Can You Use Wood Tables Outside?
The simple answer here? No, you should not use hardwood table tops outside your restaurant. Hardwood tables can include any sort of oak, maple, beech, cherry, walnut, or untreated pine woods.
Wood table tops are commonly used in restaurants because of their durability, strength, and the character they bring to your overall design. But to keep them that way, there are some rules you need to follow.
Climate control is crucial for the longevity of wood tables. Wood table tops should be in rooms that are 68°-72° with 40-45% humidity. This is extremely important, even when it comes to adjusting the thermostat (which should be done gradually). Wood tables will crack or warp in rooms where temperatures vary. Abrupt temperature changes, dryness, and humidity can all lead to the wood expanding or contracting, while losing structural integrity.
You should also avoid putting wood tables in direct sunlight, next to heat sources (like radiators or ovens), and under bright lighting. Even wood tops in storage should be in a climate-controlled area to retain their original state. Many customers try to put these hardwood tables under a covering, but the real issue isn’t just the weather; it’s the humidity levels. Climate control is crucial when keeping wood tops in their best condition, making it impossible to use them outside because you can’t control the humidity.
Another reason why you might not want to use wood tables on your outdoor patio is that you’re likely breaking your warranty for that table top. Before you ever put any furniture in your outdoor space, you’ll want to be sure that furniture item is warrantied for outdoor use. This is the best way to protect the investment you’ve just spent to furnish your restaurant.
If the wood look is a must for your restaurant or bar, consider wood look-alike. There are many textured poly lumber options out there that have the look and feel of a wood texture, but don’t require the rigorous maintenance.