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How To Select the Right Size Tablecloth for Your Table

The fondest memories are made gathered around the table. “

-Winston Porter Griffeth

 

We all enjoy getting together with family and friends over a great meal. Especially during the holidays. And what is the ultimate symbol of togetherness? The table. There is something special about sharing a hearty meal with your loved ones around a beautifully decorated table. You probably want it to look it's best, right? Well, there is more to creating a warm and inviting dining space, than simply placing a tablecloth on top of the table.

One secret to a memorable dining experience is dressing your table with the right tablecloth. The highly versatile tablecloth is a simple way to give your table a stylish touch, adding an air of elegance to your dining area.  They offer a foundation for a beautiful table setting by adding colour and texture and sets the scene for a beautiful tablescape. While you might be tempted to simply throw one on, it is vital that it fits your table correctly, not just so that they stay in place, but so your tablescape looks complete and polished. There are several considerations, such as size, that must be made before picking out the perfect cover for your table. 

Shopping for tablecloths can seem tricky, especially if you do not know where to start. What size tablecloth do I need? Do I go big or small? Square or rectangular? How much should it hang over from the edges? What if I can’t find the exact size? 

Whether you're going for cosy candour or casual sophistication, these tips will help you become a pro at draping tables in no time.

Let’s get started.

1. Plan ahead

When choosing a tablecloth specifically for your table, there are two important factors to consider: the drop and the size of your table. The “drop “simply refers to how long you want the tablecloth to hang over each side of your table. The “size “refers to how your table measures. For a square, rectangular and oval table, it is a measure of the length and width, and in the case of a round table - the diameter. 

2. Measure Your Table

If your table is a square shape, you just need to measure it on one side to determine the width and length. Measure the entire length and width of the table if its a rectangle or an oval. For a round/circular table, the diameter is all that is required. It is the line that cuts the table in half.

3. Determine the drop/overhang

The length of the drop is the first step in finding the perfect tablecloth. You can choose the size based on the drops listed below. 

The Half Drop:  For casual events, we recommend a tablecloth that falls evenly around the table, giving a drop of somewhere between 20 -30 cm or 8-12 inches from the edge of the table to the bottom of the tablecloth. Anything shorter than 15 cm or 6 inches, will make your table look way too small and will dwarf the rest of your decor. So, make sure you get that as a minimum drop. However, anything over 30 cm or 12 inches, would only add to the elegance. 

Pine Cone Teal Tablecloth

    Pine Cone Teal Tablecloth

The Full Drop:  For more formal events, we recommend draping your tablecloth all the way to the floor, providing a drop anywhere between 40 cm to 75 cm (15-30 inches). 

Peachy Blossom Tablecloth

Peachy Blossom Tablecloth

The Puddle Drop: The puddle drop extends all the way down to the floor, and is a table setting style that is well-suited to formal dinners and large events. Event planners often opt for this luxurious drop for receptions and weddings. 

 

4.  Do the math

Tables today are available in a wide array of sizes and configurations. An oblong table, for example, is a rectangle with a length that is greater than it's width. An oval also has a length that is greater than it's width, but the sides are continuously curved. But at the end of the day, there are four main shapes to choose from––rectangular, round, oval, and square.

You can easily calculate your ideal tablecloth size now that you know the length, breadth, and the desired drop-length specifications. 

  • Rectangle: If you have a rectangle table, measure the length and width once, and add twice the desired drop to each dimension.

        Formula = Length + 2 x drop required       
                       Width + 2 x drop required. 

Palm Tree Green Tablecloth

Palm Tree Green Tablecloth

Green Ivy Tablecloth

Green Ivy Tablecloth

For example, a table measuring 100 cm in width and 215 cm in length.
with the desired drop of 25 cm should be as seen below in the table:
 
         
Parameter

Table width/length + Drop on side + Drop on side

Total
Width 100 cm + 25 cm + 25 cm 150 cm
Length  215 cm + 25 cm + 25 cm 265 cm

 

This means you may shop for rectangle tablecloths around or above 150 cm x 265 cm in size.

  • Round:  If you have a round table, measure the diameter, and add twice the desired drop to it.                                                                 

    Formula = Diameter + 2 x drop required 

    Example: - This round table is 107 cm in diameter with a desired drop of 35 cm. Tablecloth size required: 107cm + 35 *2 = 177 cm. That means you can shop the round tablecloths for around or over 177 cm in size.  

Pink Ivy Round Tablecloth 180 cm

  • Square:  If you have a square table, simply measure one of it's sides from end to end. (On a square, all sides are equal).

    A square table measuring 50 cm in length with a 40 cm desired drop should be 50 cm + 40 cm + 40 cm = 130 cm. So, your square tablecloth would be 130 cm x 130 cm in size. 

  • Oval: - Measure your oval or oblong table for a tablecloth in the same way you would a rectangle table.  (See above)

    Oval tablecloths are hard to find. You can use any rectangular tablecloth to cover an oval table. Please keep in mind that the tablecloth will droop in the corners. This is completely normal, as the drop towards the floor is longer than on the sides.

    Bonus Tip: - It is always better to go a size up if you can't find the exact size. 

Can I put a square tablecloth on a round table and other sizing questions

You can play around a lot with dimensions when you're designing a table setting, so feel free to disagree with the conventional wisdom that says square cloths go on square tables only or rectangular cannot go on round or oval.  

You can follow the interior design rules if you want, but it is equally fine to experiment and find your own style.  If you can’t find your favourite in the exact shape and size you want, wear your creative hat, and get experimenting. See what looks good and what doesn’t. The important thing is that you should love the look you want to create in your home. Most businesses like us offer 30 days returns for change of mind (please read our returns policy) purchases. 

Here’s some ideas to get you started:

  • You can cover an oval or oblong table with a rectangle tablecloth. The drape is different so you may have to experiment to find the right fit for it to work.
  • A square tablecloth can be used to cover a round table as seen below.

Blue Iris 4-seater Square Tablecloth

Blue Iris 4-seater Square Tablecloth

  • A rectangular tablecloth can easily be draped over a round table as seen below. 

Sea Breeze 6-seater Rectangular Tablecloth

Tablecloth Size Guide :

Below is a table highlighting the tablecloth sizes on our site:

  • To convert cm to inches, just divide it by 2.54.
  • To convert cm to metres, divide it by 100. 
  • To convert cm to feet/foot, divide it by 30.48.

Shape 

Size in cm (width x length)

Size in inches 

Size in metres

Size in feet

Rectangle 

150 x 220 

59 x 87 

1.5 x 2.2 

4.9 x 7.2 

Rectangle 

180 x 270 

71 x 106 

1.8 x 2.7 

5.9 x 8.85

Rectangle 

180 x 340 

71 x 134 

1.8 x 3.4 

5.9 x 11.15 

Round 

150 cm 

59

1.5 

4.9

Round 

180 cm

71

1.8 

5.9

Round 

220 cm 

87 

2.2 

7.2 

Square 

150 x 150 cm 

59 x 59 

1.5 x 1.5 

4.9 x 4.9 

Square 

180 x 180 cm 

71 x 71 

1.8 x 1.8 

5.9 x 5.9

Square 

220 x 220 cm 

87 x 87 

2.2 x 2.2 

7.2 x 7.2 

 

Conclusion:

You may be doing a lot of entertaining, or you might just like having a place to gather with family and friends that looks nice. Either way, dressing your table with a tablecloth is one of the most important ways you can keep your events festive, cozy, and warm. Hope this article helped choosing the right tablecloth a little less intimidating. Did you find it useful? Or do you have a tricky table size that isn't the easiest to find tablecloths for?

Do let us know in the comments below :-

1 comment

  • Hello ….. thank you for your detailed site giving so much information. I am still struggling to choose a size as I’m trying to buy the Sea Breeze Rectangle cloth to use for outdoor casual entertaining. Our table is 100 × 200cm so I’m stuck between sizes. I feel like the 180 × 270 would give too much drape (we have fully backed bench seats on each side) and get in the way, however the 150 × 220 would only give 10cm at each end??? Sadly maybe this cloth may not be the one for me ….. what do you advise?

    Robyn Cashion

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