How to Choose a Tablecloth Size: The Ultimate Guide to Table Linen Sizes

How to Choose a Tablecloth Size: The Ultimate Guide to Table Linen Sizes

In order to make your space look more sophisticated and uniform, tablecloths are the way to go. They dress up the event and create a luxurious vibe that your guests will undoubtedly appreciate. 

Table linens serve as a foundation for the rest of your table decor, whatever that decor may be, by providing a backdrop where all other details can shine. 

While we know that choosing the color and design of your tablecloth is important in order to bring the look of your event together, there’s one detail that takes priority over aesthetics - and that’s making sure you’ve got the right measurements for your table linens. 

If you don’t have the right size, your tables will end up looking silly in one of two ways - with the tablecloth dragging on the floor, or hovering too high above it. We don’t want that to happen for your special event, which is why we’ve compiled this measuring guide for tablecloths. 

How to Measure Your Table Linens

Measuring your tablecloth is simpler than you might think. Take a look at the straightforward steps you should take to get it right: 

Step 1: Measure The Table 

There are plenty of tablecloths to choose from, and the decision can get overwhelming if you don’t take the very important first step - measuring your table. 

The average height of a banquet table is about 30 inches. If that table is square or rectangular in shape, measure the entire length and width from one end to the other. Make sure to write those numbers down so you have them ready for when you make a purchase! 

Measuring a round table is just as easy. All you need to do is find the center and measure the radius of the table (start at the center point and measure to the edge of the table). Then, multiply this figure by two. This will determine the total width of the table. 

If you’re going to line up a number of tables alongside each other to make it seem like you’ve got one long table, draw a diagram of the table dimensions before you start ordering table linens. 

Step 2: Note the Drop Length

Knowing your measurements can, of course, give you an idea of the tablecloth size that you need to cover the surface of the banquet table, but it will also give you an idea of how much the tablecloth will hang over the sides. 

If you’re hosting a casual event, the drop length you’ll most often see is anywhere from 8-15 inches long (starting from the edge of the table). 

If you’re hosting a formal event, the drop length is anywhere from 15 inches from the edge of the table, or fully touching the floor. 

The type of event you’re hosting will give you the information you need to decide the drop length for your tablecloth. Take these two examples and use them to make your decision: 

  • A banquet hall wedding reception? That needs a floor-length tablecloth. 
  • A backyard barbecue wedding? That needs a half-drop tablecloth. 

Every drop length hangs below all the edges of the table, so multiply the length that you settle on by two, and add it to your measurements for both length and width. After doing that, you’ll have the final answer for your total dimensions regarding the tablecloth that’s perfect for your special event. 

Step 3: Dressing Up the Table

As we stated earlier, tablecloths create the perfect backdrop for the entirety of the table, highlighting everything from the big details down to the very fine ones. 

You’ll often find that people purchase table runners to sit on top of tablecloths, but they can look out of place if they hang below the edges of the tablecloth. So, when you purchase runners for your event, keep your tablecloth dimensions in mind to match their sizes up just right. 

If you’re not crazy about runners, or if you don’t want to mess with any more dimensions, consider overlay toppers or centerpieces to finalize the look of your tables. More details that can bring your full look together include:

  • Napkins
  • Napkin rings
  • Silk flowers
  • Centerpiece lighting 

Your table dimensions are relevant for every addition you choose to incorporate, because including a detail that sticks out by looking too small or too big will draw attention for all the wrong reasons. 

Perfecting Your Table Design

Your tables are what set the scene for the aesthetic and ambiance of your gathering, and the tablecloth is the perfect place to get started. If you follow these steps, your table design will surely be a focal point of your special event.

As always, if you have further questions about table design or the best tables to use for your event, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tent and Table today

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