What Size are Most State Park Picnic Tables?
While no industry is generally standardized across the board, there are some key benefits to standardization. In the case of procurement – standardized sizing can make a lot of sense. As a purchaser of outdoor furniture and amenities for public facing or commercial outdoor spaces, size standardization can help showcase other more important value metrics as a result of the market already putting a standard size out there. Park Managers, buyers and purchasing agents for outdoor furniture including picnic tables get to focus on what really matters, like relative value and the ability of the product to serve the needs of all parties involved because of this sizing similarity.
Most State Park picnic tables are substantially similar in sizing. In fact, most picnic tables in general are substantially similar in sizing. Basically the range of sizing is tight for this style of park furniture. A lot of manufacturers offer 4 foot rectangular picnic tables and 6 foot rectangular picnic tables and 8 foot picnic tables. Similarly, you will find “standardized” sizing in other formats of picnic tables that bridges across manufacturers.
In this article, we’d like to talk about how sizing can positively impact the purchasing process, and ultimately the value of the outdoor furniture placed in a park, to the end-user. Furthermore, because it’s hard to measure things that aren’t fully tangible, like end-user satisfaction and utilization of outdoor furniture, this article is also about how we – Premier Polysteel, can help you as a park manager or other buying specialist of furniture.
Let’s talk about standardized sizing in the picnic table market
Picnic tables as a marketplace seem to be ubiquitous at a single glance. Many look the same, are built the same, offer the same benefits, and are made by commodity producers. But great outdoor furniture is not simply a commodity product. The best outdoor furniture – furniture capable of long lives, in highly trafficked areas, with good looks and a human centric design is anything but a commodity.
Sure this is a great place to plug our product, after all, we’ve been a beloved brand for decades and offer a best in class product. But let’s talk about standardized sizing and why it can help you as a purchasing agent of outdoor furniture for a recreational space make a better overall selection.
The sizing is basically standardized within a relatively tight range because people like to associate in that way, in a public space. The seating surface length, and the table length on rectangular picnic tables gives enough space for everyone to feel comfortable generally, while still allowing good human interaction.
For round picnic tables, the closer spacing between users de-prioritizes the tabletop surface in favor of a more communal feel. These two styles are able to serve as the two majority pillars in the marketplace for picnic tables.
Which sizes of picnic tables are most popular and why?
You’ll generally find that a 6 foot long rectangular picnic table is pretty “standard”. This allows users to get enough room for studying (picnic tables on a University campus for instance), eating (in a food service or park setting), or playing a board game (picnic tables placed in a relaxed community park, perhaps). The benefit here is the extra space a tabletop can give and the room for 3-4 people on each side of the picnic table, depending on the user. It’s inclusive, but still public space. You may find 8 foot picnic tables in larger park areas or where longer stays are expected by users.
For round tables, you get the benefit of the tighter interaction distances, which can help to create more intimate scenarios, where conversation, or group activities can flourish. Most round picnic tables have a similar sizing scheme as well. Round picnic tables have better ingress and egress generally for tight spaces, and take up less room overall when laid out in a larger space. The walkways are enhanced with the small caveat of less surface area on the tabletop on a per user basis relative to other designs.
You can see both styles in many different scenarios, with larger rectangular tables being more popular in larger open areas, and round picnic tables being more popular where food services are more prevalent, and smaller group sizes on average, are utilizing the area.
How can different sizes of picnic tables help you accomplish different goals in your park or recreational areas?
As you can see above, these types of options, even just when choosing from two standard market offerings (e.g. 6 or 8 foot picnic tables), allow for a lot of customization and flexibility in designing a space.
When you add to the mix, square picnic tables for small, more intimate groups of users, and accessible table designs that allow for broader inclusivity and better overall use case breadth, you can easily get great results with just a few changes or additions to your park-like setting.
Larger rectangular tables are great for when you have people using the tabletop for larger items like textbooks or food trays, or placing food for groups.
Small rectangular table tops allow for easier conversation and still give enough distance that strangers can be comfortable in a first time conversation without being too close. Even in a post COVID world, people want to chat, and meet each other and have human interactions in safe, fun spaces.
Accessibility compliant picnic tables allow for better overall site planning and help to create memorable spaces for all visitors, as well as prioritize more space between furniture, and more room to utilize the table or bench.
What factors matter significantly when selecting the right park furniture, including park benches?
Sizing and design are important from a footprint and customer use case perspective, but these aren’t the only attributes about a picnic table or a park bench, or other outdoor furniture that makes it valuable over the long term – here are some concepts to get familiar with as a buyer of commercial quality outdoor furniture and amenities.
- Longevity of the products
- Durability stability and balance
- Good looks and easy integration into many styles/backdrops
- Overall cost of ownership
- Usefulness of the overall design
- A proven warranty
The value proposition of Premier Polysteel picnic tables and other outdoor park furniture
Longevity of the products
Rust proof, weatherproof, temperature agnostic, coated in polyvinyl, and not subject to UV deterioration, mold, mildew, or pests – you get a product that can be cleaned as often as is needed, without ever wearing out. Our products look good for decades and perform as promised because they are built out of the right materials and have the right designs.
Durability, stability and balance
We build from premium steel, with optimally placed supports and quality construction techniques. Our fabrication and welding teams are based in the USA, and offer impeccable quality of work. We have mounts and supports that can maintain placement for many years, and our products are suitable for any user. As for strength and balance: we have placed a car on top of one of our picnic tables – how is that for a test of construction quality?
Good looks and easy integration into many styles
Twelve colors, simple lines, solid design philosophies and easily integrated into any setting – this is why Premier Polysteel outdoor furniture products are so popular – from the outside looking in – they work. When you also factor in the other details – they work better.
Overall cost of ownership
Our maintenance requirements are lower than all competition in the space; our prices are competitive, and we back our products relentlessly for quality. Less deterioration and maintenance means better total cost of ownership.
Usefulness of the overall design
A picnic table should be more than just a tabletop and a bench. We build little details into our proven products. Things like easy water drainage, simple maintenance, umbrella holes and cohesive collections of other complementary furniture.
A proven warranty
We offer a 20 year limited warranty, standard, on our picnic tables and our other manufactured outdoor furniture. We know our products can outlast that warranty, but we offer it to improve our customers’ peace of mind.
We would love to work with you. Please visit our shop to see our products in the outdoor furniture space. If you have questions or need something specific, our customer representatives are very experienced in working with park managers, and can help you build a picture perfect, properly outfitted park.