December 03 2021
How to Choose Tablecloth Size: Complete Guide for 2021
Table settings, including your linens, can undoubtedly make or break the overall look and feel of an event. From fancy weddings to casual get-togethers, finding a tablecloth that works for practical considerations and aesthetic reasons can go a long way.
But how do you know which tablecloth size is right for your table?
Simply having a vague idea of how big your table is won’t cut it–at least, not if you want a beautiful, one-of-a-kind set-up.
Let’s take a look at how to find the best tablecloth size no matter what.
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How Do You Measure For a Tablecloth?
If you are starting from scratch, you might choose a tablecloth based on how many people will be attending your event.
However, many people will already have tables that they need to cover with the appropriate style of linen. To find a tablecloth size that actually fits your table the way you want it to, you need to know the size of your table itself, but you also have to be aware of other factors that might come into play.
Measuring your table is fairly straightforward, but there are still a few things you need to know to get it right.
How to Measure Your Table Size
The first step to finding a tablecloth that fits your table’s set-up and style well is getting an accurate measurement of its size. Your ideal tablecloth size will vary depending on the length and width (or diameter) of your table, as well as the amount of overhang you’re aiming for.
To measure your table, start by ensuring that its surface is adequately prepared.
Your table should be clear of clutter and set up exactly as it will be for your event. If it’s extendable, for instance, you’ll want to be sure you measure the full length of the entire table if that is how you plan to use it.
Once your table is ready to go, you can focus on finding its length and width, for square or rectangular tables, or diameter, for round tables. Measuring from end to end will help you get the most accurate measurement so that you can choose the best tablecloth for your purposes.
Be sure to make note of your findings; it will make doing math much easier later on.
Some people might prefer the look of floor-length linen that reaches the ground, while others prefer the feel of lap-length linen that generally stops around the height of one’s chair seat. The amount of extra tablecloth that hangs over the edge of your table is referred to as drop. After you’ve measured your table and start deciding what kind of tablecloth you want, you’ll need to think about how much drop you want.
Measuring a Round Table
Unsurprisingly, round tables don’t have lengths or widths to measure. Instead, you’ll be finding the diameter of your table.
A diameter is simply a line that passes through the middle of a circle and has endpoints on the circle, so you don’t have to worry about the angle of your measurement; so long as you pass through the middle and measure from end to end, you should get an accurate value.
Basically, measure straight across your circular table, making sure to go through the middle to measure the whole table, instead of cutting it off at an angle and making your measurement too small. Then write it down!
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Standard Tablecloth Sizes in Centimeters
Tablecloths manufactured and sold in the United States are typically measured in inches, but it’s pretty simple to convert the measurements you collected above or the size of the tablecloth itself into centimeters. While measurements in inches will probably be more common, it can be a good idea to have your measurements in both metrics, depending on what metrics your supplier uses. It would be an unwanted surprise if you ordered in centimeters and received a linen measured in inches.
Pay attention to the metrics you use versus what the vendor specifies.
To convert from inches to centimeters, simply multiply the number in inches by 2.54. Alternatively, to go from centimeters back to inches, divide by 2.54.
Most standard tablecloth sizes range from around 50” to over 120” per side, so it’s best to do the math yourself if you want a completely accurate conversion. However, for the sake of this discussion and to demonstrate what standard sizes tend to look like, we’ve listed some size conversions below.
90” tablecloth = 228.6 cm
120” tablecloth = 304.8 cm
134” tablecloth = 340.36 cm
52”x70” tablecloth = 132.08 cm x 177.8 cm
60”x84” tablecloth = 152.4 cm x 213.36 cm
60”x144” tablecloth = 152.4 cm x 365.76 cm
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Include Tablecloth Drop in Your Measurement
As we touched on above, overhang (or “drop”) is a major factor to consider when choosing a tablecloth size. The size of your table isn’t adaptable, but how much drop you want is; generally speaking, the more formal the event, the more drop your table should have.
So How Much Overhang Should a Tablecloth Have?
There is no one set answer to this question; it really depends on your goals and how you want your table settings to look.
Too little overhang or drop can leave your tables looking disproportionate or underwhelming, but too much can lead to an excessive amount of linen while potentially making it hard to sit down.
The amount of tablecloth drop may seem like a difficult decision to make, but there are really two common types of overhang: lap-length and floor-length.
The more common length of tablecloth drop is floor-length because many event tables have unsightly legs. Since the standard table height is about 30” high, a floor-length tablecloth’s drop falls about 30” from the tabletop and stops right around the ground. While you should double-check to ensure that your table isn’t unique or unusual, you can typically rely on a 30” height.
A floor-length tablecloth can make a table set-up look more polished and professional, making it an ideal choice for events like weddings, formal meetings, banquets, and more.
More casual events don’t necessarily need to feature luxuriously designed tables and might be more likely to feature a lap-length tablecloth. Lap-length drop generally falls to about the seat of your chair, approximately 15” from the tabletop.
Certain events might occasionally call for an even longer than floor-length tablecloth: the popular long, oversized tablecloth that creates a puddled look. An intentionally larger linen size can give this puddled appearance. This is commonly used for tables that don’t have chairs around them, such as a cake table. The puddled tablecloth can make for a nicer look, but it is not as functional if chairs need to be pushed in or people want to sit there.
Setting up your tablecloth overhang’s appearance should look something like this:
Don’t forget those linen napkins either, to add a special touch to your tablecloth. By ordering your linens wholesale, you can have a unique pattern that matches on both the table linens and the linen napkins.
Some people also appreciate the look of overlay, where a round table features a rectangular overlay on top. If you want a fancy lace tablecloth, for instance, an overlay can be more cost-effective or elegant than getting luxury linen that needs to go all the way to the floor.
Tablecloth Size Calculator and Sizing Guides
Fortunately, most standard sizes, even if they differ slightly, follow the same sort of measurements, so being familiar with how they look can make it much easier to figure out what works for your table’s specific measurements.
Below are some of the most common table sizes as well as the linens that would go best with them, based on if you want a lap-length or floor-length look. Recall that floor-length is the most common table length, but your preference could depend on the type of event.
For a simple explanation of this graphic, consider the following: the most common sizes for round event tables are 60" or 72" and rectangular tables are most often 6' ✕ 30" or 8' ✕ 30". The vast majority of orders involving multiple tables for typical events would feature these measurements.
Recall that the popular floor-length tablecloth features a drop of 30” to the ground, while a lap-length tablecloth hits around chair seat height with a 15” drop. Particularly when one is covering event tables, floor-length tablecloths are more effective at hiding table legs and giving the room a more consistent look.
Round Table Tablecloth Dimensions
A 60” round table would be best served by a 120” round floor-length tablecloth or a 90” round lap-length tablecloth.
A 72” round table should likely feature a 132” round floor-length tablecloth or a 108” lap-length tablecloth.
Rectangular Table Tablecloth Dimensions
A rectangular table measuring 6' ✕ 30" should use a 90” ✕ 132” rectangular floor-length tablecloth or a 60” ✕ 120” lap-length tablecloth.
A rectangular table measuring 8' ✕ 30" should use a 90” ✕ 156” rectangular floor-length tablecloth or a 60” ✕ 120” lap-length tablecloth.
Whether you have a tape measure handy or not, these calculations can seriously come in handy. You can even run those measurements by the helpful experts at Urquid Linen so they can validate your tablecloth size. Then you’ll have all the information and access you need to take advantage of the amazing products offered here at Urquid Linens, all of which are made to order.
If you’re looking for high-quality linens that come in a wide variety of colors and sizes (including custom sizes), look no further than our expansive line of unique collections.
Not only can you find a tablecloth that works for you, but you can also take advantage of other linen and table-setting products, like napkins, runners, and dinnerware.
Not sure if your selection is the right size or look? Try out some of our samples or take advantage of our world-class, robust customer service to find something that works instead.