There is quite a bit of technique involved in attaching table tops, as a small issue can lead to a wobbly table.

Carpenters and woodwork enthusiasts can learn how to properly attach a table top to a base to avoid any problems with the table’s balance or level. There are many ways to ensure that your table top is secure and balanced on all sides.

Here are some easy steps to ensure that your table top is secure with tabletop fasteners.

If you rigidly attach the table top without allowing any movement, a crack or even split can be caused. Table top fasteners allow the wooden top to move easily as the wood expands and changes according to the seasons.

Attaching the table top is more technical than one may think. It is the skill of attaching the wooden tray which ensures that the top will not crack or loosen due to the movement of the table. 

How to Attach a Table Top to a Base? The different options

When you want to build furniture or create something new from an old piece, you must understand the wood you use. Wood can be a challenging material as it can behave differently. Woodwork requires all to first learn a few things about the kind of wood you are using.

For example, walnut wood is lightweight, and oak wood will not bend easily. Similarly, some wood types shrink and swell in accordance with the humidity and heat factors. If a wooden plank swells and shrinks during different seasons, it can soon crack.

Even when the wood is not joined properly, it swells and shrinks in a way that the cracks will appear sooner, and your table will look old. Here are some ways to ensure that your table top will look new for a longer time.                    

• Using table top fasteners

You can use store-bought table top fasteners to fix the table top to the base. These fasteners are corners that look like a quarter circle and can be attached to the upper end of the limbs. The circular part of this fastener is inserted in the cut on the table top.

This way, the corners are attached to the base, and there is enough room for the table top to expand and contract. 

The corners of the table, also called the apron, can adjust the expansion or shrink of the table top, and the fasteners take the burden off the table top so that there is no tension in the wood. There are various kinds of fasteners that include

·      Figure 8 fasteners

·      Expansion brackets

·      Kerf table top fasteners

·      Simple quarter wooden fastener.

• Attaching table top with screws

Woodworkers can use screws to attach the table top to the base. This method works especially well if your base is a pedestal stand with a small base to support the table top. If you can't attach the table top at the four corners, the screw method works best.

You will need a couple of washers to hold the screw in place, and then just drill the screw into the table top from the lower surface. Be sure to make the holes slightly bigger, as this plays a pivotal role in allowing the shrinking and swelling of the wood without straining the joints. 

• Making table fasteners

DIYers can make table fasteners easily by using a table saw to create a biscuit and make slots in blocks of wood that will be attached below the table top. These slots will accommodate the biscuits that will be attached to the apron.

A screw can help keep the table top fastened to the apron easily like store-bought fasteners. Making table fasteners can be an easier task if you are experienced with table saws and have been working on woodcraft for some time. Beginners can also venture into this task as it is not too hard. 

The few things that you have to consider while joining the table top to the base is that your wood needs a little space to adjust to the expansion and shrink during different seasons.

Moreover, the table top can also adjust to movement caused by dragging the table or moving it from its place if there is some gap between the apron and the table top. Rigid joints of the top will not allow it any movement, and when the wood is strained for a long, it will break or crack easily. 

The basic goals while attaching table tops

The primary goal of attaching a table top is that it should remain attached to the structure firmly. Then, the table top must remain flat and taut for many long years. There should be no deformity, and the attachment must be according to design.

When a table top is attached correctly, it will have enough space to move so that whatever temporary changes occur, it remains the same. While fasteners are discussed as the best option to allow movement, fixing the table top with screws is another option.

However, the use of screws can be of two types; firstly, you can use screws to attach a flat table top to a pedestal, which is attached to the center of the table top from underneath.

Another way of using screws is to tightly attach the table top at the corners, which is only suitable for smaller tables with limited movement and will not go through significant shifts during the different seasons.

If you have a laminated table, synthetic material furniture, or small tables that will not hold a lot of heavy items, the stationary fixing method can also be used. 

Which method is better?

Our experience with tables is vast and we create all kinds of fixed and movable table tops to ensure that there is variety for everyone. However, selecting table fasteners over fixed table tops will be an obvious choice.

For all DIYers as well, attaching a table top fastener is easier than fixing a table top to the apron rail. Many tables do not have an apron and the design does not require it either. If you are a new woodwork enthusiast, you may find this challenging. However, the truth is that fasteners make the job easier.

Using a button table fastener, or even the kerf fastener can be as easy as attaching the figure 8 fastener. When you are working with more pieces to fix, it may be overwhelming, but the outcome will be in your favor as the table top will be in place, flat, and balanced from all sides. 


There are many ways of attaching the table top to the structure. However, you must use the method that will keep your table looking good, and keep it efficient for a long time.

If you use fasteners, it will require a little bit of care as you have to attach these pieces under the table top and ensure that all the joints are level, and balanced and will support the table top.

Fixing the table top with screws is also a good way of attaching the table top although, it might not work for large tables that expand and shrink according to the weather change. 

If you want to avoid all this hassle, you can even opt for complete tables. They are ready to use and wouldn’t require any of this DIY’er effort.

Chair Up offers the complete furniture variety for restaurants and patios. Visit our store now and get the perfect items for your place.