Linen Rentals

Linen Rentals: What size linens do I need for my event?

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Linen and Tablecloth Rentals, what size do I need for my event Tables?

Adding linens to your tables helps enhance the image.  Linen rentals cover unsightly table tops, allow you to accent with your color, and bring your personality into your event. All sounds perfect. That’s great, but knowing that you want linen tablecloth rentals and knowing what size you will need for your event is daunting. There are tons of linen sizes and even more table options, so if you are renting tables and linens, you have to marry the two (No pun intended for all our brides 🙂 ). Don’t sweat it. This guide will provide all the information to assist you in making your decision.  We included measurements, a guide, recommendations, pricing, and more to assist you in planning your linen rental need for your event. 

Just a heads up, there’s a lot of math (and reading) involved in all this, so if you want to cut that short, download our free PDF that shows the drops, linen sizes, and the most popular options for each table here.  

In this guide, I provided the most popular tables and linens because most linens and table linen rentals are all in a few sizes that are standard in areas and with suppliers.  

Before we can get started with the linen sizes, we first need to detail a few housekeeping items.  Next we will detail the table rental sizing lingo, standard heights and common table rental options. 

Table Rental Sizes and Measurements

When researching table and table linen sizes, there is common terminology for the different types of tables in the event rental industry. When referring to a banquet-style table, the measurements are in feet. For example, an 8 Foot table is referred to in ‘feet’ as opposed to inches(i.e., a 96” table). The opposite is true for round tables; round tables are typically referred to in inches. A 60” round table is how we refer to a 5’ round.  Round rental tables are described in inches, and banquets tables are described in feet. They are used differently so that anyone can differentiate between the two, and there is no miscommunication on either the rental company or the customers side.

Standard Table Heights

What is table height? The table height is how tall the table is from the floor to the top of the table.  In the world of table rentals, the standard height of almost all tables is 30”.  There are a few exceptions to that, there are high top tables or “High Boy” tables that are 42” high, Bar units, which typically are skirted on the front and sides at 42” tall.  The only other tables that may be placed at 42” inches are a standard table on 12” table legs, typically these are utilized for registration tables or making larger bar height tables. Of course, there are always exceptions. Still, the most common height for rental tables is 30” and a few with 42” heights. So, if you are renting tables and linens you will more than likely be working with those heights.

Most common Size Rental Tables

Round tables

The most popular round table sizes are:

  • 30” Round
  • 36” Round
  • 48” Round
  • 60” Round
  • 72” Round

Pro Tip: The most popular table used for guests seating is a 60” Round (5’ Round)

Banquet Table

The most popular banquet table sizes are:

  • 4’ x 30” Banquet 
  • 6’ x 30” Banquet
  • 8’ x 30” Banquet.

Of those options, the most popular used for food, buffet, head table, and guests seating is an  8’ x 30”. 

Square Tables

The most popular square tables are:

  • 36″ Square 
  • 48″ Square
  • 60″ Square

Pro-Tip: If your rental company does not offer square tables but offers a 4′ banquet, you can place two of those together to make a 4′ square table. 


Classroom Tables

Classroom tables are similar to banquet tables.  The difference is classroom tables measure at 18” wide as opposed to the standard 30” tables. 

Most popular classroom tables are:

  • 6′ x 18″ Classroom 
  • 8′ x 18″ Classroom

Not listed above are specialty tables, such as serpentine tables and other unique table sizes.  

These are important to note, while you may find providers with unique size tables like  8’ x 36” wide or 8’ x 48” wide tables, which are gaining popularity, those are far less common than the standard table sizes I have listed above.  Most rental company inventories will consist of more extensive inventories of the standard sizes listed above. 

Table Size and Seating Capacity Diagram

The first step in planning your linens is to identify the right size table for your event.  To learn more about table and chair rental, check our Ultimate Guide to Table and Chair Rentals

Round Table Seating Capacity

  • 30″ Round Seats 2 Guests Comfortably
  • 36″ Round Seats 4 Guests Comfortably
  • 48″ Round Seats 6 Guests Comfortably
  • 60″ Round Seats 8 Guests Comfortably
  • 72″ Round Seats 10 Guests Comfortably

Banquet Table Seating Capacity

  • 4′ Banquet Seats 4 Guests Comfortably
  • 6′ Banquet Seats 6 Guests Comfortably
  • 8′ Banquet Seats 8 Guests Comfortably

What is a Linen Drop?

You may have heard this term, “Linen Drop,” but what does it mean?

The linen drop is the length or “drop” you would like the linen to fall off the top of the table. The distance from the tabletop to the bottom of the linen would be the “Linen Drop.”  Short Cuts for those terms are “Lap Length,” “Ankle Length,” “Floor Length,” but before we detail what those are, let’s talk some quick numbers. Let’s say you have an 8’ x 30” table (96” Long x 30” Wide x 30” tall), and you would like floor-length linen.  

Linen drops and the math are important to understand if you are trying to cover a nonstandard table or something else like a ping pong table for a large family Christmas gathering (it’s happened on a few occasions, not a bad idea, huh?!). If you can identify what the Length, Width, and Height of a table are and what drop you would like the linen to be, you can determine what size linen would work best for those tables.  For 90% of your standard rental tables, you can use the terminology “Lap Length,” “Ankle Length,” “Floor Length,” “puddle,” or “spandex” when communicating the table linen drop you would like for your tables. Occasionally, the linen will not fall at any of those 4 positions. If using standard linen to ensure transparent communication to a customer, you would use the term drop. For example, if you have a 72” Round a lap length linen would be 108” Round linen; however, if as a customer, you wanted to decrease some of the actual linen cost, you could use a 90” round linen. That linen would not be lap length, but it would provide a 9” drop around the table(72” Tabletop + (9” drop on either side x 2 sides = 18”) = total of 90” (Your linen size)

Most common linen sizes for Round Tables

Round Tables

90” / 108” / 120” / 132”

Banquet Tables

54×112 / 60 x 120 or 60×126 / 90×132 / 90×156

Square Tables

54×54 / 72×72 / 85×85

Specialty Tables

Specialty table linens: While linens are offered in all shapes and sizes, the sizes listed above are the most common and as a result typically the most economical for each table based on your desired drop.  Depending on the size table you require, you may be able to utilize one of the standard linens to cover your tables, which would assist in keeping the cost down and provide the largest selection of linens.  Umbrella table linens which require a hole in the middle of the table linen. 

Spandex Linens

Spandex linens: A newer player in the linen game are the spandex linens.  I’m a big fan of these personally. They provide a sleek look and for those outdoor events, you do not need to worry about linens blowing in the wind or a potential prewedding wind disaster. They provide a crisp sleek look and they are affordable.  There are no linen drops, ankle-length, lap lengths or floor lengths.  All of the linens cover legs, so they are not exposed and my personal favorite feature the spandex is pulled in towards the legs and is not in the way of guests potentially getting their legs caught in or stepping on the linen when scooting in and out of the table.  When ordering a spandex linen you are ordering exactly for the table not the size. For example, if you would like a spandex linen you only need to know the color and size of the table you want to place the linen on.


Standard Height

24” / 30”/ 36”/ 60” 72”

4’ / 6’ / 8’

42” Height: 24” 30” 36”

The only two downsides to spandex linens is because they have to fit the exact (or real close to) the exact size there are limited offering and those offerings on focused the most popular tables, luckily for me, this article is all about What’s the most popular linen size for your rental tables 🙂 

The second downside is there are limited color options and very little if any specialty linen designs into the spandex.  Even with those downsides, most of a rental companies inventory for linens is going to be focused on standard poly linens, in core colors and sizes. Thee  good news is if you are searching in the standard linens in core colors  and  seized,


Floor Length Linens, is it worth the extra expense?

Pros vs cons of floor-length linens, rule of thumb for floor length linens for those budget-friendly customers. 

In addition to standard linens for tables, there are overlays, runners, and skirting for tables. Before we detail those items, we receive a lot of questions on floor-length linens. Does the cost warrant the look, should I use floor-length, and for what tables?  I’ve been in this business a short 12years and I have always used a rule of thumb for customers on when to use floor-length linens and when you have an option not to.  That is, if you are hosting a formal event and the table is exposed and is a focal point for guests to see, then I would recommend a floor length linen.  Here are some examples of that, a cake table, head table food tables, high top tables, registration tables, gift tables, etc. Where my rule of thumb differs from other professionals is in guests’ tables, If you are on a budget. If you are on a budget and searching for areas to cut small cost in your linen expense, I would do it at the guest’s tables.  More than likely, there will are always chairs around the tables, you have guests moving in and out from under the tables, for guests tables, we typically recommend lap or ankle length, unless a customer has a preferance and wants to utilize the floor length linens.  That’s my “functional” assessment, that applies to most non-formal events.  For most formal events, I would recommend floor length for all tables, again unless there is a budget issue, where then I would look at potentially an alternative style linen or moving guests tables into a shorter drop for the table.s 

Overlays and Runners


Overlays and runners had a second dimension of design to your tables.  Typically an overlay or runner is done in different color linen or style.  The most common overlays that we have utilized are 85×85 square linens on either round or banquet tables or your standard runner.  Your standard runner has a width of between 12” – 14” and various options of lengths to fit any size table.   Commonly used on higher-end events, runners are great for all tables but we typically see them accentuating a food table, cake table, etc. 


There are many key factors to consider when choosing to rent chairs and tables for your next event.   The information below is 11 factors to consider. 


Key factors to consider are: 

  • Budget:  Determine your budget for your linens
  • What is the event style: Is it Formal/Fancy – Basic/Casual – Rustic and anywhere in between?
  • Indoor or Outdoor: Is your event going to be held inside or outside? 
  • Guest Size: Will everyone is seated at one time? Will you “turntables” to have multiple people sit down at different times? How many guests would you like seated at one time?
  • Additional Table Needs: Will you require any ancillary tables for your event, such as food tables, cake tables, high tops, registration tables, etc. 
  • Delivery and Pick Up Requirements: Are you able to pick up the items or require delivery? 
  • Specific Delivery and Pick Up Requirements: If the location is not at your residence, are there any delivery or pick-up requirements? Do they need to be delivered or picked up on the weekend or at a specific time?  
  • Drop Off Location: Will the items be moved up steps or an elevator?

Knowing the answers to these questions can help you obtain an accurate quote and product recommendations for your event. 

How Do Table and Chair Rental Services Work?

Once you have identified the answers to the key factors listed above, it’s best to reach out to a local chair and table rental provider to discuss their specific options and obtain any recommendations for your event and/or location.  Each provider may have different products, inventory availability, delivery, and pick up options.  Once you have determined that you would like to move forward with the reservation, it’s always best to go – ahead and place the reservation on hold. When you place the reservation on hold, you confirm that you would like to rent the items, and the rental company will place a “hold” on those items allocating their inventory for your event. 

What is required to book the reservation?   Each rental company may have a slightly different set of requirements for booking tables and chairs, but generally, the below are required:

  1. Signed Invoice 
  2. Signed Terms and Conditions
  3. Credit Card Number
  4. A ~ 50% non-refundable deposit (typically can be paid in check or on the card)  

Additional Information that may be required:

  1. Day of Contact and Cell Phone Number
  2. Delivery Address
  3. Delivery/Pick Up Time Requirements
  4. Are you interested in Set-Up/Take Down Services: Set up and take down services are when a customer hires the rental company to set up and take down the tables and/or chairs for the customer so that they don’t have too. Typically an agreed-upon layout for where the tables and chairs will be placed is required. 

Table And Chair Delivery and Pick Up Options

How do delivery and pick up work for your tables and chair rental service?  We get this question a lot; it’s common.  Before detailing various delivery and pick up scenarios, we would like to point out one option that is also popular among customers, especially with smaller orders. 

A standard option for most table and chair rental companies is to offer the customer availability to pick up the items at their location.

Customer Pick Up and Drop Off: Picking up the items from the customer’s location would save on delivery cost (which could be anywhere from $50 – $300 depending on your situation), but the customer does need to allocate time and potentially obtain a larger vehicle to pick up the items, depending on the size of the order. 

For Delivery and Pick up of your items: What we find common for a weekend event is a Thur/Fri delivery, and a Mon/Tue pick up. Typically the rental company you choose(You should definitely choose Academy Rental Group :)) will notify you of the estimated delivery/pick up day and time a week in advance via phone or email.  Occasionally, companies can provide a specific delivery/pick-up day and time at booking; however, many companies leave the delivery/pick-up days and times open to allow flexibility for other jobs to close and then batch those deliveries out together.  Generally, you should know your estimated delivery and pick-up times between 1 week and 72 hours of your event.

Specific Delivery/ Pick Up Day or Time: If your event requires a specific delivery/pick up day or time, please notify the event rental company.  There may be an additional fee to meet the specific delivery/pickup day and time requirements.  For example, if your wedding venue requires that you do not access the location before 12 pm – 5 pm on Friday, your event rental company may charge a specific delivery fee (i.e., $75) to deliver your items during that time period.  These options are common and can typically be accommodated, but due to these requests’ specific nature, rental company truck routing requires adjusting, and there are additional charges. 

Weekday Events: For those with a weekday event, typically a delivery, unless a specific delivery or pick up time is required, is made a day or two before with a day or two pick up after. If the event is a Friday day event, those items may not be picked up the following Monday/Tuesday. 

Weekend Delivery and/or Pick Up:  Occasionally, weekend delivery and/or pick-up are required for some venues and even surprise parties. When that is the case, there may be an additional delivery/pick up charge for those services. These charges are mainly due to overtime pay required for employees, routing specific to one delivery/pick up and delivery and/or picking up on a weekend when offices may be closed. Roughly the cost would start at $150 each way depending on the amount of staff required

Linen Rental Prices & Styles

Round Linen REntals

White Poly Chair Rental Cincinnati

#1 Choice for budget-friendly events

Poly Folding – Samsonite Chairs | Indoor and Outdoor Options | Standard Colors: White / Black / Charcoal / Brown. 

Lightweight, durable, and stackable. White plastic seat, back, and frame for indoor and outdoor use. Great for cheap table and chair rentals, corporate events, private parties, holiday parties, fundraisers, and more. Folded Size: 17.5″W x 2.5″D x 38.25″H.

$1.00 – $2.00

Fanback Chair Rental Cincinnati - White

#1 Choice for wedding ceremony chairs

Fanback Folding Chairs | Indoor and Outdoor Options | Standard Colors: White and Black.  

The contoured back adds comfort to the chair compared to similar poly folding chairs.  Most popularly used for Formal graduations, wedding ceremonies, rehearsal dinners, and more. Lightweight, durable, and stackable.  Fanback chair is plastic with a white seat, back, and frame for indoor and outdoor use. Contoured seat and back for maximum comfort for your guests. Great for weddings, ceremonies, corporate events, private parties, holiday parties, and more. Folded Size: 17.5″W x 2.5″D x 42.50″L. Recommended Weight Capacity: 275LBs

$1.75 – $2.25

Padded Garden Chair Rental - White

#1 Choice for Wedding Receptions and Galas

Padded Garden Chairs | Folding Indoor and Outdoor Options | Standard Colors: White / Black / Natural Oak / Mahogany

Chairs come with a white padded seat and a resin frame. These are great for wedding ceremonies and receptions, galas, auctions, and private parties. They have a wider stance than our samsonite or fanback chairs and provide more comfortable seating for your guests. Lightweight, durable and stackable Folded Size: 17.5″W x 2.25″D x 35″H. Recommend Weight Capacity 275LBs & 1000LB’s

   $3.00 – $4.00

Fruitwood Chivari Chairs W/ Black Pad

Chivari Chairs | Indoor and Outdoor | Standard Color Chairs: Mahogany, Gold, Silver, White, Black, Champagne | Pad Colors: Various

Extremely popular for higher-end weddings and events. These chairs require a pad for the seat and stack in quantities of 10.  Resin or Wood Construction.  15.75″ W x 36.5″ H x 18.5″ D. Standard Weight Limit: 1000 LB’s depending on Manufacture.

$6.00 – $9.00

Ghost Chairs | Indoor and Outdoor | Standard Colors: Clear, Black, White

Designed for Indoor and Outdoor this Modern plastic molded style chair stacks 7 high.  15″ W x 35.75″ H x 19.5″ D 

$15.00  – $26.00

Crossback Chair

Crossback Chairs | Indoor and Outdoor | 

High-End Rustic Weddings.  Stacks 8 high.  Typically utilized with a chair pad.  17.5″ W x 35″ H x  21.5″D. Standard Weight Limit 400 LB’s

$10.00 – $15.00

Bar Stools

Black Leather Seat – Chrome Barstool| Indoor and Outdoor Use

A perfect addition to any bar set up and high top tables.  It breaks down into three pieces for easy transportation—lightweight and easy to more.  

$10.00 – $12.00

Black Barstool with Back Rental

Black Barstool with Back | Indoor and Outdoor | Colors: Black 

A go-to for the standard rental bar stool. Offers a ladder back and vinyl seat for comfort. Great for seating around high-top tables and/or conventions. 17″ W x 42.25″ H x  18″ D. Standard Weight Limit 400 lbs.

$15 – $18.00

Chivari Barstool |Indoor and Outdoor | Standard Color Chairs: Mahogany, Gold, Silver, White, Black, Champagne | Pad Colors: Various

Add elegance to your event by adding a chivari barstool. Lightweight and elegant design. Requires a seat pad. 

$13.00 – $15.00

Round Folding Tables Rental Options

72 Round Table

48″ Round Folding Table | Wood or Plastic | Standard Height 30″ | Comfortably seats 6 guests

Great table for indoor seating where space is limited. Also utilized for cake tables and gift tables.

$7.50 – $9.00

#1 Choice for guests seating

60″ Round Folding Table | Wood or Plastic | Standard Height 30″ | Comfortably seats 8 guests

Great for areas without size restrictions and any occasion.

$8.00 – $9.50

72 Round Table

72″ Round Folding Table | Wood | Standard Height 30″ | Comfortably seats 10 guests

Great for areas without size restrictions. Most common for weddings, galas, school auctions, and large events.  

$13.00 – $15.00

Banquet Folding Table Rental Options

8' Banquet Table Rental Cincinnati

4′  Banquet Table | Wood or Plastic | Standard Width and Height 30″ | Comfortably seats 4 guests

Recommended for seating where space is limited. Great for convention tables to display products.  

$7.00 – $8.50

8' Banquet Table Rental Cincinnati

6′ Banquet Table | Wood or Plastic | Standard Width and Height 30″ | Comfortably seats 6 guests

Tables rentals are great for guest seating, gift tables, food and drink tables, and more.

$7.50 – $9.00

8' Banquet Table Rental Cincinnati

8′ Banquet Table | Wood or Plastic | Standard Width & Height 30″ | Comfortably seats 8 guests

Great for guest seating, gift tables, head tables, food and drink tables, vendor tables, and more.

$8.00 – $9.50

Classroom Table Rentals

6′ & 8′ Classroom Tables | Wood or Plastic | Standard Width 18″ 

Lightweight tables make moving and transportation easy. An 8′ x 18′ classroom table seats 4 guests on each side, and a 6′ x 18″ classroom table seats 3 guests on each side. Most popular uses classroom tables for training, classrooms, and testing.

$8.00 – $9.00

Recommendations: Most common Linen drops by the event.

Corporate Event Tables and Chairs

Corporate Events or luncheons range in their products depending on how upscale you would like your corporate event. When planning an employee appreciation luncheon, 60” rounds or 8’ banquet tables along with poly or fan back chairs, food tables are best utilized for guest seating.   For more upscale corporate events, Chiavari chairs, ghost chairs, and padded chairs are the most popular.  72” rounds for guests tables, high top tables, food tables, bar units, drink tables.

Graduation/ Backyard Party/ Private Party Linens

Typically graduation and back yard parties utilize lap length linens for all tables. Occasionally, customers will utilize floor-length tables for food tables, gift tables, and high-top tables, but primarily lap length linens are utilized for all tables.

Linen Rentals for Wedding

For most weddings Floor or Ankle length linens are used for all guest’s tables and floor-length linen for all other tables, like head tables, food tables, high top tables, DJ tables, food tables and bar back tables. Occasionally for food prep tables caterers will utilize lap length linens but typically, those are provided by the caterer if they utilize those.  Very common for weddings are overlays and runners to add dimension to the tables. 

Galas, Auctions, Stags and School Function

Similar to corporate events, we see a lot more request for spandex linens with School Functions.  Also similar to corporate events, Schools typically ahve formal and informal events. Events like fundraisers, auctions, galas, reunions typically utilize spandex or all floor length linens for their events. Informal events like stags typically utilize lap length linens for their tables to assist in keeping costs down.

Convention and Expo:

When setting up expo booths for vendors and conventions we typically see a lap length linen for vendor tables and then the tables are wrapped in skirts on three sides.  That would be the same for any registration tables.  For ancillary vendor tables, which are vendor tables, like high top tables or other display tables, we recommend full-length linens or skirting.  

Expo Rental Cincinnati

Convention and Expo Rentals are pipe and drape booths and typically 1-  6’ or 8’ banquet table and 2 indoor poly chairs. Depending on the expo, there are other table options such as classroom tables with or without leg extenders, high top tables, or even lounge furniture for your potential customers to relax in your booth.

Estimated Rental Cost for Standard Sizes for standard Poly Linens:

About Academy Rental Group:

Academy rental group offers a wide variety of table and chair rentals in the Cincinnati tri-state area for any occasion.  We have serviced thousands of events from weddings, corporate events, backyard parties, and large community gatherings with our tables and chairs.   Our inventory of tables and chairs is one of the largest in the city, so we can support any guests count from 10 – 5000. We are a member of the ARA and work with many local fundraisers, wedding venues, and cities in Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, and Warren County.  If you would like a quote or to speak with someone about your upcoming event, please contact us at 513-772-1929 or click the button below to request a free quote. 

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