Your choice of table top will be about appearance, practicality and budget.
The appearance of a table top is a combination of material, construction and its finish. Edge detailing can also be important (see our edge profile guide).
There are many choices to make (see our table ranges); So where should you start?
Solid wood tops, usually oak, ash or walnut, look fabulous and can often be stained to match your décor. They age well, are robust, will bear the odd scratch and dent; so they are a great place to start.
In addition, wood table tops are usually made to order, so can be made in most shapes and sizes.
In some instances, it is better to opt for a veneered wood table top rather than solid wood. If the table top is large, or you need a particularly smooth finsh, a veneered top, which shouldn't warp or split, may be appropriate.
For a tougher environment, or tighter budgets, wood-effect laminate table tops can provide the appropriate appearance and many restaurant table tops that look like solid wood are actually a man-made laminate.
Table tops of 'man-made' materials were typically a thin layer of laminate or melamine over a core of MDF or chipboard. They offer plenty of advantages - they come in a rainbow of colours, can be combined with a vast choice of edges and can be cut to most shapes and sizes. The surfaces are very smooth, tough and easy to wipe, ideal for modern, bold schemes. View our ranges.
Solid core table tops (aka compact laminate table tops) are a relatively new arrival on the scene - but will certainly stick around. Made with the same materials as laminate surfaces - but on these, the laminate is much thicker, removing the need for anything else. This makes them really tough, and slim - often only 10mm thick, which, combined with a chamfered edge, gives them a really sleek appearance. Compact table tops can be specified in a wide palate of colours and effects, including multi-layered.
Its worth noting that we have a new patented compact fixing plate available, which eliminates the need of applying a conventional mdf fixing plate, infamous for being unfit for most design concepts and coming off the top easily. Our new alternative preserves the thin sleek appearance of the table top and maintains a much stronger connection with the base.
Clever glue-bonding techniques can invisibly bond metal bases to the underside of glass table tops and square or round table tops look modern and sleek. Nonetheless, we reckon that even tempered glass is suited only to lower-impact environments.
If your table tops are always covered with a table cloth, consider a baize-covered table top. Your table seems soft and luxurious - and you do not need an undercloth.
If you need to store your tables, you can still have the table top of your choice. But you will need an appropriate table base, that both allows the top to be hinged to a vertical position and nests with similar bases.
Many table tops are suitable for outdoor use and can be combined with appropriate table bases, or you can choose a complete table - browse our ranges.