Dining Tables and Tabletop Board Games

My friends and I play a lot of board games. I have brought this up in a couple of posts throughout this blog but I haven’t talked about one of the secretly important parts of tabletop board games.

The table.

When my friends and I moved in together, the apartment was already furnished. In the living room it came with a couch, a loveseat, a TV shelf thing, a nightstand shelf thing, and a not particularly large coffee table.

Although this wasn’t a large coffee table, and by the merit of it being a coffee table, not a large table, we made do with it. We played hours of board games on it. We fit huge game setups on it and set our coffee cups on other surfaces. If we made dinner we would sit on the couch and eat while watching TV, and it was fun.

But it wasn’t a dinner table.

And we thought it didn’t matter.

Then we started playing Dungeons and Dragons and the desire for more table space increased with the levels of our characters.

We still weren’t fazed.

Fast forward. It is a random Saturday in Summer and one of my friends and I go get some lunch and then go shopping for random stuff. On our way back home I get a crazy idea to try to get a dining table.

We stop by a thrift shop.

We walk out of the thrift shop with a decent double-leaf dining table for $15, and somehow manage to fit it into the car.

We get back home, set it up, and then go back out to buy a tablecloth to hide any of the imperfections. The result was amazing.

The most impressive part of the dining table though wasn’t for the table space part of its namesake, but instead for the dining part.

For once we could all sit in chairs, maintain good posture, and eat while facing each other. My roommates and I aren’t blood-related, but eating around a dinner table still makes it seem like a family.

Seriously, if you haven’t eaten around a dinner table with your family or with your friends, do it. The quality of life enhancement that something as simple as a thrift shop dinner table can bring is insane. Coffee tables are nice and all but it is a completely different experience eating around a dinner table.

Board games are also enhanced by sitting around a dinner table. The increased table space means that everyone has a place to put their cards/pencils/tokens/etc. while still having plenty of space to put the board for the game.

The greater elevation from the ground means that everyone can sit around the table sitting comfortably in chairs, instead of leaning over a small table.

And everything was good.

Until we realized that the leafs were a little warped which caused the table to have an uneven surface.

So we talked about putting a piece of plywood on top of it or something like that.

And then one day I got off work and got really in the mood to do a dumb project in the middle of the afternoon like making a tabletop.

My friends and I got into the car and we headed down to Lowe’s.

There, we looked for plywood that would fit the dimensions of our table. And we kept looking in the wrong section near the lumber. Finally we asked an associate and were pointed to the thin board/MDF section, and there we had the best idea.

Why not use something other than plywood? Why not use whiteboard?

And so we did. And it’s awesome.


There are some pros and cons games to be weighed here, and I think we won out because everything boils down to us being college students.


  • We can study and draw stuff on the table
  • We can keep track of stuff for board games using the whiteboard table.
  • We have a near perfectly level surface to play board games on


  • Have to clean before use because of expo gunk
  • Weird if you’re hosting a high-class dinner party
  • Some friends might think you are too cool

All-in-all would I suggest a dining table? If you can get one in your current financial and spatial situation, then yes.

Would I suggest a whiteboard table?
Are you an actual family with actual responsibilities like raising children or hosting dinner parties with top hats? Probably not.
Are you anyone else? Then you should be asking, “Why not?”

Was this story too long? All I’m saying is that dinner tables are pretty cool.


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