Folding Tables for All Occasions

Folding tables are an asset to any home, office or school. The trick is to find the table that will best serve your purposes. Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking to buy folding tables of any kind.

First of all, think about what you are going to be doing with your folding tables, as that will determine both the size and shape you are going to buy:

Private Dinner Entertainment: Your best bet is to go for long, rectangular tables. These are more space-conserving than round banquet tables, and seat more guests. The same goes for any kind of buffet. With buffet tables, however, you can get away with narrower tables than you can for dinner seating, as no one needs to sit at a buffet table.

Training/Office Seminars: The best choice for training seminars is also to purchase long and narrow folding tables, but they too can be narrower than those you would use for dinner guests. Generally speaking, seminar attendees are only seated on one side of the table. Some folding tables have drop down modesty panels that add a more refined decorum to the event. In order to maximize leg room and minimize crowding, look for folding tables with legs only on either side, as these provide more leg room than other types of table legs.

Children's Activities: Look for tables that can seat a number of children at a time. If you are purchasing for a school or day care center, you may want to consider horseshoe or kidney-shaped tables, as these enable the instructor to sit in the middle with the children gathered around. If you want the option of pushing tables together, then look for square, rectangle or trapezoid-shaped folding tables. Square tables are also best for family games like Monopoly, Scrabble, checkers or card games. Height-adjustable folding tables are a virtual must for small children, as you want their legs to be able to reach the floor when they sit.

The next thing to consider is, where will you be using your folding tables? This is an important factor in choosing what kind of tabletop you want. If the table is intended for indoor use, then you are free to choose whichever top you like. Wood tops are extremely durable and tend to outlive other materials; however, they are mainly practical for indoor use as wood tops are sensitive to the elements. Plastic or vinyl tabletops are best for outdoor use, as they can be wiped clean quite easily and don't warp in the rain. These are also the most practical for arts and crafts activities, as it can be extremely difficult or impossible to clean glue and paint off of wood surfaces. If high-pressure laminate tops are in your budget, then these are the ultimate convenience for heavy use by children.

The last two points to keep in mind when buying folding tables are storage space and weight. Most homes, as well as many schools and offices, have limited storage space. If that holds true for you, then pay attention to how compact the folding tables fold down before you purchase them. There can be significant differences in the amount of space that folded tables take up. Some fold completely flat; others have legs that stick out even when they're folded.

Take weight into consideration, as well. Some folding tables that look light can actually be somewhat heavy to drag around, while others that at first glance seem to be heavy can be a pleasure to put away. If you're buying folding tables for an office or a school, make sure that the administration has some kind of dolly to help put the tables away, or your staff will be stuck with a very difficult job after each seminar or event where the tables are used. If they don't have a dolly, well then . . . it is worth your while to get the boss's go-ahead to purchase one.

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