A round tablecloth placed on a round table is usually about 16 inches longer in diameter than the table. This allows for an 8 inch drop, which many consider the minimum, although shorter drops are possible.
The Basics of Round Tablecloth Sizing
The following table (based on expert recommendations) can help you determine the size of the round tablecloth you need based on the diameter of the table and the amount of drop you want.
Tablecloth Diameter With 8” Drop
Tablecloth Diameter With 30” Drop
If you’re unsure of the table’s diameter, measure it before buying or renting a tablecloth. The diameter is the deciding factor in which size tablecloth is most appropriate.
Keep in mind that a 44 inch diameter table requires more than a 44 inch diameter tablecloth because, although it would cover the table, it would have no drop. As a broad rule, a tablecloth should be at least 16 inches greater in diameter than the table you’re putting it on. Of course, the ideal dimensions depend on the given restaurant or event, so we’ll address those issues later.
If aiming for a specific amount of drop, multiply the amount of drop you want by two. Add that result to the diameter of the table. That result is the diameter of tablecloth you need, assuming the table is a perfect circle.
Also, keep in mind that this article is focused on round tablecloths, which should generally be placed on round tables. We’ll later discuss whether round tablecloths can be used on other shapes of tables, but doing so will cause an uneven level of drop, even if the tablecloth covers the whole table.
Consider the Drop Length
One important consideration when deciding on a tablecloth is the amount of desired drop length. This is the length that the tablecloth hangs from the table. There is no perfect drop length. It depends on the aesthetic you’re aiming for, with longer drop lengths sometimes viewed as more formal but more cumbersome.
When deciding on a drop length, the table height is the primary factor. An 8 inch drop on a table sized for adults will look markedly different than the same amount of drop on a table sized for children. The height of a table is also a factor in determining the maximum length of drop. At a certain point, the tablecloth will reach the floor.
Long tablecloth drops generally look best with solid-colored tablecloths. If your tablecloth has an elaborate pattern, you’ll want to visualize the best drop length for it. Some tablecloths are designed with certain drop lengths in mind.
Determining the most appropriate drop length isn’t an exact science. It takes a careful eye and some experimentation to find the ideal drop length for a specific tablecloth.
Round Tablecloths on Square or Rectangular Tables
We’ve written on this topic before, but it’s relevant here. A round tablecloth can be used on a square table, but it’s almost always preferable to have a properly sized square tablecloth instead.
A circular tablecloth is more likely to look aesthetically odd on a square table. The most obvious issue is an unsightly drop. Rather than hanging relatively evenly around the table, a round tablecloth on a square or rectangular table will hang lower in some places and higher in others. Depending on the dimensions of the table, the tablecloth could reach the floor in places, which is almost never desirable.
It’s also worth noting that not all tables and similar surfaces necessarily need tablecloths. It depends on the material of the surface and the look that a restaurant or event center is aiming to achieve. Many casual eating establishments, such as diners, don’t feature tablecloths and that look supports the overall aesthetic of the restaurant.
Ensuring You Have the Right Tablecloths
Proper tablecloth sizing is important for achieving a clean, unified aesthetic for a business. It becomes even more important for more formal occasions. Fine-dining restaurants and event companies need to have the right tablecloth for the right occasion. It’s a small detail that can go a long way toward proving that a company is capable of delivering a well-planned, professional experience.
At Alsco, we can help make sure your business always has the tablecloths it needs in the right sizes. We can talk to you about your restaurant’s aesthetics and help you choose the ideal drop. We can then make sure you always have clean, fresh and high-quality tablecloths on hand. Learn more about our linen rental services and see how we can help simplify the process of delivering a unified look to your customers and reduce your stress in the process. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.
Use This Tablecloth Size Chart for Perfect Party Planning. (June 2023). LoveToKnow Media.