Outdoor Dining Tables

Outdoor Dining Tables

Luxury patio dining tables make your outdoor dining set shine

When you've been cooped up inside for too long, there's nothing like a pleasant get-together on your deck or patio for some dining alfresco. The blend of natural sights, sounds and aromatic smells under the sun or stars just can't be beaten. Whether you're sipping a little pinot noir with a few close friends over an impromptu wine and cheese party, or hosting an extravagant feast for the extended family, a quality outdoor dining table is a "must-have." This essential piece of outside furniture can make or break the occasion, so it's important that you carefully evaluate your event needs and balance them with the surroundings and your personal preferences.

How to choose an outdoor patio dining table

There are a number of characteristics to consider when looking at all of the possible tables on the market.

Table shape

Square and round dining tables are appropriate for smaller spaces and the latter has a more casual vibe. If your outdoor area is a bit larger and more formal, rectangular and oval tables work well. You might also want to think about your patio or deck design when deciding which shape is best. Curved outdoor tables may better complement flowing floor edges, walls and fencing, while angular tables might be better suited for straight lines and flat surfaces.

Seating capacity

How many people do you anticipate seating? A square or small round table roughly 36-40 inches will suffice if you expect 2-4 people. Six to eight people will require a larger rectangular or oblong table closer to 60-84 inches in length. A round table 56 inches in diameter should be able to accommodate up to eight people too. Extra-large rectangular patio dining tables 96 inches and longer can take care of parties of 10-12 people. To give you some flexibility, many tables are available with extension inserts that expand your capacity when you need it, without taking up space when you don't. If you're unsure of how many guests will fit at a table, a decent rule of thumb is to allow 18-24 inches for seating each person with at least 6-12 inches in between for elbow room.

Frame material

Your frame should be constructed of materials that are not only appropriate for the natural environment but provide some continuity with the surrounding architectural design. Wooden frames blend with backyards, decks and gardens where there is a lot of foliage or in rural locations with traditional or transitional decor. Metal frames have a more modern or European feel, depending on whether they have a shiny metallic finish or a colored one. They tend to work well in more minimalist or urban environments.

Tabletop material & surface

Your tabletop should follow the same guidelines as your frame, but there are more options from which to choose. In addition to wood and metal, outdoor dining table tops are available in high-pressure laminate (HPL), ceramic, tempered and enameled glass, marble and other minerals. The wooden tops have slats of different textures and widths, as well as abstract and parquet patterns.

Usage, bells & whistles

Standard indoor dining tables typically serve one purpose - providing a surface for setting a meal and seating guests. There are other pieces of furniture and tables elsewhere inside that can handle other tasks. Outdoor dining tables, however, are often multi-functional. If you're planning to be out in the midday sun a lot, you should probably think about a patio umbrella to shade you from harsh UV rays. In that case, a dining table with an umbrella hole in the middle is a perfect choice. Some large round dining tables have built-in lazy Susans to make it easier to pass seasoning, condiments and other items. A few tables have convenient storage bins that are concealed beneath decorative panels in the center. One thing that most people neglect to think about is accommodating older people or the handicapped. If you have family members or friends in wheelchairs or who need a little extra room, you should be mindful of table height clearance and how the frame legs affect the legroom below.

Design style

After all of those structural and functional considerations, you still want to find something that has an aesthetic appeal that matches your sense of style. Decor Outdoor carries a variety of sleek modern metallic designs, rich woodgrain traditional ones and charming styles in between.

Don't scrimp on outdoor table materials

While it's important to choose frame and tabletop materials that visually complement the rest of your deck furniture, the landscape and architectural design of your home, it's a short-lived accomplishment if they don't hold up under the weather conditions or frequent use. Our collection of outside furniture manufacturers invest as much attention and care in selecting the raw materials they use as they do in developing their award-winning designs. Most of the wood is eco-friendly FSC™ plantation or recycled teak. This oil-rich hardwood is strong, resists water, mildew and rot and will last decades with little required maintenance. Durable sapelli and Western red cedar are also used on occasion. Metal components are typically made from high chromium stainless steel, cast aluminum or powder-coated versions of both alloys. These metals have high tensile strength, resist corrosion and are easy to clean. Their ceramic and HPL tabletops are fabricated using modern processes, which produce dense materials that are strong, weather-resistant and may resist fingerprints, scratching and cracking over time. You can tell the quality of the materials by the confidence the manufacturer places in their warranties, and our patio furniture brands have some of the longest and most comprehensive guarantees in the outdoor industry.

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