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How to choose a folding table

A folding table can be infinitely useful, being a multi-functional item of furniture that is quick to put up and down and will take up very little space when not in use. If you want to make sure you buy the right folding tables for your needs, there are various factors that you should take into consideration.

How much does the table weigh?

Some folding tables are so light and flimsy that they will fall over with a puff of wind or slightest knock, others are really heavy and cumbersome making them difficult to carry or put up and down.  You also need to think about the size and strength of those who will be putting the tables out and clearing them away.  General guidance for the lifting of weight for men is a maximum of 25kg and for women 16kg, so look out for folding tables that fall within these perimeters.  Some heavier tables will need a two person lift, another important consideration if you have limited resources around you. 

Is the table going to be strong enough?

There is no way any of us would like to put things out on a folding table and for it to sink in the middle.  This can happen when using a plywood pasting table or a folding table which is hinged in the middle.  They may be really cheap but you will regret your purchase as this type of table may prove to be a total waste of money as will probably need throwing away after a couple of outings.  Ideally look out for a folding table that is strong, yet lightweight, durable and hard-wearing, with a lifetime guarantee and then you can be assured that this purchase will be value for money.

How to I choose the right size for my needs?

Think about the space you have where the folding table is to be used.  Are there going to be multiple tables in use at any one time?  How many people do you need to sit around the table or in total for an event or function?  Will you be using chairs or benches as seating with the tables or will people be standing at the table to serve, or sell?  Find out the width of the chairs or benches you are planning on using and take into account the actual clearance under the table, which is often not the length of the table, when you do your calculations.  Many folding tables are supplied in restricted sizes making it difficult to find exactly the right one you need.  Our folding tables are supplied in a choice of four lengths, three widths and six heights so that you can choose the right height for the age of the children using them.  A lower table is also a great choice if you enjoy camping or caravanning as outdoor chairs tend to be much lower than the ones you would use inside. 

Are the tables easy to keep clean?

Cleanliness and hygiene has never been more important than it is now and one of the traditionally “dirty places” has been table or desk surfaces.  Choose tables that have a wipe-clean surface ideally with a plastic laminate top.  Shy away from wooden table tops which can harbour germs. 

Will I be able to find a folding table in a colour I like?

How many folding tables are supplied in just one colour?  Sadly most are, but this is not the case with Gopak folding tables.  Choose from a wide spectrum of seventeen colours including traditional woodgrains, speckled greys and a fantastic selection of eleven plain colours from plain white, to primary blue, red and yellow, through to more exotic oranges, pinks and greens.  There are no other folding tables that can be supplied in such a huge choice.  We get particularly excited when some of our customers including schools and businesses order some great colour combinations – Acid Green paired with Fuchsia, cool Storm grey mingling with sizzling Orange.

How can a folding table work for my organisation?

Not only will a folding table be infinitely useful for all your day to day activities it can be a great way of generating revenue by hiring your space for community events, fund-raising, as a wedding venue, for parties and celebrations.  It doesn’t take much effort or imagination to transform a village hall into the most magical setting.  You can create extra space for jumble sales, summer fetes, when selling produce and home-made gifts and wears at farmer’s markets.  Some children’s nurseries hire a village hall during term time if they do not have their own premises and it is scenarios like this when folding tables come into their own, being so easy to put up and down and then stored away in the cupboard so the hall can be hired for other uses.   A folding table is ideal for hotels and conference centres who need to be adaptable with their space for training events and social functions.

What type of organisation will benefit from a folding table?

The list is endless but here are a few suggestions.  Village halls, community centres, churches and other places of worship including mosques, temples and chapels, church halls, wedding venues, restaurants, outside caterers, businesses, farmer’s markets, antique dealers, social clubs, charities, youth clubs, scouts and guides, training centres, conference centres, toddler groups, playgroups, nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools, academies, colleges, universities, GP surgeries, dental surgeries, hospices and hospitals.

Is a folding table suitable for use in the home?

Yes, yes and yes.  Have a folding table in your home and you will wonder how you lived without one.  Save wear and tear to your kitchen or dining table and use a folding table instead for crafting, sewing, painting, as additional tabling at Christmas or for other family gatherings.  You can use your folding table outside for summer parties and BBQs and then pop it in the garage, a cupboard, under the bed or behind the sofa when it is not needed.  Folding tables have been invaluable for those who found themselves working from home, with nowhere to put their lap top or PC.  With limited space in the home, a folding table can be used during the working day and then folded away to return your room into domestic bliss for the out of office hours.

Are there any folding tables that I should avoid?

There are certainly some folding tables that we recommend you try and avoid as you will be disappointed with their performance and we want to help you identify where there are pitfalls. Some tables are still made with old-fashioned sliding clips to release the legs.  The clip can be a real finger trap and these are definitely not suitable for use by children or anyone who isn’t built like a sumo wrestler as they are normally really heavy too.  We mentioned plywood pasting tables as not being strong enough.  They are fine for the job for which they are intended, wallpaper pasting but beyond that should not be used for other tasks as they will sag in the middle.   You may be tempted to consider purchasing folding tables with a moulded plastic top as these can also be picked up for very little cost, but again the durability of these type of tables is very questionable.  We know this because we have customers who have purchased them for their organisation and then come back to us, as they know our folding tables last much longer. 

Happy folding table shopping

If you would like any help, advice or assistant our wonderful team are on hand to make sure you make the right choice for you and your organisation.