Garden table buying guide

Garden table buying guide

Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne

Guide written by:

Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne

197 guides

Garden tables come in all kinds of sizes, shapes and materials. Whether they're round, square or rectangular; rustic, traditional or contemporary; made of wood, resin or metal; extendible or collapsible, we're here to help you choose a garden table that meets all your needs.

Important features

  • Material
  • Shape and size
  • Style
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Key criteria for choosing a garden table

Start by assessing the table's qualities, which often depend on the materials used. Check your garden table's weather resistance, as well as its stability, durability, and perhaps even its weight if you plan on moving it frequently. You might also want to consider ease of maintenance, as wood and wrought iron require a fair amount of upkeep.

Another key factor: the style of your garden table, which should match your outdoor décor. Whether you're looking for a romantic wrought iron table or a bistro-style high bar table made of resin, there's something to suit all tastes.

Last but not least, you need to consider how many people will be seated at the table. The smallest garden tables can be round or square and designed to seat two people. These may also be collapsible. The largest tables are often rectangular, may be extendible, and can seat seat up to twelve people.

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Garden table materials

The material you choose will depend on the style of your garden table, but also on maintenance requirements and budget.

Wooden garden tables

Appreciated for its natural and welcoming look, wooden tables can be made of different types of wood, including European wood (pine, oak, locust, and so on) and exotic wood (teak, cumaru, itauba, and so on). All wood species perform differently in terms of their resistance to damp, insects or fungi.

Other options: composite wood, a blend of wood fibres and a plastic material. This material is rot-proof, won't splinter or split and won't fade over time.

In addition, it requires no special care, unlike garden tables made of European or exotic wood, which need to be treated with an appropriate product (oil, wax, varnish, and so on) according to the type of wood.

Resin garden tables

Resin is a type of lightweight plastic (polypropylene, polyethylene) that is rot-proof and weather-resistant. Garden tables made of injection-moulded resin resemble classic plastic tables; they are affordable and come in a range of colours. Woven resin is made to look like rattan and can add a certain charm to your space.

Check to make sure that the table you choose has been treated to be UV-resistant, which will ensure that it retains its colour over time.

Aluminium garden tables

Garden tables made from aluminium have a modern look to them. They are also rust-proof and weather-resistant (moisture, heat, frost, and so on). Sturdy but lightweight, they are easy to move around but can easily blow over in strong winds. That is, unless they incorporate a tempered glass tabletop.
Please not that this material tends to heat up in the sun.

Steel garden tables

When made with stainless steel, they are rust- and UV-resistant. Modern and sturdy, they are heavier than aluminium tables but also tend to heat up in the sun. They work well in combination with other materials, such as wood and glass.

Garden tables made of powder-coated steel, on the other hand, are treated with an epoxy resin, making them rust- and UV-resistant. Because the slightest scratch can remove this protective layer, some are hot dip galvanised, a painting technique that increases the steel's resistance.

Wrought iron garden tables

With its decorative curves and old-fashioned charm, wrought-iron garden tables are chosen mainly for their style. They can be distressed to give them an aged look, and are also favoured for their sturdiness.

Remember to take into account this material's weight and its tendency to heat up in the sun. It also needs to be treated regularly so that it remains rust-free.

Concrete garden tables

Modern and minimalistic, concrete garden tables are highly weather resistant, but they are also very heavy, making it difficult to move them around.

Garden table shapes and sizes

The shape of your garden table depends on your personal tastes, the number of people who will be seated around the table, and where you want to place it.

  • Square garden tables easily fit into a corner. You can even place several side-by-side.
  • Round tables can seat more people than differently shaped tables of the same size.
  • Oval or rectangular tables are most often used to seat several people – especially if you choose an extendible table, which allow you to make room for up to twelve people.
  • Folding garden tables can easily be put away, in a corner of the garden, or in a garden shed.

Another option: a high-bar table measuring up to 110 cm in height for that bistro-style feel.

Garden table accessories

In the summertime, a parasol will protect you from the sun's rays. It can be inserted into a hole in the centre of the table, angled to create optimum shade, or wall-mounted, for optimal mobility.

You can select garden chairs that are made with the same materials and have the same colour as your garden table, or you may choose chairs that are intentionally mismatched to create a more funky décor.

If you are unable to store away your garden table over the winter, the best solution is to use a sturdy and water-proof protective cover to protect it from the elements.

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Guide written by:

Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne, 197 guides

Sylvie, Ecrivain & journaliste brico/déco, Essonne

Après avoir travaillé au service de presse de France 2 et de la Cinq, j’ai choisi de laisser parler ma plume en m’orientant vers le journalisme et l’édition. Aussi éclectique dans mes goûts que dans mes écrits, passionnée de décoration et de bricolage comme d’histoire et de sciences, j’écris depuis plus de vingt ans sur ces thématiques. À mon actif : des ouvrages didactiques, romans et nouvelles, et de très nombreux articles brico déco regorgeant de conseils et d’astuces, expérimentés dans la vieille maison que je rénove peu à peu.

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