How to Choose and Care for the Best Formica Tables

How to Clearn Formica Table

Did you know that, according to GlobeNewswire, the US home furniture market is expected to grow by $8.08 billion between 2020 and 2024? This is because many Americans are choosing to make daring, fun, and classic design choices for the interior of their homes.

If you’re one of these Americans who has chosen a classic look for your home, if you value heavy-duty kitchen chairs like those built in the 1950s, then you might be thinking about Formica tables as an option for the furniture you buy.

If you’re looking into Formica tables as an option, you might have different questions, such as:

“How do I find the right Formica table for my home?”

“Are there certain size considerations I need to make?”

“How do I keep my Formica table in good condition?”

These are many questions, and when you don’t have the answer to them, you might feel confused or frustrated. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. By helping you understand how to choose and care for the best Formica tables, you can finally have that perfectly-designed home you’ve always dreamed of. Read on to learn more.

Envision Your Space

Even before you start looking at specific Formica tables to consider, you should think about the space where they’re going to appear. For example, if you’re thinking of having retro kitchen decor, then you should step back and look at your kitchen.

Ask yourself the question: “Where will my table go?” This will have an impact on the size of the table you end up choosing.

Another question that impacts the size of your potential Formica table is how much space you think you need in the kitchen for kids to run around in. You’ll also have to ask yourself if you often carry heavy dishes around or if you plan on having many parties. The more crowded your space is, the smaller your table will have to be.

If your heart really is set on a large diner-style Formica table, then you might have to make changes to your kitchen itself.

In addition to envisioning the size and use of your space, you should look at what color schemes are going on in it. If you already have a couple of retro chairs or other pieces of retro furniture, think about how your Formica table might match them.

What colors are they? Do they have any metallic accents? What about the other elements of your room, such as tiles, cabinet colors, additional retro tables, blinds, curtains, wallpaper, and paint color?

These will have an impact on the design features and color you choose for your Formica table.

Measure Properly

Now that you’ve done an assessment of the space where your Formica table will stand, you need to do some proper measurements of the space to help you figure out what specific measurements you should be looking for when it comes to your Formica table.

This way, when you go to a furniture store or order online, you’ll know which tables you can consider based on size.

Minimum Size

Generally speaking, tables should measure at least 36 inches in width. This makes it easy for the table surface to have room for plates, cutlery, glasses, and any serving bowls and plates. Keep in mind that the wider your table is, the longer it will be too.

Consider these limitations if there are size issues in your kitchen or living room where the table will go.

Estimate People Seated

A great way to figure out how large your Formica table should be is by estimating how many people will be usually seated at the table. If you plan many events, like book club once a week, then you should add a number of people to your calculation to account for this.

Once you have this total number, multiply that number by 2. This final number is the number of feet you should provide for the entire length and width measurements of your table.

Even though it may seem like a lot of space, your diners will appreciate the extra space to move around—and if you throw a big party, there will be extra space for anyone who pulls up extra diner chairs or vintage chairs.

Extra Space

Additionally, you need to consider the space between your table and other items and features such as other furniture, cabinets, and walls. The space between your table and these should be between 42 and 48 inches. This will make it easy for people to get around the space where your table stands.

Choosing Shape and Supports

Now that you know what your Formica table will look like and how large it has to be, you can start thinking about its shape and supports. Even though most retro kitchens have rectangular-shaped tables, you might find that a circular Formica table suits you best. Here’s how you make that decision.

If your kitchen or living room is on the smaller side, then an oval or circular table will help you save space.

Additionally, the style of support (table legs, in other words) can give you more or less room. If you have limited room, then legs that come out aren’t the best choice. Instead, buy a table that has a base in the center or legs that come straight down from its corners.

Additionally, the chairs you choose can help you save on space. If you really do have limited room, then you can buy bench seats. If you don’t, then you can go for larger 1950s chairs. As you can imagine, the size of your chairs will also have an impact on how large your Formica table can be.

How to Clean Formica Tables

Now that we’ve reviewed what you have to do to choose the right size, design, and shape of your Formica table and the legs that extend from it, you can choose the right Formica table for you. Once you’ve done that, you need to know how to clean your table, it lasts long and looks good.

The Right Chemicals

One of the reasons you might have bought a Formica table is because it’s a great tough surface that resists many stains. You might be under the impression, because of this, that you can clean Formica with almost any chemical. However, there are some chemicals that actually can damage the surface.

You should avoid using the harshest of cleaning chemicals and abrasives. These can end up discoloring the surface of your laminate and might even create scratches on a surface that should be smooth.

They might even cause the glue that attaches the surface to the table to deteriorate.

To avoid this, you need to use the right chemicals. The best cleaners for a Formica surface are isopropyl alcohol, Formula 409, Mr. Clean, Fantastik, Glass Plus, and Windex. 

Chemicals to avoid are pumice, soda lye, caustic lye, caustic soda, sodium hydroxide, phosphoric acid, rust remover, hydrofluoric acid, oleum, oil of vitriol, oleic acid, sulfuric acid, hydrogen chloride, muriatic acid, and hydrochloric acid.

Clean Spills and Messes Immediately

A great way to avoid having to use harsher abrasives and cleaning chemicals is by cleaning spills and messes the second they happen. Because the Formica surface is resistant to spills, it should only take a couple of seconds to wipe the spill or mess.

However, if you do find that you need to give your Formica table a good clean (for example, after a party), we’ll review the steps to take now.

Wipe it Off

The first thing you should do is wipe your table off. This way, you can get rid of any crumbs, debris, or liquids that are simply sitting on the surface before cleaning the surface itself. To wipe off your Formica table properly, use a soft cloth to move the particles to the edge of the table and then onto your hand.

Once you’ve done this, wipe the table down again with a cloth that’s soft and damp.

Wet Wiping

Now that you’ve removed all of the loose particles from the table surface, it’s time to give the surface a wet wipe. In a small container, pour in some warm water and mix in some non-abrasive dish soap. Put a cloth or soft sponge in the water, and then start wiping down the surface of the table.

You can also use a scrub brush to get rid of anything that’s stuck to the table. When doing this, remember to be gentle.

Get Rid of Difficult Stains

If there are any stains or substances left on the table that are difficult to remove, it’s time now to use one of the chemicals we mentioned above. Spray the non-abrasive cleaner on these substances, allowing it to seep in if necessary. Once it’s been there, the amount the indications on the bottle say, use a brush to get out the stain.

Once the stain has been removed, wipe down that area of the table again with a soft, damp cloth.

The Baking Soda Trick

If you’re afraid of using chemical cleaners on difficult stains, you can also use the baking soda trick. All you have to do is put some baking soda and a little water into a bowl so that it turns into a paste. Once you’ve made this paste, you can apply it to any stains or substances that are difficult to remove.

Wait 30 minutes. Then, scrub at the stain with a damp cloth or a brush using a circular motion. Once the stain has been removed, you can use another damp cloth to wipe away the baking soda paste. This will help you take care of your retro table.

Additional Tips for Caring for Your Formica Table

In addition to knowing how to clean your Formica table, there are additional things you should do to take care of it, so it lasts a long time. One of these strategies is to avoid putting too much water on the surface. Even though it might seem waterproof, it actually is somewhat porous.

If you flood the surface, the water can end up seeping under it. This can cause the Formica surface to unstick from the table, causing unattractive warping or making it necessary for you to replace it entirely if it comes off.

Additionally, you should avoid putting anything hot on the Formica table. If you have any hot trays you’ve taken out of the oven, remember to put down a heatproof surface between it and the Formica table’s surface. Otherwise, your beautiful Formica table might end up with unsightly burn marks on it.

You should also have a cutting board available if you’re chopping vegetables at the table or hosting a cheese party. Even though the surface may seem resistant, putting a knife-edge directly on the surface can scratch it.

Need More Tips?

Do you need more tips on how to choose or take care of Formica tables? Maybe you want to learn about additional pieces of furniture you can add to give your kitchen or living room the look you want. Or, maybe, you want advice on how to look for the right Formica table online.

Whatever you need might be, we’re here to help. At Richardson Seating, we’re experts when it comes to furniture. If you want to learn more about the furniture we sell, such as chairs that can go with your table, check out our collection of chairs here.

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