How To Design A Patio Table Top

Sometimes designing a replacement patio table top can produce a unique table. If the base of the table is sound it can be re-used.

Check the base

Examine the base to ensure it is sound. Take measurements of the top attachment points and any special attachment features.

Measure the base

The size of the base is the minimum size for your new top. If you want a larger top you must decide how large. Be careful not to design  a top with too much of an over-hang.

How many people should the table seat?

This is another aspect that will affect the size of the top. The shape of the top can also be a factor. It is easier to sit 6 people round a 6-sided table than a 4-sided one


You can design your new top to be any shape you like. A 6-sided design will look better than a simple square. A round table can be attractive and you can design it to take a sun umbrella.

Decide on the Material.

If the base is wood, you would probably design a wooden top. You could choose to build a glass top within a wooden frame. Ceramic tiles on a wood base might also be an option. Take care not to add too much weight for the base to support.

Decide on the Structure of the Top

Will you have a single sheet of wood for the top? Will you build up the top with strips? If you are going to have a glass top, how large, and thick, will the glass be and how wide will any frame be? There are many different types of top that you can design.

Top Must Fit to the Base

If there are special fittings on the base you must decide whether to incorporate them into your design. Check to see if you can recover the parts from the old top.

Do you want to use the tools you have?

As you design the new top you will be able to decide whether you have the necessary tools. If you don’t have a particular tool and don’t want to buy one, you can change the design.


When your design is completed you will be able to work out the cost of materials. It is easy to change the material specification if you find that the cost will be too high with your orignal design idea.


Once you have the design that you want, show your design to other members of the family and see what they think of it. They might have ideas that they would like included.

Final Design

Once your design is finalized you will be able to work out the best way to build the top. You can decide whether you will be using simple fasteners or woodworking joints. You will also have a better idea of the type finish you want to give the table.

Designing your own table top lets you build something unique. It will probably become a talking point for your visitors. It will certainly be something to give you a great sense of achievement.