How to produce and finish tabletops (+video)

Achieving the best quality, avoiding problems and having a seemless production flow, is the key of your succes in your production environment. To produce end results that show those vibrating colors and ultimate image clarity, you need to know the correct way of handling, manipulating and finishing your product. Giving you less stress and helping you to refine your workflow is why I write this monthly blogpost, that will cover mostly technical subjects. After all, time is money, and knowledge is the power of your business.

tabletopUniversal Woods, the leader in professional sublimation products,  launched in 2014 a new and unique product, called “TABLETOPS”. These tabletops, made from our strong MDF panels and covered with multiple coatings to last long, are eye catchers in every restaurant. They are finished with a black plastic border and they are – as are all our other products – scratch resistant.

In the next 10 minutes you will learn how to sublimate our table tops in a correct way. Table tops exist in square and round dimensions and you can order the blanc table tops from your local ChromaLuxe distributor. They come in 2 sizes: 60 x 60 cm and 75 x 75 cm and have a white semi-gloss finish.

Always store your blank table tops in the same room as where your heat press is located, to avoid big differences in temperature and humidity. As for all our other products, humidity is the enemy in sublimation.

Print your image on your sublimation printer (you need at least a printer that can handle 36inch/92cm rolls of paper) with a professional RIP software. Be sure that your image has 0.75 cm bleed on each side. Let it dry for at least 30 minutes after printing (do not put your printed paper on top of your heat press!).

Remove the protecting foil from the blank table top and clean it with a soft tissue to remove dust. Clean the edges with a Magic Sponge (Mr Proper) to remove left over glue between MDF and the plastic border.

Attach the printed paper with heat resistant tape on 2 sides. Put the table top on the heatpress (face up) and cover it with a sheet of Endura (you need a heat press that is slightly bigger than the table top you want to sublimate). Set your heatpress to 185°C – 5.5 bar – 6:00 minutes and start the sublimation process.

Remove the paper immediately when the sublimation process is done and let your table top cool down (horizontally). Because of the moisture, the table top can be bended slightly. To straighten it, put the table top again on the heatpress, with the printed side face down and heat it again for 1:00 minute (protect your image with a clean paper). When completely cooled it will be straight (If necessary, put some weigth on your table top to straighten).

Finally, use the Magic Sponge again to remove left over glue/paper on the edges. Screw your tabletop to a nice foot and your table is ready to use.

ITEM # 4397 – Square Tabletop 60x60cm
ITEM # 4398 – Round Tabletop 60x60cm
ITEM # 4399 – Square Tabletop 75x75cm
ITEM # 4400 – Round Tabletop 75x75cm


stevieSteven Roesbeke has a huge experience in the graphical industry with a lot of expertise in color management and output solutions. Since 2013 he is the Technical Support Field Engineer at Universal Woods EMEA. Read his technical blog posts to discover helpful tips & tricks and learn more about the do’s and dont’s of (large format) sublimation. You can always contact him at stevenr@chromaluxe.com