To See or Not To See – That is the question

Choosing the right table base poses quite a dilemma to a lot of new restaurant, cafe and bar owners. Should the table base be highly visible and feature as part of the overall design of your establishment or should it fade into oblivion?

Table bases that are finished in chrome or stainless steel will be highly visible and because of this can be used to form part of your overall design. These finishes on table bases and the styles that they are available in will provide a more contemporary feel to any restaurant, bar or cafe. If you have a restaurant or cafe with chrome lighting and fittings on the bar, then a chrome finished table base would compliment this.

Black table bases have the opposite effect as they disappear beneath the table top, fade into the background and provide you with a blank canvass to show off your dining chairs. However, you will find a range of highly decorative cast table bases that fit with traditional interiors and are commonly used in pubs and Art Deco style cafes.

Should you be providing seating outdoors, you should always look to use a table base that is suitable for outdoor use and usually these are made from aluminium to withstand the weather.

Table bases are usually available in two heights, one suitable for dining tables that are discussed in this article, and the other for poseur tables, a high table ideal for customers to sit around on bar stools.

What do I need to know to choose a base?

Firstly, you need to establish how many tables that you can fit into the space available and how many customers are to sit at each table. Each restaurant, cafe or bar owner will have a different take on what quantity and size tables they require as there are no standard dimensions or rules.

The size of the table top required and whether or not you will be moving tables around will have an effect on the table base that you can use. Table bases are all designed with a maximum table top size that they can support. It is important that you don’t exceed these maximum sizes as you will compromise the stability of your table and you don’t want to see your customers with hot coffee in their laps. If you want to include a large, circular table for six or eight customers, to get that stability required, the table base will be extremely heavy and you will be unable to move this around. Likewise with large rectangular tables when a cast iron base is used.

So consider the flexibility that you require from your tables.

Coffee shops and cafes that are looking for a faster turnaround of customers and offer informal dining often use smaller tables that can easily be moved around. Customers are less likely to be staying for long periods of time and used in conjunction with simple seating this provides you with maximum flexibility.

For restaurants and more formal dining, your table size will be dictated by what you are serving and how the table will be laid out. The size of your dining plates, whether you will be using side plates, how many glasses or serving dishes are to be left on the table will all have an impact on the size of the table. With formal dining your customers will be at their table for longer and more often that not these tables are teamed up with a more comfortable dining chair.

Square or Round?

Careful consideration should be taken when choosing either round or square restaurant tables as the table shape you choose should be visually pleasing to your customers and compliment your overall design.

Round tables have a more relaxed feel to them because of their organic shape and you have probably found yourself enjoying eating at a round table with friends as everyone can chat together. They can look and work incredibly well in an alcove or bay window. However, when space is at premium, they are not always the most practical shaped table to have as they do take up more room.

Square tables give you tremendous flexibility and are the most popular choice. Not only do they provide you with intimate dining tables for two, they can be pushed together to accommodate larger parties. Square and rectangular dining tables, with one dimension the same, work extremely well along a run of banquette seating. Remember the width of the table needs to be the same in order for you to push these tables together. There is a symmetry with square tables that suits fine dining where the design of the restaurant is usually formal and elegant.

What size?

These dimensions form a guide only and are based on our experience of supplying tables and table bases for many informal and formal dining areas.

Casual Dining & Bars

600 or 700mm round or square for two people

800 or 900mm round or square for four people

1000mm round for five people

1200mm round for six people


Formal Dining

750mm round or square for two people

1000mm round or square for four people or 1200x750mm Rectangular

1200mm round for six people

1500mm round for eight people

Table Tops are something that needs to be covered separately as there are so many options. Before we go into pros and cons in a future blog please check out our extensive range of table tops here.