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How To Reinforce A Tabletop – Our Ultimate Guide

If you have built your DIY table or have an old upcycled one, you could potentially run into the issues of your tabletop being too thin and even sagging down in some cases. 

Which leads you to wonder how you can strengthen and reinforce your tabletop?

Well, luckily you can reinforce your tabletop in a few different ways, from adding extra legs to making a stretcher base on your table for extra support.

In our short guide below we will cover exactly how to reinforce your tabletop to make it a stronger table for peace of mind and to stop the wooden tabletops from flexing. 

Why Is My Tabletop Flexing?

Before we discuss the different ways of how to make your wooden table tops stronger, we should understand why your table with plywood is weakening, to begin with. 

If you have a plywood dining table then it is likely the plywood used for the entire tabletop was not thick enough for the table base, this happens often when plywood dining table types are made on a budget and will begin to sag after a few years of use. 

This is why tabletops tend to be made out of only higher grade hard plywood, especially pub tables which have stretchers underneath to make tops stronger due to the constant pushing and hitting of the tables.

The Best Ways To Make a Stronger Table Top

If you have a table base or coffee table with a weakened top, not all is lost, there are some easy ways that you can reinforce it to make it stronger. 

We have listed the top methods down below. 

  • Use thicker table legs – One of the best ways to make your tabletop stronger is by installing thicker legs, dense hardwood legs are a much better choice for heavier tabletops, thin pine legged tables will lead to the top becoming weaker.
  • Install a stretcher base – Stretcher bases have been used for many years and provide excellent stability for wooden table tops and bases, hence why they are used so much at bars, pubs and restaurants. 
  • Try table aprons – Table aprons provide extra resistance for your tabletop finishes and are easy to install and interlock, this connects your planked tabletops to the legs to make the structure stronger. It also adds decorative edge profiles to your table.
  • Check how the legs are attached – Not all table bases and legs are installed in the same way, you can buy some spring screws which can support direct weight better than the traditional way legged tables are installed.
  • Always lift, do not drag – When moving your plywood table make sure you always lift it rather than dragging it, this can make the feet of the legged table much weaker and result in damage to the tabletop too.
  • Add more legs – Tables with six legs rather than 4 legs will always be more robust so why not try adding up two more to reinforce your table?
  • Install a frame – Lastly, you can try installing a metal edge frame to your deck tables top to make it stronger, these are known as support rails and can be made out of wire or wood too, they work similarly to stretchers underneath the table for reinforcement.

Final Words

Overall, solid wood table tops can inevitably start to weaken and sag after a few years of use, to fix a wobbly table you can simply use our tips above to strengthen the solid plywood table and use thicker legged tables instead. 

Always use thick hard plywood if you are going to DIY your table at home and consider using a stretcher base if it will be in frequent use. 

Scott Buckley

Scott Buckley

I'm Scott, a Woodworker by day and book geek by night. I love making things out of wood. While I have and still, on occassion do, work with metal and plastics, I find them to be cold and somewhat boring. Wood is warm and I feel close to nature with it. I started as a means to help like minded creative folk to answer burning questions. I hope you enjoy reading and learning, and always feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions!

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