How to tell if the table base you want to use will work with a stone tabletop
Finding the correct table base to support a stone tabletop can be challenging, especially if you don't have a lot of experience in designing an aesthetically pleasing yet functional dining table. What makes a table base functional for stone anyway? There is definitely more to it than meets the eye!
Whether you are using a natural stone such as granite, quartzite, or marble for your dining table, or a composite material such as quartz, stone tabletops have very specific requirements. It is important to select a table base that can bear the weight of the stone, while at the same time, provide the proper support the actual stone requires.
A table base that is stable in design, is aesthetically pleasing and suits your decor is the trifecta of tables bases for stone tabletops. In this article, I will lay out what is actually required for a table base to support a stone tabletop, as well as dispel some common myths and misinformation that I've seen on the web. Finally, I'll provide some tips for what to look for and what to avoid when shopping for a table base for a stone tabletop.
MYTH 1: If you have a really heavy table base, it's all that's required to support a stone tabletop.
False. Stone requires support directly underneath it, generally every 12-16".
MYTH 2: Unless your table base is extremely heavy, it will tip over when you add a stone tabletop.
This is false. A properly designed table with correct support for stone does not tip over, nor does the base have to weight a ton in order to support a stone top.
MYTH 3: Clunky, vintage style table base designs, especially the old cast columnar bases are better than modern or contemporary design for stone tabletops.
Also false. You can have a beautiful base in a variety of styles that work perfectly for a stone tabletop and provide better support for the stone than any columnar table base can, as long as the table base is prepared properly to receive stone. Note: Columnar table bases alone are not ideal for stone tabletops and should not be used without additional supports.
MYTH 4: A sub-base is a required for stone tabletops or it will fall off the table.
This is false. A wood sub-base is sometimes built into the underside of a stone top and allows it to be screwed in, much as you would a wood tabletop. While it can be appropriate for certain applications, it is not required for any of Invictus Steelworks designs. Back in 2016, we developed a cost saving measure that negates the need for any sub-base by designing a support system for stone tabletops that is fully integrated onto the top of base. Invictus Steelworks table bases are properly designed to receive and support a stone top with no sub-base required, saving our clients the cost of the sub-base. Also, the weight of our integrated support apron is less than a wood sub-base, so it decreases the total weight.
Myth 5: You need a steel plate on which to seat a stone top.
This is also false. Our support apron is designed for direct seating of the stone. Some fabricators use a layer of foam tape between the steel and the stone, while most just use silicone. This allows for the stone to be detached from the base should that be necessary. A steel plate has no added benefit over our integrated support apron. What it does is add a significant amount of unnecessary weight and added cost to your table, but no benefit to offset that cost.
A stone tabletop requires support underneath the stone itself, about every 12-16".
A well designed base does not have to be excessively heavy to be stable or to support a stone top if it designed properly.
Invictus Steelworks can customize just about any of our unique and original modern or contemporary designs to properly support a stone tabletop.
A sub-base not required for all stone tabletops and if you select a table base designed specifically to support your stone, it is just added weight and added expense.
A metal plate adds up to 1,000 pounds in weight and over $1,500 to the cost of your table base. This is wholly unnecessary and there is no added benefit to this method of support over our significantly lighter and free integrated support apron.
Invictus Steelworks designs our table bases to be strong, sturdy and stable. Almost any of our designs can be fabricated to properly support a stone top, and what's more, the table base itself won't be excessively heavy. On average, our bases weigh between 100-200 pounds, depending on the design and dimensions.
We combine those qualities with unique and beautiful designs that span a spectrum of styles available in custom dimensions and finishes to go with any decor. We can help you select an appropriate design to suit your needs and customize the base dimensions and integrated support apron, so all you have to worry about is what to make for dinner!
In preparing this article, I googled "table bases for granite tops". What I discovered was a veritable treasure trove of disasters in the making, misleading marketing and misinformation that could cause severe damage or injury. I discovered that very few of the table bases being marketed as a table base for granite were actually suitable for granite, or any other kind of stone. I was, on a separate note, pleased to see that of the few table bases that showed up in my search that were appropriate for granite or marble were in fact Invictus Steelworks designs.
The other thing I noted in my search was a lot of misinformation pertaining to the requirements for stone tabletops and what kinds of bases can or can't be used with them. Given the inappropriate designs and suitability claims, either the sellers of these tables don't know what a stone tabletop requires or don't care. At any rate, it is important to understand that it would be rare to walk into any store or visit a website offering off the shelf table bases that were in fact appropriate for stone . 99.99% of the time you will have to have one custom made.
Why is it important to make sure your stone is properly supported with a built in support system?
Safety: Safety should always be first. Let me say that again. Safety is the number one concern in designing any table. No matter how pretty a table may be, if it isn't designed to support the tabletop properly, people can get hurt. By ensuring your tabletop has the correct structural support underneath it, you can have the peace of mind that your table is safe, and still enjoy the beauty of a stone tabletop.
Cost: Let's face it. Those stone tabletops cost a pretty penny. In making sure the base you use with it properly supports your top, will preserve the life of your investment. Proper support for your stone will prevent undue stress, cracks or breakage, as well as prevent your table from causing injury.
What is proper support for stone tabletops?
Stone tabletops have different requirements than glass or wood tabletops. Where 1/2" thick glass can have a 5' span between support, and wood can overhang a table base by 24", a stone tabletop requires a support every 12-16", depending on the type and thickness of your stone.
Once you have selected a base design, Invictus Steelworks can help you determine the proper dimensions for the base to allow for both appropriate leg room as well as support. Choosing the wrong table base for a stone top can lead to costly damage to your tabletop, or worse, injury to persons, both of which can be easily avoided by selecting an appropriate base with the correct support. We can also coordinate design and support directly with your stone fabricator.
What to avoid in choosing a table base for a stone tabletop:
Your stone should act as a tabletop only, which means it should sit on top of the base, not be forced to be part of the structural support. For this reason, table legs are a poor option for stone tabletops, even if there is a wood sub-base the legs can screw into. They are actually a poor option for wood too, but that's another story for another day. When you attach a tabletop to table legs using a wood sub-base built into the back of the stone, you are forcing the tabletop to be part of the structure of the actual table instead of just a top. This causes undue stress and damage to any table top, but with stone, it can not only damage the stone but lead to injury. If you see table legs being marketed for stone, keep on scrolling.
Make sure the table base comes with proper support the dimensions of your stone to prevent cracks or breakage, and ultimately, to prevent injury. Invictus Steelworks includes an integrated support apron for any stone top at no additional cost, and we work with stone fabricators nationwide in ensuring our table bases meet all safety standards and requirements for supporting stone while at the same time maintaining appropriate leg room for seating.
The weight of the base itself is not as important as how it is designed to bear weight and support the stone, combined with is inherent stability. At Invictus Steelworks, we believe in building as light as possible without compromising stability or strength of the design. We rely on quality of craftsmanship and superior design to ensure functionality of all of our table bases. For example, our best selling design for stone tabletops is our Cross table. Actual weight varies with dimensions, but the average Cross table is between 125 and 175 pounds, yet the design itself can support over 1,000 pounds.
Our integrated stone support apron not only supports your tabletop properly, but spreads the weight across the entire base for a nice even weight distribution. Once your tabletop is set onto the base, the support apron is tucked underneath the tabletop and not seen. All of our work is handmade to order, and the dimensions are customized to perfectly support your stone. No wood sub-base is required for installation, which is a cost savings. Most stone fabricators install directly on our support apron with either silicone seal or a layer of foam tape between the top and the base. A stone top is heavy, and gravity does all the hard work. There is no need to physically attach a stone tabletop to the base. We recommend you speak with your stone fabricator about their preferred method of installation.
Once a design is selected, the next step is to determine dimensions. At Invictus Steelworks, we have developed specialized mounting systems for various types of tabletop material. Every table base is specifically designed to receive the tabletop you intend to use. All of our mounting systems are seated on top of the base design. This way, the actual design is exactly the same regardless of the mounting system that will be used.
There are two dimensions that need to be determined when using a stone tabletop. First, you need to determine the dimensions of the actual base. The dimensions of the base must allow for the base to be stable when bearing the weight of the tabletop, whatever material it may be, as well as afford plenty of legroom for comfortable seating and positioning of chairs when in use, as well as when the chairs are tucked in. The second dimensions is for the integrated support apron. This is determined by ensuring the support does not exceed 16" (some say 18", but most fabricators prefer 16" so we shoot for that if possible) in overhang or in between supports. This means that your apron may be the same size as your base, or it can be actually longer than your base, depending on the design and dimensions of your tabletop. You can have the best of both worlds when it comes to leg room and proper support for your stone!
I hope this article has helped in dispelling some of the myths and misinformation about table base requirements for a stone top and given you a greater understanding of what to look for. A final word: More often than not, if you intend to use a stone tabletop, you will have to have a base custom made that is built to suit the dimensions of your tabletop. Be sure to ask your maker if the base will properly support the stone and the weight.
If you have questions about selecting a table base for stone, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. we would be happy to help you select a design and help you in determining the appropriate dimensions for your application.