March 2009 Archives

Conference Table Power & Wiring

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As more and more conferences include high-tech applications like videoconferencing or online presentations, power and data ports are becoming a necessity for many conference room tables.

How Does It Work? Power and data ports are built into the table top, concealed beneath a sliding or removable cover. Wires run through the table pedestal, and removable panels in the side of the pedestal provide access for maintenance. Typically a power outlet is installed in the floor under the pedestal, making the power completely seamless.

What Do You Need? Before ordering your wired conference table, think about how the table will be used and how many people will need to plug in their computers. As is often the case with new technology, many businesses find that they use the power in their conference table more than they expected. So it is better to plan for more than you think you need, and have enough if your needs expand. Rather than to compromise, end up with less than you actually need and have to retrofit the table later to add more outlets. If you are unsure of what you need, our designers can help you make this decision.

Next time, we'll look at some of the options available in conference table wiring & power.


A glass conference table is an investment which will pay off for years to come if properly cared for. Follow these easy tips to preserve the appearance of your glass conference table top.

Clear Glass: No special care is necessary with a clear glass table top. Simply clean the surface of the glass with glass cleaner and paper towels. Do not use abrasive cleansers or rough materials which might scratch the glass. If a sticky substance like wax, gum or tape residue is stuck to the glass, use a solvent to remove it or carefully scrape the substance away with a razor blade.

Frosted or "Scratched" Glass: If your glass table features a finish like Frosted glass or our "Scratched" glass, special care is required. The smooth side (usually the top) can be cleaned as above. But take care when handling and cleaning the treated side.
When necessary, wash the Frosted or "Scratched" surface gently with glass cleaner and a paper towel to remove finger prints and dirt. A solvent or degreasing kitchen cleanser should not be used on the Frosted or "Scratched" surface, as they can cut through the sealer and remove pigment. Also, aggressive rubbing or scrubbing can remove tiny particles of glass and pigment from the textured surface.

A difficult smudge or tape residue can be removed from the "Scratched" glass surface by picking out the dirt from the pores with the tip of an exacto knife. Remove debris from the glass with attention to the existing scratch pattern as you will be adding tiny new scratches.

Chips and Minor Damage: Nothing is more frustrating than to discover a scratch or chip in your prized glass table. Unfortunately, once the damage is done there isn't much you can do to repair it. In some conference rooms you may be able to turn or move the table so the scratch does not reflect sunlight and is less prominent. Glass finishes like our "Scratched" glass, and some frosted glass finishes, create a visual texture which helps trick the eye and mask minor scratches. If the scratch is large and your table top is in multiple sections, you may choose to replace the damaged section. And if all else fails ...there's always strategically placed coasters.

Moving Your Glass Conference Table: Always arrange to have adequate staff on hand to move your conference table. A large table top made of 3/4" thick glass is heavy! This is especially important when moving a frosted or "Scratched" glass top, as the movers should take care not to leave smudges on the textured surface of the glass. Movers who are straining under too heavy of a load will be so focused on not dropping the glass, they won't have the energy to mind their fingerprints. If the conference table is to be moved more than a few feet, or turned on its side (to go through a doorway or around a corner), use padded blankets to protect the glass.

Conference Table Design: Seating

When designing your conference table, there are several factors to consider.


How many chairs will there be? With a Rectangular or similar table, the placement of the pedestals will influence the seating on the long side of the top. We like to allow at least 30" per chair (28" minimum), and when possible we place pedestals in between seats. For instance on a 10' table we would place pedestals 60" apart for seating four people on the long sides. With 1 chair on each end, the 10' table would seat 10 comfortably. At 12.5' we would use 2 pedestals placed 87-90" apart, depending on whether the top is a Rectangle or Boat shape top, and place 5 chairs on each side.

How large is the conference room? A table which is too large for a small conference room will feel cramped. On the other hand, a small conference table in a very large room will appear lost, and may make meeting attendees feel uncomfortable. We recommend a minimum of 42" around the conference table on all sides. This leaves room for chairs and to move around the room. 48" of space is preferred for a spacious feel. If space is at a premium, 36" around the table is the bare minimum. 36" will work better with a round table, as the tightest point will be at the edge of the circle, not the entire length of a rectangular table.

How will the table be used? For an executive conference table, 36" per person spacing allows larger chairs and a more spacious feel. Training tables might use as tight as 27" spacing with appropriately sized chairs.

Will the top be in one piece or multiple pieces? 10' is the maximum size top (116" for shaped Glass) that Stoneline can fabricate and ship in one piece. If planning for a top that size, it is important to prepare. Check access into the building, elevator size, stairwell layout, etc. and make sure the table top will fit before proceeding.

When the top is divided into multiple sections, we also plan the break between tops to fall between chairs. For example, we would divide a 10' top into 2- 5' sections so that the break occurs between the 2 center chairs. A 12.5' table would typically seat 5 on each long side, so dividing the top in 2 is not advised. We would instead make a 12.5' top in 3 pieces: the center section 87-90" long to seat 3, and breaks over each pedestal. Two 30" - 31.5" sections on the ends of the table each seat 1, for a total of 5 on the long sides. We use this same principle for dividing larger tops as well. With careful planning a conference table can be designed so that no chair is placed in front of a pedestal or break in the top, even up to 30' long.