How to Measure a Table for a Tablecloth: #1 Way to Measure a Table
There is a tablecloth for every size or shape of table. No, really, there is! Whether your table is square or rectangular, round, or oval, there is a perfect fit table covering for your needs. You simply need to know how to measure the table correctly.
To measure your table, all you need is a tape measure. That’s it. You also need to decide how far over the edge you want the tablecloth to drape, which is called the drop.
The following are directions for measuring the four most popular table shapes for coverings:
How to Measure a Round Table
The most popular question asked online about table measurement concerns measuring a round table for a tablecloth. It’s really not as difficult as it seems if you follow these steps:
- Find the middle of the table by placing a tape measure across the center.
- Determine its widest point to find its diameter. The diameter is the side to side measurement of the round table at its widest point.
- Determine the circumference while you’re at it, in case you want to apply a decorative edge to your table setting. The circumference is found by measuring the perimeter of the round tabletop. Do this by placing your tape measure on the side of the top and wrapping it around the edge of the table.
- Lastly, measure the height of the table, if you wish the tablecloth or skirt to reach the ground.
- To determine the size tablecloth to order for a round table, multiply the drop length by two, whether that be table height or 12 inches, and add that to the measured diameter to determine the size tablecloth needed. If you are ordering only a table skirt, you need the circumference and drop length to order.
- For example, you might ask, “What size tablecloth for a 60-inch round table should I order?” The answer would be, assuming a 30-inch full drop around the edges, a 120-inch round tablecloth – 60 plus 30 multiplied by two.
How to Measure for Rectangle Tablecloth Sizes
Are you wondering how to measure a rectangle table for a tablecloth? It’s pretty simple if you follow these steps:
- First, be sure your table is fully extended to the size you need. This is mentioned because many tables have leaves that aren’t always inserted. You must determine how many people you wish to seat at the table and then allow 18 to 30 inches per person.
- Once the table is at its desired length, measure that length from one end to the other down the longest side.
- After its length is determined, measure the width from one side to the other down the shortest side of the table.
- Again, your final measurement is to determine the drop of the tablecloth. If you wish the tablecloth to reach the floor, you need that table height measurement.
- Like the round tablecloth, you’ll have to multiply the drop of the tablecloth by two. That needs to be added to each measurement, both length, and width, to get the final size.
- For example, you might ask “What size tablecloth for 6 ft. rectangle table?” The answer would be 90 x 132 inches to reach the floor – (30 inches wide + (30 inches x 2)) by (72 inches long + (30 inches x 2)).
- If you are measuring for a table skirt for a rectangle table, you’ll need to determine the length of all the edges that you wish to cover, as well as the height
- For example, for an eight-foot banquet table behind which people will sit, you’d only cover the front and two sides. If the front measures 96 inches and the two sides measure 30 inches each, the final measurement is 156 inches (divide by 12 to get 13 feet). You would order a table skirt of about this size with a 30-inch drop to cover the three sides of the table.
Measure Tablecloths for an Oval Table
One thing to clear up about tablecloths for an oval table is that you can use an oblong tablecloth or even a rectangle tablecloth on this shape table. You’ll find the drape to be a little different, depending on the shape, but it can look lovely in all scenarios. Let’s look at how to measure your oval table for a tablecloth:
- Measuring your oval or oblong table for a tablecloth is very similar to measuring a rectangle table. (See above.)
- After measuring the length and width of your oval table, you must decide on the tablecloth’s drop. For an oval table that seats six to eight people the formula would look like this: Table measurement 42 inches wide x 84 inches long with a 12 inch drop, then your oval tablecloth should measure 60 inches x 108 inches.
Measuring for a Square Table Covering
Measuring a square table is the simplest table measurement of all. Learn how to measure a square table for a tablecloth from these instructions:
- Because a square table is equal on all sides, you only need to measure the tabletop one way, instead of measuring both the length and width.
- Like the rectangular tablecloth, you’ll have to multiply the drop of the tablecloth by two. That needs to be added to your measurement to get the final size.
- Decide between round and square corners. For a floor-length tablecloth, you might opt for square corners, so they don’t puddle on the floor.
Can I Use a Rectangle Tablecloth on an Oval Table and Other Sizing Questions
Some shapes of tablecloths can be used on multiple table shapes. Let’s review the “rules”:
- Yes, you can use a rectangle tablecloth on rectangle, oval or oblong tables. The draping will be a little different and 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, but again, you can expect some draping issues.
- Round, oblong and oval tablecloths only fit tables of the same shape.
For more help with measuring for the perfect tablecloth, be sure to check out the iQ Linens' Tablecloth Calculator!