Rugged waterproof construction materials

Hello all,

Need a little help with building material options. I built 3 custom outdoor table tops out of 30” round, 1” thick wood I ordered online. They are essentially 1x4 boards bonded in parallel with a rounded edge. I live in AZ and they are exposed to direct sunlight all day and have been in 100-110 degree heat the last few months and we’ve had a heavy monsoon season with drastic changes in humidity. Consequently they warp and break at the glued seams despite being sealed and painted with exterior grade house paint.

I’m trying to find a synthetic/composite option. I looked at aluminum and steel but its rather expensive and would be extremely hot to the touch. I think a composite material similar to what composite fence slats are made from would be a possibility but cannot find it in a sheet. The table tops can’t be too heavy as they need to be mobile periodically so concrete may not be an option.

Thank for any input the community can provide.


The closest you’re probably going to find to a sheet of composite would be solid composite deck fascia boards, which come in .75" x 11.25" size. You could lay 3 pieces together and connect them with a metal angle brace underneath, but you would need access to a suitable saw to cut to roundness, plus whatever tools you used to bevel the edge on the original tabletops.

You could use Trex decking boards. You wouldn’t glue them, just fasten from underneath to stringers. The cut ends won’t be all that decorative compared to wood, but not too bad. Or make the tables a hex or octagon shape so you have no cut edges. I have used my leftover Trex for several projects. Use the ones without tongue and groove on the edges.

Trex makes their own outdoor line of furniture but they are molded rather than pieced together and are expensive. This may be a case where inexpensive plastic (oops, resin) tables might be best. Or glass tables.


Tempered Glass.

You’d have to get it custom cut. Dress up the edge with metal banding.

They sell outdoor tables like this at home depot and lowes.

But something you custom built would look better and last longer.

I was gonna post about ‘Trex’ too. We replaced our treated wood decking. It is wonderful stuff. It’s gets pretty hot in Southern Arkansas and the deck is in full sun most of the day. Our problem with wood was the constant (every year) retreating with wood sealer and on one end it turned green and mossy. The 'Trex doesn’t. Hose it of every week or so. Sweep occasionally. Love it.
ETA yeah it’s pricey!

Mixdenny and Beckdawrek thank you, I didnt know the name but Trex like material is exactly what I was thinking when I mentioned the composite fence pickets, I didnt know the name so thank you. Now that you mention stringing them together I could essentially do the same thing with the Veranda brand composite fence pickets at home depot. They’re only $5 for a 6’ X 5” board. The hexagon/octagaon is a good idea and would save me painful task of trying to cut a perfect circle whilst praying it doesnt look like an egg when Im finished.

What’s your budget? Because restaurant supply places sell ready-made 30" round table tops, in a variety of materials. The site I found had ones starting at about sixty bucks.

Actually I could cut a crud 28” thin mdf circle and slather those verdanda boards with heavy duty contruction adhesive and/or counter sink some small screws to the crude base circle to make one big solid piece then cut the octagon

Thanks Dewey, I was thinking 35-50-ish but for 10 more i would consider getting something already built to save me a day of glueing, screwing and cutting. Which site did you see those tables? Shipping might be another story

Breadboard ends and 5/4 or better (if you are committed to wood)?

CMC fnord!

Concrete works well. Any size any colour and very satisfying to do. Here is one of many videos on how to do it.

I don’t see why plywood isn’t sufficient. 1". Or a couple of sheets glued together.
Paint with marine grade epoxy paint. There will be no joints to split. If you need extra rigidity you can cross brace underneath. If you want surface grooves, you can use a router to cut them int.

For about $30, you can get this IKEA round table :

There are other ikea tables you can evaluate too.

Ikea items are usually well engineered, light/easy to move around and have a long life . YMMV.

Perhaps solid countertop material. Stone would work $$$$, but perhaps solid composite material would too, but not sure how it would be for sun.

The OP mentioned concrete might be too heavy, but I guess it could be made using perlite as the aggregate. If it is made in a melamine mould like the guy on HomeMadeModern often seems to do, the bottom layer should be smooth cement with no exposed aggregate, so it could be both light and hard wearing.

Yeah, I got the impression from the OP that their table didn’t properly join the wood segments.

Maybe HDPE marine board? Expensive but available in large sheets and made for the marine environment. Google King Starlite and King Starboard. Marine supply places sell the stuff.

What? Surely glued butt joints are the best way to join 1x4 boards into a 30" plank!

TiGed, ship laped, splined, doweled, and a whole bunch of other running edge joints I’m not thinking of, in hand selected quarter sawn or rift sawn lumber, that’s just wood workers of the past showing off!

CMC fnord!
Until we know the OP is actually committed to wood I didn’t see the point of going further in better ways to get to their desired result.

Seconding this. Go to a countertop fabricator and look at samples of the materials they have: Corian or its equivalents, Silestone or other quartzes, Paperstone/Richlite or other paper composites, etc.

The fabricator can produce perfect circles of whatever diameter you are willing to pay for.

This just came up in my YouTube feed, thought I should post it for educational purposes,
Why wood warps/cups, and how to prevent it from ruining your project - Stumpy Nubs

CMC fnord!