Choosing The Perfect Cocktail Table Linen Size

Cocktail table linen size

A good mix of cocktail and banquet tables can awaken an event organizer from their worst nightmare – fitting as many guests into a space-insufficient venue. These tables are space-savers, conveniently accommodating up to four people standing or sitting on bar stools. These furnishings deserve the same treatment as their larger counterparts, requiring meticulous planning and knowledge of the correct cocktail table linen size.

Tablecloth Size for a Cocktail Table

Like any furniture requiring a sheath to hide its bare form while complementing an event’s theme, linens for cocktail tables vary in size. 

It’s worth mentioning these furnishings come in at least three “heights” (30, 36, and 42 inches) measured from the table’s top surface to the feet or base’s bottom section. A table’s height is vital because you will want the tablecloth to drop seamlessly from the top, cascade elegantly along the sides, and barely touch the floor below.

So, how do you know what size to get? Here’s a quick tip.

• Round tables

round cocktail tablesMeasure the furniture’s top diameter (the section for serving food & beverages or where guests rest their elbows and hands on) and add the number to twice the table’s height.

For example, suppose you have a 36-inch-wide and 30-inch-high table. In that case, you will need a 96-inch-diameter linen (36 inches + 30 inches + 30 inches = 96 inches).

• Square/rectangular tables

square rectangular cocktail tables

Tables with sharp angles or corners have a different formula for determining the correct linen size, although you still need the furniture’s height. Multiply the table’s “drop” or height by two and add it to the furniture’s length and width separately. 

For instance, a 24-inch-wide, 24-inch-long, and 30-inch-high table will need an 84 x 84-inch linen (length and width = 24 inches + 30 inches + 306 inches = 84 inches).

Note that round tables look more elegant if you bundle the midsection with a ribbon to create an hourglass or champagne glass shape. This styling requires the host or event designer to add at least 6 inches to the linen’s size.

For instance, the hypothetical example above (96-inch-diameter cocktail tablecloth) requires a 6-inch adjustment, making the final linen size 102 inches. 

The extra inches accommodate the linen’s inward-outward flow (“sashed”) relative to the table’s midsection, while maintaining the tablecloth-floor interface.

Table Size Chart

cocktail table size chartYou can try the linen sizing formula in the following furniture sizes.

Table Height Surface Dimensions
30 inches 24 inches in diameter

30 inches in diameter

32 inches in diameter

36 inches in diameter

36 inches 24 inches in diameter

30 inches in diameter

32 inches in diameter

36 inches in diameter

42 inches 24 inches in diameter

30 inches in diameter

32 inches in diameter

36 inches in diameter

24” Table Covering Size

24” cocktail table linen sizeA two-foot-wide table is perfect for “more intimate” encounters, such as dinner dates and similar activities. These furniture pieces can benefit from several drape sizes, depending on their height and whether the host requires a “sashed” style.

For example, a 24-inch-wide table with a drape nearly touching the floor about 30 inches below can benefit from an 84-inch linen (24 inches for the surface and 30 inches each on two opposing sides).

If the host opts for a 6-inch sash or “puddle” (with a ribbon tied around the linen’s collected midsection), a 100-inch tablecloth is ideal. This size should still allow the linen to touch the floor (barely). 

Suppose the furniture is 36 inches tall. In that case, hosts must pick a 96-inch-wide linen (or 102 inches with a sash).

30” Table Cover Size

30” cocktail table linen sizeAdding 6 inches to the two-person 24-inch cocktail table isn’t a dramatic improvement, although you could add another guest to the interaction. These furniture pieces will also vary in linen requirements (depending on height and sash additions).

Suppose the event organizer uses a standard 30-inch-high table to accommodate three guests conveniently seated on chairs. A 90-inch-diameter drape should add a nice touch to the furniture, allowing its edges to barely kiss the floor.

And if one wraps a ribbon around the drape’s midsection without adjusting the linen’s size, the 90-inch tablecloth could reveal at least 3 inches of the furniture’s base or feet. And that’s why a 96-inch linen is better if one opts for a 6-inch “puddle” (or 102 inches if the “puddle” or sashed section is 12 inches).

Upping the table’s height to 36 inches also increases the furniture’s linen requirements. Ninety inches would be insufficient for the drape to touch the floor. Instead, a 102-inch tablecloth is necessary, or 108 inches if the host styles the furniture with a 6-inch puddle.

36” Table Cover Measurements

36” cocktail table linen sizeAt 3 feet across, hosts can seat about four guests around this cocktail table (five if standing), with enough elbow room for personal space preservation. 

These furniture pieces require a 96-inch-wide tablecloth for a 30-inch-high version or 108 inches for a 36-inch-high table. These measurements are the minimum to create a free-flowing drape along the sides, with the edges only a fraction of an inch above the floor.

Of course, sashing the tablecloth adds 6 to 12 inches (or even 18 inches) to the linen’s size. For instance, a 30-inch-tall, 36-inch-wide cocktail table with a 6-inch puddle requires a 102-inch-diameter drape.

Linen Measurements for High Tables

“Highboys,” as many folks call 42-inch-tall cocktail tables, are perfect for a barroom setup. Guests can enjoy drinks, share laughter, or even get into a more “intimate” activity standing. Or, they could sit on equally tall bar stools. 

Because “highboys” are taller than 30- and 36-inch variants, one can expect the tablecloth requirements to be “sizeable.” Everything depends on the furniture’s diameter or length-width dimensions.

For instance, a 24-inch-wide highboy needs a 108-inch-diameter linen, while a 30-inch furniture requires 114 inches of draping, with the edges nearly touching the floor. A 36-inch-wide highboy would look elegant in a 120-inch linen.

Adding a sash around the tablecloth’s midsection naturally increases the linen’s size requirements by the same value (i.e., a 6-inch addition in tablecloth sizing to a 6-inch table “puddle”).

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