Can You Use a Round Tablecloth on a Square Table? (It Depends)

You can use a round tablecloth on a square table. You can also potentially use a square tablecloth on a round table; doing so, however, may not provide the appearance you are looking for. 

If you are considering using a round tablecloth on a square table, you’ll need to consider the size of the tablecloth and the table, the type of business in question, and how important a highly coordinated design is to you. You’ll get a more polished aesthetic if you use a round tablecloth for a round table and a square tablecloth for a square table. 

How a Round Tablecloth on a Square Table Affects Aesthetics

If you are thinking about using a round tablecloth on a square table, you need to consider how this look may affect your customers, your employees, and even your own preferences and satisfaction regarding the aesthetic appeal of the establishment. For example, if you are the owner or manager of a fine dining restaurant, you probably don’t want to do this since a highly coordinated look is preferable. A tablecloth that doesn’t fit quite right doesn’t fit the aesthetics of a high-end establishment.  However, some businesses, such as certain bars or cafés, might adopt a more alternative style in which an uncoordinated design may offer a desired eclectic appeal. 

If you select a round tablecloth for a square table and the tablecloth is too small, the tablecloth will not cover the entirety of the table. Conversely, if the tablecloth is too large, it will likely hang over the edges, which could look awkward and even sloppy to some customers. 

In all cases, a round tablecloth will most likely create more overhang on the sides than would a square or rectangular in shape tablecloth. This may be considered fashionable and visually appealing to some, but traditionalists will probably prefer a classic and coordinated appearance in which the tablecloth matches the size and shape of the table perfectly. 

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Tablecloth

Ultimately, selecting the right tablecloth for your business will depend on several factors. First, you should consider your style and preference, particularly if it is your business and you wish to impart a specific style or image to your customers. You will also need to consider the type of business you are operating and which style will most likely attract customers. 

If you are seeking a highly coordinated appearance, you do not necessarily need to rule out the possibility of a round tablecloth. Round tablecloths can still provide a highly professional and elegant appearance on square tables, particularly if they match other table settings in the establishment. Again, the answer depends on the overall picture.

The following are some factors you may wish to consider when determining if a round tablecloth will work for the square tables in your business:

  • Style: Because one of the main purposes of a tablecloth is to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the setting, consider the style that is portrayed if you should select a round tablecloth and square table combination. 

  • Size of the table: Consider the size of the table. The tablecloth should ideally cover the entirety of the table without hanging too far over the edges, but it should also not be small to the extent that significant portions of the table are exposed. 

The event or occasion: Think about the occasion or event because this will have a significant impact on the style and image you want to portray to your guests. A round tablecloth may be more appropriate for a casual event, while a square tablecloth tends to provide a more formal appearance. The overall feel of your establishment will matter the most here.

Dos and Don’ts When Selecting a Round Tablecloth

The following are some dos and don’ts when considering if a round tablecloth will work on the square tables in your business:

  • Do ensure that the tablecloth is an appropriate size for the table.

  • Do not use a tablecloth that is too small because this will leave parts of the table exposed and susceptible to damage. 

  • Do try out several different sizes, colors and styles if possible. This will help ensure you select one that is optimal for your needs and preferences. 

  • Do not use a tablecloth that is too large for the table. This may result in a disheveled appearance. It can also contribute to an unsafe work environment because employees and customers may trip on the tablecloth if it hangs on the floor.

How Alsco Can Help with Your Tablecloth Needs

For a large variety of tablecloth options and tablecloth cleaning services, check out Alsco’s linen offerings. We offer high-quality food and beverage linens that don’t lint. Our linens are certified by NSF International to be hygienically safe. You can choose from a wide array of colors, and you can choose the tablecloth shape — round or square — that makes the most sense for your business. 

Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help.  


How to Choose the Right Size Tablecloth. (2023). French Affair. 

Tablecloth. (2023). National Heritage Board.

Contact Us

Interested in Alsco's Services? Visit our Contact page and let us know!