Do I need a table pad?

wearybuilderJanuary 7, 2009

My DR table has a table pad that we only use when actually eating there. We now have an oak kitchen table and a (birch?)game table in the FR.

Should I get pads for both of the new tables? The sales people (different stores) said no....but I am very stressed about how to care for them.

Thanks for your advice!

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why do you need a pad? If you are going to put a cloth on them and use them for putting glasses and perhaps hot dishes on, you need a pad. But for placemats and playing games you don't need a pad.
Please don't tell me you use table pads when you are not using a table cloth?
Why are you stressed about caring for them?
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 3:05PM
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Table pads are used primarily to protect against heat from hot serving dishes, which are the # 1 cause of surface damage. If that's not a factor, then skip the pads.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 6:15PM
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I guess the reason I'm worried about the kitchen is food spills or rings from tea glasses....i use a hotpad under hot serving dishes...

As for the game table, glass rings as well as scrapes from various plastic game parts (we 2 kidlets, so those types of games).

I just can't get my mind wrapped around treating these wood tables differently than my "old" wood DR table (that is not messed with unless we are eating in there, and then I put on the table pad).

I knew it would be a hard thing for me; I really wanted granite (or some other stone surface), but they are not extendable, which was a big factor for us.

Be patient with me...I need to know how you handle this situation IRL. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 3:58PM
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If you're worried (and I don't blame you) get one of those old fashioned oil cloth ? tablecloths with the soft backing. They will be thick enough to prevent damage and spills wipe right off.

I don't know the quality of your new tables but some of the wood products they have out now get ruined if you dust them incorrectly.

Ask me how I know. :)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 5:41PM
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You can do what we did and get a piece of glass cut for the kitchen table.
The wood shows through, and everything cleans up with water or windex.

Coasters can be used at your game table.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 5:56PM
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don't get glass....unless you have an arrangement to allow for air to circulate under the glass you can really mess up a finish.
Buy glasses on my tables but for on a coaster. But it's a house, people live there....they don't have to ruin stuff....but small use wear is not horrible.
I think we all know about people who keep everything covered with plastic and runners on the carpet.....and whip it all off when company comes. A little signs of wear are fine....wanton disregard for nice things are not.
Buy coasters and make rules.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 7:29PM
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"don't get glass....unless you have an arrangement to allow for air to circulate under the glass you can really mess up a finish."

I know that's what "they" say... but our glass has been sitting right on our butcher block top kitchen table for over a decade, with no damage whatsoever.
The finish is good as new. The glass is scratched and nicked but the table is perfect.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 8:56PM
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Thanks for all your input! I don't think I'd do glass...I think I would worry about it too (good night!).

I'm not sure about that old fashioned oil tablecloth...can you tell me more?

The quality of the tables is "good enough for us" mostly solid wood, a little veneer on some details, and cost over $1000 each. So, we'd like for it to last. We are ok with "normal" wear that gives it character, and no we don't cover everything in plastic until company comes over! LOL

Maybe I'm just a fish out of water. I grew up with a formal DR (that we used the pad on when used for meals), a kitchen table made out of laminate(?) that could handle anything, and a card table for games. Think 60's and 70's.

Keep your comments coming!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:12PM
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Oilcloth is just an old fashioned name for plastic, I think.

I know they make some with a soft back. This link was one I just stumbled on. They come in all price ranges. You can also buy it by the yard. I found that a lot shopping in France and Italy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oilcloth

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 11:18AM
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'wearybuilder' about twenty odd years ago I worried about the exact same thing.

My DH had a nice oak table from his single days, so when the children were old enough to sit at the table for meals, paint, color etc we purchased an acrylic top for it.

Acrylic does scratch and scuff up over the years, but not enough to be unsightly (perhaps it being in the breakfast/family made us more tolerant).

We don't have it on any more but DH forgets to use coasters so it has gathered water rings and some dings. It doesn't appear to have suffered any damge from having had an acrylic sheet on it all these years.

For the easycare of acrylic (damp soapy sponge)and allowing your children to be as messy as children can be, I think it's absolutely worthwhile. You can enjoy the shiny unscuffed table once the kiddies are grown and gone! (sob)!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 5:23PM
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We have table pads for the formal dining table. We got the table and pads from my parents - all about 35-40 years old and the table is still in pristine condition.

We didn't bother with table pads for the kitchen table. It's scratched and developed a "patina" (I love having a fancy word for "worn and battered") but I decided the kitchen table would be a casual table so it wasn't necessary to keep it in perfect condition and it wasn't worth the stress. Once (if) you make that decision, it becomes easier to breathe with children eating at the table.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 6:31PM
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If you have more than one table that you want to protect, you can order a table pad for each. Some table pads can be custom made to fit the corners of your table. Ohio Table Pad Company ( offers table pads for a variety of different manufacturers. You can get leaves to extend your table pad. You can view their master manufacturer pattern list here:

If your table's manufacturer isn't listed, you can get a tracing kit sent to you so that Ohio Table Pad Company can manufacturer the table pad to fit the corners of your table.

Here is a link that might be useful: table pads

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 1:52AM
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