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The Most Frequently Asked Questions about Tables
What kinds of tables are there?
- End table: End tables are found at the ends of a sofa or beside a chair and often hold lamps for task lighting.
- Side table: Side tables began as ornate pieces with carvings and pedestals. They were and still are used for food service. They often have drawers or cupboards to hold dinnerware.
- Coffee table: The coffee table is often placed in front of the sofa or loveseat and is used to hold implements to serve coffee, tea and snacks.
- Console table: A console table is sometimes legless and mounted on the wall. Even if it has legs, it is placed against a wall, often in an entryway, and has a curved or angled front. They are sometimes placed beneath mirrors.
What materials are tables made of?
These versatile pieces of furniture are made from a variety of materials. The ancient Egyptians carved them from stone, and you can still find items carved from stone or pieces with stone tops. They can be made of wood, Plexiglas, metal, molded fiberglass and glass with chrome or metal frames.
How do you take care of tables?
A rule of thumb is to blot up all spills that fall on the furniture as soon as possible. You should also keep them out of direct sunlight unless they are made of glass or Plexiglas for the sun’s ultraviolet rays can both fade materials and dry them out. Other care instructions for different types of materials include the following:
- Wood furniture that does not have a polyurethane coating should be waxed about once a year. Scratches and dings can be concealed with shoe polish and a white ring left behind by a glass mean that the area needs to be rewaxed. Put a few drops of mineral spirits on a clean cloth, rub it into the ring, rub on the wax and then buff it.
- Clean metal furniture with mild dishwashing detergent and lukewarm water, then dry thoroughly. If you want the metal to shine, use an all-purpose polisher made for metal.
- Glass can be cleaned by spraying it with a solution of half vinegar and half water and wiping with a clean, dry cloth. Allow the glass to dry out of direct sunlight to prevent streaking.
- Plastic furniture shouldn’t be cleaned with abrasive cleansers but should be dusted every day. If the furniture is really dirty, moisten the cloth with tepid water and mild detergent.
- Never clean a stone top with an acidic cleaner. Use pH neutral cleanser and lukewarm water. Porous stone such as granite or marble should be sealed.
How much do tables cost?
These pieces of furniture can cost anywhere from a few dollars to many thousands of dollars if they are made of luxurious materials. The quality of craftsmanship also determines the price.