Meals Move Outdoors
Backyards are important extensions of the home; weather permitting, backyards are where the party begins. From a casual meal on the porch, a romantic lunch for two in the garden, or a reunion of friends and family at a summer barbeque, the picnic table is the true party host. Picnic tables come in diverse styles to accommodate the lifestyles of renters and homeowners of all ages. Some picnics still evolve around the tradition of everyone bringing a favorite food for the picnic table; some require only the guests' presence, from appetizers to the main course, with games to follow.
Addressing the Picnic Table
A picnic table can be set bare, or with linens - with paper plates or china. Before you decide on a picnic table for your family, consider available space. Square areas work best with round, hexagon, or square picnic tables; oblong and open-space areas have room for rectangular picnic tables. You have a choice between attached or movable benches, and umbrellas are available for many table models. Consider the number of people you intend to seat. If space is limited, consider a folding picnic table.
Materials Determine Maintenance
Galvanized steel picnic tables have a thermoplastic coating that is almost indestructible; this picnic table is strong, easily cleaned, resists weather damage, and is available in colors. Recycled plastic picnic tables are weatherproof and treated so colors will not fade. Painting and staining is never necessary; soap and water is your best cleaning agent. Some recycled plastic and vinyl picnic tables are not substantially weighted against theft or severe winds, but anchor kits are available.
Aluminum picnic tables are lightweight, but strong; aluminum picnic tables resist rust, warping, bending, and clean up with soap and water. Steel-enforced, pre-cast concrete picnic tables are theft-proof, maintenance-free, and available in various colors and finishes.
The beauty of wood picnic tables is unequaled. Look for kiln-dried, arsenic-free pine picnic tables reinforced with steel tubing. Picnic tables that are sealed and stained yearly retain their beauty. Cedar picnic tables will resist rotting and repel insects. Cedar is stronger than pine. Western red cedar remains cool to the touch, even in the hot summer sun, and resists bacteria and fungi. Its oils act as natural preservatives.