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Choosing a Table Base for a Granite or Marble Table Top

RSQ1828-Coffee-Table
Choosing a table base can be tricky enough with our wide selection, and the process becomes a bit more complicated when stone table tops come into play. Due to their sheer weight, extra consideration is required when deciding on the most appropriate table base for your beautiful granite top. We think about the size, height, weight and use for your table, and try to come up with the most appropriate solution. Read on for some helpful tips on how to pair your granite or marble top with a table base from tablebases.com.

1. Dimensions

When someone asks for advice on selecting a table base for a granite or marble table top, the first question we always ask is "What is the size of your tabletop and how thick is it?" Obviously, the larger the size of your tabletop, the larger a table base you will need. Most of our table bases can hold very large amounts of weight, we are talking about cast iron and steel tubing. It would take a huge amount of weight to crush a table base. However, the real concern is the stability of your table base; a heavy tabletop coupled with a light weight table base creates a high center of gravity, which can cause your table to tip over.

Granite and marble table tops are typically available in two thicknesses, 2cm (~3/4") and 3cm (~1 1/8"). The thinner variant weighs approximately 13 lbs per square foot, whereas thicker stone weighs approximately 20 lbs per square foot. Therefore, a 48" x 48", 3cm thick granite top will weight about 320 lbs. That is a lot of weight to try and balance on the center point of a large table. This is why, if you have a choice, we recommend going with the thinner, 2cm thick stone. It retains all of the beauty and functionality of a thicker tabletop, with less added weight.

2. Height

The taller you plan to make your table, the more likely it will be to tip over. As you raise the tabletop you are also raising the center of gravity, and as such it will require more stabilization. Whereas a 22" diameter table base may be just fine at standard dining height for a 36" round table top, we usually advise going with a larger and heavier table base for the same tabletop at bar height.

3. Table Base Style

When it comes to choosing a table base for your heavy stone top, the style of the base is also quite important. Vintage style table bases have an advantage over the more contemporary units because they feature not only a cast iron bottom, but also a cast iron column. There are two reasons to recommend a base with a cast iron column, the first being that they are generally heavier than a contemporary base of equivalent size. The second is that with very heavy table tops, it is also possible to cause flexing in the steel column of some table bases. With such a large amount of weight balanced on a single column and bolt in the center of a table, it can begin to feel "spongy". For more information about why cast iron is great for table bases, please see our article, A Brief Introduction to Cast Iron.

4. The Number of Columns

In the last few years, we have introduced some table bases with multiple columns (RFL750x3, RSQ750x4, Plaza-1828, 2000-2230 and the Bruni Series). The major advantage of these bases is that the load is now distributed over a wider area, eliminating the problem of flexing. Depending on your functional or aesthetic needs, an alternative to a single base with multiple columns is to place several smaller table bases under your top. Three small disk bases clustered under a large granite table will accomplish the same goal of providing sufficient weight distribution under the table.

5. Attaching the Table Base to the Table Top

All of the granite fabricators that we work with recommend that a sub-top be glued to the underside of the granite. The sub-top is usually a 3/4" to  1" thick piece of plywood or MDF (medium density fiberboard).

By gluing a wood sub-top with either epoxy or construction adhesive to the underside of your stone table top, it allows the base to be screwed securely into the top, without penetrating the stone. Screwing into granite would create a weak point in the stone, where it may crack. Using a sub-top also allows for the base and top to be separated in the future if needed.

The sub-top can be sized smaller than the granite table top, so that it will not be noticeable under the table top when you look down at the table. Some fabricators will slightly bevel the edge of the sub-top and paint it black making it visually recede so as not to spoil the look of your beautiful stone stop.

6: A Note of Caution

One final thing to keep in mind, is that all of the above recommendations and the recommended table bases on Tablebases.com are based strictly on industry "rules of thumb" and the experience of our customers over many years. A base that works in one situation may not work for your specific application. A wobbly table is rarely caused by a defective table base, more often it is because the table base is too small, too light, or there is too much weight on a single column, the floor is uneven, the screws are not holding in the sub-top, or any number of factors that are out of our hands. We always recommend you order a single sample base to tet with your table before ordering a large quantity. Choose your table bases carefully, they should always be large and heavy enough to keep your table steady and safe.