The outdoor portion of your campus or property makes the first impression on newcomers, and, as a result, it’s important to consider aesthetics whenever installing functional elements in your outdoor common areas. For many institutions, picnic tables are a perfect amenity to install in common areas since they provide a place to congregate, sit, and dine. Because of that functional capability, outdoor picnic tables can be the centerpiece of any common area on your campus.
Outdoor tables are an important part of your institutional hardscaping, and therefore it’s important that you select tables that aren’t just functional but also look neat and aesthetically pleasing. Fortunately, there are many styles, colors, and materials available in outdoor tables. For example, you can opt for the standard picnic table or upgrade to outdoor picnic tables with umbrellas. No matter your outdoor table needs, there’s a style that matches both the form and function that you desire. Keep reading to learn more about how you can choose the right picnic table for your needs.
Selecting the right picnic table isn’t just a matter of picking up a catalog and placing an order. There are some major points to consider when deciding on a table, but there are also some practical matters to consider as well. For example, how will you be keeping the tables clean? That’s an important factor to consider since people will be eating on the tables you install. Another consideration is the resilience of the tables to weather. Are they coated with UV-resistant substances that also protect from oxidation? Is the table structurally sound enough to hold the weight of multiple people? These are all factors to consider in preparing to begin your search for the right tables. Picnic tables can be found that are made from a variety of materials, and each material has a set of pros and cons with which it is associated. The four primary materials used in making picnic tables are metal, concrete, plastic/composite, and wood.
Metal tables offer the benefit of resilience to the elements, a wide range of colors available through poly coating, strong and durable construction, and perforated tops that don’t allow water to puddle on top. That perforation also allows for airflow which can prevent rust. Because of their coatings, metal tables are easy to clean, and they are lighter than some other types of table which makes them more portable.
Concrete is also resilient and can be painted almost any color you desire. However, concrete tables aren’t movable. Once they are installed on a campus, they can’t be moved again without a forklift. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as it means that your tables won’t be lifted in the wind, and thieves won’t be able to take them. Modern concrete picnic tables can also feature a range of textures that make them appear more like natural stone, which can be appealing in the right setting.
Plastics and composite tables are quite attractive because they are light, inexpensive, and easy to move to meet the changing needs of your common areas. They are extremely durable and resistant to the effects of weather. They won’t rot or crack, and they’re impervious to insects. They come in a rainbow of colors and textures, making them versatile in fitting in with the aesthetic of your property. There are even plastic tables made entirely of recycled plastic, which makes them one of the few truly green options when it comes to outdoor picnic tables.
Wood tables are the old standard because they’re easy to move, inexpensive, and can be painted any color. Wood tables feature a natural aesthetic that will fit in perfectly on rustic or wooded campuses. While they may not have the natural durability of metal or concrete, with proper care and maintenance they can last a generation. Many of the best wooden tables combine metal frames with wooden planks, which can make tables more resilient and easier to move.
If you’re looking for the perfect picnic table for your campus, consider the strengths and weaknesses of each type of table before deciding which one is right for you. To learn more about choosing the right picnic table for your needs, contact Outdoor School Furniture at 888-719-3330.