You can use your gaming table as a dining table.
Does it really look like a dining table?
Yes! Only the most astute observer will know that your table is anything more than a normal dining table. I had dinner with my in-laws on the table twice. At the end of the second meal, my father-in-law asked to see my new gaming table. He had no idea that he was sitting at it.
Do you really need a topper?
Nope. If you are only using the table for gaming - putting it in a basement or a game room - then you don't have to get a topper. It is optional. However, it is fairly common for people to purchase a topper even for a table that is going into a game room so that they will have more dining space for special occasions like Thanksgiving dinner, etc.
How does the cover topper work compared to the inset topper?
The inset topper is a flat topper. It sits on a ridge that is cut out of the inside of the rail. There is a rod at one end of the table. You can reach under the table and push up on that rod to remove the topper.
The cover topper has a lip all the way around. It sits over the rail and completely covers the entire table.
How hard is it to place or remove the topper?
One person can handle the coffee or square table. For the rectangles or hexagon table it is a two person job. It is possible for one person to do it, but we really don't recommend it. With two people, it is very easy.
Since the inset topper is 6 inches smaller in both directions, it is a little easier to handle.
Does the cover topper tip up or slide around?
Since the table is wood (which expands and contracts over time), there has to be a little wiggle room when the cover topper is in place. However, it won't slide unless you press straight sideways on the topper. In that case, it could move about half an inch. In practice, this doesn't happen while using the table normally.
Pushing down on one side of the table will not cause the other end to lift up. Not even close.
Does the inset topper sit flat?
Sometimes, especially when the table is new, the middle of the topper will bow downwards a little. This can cause a small, but noticable, rise in the corners. For this reason we recommend flipping the topper over every week or so.
Most customers don't have any issue. If they do, flipping it takes care it. After a couple of months, the wood settles down and many customers choose not to worry about flipping the topper anymore.
What about spills?
The cover topper completely covers the table. There is no way for crumbs or spills to get to the playing surface.
With the inset topper, there is a small gap between the topper and the rail. It is possible for liquids or crumbs to make their way to the playing surface. In practice, the gap is small enough that only a little bit can get through and the playing surface cleans and vaccums well enough that it isn't a big problem. However, if you have kids or messy friends, the cover topper is the safer choice.
The inset topper doesn't affect the table size. The cover topper adds about 3/4 of a inch to the height of the table and 1.5 inches in length and width when it is in place.
Which is best?
If one of them was clearly better, then we would only offer that one. Pick the one that matches the look you want and the features you need. There is no wrong answer.