Choosing between wood folding tables and plastic folding tables is one of the first decisions that party rental companies and event venues have to make when investing in inventory. There are plenty of benefits to both, but what’s the real difference between the two? How does the cost of a wooden folding table factor into the potential return on investment when compared with a plastic folding table?
Plastic folding tables give you an alternative to heavy wood, which is a fantastic benefit when it comes to setup and teardown time. If you want great quality and the option to skip a tablecloth for a more utilitarian look, then plastic might be for you. Churches, schools and individuals have been using plastic folding tables for years and continue to sing their praises.
Another advantage to plastic tables are the specialty options available. Bi-fold and adjustable height tables are only available in plastic and give venue managers great alternatives for their inventory. Even better?
It may seem easy to pick out a folding table, but you’d be surprised how many considerations there are. One folding table is not the same as any other. Durability should be among your primary concerns. For example, a particleboard folding table is probably only going to last you a single year. On the other hand, a good multipurpose folding table will cost four times as much but last 10 to 15 times longer. Which is the better investment?
While durability is most often expressed as the most important feature, there are additional aspects to take into consideration when choosing a folding table. Here’s a comprehensive list:
- Table weight—Take into account the strength of all your volunteers who will help set up tables, not just the very strongest ones. You don’t want anyone straining their back or becoming otherwise injured by lifting tables.
- Leg attachment method—A sturdy leg mechanism should be bolted to the underside of the table, not attached by wood screws. You’ll be constantly folding and unfolding the legs, and you want to be sure that the legs will hold up under such use.
- Edge and corner construction—You never thought about this one, did you? A heavy-duty edge will help preserve the table. Corner construction of rectangular tables should be impact-resistant to prevent damage from being dropped accidentally.
- Ease of maintenance—If a table needs sanding or refinishing, forget about it. The table you choose should be able to resist stains, withstand contact with hot objects and remain easy to clean.
- Reliability testing—A good table will have been put through rigorous testing protocols, which ensures durability and lower cost of ownership over time.
- Cart options—You may require unique storage and cart needs. Consider the width of your doorways and storage areas and look at a supplier with a variety of cart options to help you get the most efficient use of your facility.
- Duration and depth of warranty—Reputable manufacturers back up their product with a solid warranty over a considerable length of time of at least 3 to 15 years or more depending on table style.
- Breadth of line—To pull off the variety of events demanded of today’s leading venues, a wide variety of shapes and sizes are required, from adjustable height cocktail tables to varying widths and lengths of rectangular tables, and to specialty half and quarter rounds. Sometimes the right table for the right application may be a completely different style and construction from the meeting room to the ballroom or banquet area.