Looking for appropriate picnic table dimensions depends entirely on what picnic table you want or need. Whether big or small, finding the picnic table with the correct size gives your family a quaint spot to enjoy the fresh air.
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What Picnic Table Dimensions Work Best?
Standard picnic tables are usually about 72 inches wide, 59 inches deep, and around 30 inches tall. The bench will typically sit at 17 inches, giving plenty of legroom beneath the table.
However, not all picnic tables need to meet these requirements to fulfill their function. Some picnic tables are different sizes, and some are different shapes. A few similarities usually exist, such as:
- Table height about 28 to 34 inches off the ground
- Allow 24 to 30 inches of perimeter length per individual
- The seats are typically benches
- It should be about 11 inches between the bench and table
Picnic Table Dimensions Explained
While there are specific picnic table dimensions that you usually see on standard picnic tables, there are many exceptions. Picnic tables are, after all, an incredibly versatile lawn furniture feature that can come in all shapes and sizes.
There’s no reason to rule out a picnic table simply because the dimensions are slightly different. For example, a standard rectangular picnic table will be much larger than a square or custom-built picnic table.
Regardless of your expectations, it’s crucial to understand that not all picnic tables are created the same. Many variations make each picnic table unique. And depending on your needs, you might not want a standard picnic table.
Fancy Picnic Tables
Picnic table dimensions depend significantly on the style of picnic table that you want. If you’re looking for something strictly utilitarian where all of your kids can cram for lunch outside, then a standard rectangular picnic table is the way to go.
If your picnic table is supposed to take the shape of a yard ornament more than a practical piece of equipment, you may consider finding something a little different. But what if you’re looking for something a little bit different? Maybe even a little on the fancy side?
Standard picnic tables, while practical, have minimal personality. Sure, they have that rustic look that everyone seems to love. But otherwise, a picnic table is little more than a wooden table outside.
Dressing up your picnic table will give your lawn that pop of excitement you’ve been craving. There are various ways you can spice up your picnic table, such as:
- Paint it fun colors
- Carve interesting designs
- String tea lights around it
- Have individual benches made instead of two long benches
- Make it a weird shape
- Add flowers
However you decide to make your picnic table fancy, you’re going to have fun with it. Whether you already have a picnic table and want to make some changes, or you’re getting your very first one, make sure you have a sound vision of what you want before making a final call.
Low Picnic Tables
In some countries, sitting on the ground during meals is standard practice. Some places believe it’s good for your health, and some have millennia of culture and tradition that means they continue to sit on the floor.
Regardless of why people from certain cultures choose to sit on the floor during meals, there is an attraction among other countries to emulate the practice.
Some people are incredibly health-conscious, and others are more concerned with fads, but both are passionate. There is an active market for picnic tables that sit low to the ground.
Often, these picnic tables lack benches or seating of any kind. Instead, they sit low enough to the ground with the surface area close enough to your torso to allow you to sit on the floor while you eat.
While this setup might not seem like the ideal situation for many people, it’s an interesting take on a timeless tradition. Low picnic tables will have slightly different dimensions than standard picnic tables, although the length and depth might remain the same.
Square Picnic Tables
The versatility of the picnic table is one of the best things about the picnic table. If you love hosting and throwing massive parties in your backyard, a large picnic table with plenty of bench space will make your life so much easier.
If you’re into unique traditions, you can design a picnic table to meet specifications mimicking the best parts of the world’s cultures.
And if you like having small, intimate gatherings with your closest friends, you can commission a square picnic table. Square picnic tables are just unique enough without being overly weird or unexplainable.
Having a square picnic table in your backyard makes a great decorative piece as well as a beautiful hosting spot when your friends come over.
In addition, you can enjoy dinner in a more intimate setting than you can with a standard picnic table, which always inevitably feels like a potluck. The great thing about square picnic tables is that they offer individual seating.
This seating arrangement means less crowding, creating a more comfortable environment for your dinner party. It also means that everything is easily accessible without having to reach too far or over your guests.
A square picnic table won’t have the exact dimensions as a standard picnic table – simply because it’s square. The height between the benches and table might be similar, and the measurement between the ground and table might stay the same.
Otherwise, a square picnic table is going to be much smaller. Which makes it a perfect hosting tool when you’re all about maximizing space.
Things to Consider
If you’re trying to decide what you want in a picnic table, keep these few points in mind as you weigh your options:
- Your family size will affect the picnic table size
- Some standard picnic tables are not big enough for larger families
- Large picnic tables take up lots of yard space
- You have to move the picnic table every time you mow the lawn
- Wasps often build their nests on the underside of picnic tables and benches
- Your picnic table will experience all kinds of weather
- Some picnic tables can run upwards of $600
- Building a picnic table can be time-consuming but incredibly rewarding
- You may save money making your own picnic table
Frequently Asked Questions
A picnic table is usually worth the time and effort it takes to maintain it, but be sure to do the necessary research to determine how much of your time the maintenance will require.
Don’t let maintenance requirements put you off from getting a picnic table, though. While they experience extra wear and tear outdoors, a picnic table in your yard will serve you and your family well.
How much wood is used in a standard picnic table?
Building a standard picnic table is a lot like building a typical table. First, you need a lot of wood, and you’ll want to determine the board sizes you’ll need.
For example, if you’re building a rectangular picnic table, you’ll need 2×6 boards as well as 2×4 boards. Usually, a picnic table can take 22-26 boards of various sizes.
However, having a few extra is always a good idea, especially if you’re building a picnic table for the first time. Also, it’s wise to have extra on hand if you make a bad cut or waste any wood.
Making mistakes in woodworking is practically a guarantee, and there’s no reason to get down on yourself for it. And don’t feel bad when it inevitably happens. You’ll get the hang of it the more you do it, and soon you’ll be a picnic table-making machine.
How thick do picnic tables need to be?
Picnic tables can vary in thickness depending on how big you want them and their shape. Usually, picnic tabletops will be about 3 to 4 inches thick. It can change when you have tables custom-built. If there’s a certain thickness you desire, it will probably work.
Remember that the thicker the tabletop, the heavier the table will be. It’s good to have a little bit of heft to the picnic table, as it will keep it from blowing away in a high wind event. But heavy picnic tables are hard to move on your own.
Do picnic table legs need angles?
Yes, picnic table legs have precise angles. These angles are one of the defining features of the picnic table. Standard tables dimensions are incomplete without the proper leg angles carefully noted.
Typically, a picnic table leg requires a 60-degree angle. This angle will get you that classic picnic table look. You don’t want the legs too narrow, or they might throw off the entire table. And if they’re too wide, they may not be as sturdy in the long run.
When you’re cutting the legs for your picnic table, make sure you cut a little extra. A good rule of thumb is to cut at least an inch more than what you know you’ll need. Doing this gives you room to make mistakes, and you can always level the legs out later.
What kind of wood is best for a picnic table?
There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re picking the wood for your picnic table:
- You want something sturdy
- The wood needs to be weather-resistant
- Aesthetically pleasing is nice but not essential
- Heavy lumber will make a heavy picnic table
Typically, picnic tables use softwood, like cedar or redwood. Douglas fir is another favored wood. These woods are all soft, lightweight, durable, and they’ll hold up in inclement weather. Despite being lighter, they are rough and sturdy.
Oak picnic tables are not uncommon, but they can be a little heavier and less pleasant. Pine is another popular wood for carpentry, but it doesn’t have the same durability as other woods. It is cheaper, however, and can be stained to look nice.
Can picnic tables be larger than standard sizes?
The beauty of the picnic table is that it can be as big or small as you want. There are standard picnic table dimensions, and they make a good starting point for anyone looking to build a table. But they are not the law.
You can make a picnic table in whatever shape or size you desire. If that means making one that’s a little bigger, so be it. Meeting the needs of your family and your hosting endeavors is more important than making a picnic table to exact specifications.
So, Are Picnic Table Dimensions Important?
Stanard picnic table dimensions are a good starting point for anyone looking for a picnic table. Whether you want to build one yourself or purchase one, keep in mind that you can get a picnic table in whatever shape or size you want. As long as you like it, that’s all that matters.