What are Ping Pong Tables Made of? (It’s Not What You Think)

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What are Ping Pong Tables Made Out of?

Previously, we’ve written about the colors of paddles and what Ping Pong Balls are made out of.

These things are all important, because the color, size, shape, and material of each piece of equipment matters in Ping Pong. Each item is made a specific way to serve a certain purpose and has to meet strict standards for playability.

The Ping Pong table is arguably the most important piece of equipment in the game. As such, it is no exception to the rule. Not only does it have to look a certain way and be the right size, but it needs to be made from specific materials.

That being said, what are Ping Pong tables made of? We’ll dig deep into the subject in this post.

What Ping Pong Tables are Made Of (The Official Requirements)

The International Table Tennis Federation has different requirements for casual play and for formal games. We’ll start by discussing what’s required for professional play.

In an official ITTF tournament, only wood or wood derivatives may be used for the material composing a table. The reason for this is simple: it allows the performance necessary for a game to run smoothly.

In other words, the ball can bounce well on the surface, markings are clearly visible, and the wood makes these tables sturdy.

You can read more about the technical requirements for an ITTF-approved tournament table in this leaflet.

Alternatives to the Official ITTF Requirements

"what matters most is that the table is the correct size, has the right markings on it, the material allows the ball to bounce high enough, and it’s made from one continuous material."

The rules are completely different when it comes to casual games. In the end, what matters most is that the table is the correct size, has the right markings on it, the material allows the ball to bounce high enough, and it’s made from one continuous material.

If a table allows for all those conditions, then it will likely be acceptable. Because of this, there are tons of options for you to choose from in a Ping Pong table today.

Plastic, metal, plywood, and concrete are all fairly common choices. Which one you should choose for your own home largely depends on your own personal preferences.

Think, for example, about where you’re going to put the table and what you want it to look like. Then consider whether or not you’ll need to transport it after you’ve chosen its location.

If you’re not planning on moving the table much, a heavy concrete one may be fine. On the other hand, if you do think you’ll need to move it around, a lighter aluminum table may be better.

Wrap Up

We’ll say it time and time again: Ping Pong is a sport which has taken a lot of design and thought. Over its long life (over a century, to be more precise), many changes have had to be made to what’s used to play the game.

However, each change that’s been made has only served to further optimize the playing experience. We’re personally excited to see how the game grows and changes in the years to come.

Want to learn more about Ping Pong tables? You can read our list of the best red Ping Pong tables or our list of the best blue Ping Pong tables.