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How to Measure Your Table for Plastic Tablecloths

31 May 2024

To measure your table for plastic tablecloths, start by using a tape measure to determine the length and width of the table surface. Next, add 6 to 12 inches to each side measurement to account for the desired overhang. Ensure to round up to the nearest available size if the measurements fall between standard tablecloth sizes. If you are still unsure, read on to find out more.

A woman laying a lavender tablecloth on a table

Step 1: Determine Your Table Shape

Tables come in various shapes: rectangular, square, round, and oval. Identifying your table's shape is the first step in choosing the right plastic tablecloth.  Identifying your table's shape is the first step in choosing the right plastic tablecloth. This initial step is crucial because the tablecloth needs to fit well to both protect the table and enhance its appearance. For instance, a rectangular table requires a different type of tablecloth than a round table, as the dimensions and the way the cloth drapes over the edges vary significantly.

Step 2: Measure Your Table Dimensions

To measure your table you can use:

  • A Tape Measure: Place the tape measure at one end of the table and extend it to the other end to get the length.
  • A String & Ruler: Lay the string along the length of the table and mark the end points. Measure the string with a ruler to get the length. Repeat for the width.
  • An Old Tablecloth & Ruler: Lay the tablecloth flat and measure it with a tape measure or ruler. Note the length and width (or diameter for round tablecloths) for reference when purchasing a new one.

For Rectangle and Square Tables:

  • Length: Measure from one end to the other.
  • Width: Measure from one side to the other.

For Round Tables:

  • Diameter: Measure straight across the center from one edge to the opposite edge.   

For Oval Tables:

  • Length: Measure the longest part of the table.
  • Width: Measure the widest part of the table.      

Step 3: Decide on the Drop Length

The "drop" is how far the tablecloth hangs over the edge of the table. Common drop lengths include:

  • Short Drop: 6-8 inches (casual and everyday use).
  • Standard Drop: 8-12 inches (formal settings).
  • Floor-Length Drop: 29-30 inches (elegant events like weddings).

If the drop length is not enough, you can always opt for disposable table skirts. Then, you won’t have to worry about drop length anymore.

Step 4: Calculate the Tablecloth Size

Use the following formulas to determine the ideal tablecloth size:

Rectangular and Square Tables:

Rectangle tablecloth measuring guide
  • Length: Table Length + (Desired Drop Length x 2)
  • Width: Table Width + (Desired Drop Length x 2)

Browse through our site to find the best rectangle table covers

Round Tables:

Round tablecloth measuring guide
  • Diameter: Table Diameter + (Desired Drop Length x 2)

Browse through our site to find the best round plastic table covers.

Oval Tables:    

Oval tablecloth measuring guide
  • Length: Table Length + (Desired Drop Length x 2)
  • Width: Table Width + (Desired Drop Length x 2)

Example Calculation:

For a rectangular table measuring 60 inches long and 40 inches wide, with a desired drop length of 10 inches:

  • Length: 60 + (10 x 2) = 80 inches
  • Width: 40 + (10 x 2) = 60 inches
  • Tablecloth Size Needed: 80 inches by 60 inches

Why Use a Plastic Tablecloth?

Plastic tablecloths are versatile and practical for various settings, including parties, picnics, and everyday dining. Here are some benefits:

  • Easy Cleanup: Simply wipe down or dispose of after use.
  • Durable: Resistant to spills and stains.
  • Affordable: Cost-effective for large events.
  • Variety: Available in numerous colors, patterns, and sizes. 

Overall

Accurate measurements and understanding your table's shape and size are crucial for a perfect fit. Whether you're hosting a casual gathering or a formal event, following this guide will ensure your table looks great and stays protected. For more tips and tricks on event planning and home decor, stay tuned to our blog. Happy decorating!

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