Picnic tables are generally the most important outdoor site furnishing you will place at your park or facility.
People will interact with these commercial site furnishings the most and they will make the greatest impression about your park, school grounds, outdoor restaurant area, HOA common areas, campgrounds, theme parks, universities or business campus.
Why not install picnic tables on your grounds that are appealing and inviting?
The tables should be easy to maintain and keep clean since this is where people will be eating.
And they also need to be a safe and trustworthy place to sit.
Since outdoor picnic tables will be exposed to the elements 24/7, it is critical that these furnishing can withstand the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, heat, moisture, temperatures, and pests.
The outdoors is a rough place. Weather can cause splintering, mildew, rotting, warping and cracking over time. People have been hurt sitting on substandard and decaying picnic tables.
So choose wisely.
You have many options – different materials, sizes, colors and shapes.
Here’s an overview.
Picnic tables come in several varieties
Metal picnic tables – this hardy type of picnic table has grown tremendously over the years especially with advances in the coatings applied to the steel top, seat and frames. There are a number of advantages to metal picnic tables. For one, they are made of one of the strongest elements on earth. That means this type of outdoor furniture that can take the weight and last for a long time.
Typically, a quality picnic table will come with 11-12-gauge steel for the table top and seating, with 14-15 gauge steel for the frame tubing. The lower the gauge, the thicker the metal. Frames should be MIG welded for extra strength.
Secondly, there are a number of durable coatings now available. The best is a thermoplastic coating. With this coating, the table parts are dipped into a hot batch of special high-density polyethylene. The liquefied plastic flows into all the little nooks and crannies to completely cover the metal. This thick covering keeps the elements away from the metal, thereby preventing corrosion and rust.
The coating is also extremely easy to clean and is difficult to paint with graffiti. Metal picnic tables can be ordered in a variety of vibrant colors. And the coating has anti-fade additives which help it repel harmful UV rays. This is critical since these site furnishings sit outside all day under the sun.
Another option for finishes is powder-coating. With this process, a dry plastic powder is electrostatically applied to the metal. This creates a strongly-bonded coating that adheres to the metal and prevents rust and corrosion. The powder-coat also retains a vibrant, glossy appearance and comes in a variety of colors.
Many times managers will choose a picnic table where the table top and seats are thermoplastic coated and the frame is powder-coated.
Another advantage is that the metal surfaces for the table top and seats can be expanded or perforated metal. This means any liquids will flow right through the holes. The openings also allow for air to pass through so the surface doesn’t heat up.
You can order these tables with a more permanent in-ground mount dug into the ground, a surface mount bolted to a flat surface or a portable mount where they can be moved around a facility.
One recent customer told us after they purchased metal picnic tables for their community pool area in the picture above: “Everything worked out well. All the parts were there, nothing was damaged in transit, easy to put together and it looks beautiful.”
Concrete picnic tables – these are picnic tables that can’t be moved around a facility. Once they are placed by a forklift, they are there to stay. The great advantage of concrete picnic tables (sometimes referred to as cement picnic tables) is that they are extremely durable. The elements won’t affect them. Windstorms won’t blow them away.
Contrary to some beliefs, concrete picnic tables don’t need to look like a sidewalk. There are many attractive and polished finishes available such as pebble-like coatings, a standard Weatherstone finish or acid-wash appearance. While the colors might not be as bright as those available for metal tables, there are several organic shades available ranging from sand, beige, brick red, gray and brown.
Recycled Plastic Picnic Tables – if you want to make an ecological statement on your property, considering adding recycled plastic picnic tables. The planks for these tables are made of recycled milk jugs and other high-density polyethylene plastic products classified as 02 HDPE. But don’t let the idea of using scrap fool you. With advances in manufacturing technology, recycled plastic tables are some of the most durable on the market.
The recycled plastic picnic tables won’t splinter, warp, crack or peel. The planks won’t rot. Termites or bugs won’t eat them. Moss or mildew won’t grow on the seats or top. The surface is easy to clean. There is no need to sand or repaint these tables.
The recycled plastic planks come with some very attractive warranties as well.
Wood picnic tables – some people still love traditional wood picnic tables. Why not? They blend in perfectly with the surrounding trees, bushes, and grass. Nowadays, the wood comes in pressure-treated or stained planks to make them more durable and prevent rotting from the elements. Most wood picnic tables have metal frames that are powder-coated. That metal won’t rust or corrode and will support those tables for years, even if you have to replace the planks.
If your area attracts seasonal crowds, you can always store wooden picnic tables inside to increase their longevity. Another great option with wooden picnic tables is that you can be creative and paint them however you want. That’s what the City of West Palm Beach did when they commissioned local artists to paint 25 wooden picnic tables with a variety of exciting themes.
Aluminum picnic tables – these metal picnic tables are extremely lightweight, so you can easily move them around a facility. The aluminum is one strong substance and won’t rot, warp or splinter. Plus, aluminum requires little effort to clean.
For sizes, generally you need to provide about 18’ of space per person. The standard round or square picnic table will seat eight. Hexagon tables generally seat six. Rectangular picnic tables can accommodate larger groups, say 8-12.
Lengths: Picnic tables generally come in 4-foot, 6-foot, and 8-foot lengths.
However, longer lengths such as 10-foot and 12-foot are available for places like camps.
You can order tables in the following shapes:
- ADA-accessible (to accommodate wheelchairs)
Make your outdoor tables stand out with vibrant colors
Want to get really creative?
Order tables with the following die formed patterns.
- Diamond Rolled Edge
- Perforated rolled edge
People like to be outside. It’s in our DNA. As humans, we prefer fresh air, sunshine, cool breezes and being surrounded by plants, flowers, and trees.
To enjoy the outdoors at your facility, people need an attractive, reliable, clean and safe place to sit.
What are you doing to maximize their experience? Choosing the right picnic tables can make all the difference when it comes to interacting with Mother Nature.
For more information, see our complete Buyer’s Guide for Picnic Tables.
Note: Need it fast? With our ParkExpress program we can now quick ship picnic tables in just 1-3 days.