with a freight company. With that in mind, it is best to ship several tables at once, as shipping a single table can be quite cost-prohibitive. We make it easy by shipping all of our tables for free, for orders of $1000 or more. Upon ordering, our customer is asked if the shipment is going to a commercial or residential address, and whether the commercial address is equipped with a loading dock or forklift. The reason we ask this is so we can properly arrange for shipping your equipment. Trucks dispatched to non-commercial addresses and those without a forklift need a “liftgate”, so the driver can remove the pallets from the truck for the customer. Most liftgates are not large enough for some pallets of tables, such as 8’x30” banquets or 72” rounds. If your order is marked for non-commercial delivery and contains large pallets like these, additional arrangements must be made to allow for the equipment to be removed from the truck. Please contact a representative for details on your specific order and situation.


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