Are you thinking about buying a picnic table for your yard? Maybe you want to make one of your own. Either way, the first thing you need to consider is how big it’s going to be. This guide will take you through the different picnic table sizes and answer some of the key questions you have, so you can make an informed decision. So, how big is a picnic table?
How Long is a Standard Picnic Table?
Standard picnic tables vary slightly in size, but the average length of a picnic table is 6 feet long.
How Tall is a Standard Picnic Table?
A standard picnic table is between 28 to 34 inches tall, with most being around 30 inches tall. The picnic table seats usually sit at 17 inches from the ground.
How Wide is a Standard Picnic Table?
A standard picnic table is 28 to 30 inches wide. This is the measurement of the tabletop width. As the benches are fitted at an angle, the total width of a picnic table is wider, usually around 59 inches in total width.
How Many People Can Sit at a Standard Picnic Table?
Standard picnic tables of 6 feet long are designed for 6 people. Each person has roughly 24 to 30 inches of sitting space each.
What Size are Picnic Tables in National Parks and Campgrounds?
Most national parks and campgrounds use a standard 6-foot picnic table. However, you are still likely to see larger size picnic tables and custom picnic tables at campgrounds because of how easy picnic tables are to customize size.
Picnic Table Dimensions
6-Foot Picnic Table Dimensions
A 6 foot picnic table has a table surface that is 72 inches long and 29 inches wide. The benches are the same length as the table and 11 inches wide. The table is 30 inches from the ground, and the benches are 17.5 inches high.
The total width of the bench, including the seats, is 59 inches. So the full footprint of the picnic table is 72×59 inches.
8-Foot Picnic Table Dimensions
This type of picnic table is designed for roughly 8 people (4 on each side). The tabletop is 96×28 inches. The benches are 96×11 inches. The height of the table is 29 inches and the benches are 17.5 inches high.
The total width of the bench with the seats is 59 inches wide. The total footprint of an 8 foot picnic bench is 96×59 inches.
10-Foot Picnic Table Dimensions
10-foot picnic tables are less common and the sizes vary. The tabletop is 120×30 inches. The benches are 120×11 inches. The height of the table is 29 inches and the benches are 17.5 inches from the ground.
The total width of the entire bench and tables is 59 inches, giving it a total footprint of 120×59 inches.
12-Foot Picnic Table Dimensions
12-foot picnic tables are usually used in commercial settings (bars and restaurants, etc.). The tabletop is 144×30 inches and the benches are 144×11 inches. The total height to the top of the table is 29 inches and the benches are 17.5 inches tall.
The total width of the table and benches is 59 inches, so the entire footprint is 144×59 inches.
These are all standardized sizes for picnic benches and most of the ones you find for sale will fit these dimensions. However, the sizes will be different depending on where you buy a bench/what pants you follow if building your own.
What are the Dimensions of a Round Picnic Table?
Round picnic tables usually seat around 4-8 people (1-2 people per bench). The average round picnic table is 48×48 inches. The table is 31 inches high and the seats are 18 inches high.
Larger tables are available but there does not tend to be many variations in round picnic tables because increasing the size doesn’t increase the number of people it can seat by that much, it just increases the amount of unused space in the middle of the table for placing food and drinks.
What are the Dimensions of a Square Picnic Table?
Square picnic tables have similar dimensions to a standard rectangular one. The height of the table and benches is usually roughly the same. The square tabletop size is usually similar to a round tabletop (around 80×80 inches), but there are smaller tables with a 50×50 inch tabletop too.
A kids picnic table has the same proportions as a standard one, but it is scaled down. Typical dimensions are 31×35 inches, with a height of 19.6 inches. This Merry Garden Wooden Picnic Table is an excellent choice for kids.
What to Consider When Buying a Picnic Table?
If you want a picnic table for your own yard, there are a few key things you need to consider when buying one.
Seating availability is the most important thing to consider. There’s no sense buying a 6 foot picnic table if you want to use it for large gatherings. On the other hand, you don’t want to take up your entire yard with a 12 foot picnic table if there are only 2 of you sitting at it regularly. So, think about how many people will regularly use the picnic bench.
The Shape of the Table
Picnic tables come in rectangle, square, or round shapes. Consider the shape of your yard and where you want to position the picnic table when deciding on the shape. For example, rectangle benches are great in open spaces in large yards. But if you have limited space and you want to put a table in the corner, a square or round one would fit better.
Table and Bench Height
The table and bench height matters too, although they tend to be very similar on most picnic benches. If possible, try sitting at the bench to see whether the height is right for you or not.
Construction Quality and Materials Used
A picnic bench takes a lot of weight, especially if you have up to 12 people sitting on it at one time. A cheap bench won’t last very long before it starts splitting and the fixings come loose. If the bench hasn’t been finished properly, you’ll have issues with weathering and moisture damage.
Benches that are made from high-quality woods with natural moisture resistance (teak, cedar, redwood, pine, oak) will last a lot longer. They’ll also be more durable if they are built by experienced professionals. So, it’s best to spend a bit more money on good construction quality and materials.
You can save some money if you buy a second-hand picnic bench, but you need to check the condition carefully. Check all of the fixings to see if they are still secure. Look at the condition of the wood too. If there are any signs of rot or mildew, don’t buy it. Any small holes in the wood could indicate a problem with pests too. Never buy a second-hand picnic bench without taking a good look at it first so you can guarantee the condition.
Yes, if you want to build your own picnic table but you are not a confident carpenter, there are some excellent kits you can buy, like this one. It comes with legs for the benches and table made from resin. There are slots to put the wood into to build your very own bench without all of the difficult work. You will just need a saw to cut the wood to size, and a screwdriver and wrench to fix everything in place. Bear in mind, the kits don’t come with the lumber, you will have to buy it separately.
Can You Buy Picnic Table Benches Separately?
Yes, with traditional picnic bench designs, the bench and the tables are fixed together. However, a lot of new picnic tables have separate moveable benches. This makes the furniture a lot more versatile and it also means that you can replace benches independently of the tables. If you want a different style or one of the benches is damaged, for example, you can easily get a new one without having to replace the entire set.
What Wood Should You Use for a Picnic Table?
When choosing wood for your picnic table, you want something that is strong and naturally weather-resistant, but also fairly lightweight and easy to work with. Wood types that have a lot of natural oils and a tight grain let less moisture in. You also need wood that weathers nicely as it fades in the sun. However, staining and sealing the bench can help to prevent this.
Some of the best types of wood for picnic tables include:
Teak is one of the best options because it’s incredibly strong and it will last a long time outdoors, even if you don’t treat it. However, it is also very expensive compared to other species. Fir is a great option if you are concerned about your budget as it’s much cheaper but still very durable. Cedar is a favorite in terms of workability as it’s very soft, and the price falls somewhere between fir and teak. Any of the wood types listed above will work, so just consider what your price range is and what is available in your area.
Is it Hard to Build a Picnic Table?
This depends on how experienced you are with woodworking. If you’ve never done any woodworking at all, diving straight into a picnic bench is probably not a good idea. However, if you know the basics, you should be fine as a picnic bench is an intermediate woodworking job. A picnic bench doesn’t require any difficult joints and it’s all straight cuts that fit together fairly simply. You can find loads of great plans for free online, and if you follow them carefully and measure everything twice, you should be able to put your own picnic table together in a weekend.
If you want to build your own picnic table but you aren’t that confident, use one of the picnic bench kits. You just need to cut the boards to size, which is straightforward, even for a beginner.
What Angles Do You Cut Picnic Table Legs?
Getting the angles right on the legs is crucial otherwise it won’t sit right. The legs need to be cut at a 60 degree angle on either end.
How Long Does a Standard Picnic Table Last?
A standard picnic table built out of good quality wood will last around 10 years before you need to replace any of the lumber. This is, of course, dependent on a few factors. Firstly, if you live in a particularly wet climate, it may not last as long. The treatments that you apply to the wood have an impact too; if you use stain and sealer or paint the wood, for example, you give it added protection and it should last longer. Investing in more expensive wood species like teak will also increase longevity.
Can You Paint a Picnic Table?
Yes, you can paint your picnic table to give it some color and protect it against moisture. A good exterior paint forms a protective seal over the wood, meaning that it will last a lot longer outdoors. Oil-based paints give you the best protection against the elements. Choose one that has good UV protection too, and make sure that you reapply when the paint starts to fade and peel.
How Do You Seal a Picnic Table?
If you want to retain the natural look of the wood but still protect your bench, you should use a sealer instead. Polyurethane sealers are typically the best option for picnic tables. They give a strong protective layer and they’re non-toxic too. You can use an oil-based varnish, but it takes longer to dry and emits harmful fumes, so be careful when applying it.
Make sure that your picnic table is clean and then apply 2-3 coats of your chosen sealer. The clear sealer should cause water to bead up on the surface and roll right off. You can drop water on the table from time to time to see if it soaks in or not. This will let you know when it’s time to reapply the sealer.
Picnic tables come in fairly standard sizes, so wherever you get them from, they should be roughly the same. But if you want a more specific size, why not build your own? As long as you are relatively experienced with woodworking, you should be able to manage it. Just be sure to choose a good quality wood and always measure everything twice!
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Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.