Which tabletop for outdoor?

When spring comes, both restaurateurs and diners look forward to sitting outside. Then, of course, the restaurateurs and hoteliers have to decide on a table top and a frame when they need new tables.

The question of the frames is not complicated, because they are usually made of powder-coated iron or aluminum. Aside from the plating, there's little to worry about.

But with the table tops it is very complicated. If we take a very rough look at the alternatives, we can summarize them as follows

  • Acrylic
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • core plates
  • Marble effect wood
  • Veneered wood
  • Marble
  • Solid timber

For now, we have to let you know that we are writing this article to our liking. That means the backgrounds are of course factual, but what we name here are our recommendations that relate to our species.


For this reason, plastic sheets that seem cheap to us are out of the question for us. No chance.

Outdoor table with a glass top

glass plates

Glass plates are actually fine for domestic use, but we don't find them very pleasant for catering and hotels when it comes to outdoor use.

For interiors or conservatories, they fit quite well depending on the facility. Of course, in the professional field one can or should prefer tempered glass plates.

Metal table for outdoor use

metal table tops

We find metal table tops just on the borderline between cheap and good enough. In fact, apart from the cheap effect, metal plates can also be quite problematic because of the high heat conduction. However, it cannot be ruled out that something very creative can be made from metal. Multiple paint options make for something beautiful.

Like I said, it's not black or white, but we'd like to steer clear of plastic, metal, and glass panels. Especially when it comes to high-quality outdoor tabletops for professional and private use.

Outdoor core board, HPL

core plates

Core boards or HPL (high pressure laminates) are trendy and have many technical advantages. They are lighter, thinner and stronger than marble and wood. This is particularly important if the tables are to have a folding mechanism, as is common in outdoor catering. Solid wood and marble tops are too heavy for such mechanisms and do not withstand daily side loads well.

Another important benefit could be color fastness. Marble can show color deviations when exposed to sunlight. 

Like the high level of UV protection, heat resistance must not be forgotten. 

We are not friends of the terms -like marble or -marble look-. If they're better than marble, why should these slabs look like marble? An imitation brings no benefit to the facility.

If you are excited about the benefits of core board, our recommendation would be to choose a board with a distinct texture or decor.

Marble look wood

Wood with a marble or other look is an MDF board with a decorative print on the top and, unlike core boards, is not suitable for outdoor use. They get bad fast.

We don't recommend them, but if you must, solid colors are preferable to marble for the same reason we mentioned above.

Marble table top for outdoor use


Marble slabs are mostly 2 cm thick these days. This has almost become an industry standard because otherwise the 3 cm thick panel would be about 30% more expensive and heavier. A 3 cm thick plate could also be quite heavy for a normal frame. The result, of course, is a shorter service life for the frame.

In addition, of course, you have to consider that the tables are not easy to move. Depending on your needs, this can be a major disadvantage. Disgruntled employees versus marble pleasure.

But the weight is also good for a table. Heavy tables don't tip over easily.

Another disadvantage of marble could be the color changes. This is probably why many companies prefer white stones.

Also, white stones reflect the sun better and small scratches etc. are harder to see on such slabs.

If one also wanted to mention it as a disadvantage, one could say that the prices of marble vary greatly. There are very expensive stones and cheap ones too. Of course, this does not depend on arbitrary reasons. In principle, 3 factors determine the price of a natural stone.

a- the size of the clean block
b- the cost of salvage
c- Transport costs

block size

The first reason is usually not a big problem with a small table, such as a size of 60x60cm or 70x70cm. With larger dining tables, however, it can have a very strong price-increasing effect.

Nevertheless, one has to say that there are very cheap stones, for example from Iran, which are filled with epoxy in such sizes because they cannot have a sufficiently large, homogeneous surface. 


The effort involved in salvaging is on the one hand something very rational, but on the other hand it is also something fictitious. Roughly one can say that the best marble producers in the world are Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, USA, India and China.

Depending on the type of stone, a block can be more easily separated from the mountain. Very large and as a whole. With some rocks, it's hard work to mine a good block, and with some rock types, it might be impossible to get more than small blocks.

The other price-increasing element, which we call fictitious to some extent, is of course wages and prices in the country of manufacture.

In Spain, the same work can cost much more than in India. The costs for the mountain or work safety etc. are already changing enormously.

For example, there is a green marble that we carry under the model name Safari, but it is originally called India Green Marble. The stone is very beautiful and gentle, but also inexpensive.


Of course, transport costs also play a role in determining the price. Of course, the marble stones from Turkey cost less in Turkey than elsewhere and in Greece the stones from Greece cost less as well.

In general, the distances in Europe are acceptable and do not have a huge impact on the price, but the cost of transporting a stone from the US or China makes up a larger part of the price. 

green marble table top

Marble the Royal

Now let's move on to the benefits of marble. The first three advantages are the premier class of marble.

Marble looks high quality. That's him.

A natural product. He is.

Durable. That's him.

In terms of feel and taste, a marble slab suits almost everyone.
This is why marble is one of nature's most imitated products.

Marble has a wide range of uses. From the table to the bathroom or the stairs, marble is an option.

The characteristics of the marble are important for this decision. For some areas, such as steps or floors, harder stones are needed. Even granite might be better for high-traffic public areas, but that doesn't matter for a tabletop, so we'll ignore granite for this article.

White Marble Slab

Coming back to the outdoor tabletops, we can say that the outdoor brightness here is for your wallet.

How come? Since the veins become less visible in strong light, conventional models are quite sufficient.

You also don't have to worry about a slightly grayer black, which could have a big impact on the price, for example, if you're strictly going for a dark or pure black.

Solid wood outdoor table

Solid wood table tops

A disadvantage of wooden panels could be the maintenance requirement. But for such a taste, you can wax the tables once in a year or two, right?

Wood is warm, wood is wood.

Humans depend on trees and wood is the by-product of them. That is why solid wood is beneficial and suitable for our lives.

The problem with this could be that only some types of wood are suitable for outdoor use. If you want to know more about it, we can give you this article recommend. As mentioned in the article, iroko and teak are best for outdoor use.

But with the help of today's means, of course, it is quite possible to protect a wooden tabletop from the influences of nature.

This is particularly important for the veneered panels. They usually have MDF boards under the veneer, which are not suitable for outdoor use.

Of course, it can be very difficult to block the moisture that seeps in from the sides or from a damaged spot in the record and ruins everything. This can of course be prevented, but it is not easy to say whether such an effort makes sense.

It is best to avoid veneered table tops for outdoor use and prefer solid wood tops.

round table made of solid wood

The table tops can have different models and colors.

Basically, a wooden table top does not have to be in its natural color. A slightly darker wax can be used to preserve the grain. In addition to the colour, a wooden tabletop can have a different flavor thanks to the combination of its slats.

Certainly the grain is the strongest feature of natural wood, making it unique and by no means monotonous.

The best thing about a solid wood table is that it doesn't take any magic to get people to like it.

Wooden tables can last a very long time without losing quality.

You've probably seen outdoor tables with small gaps between the slats. Especially if you want to use a wooden table in a little sunny and humid place, e.g. B. in a small garden with trees, you should consider this structure important. The slat spacing is used for ventilation, so that the table top does not always remain damp.

large solid wood table for outdoor

Concluding Remarks

We love solid wood and marble equally. The key point here should be the setup. It doesn't matter which one, but according to Atelier Gusto it's definitely one of the two.

If you think the topic of outdoor tables is closed, consider whether you have seen table tops with frames somewhere. Until then ;-)