When placed adjacent to a stool, dining chair, or armchair, colonists will eat their meals at the table. This avoids giving them the "Ate without table" bad thought, and gives them good thoughts if your dining room has high impressiveness.
Colonists more than 31 tiles away from a table at the moment they decide to eat something will ignore the table and eat where they stand, suffering a -3 mood hit. Larger colonies may benefit from building a second dining room, or have scattered tables, especially next to a killbox, mining site, or anima tree (unless you want to cut down the tree, suffer a -6 mood penalty for a while until it respawns in a more favorable position).
Tables (and campfires) are set by default as gather spots. Colonists will gather here to socialize for recreation, especially when idle. This should be toggled off on all tables except for the one in the rec room. Not toggling can cause people to recreate and have parties in the middle of an ugly, dirty mining site, making everybody unhappy.
Larger tables are well-suited for use in your primary dining room, while smaller tables are perfect for prison cells to help keep your prisoners happy. All tables function more or less identically, however, and it is perfectly reasonable to choose a table size for purely aesthetic reasons.
If you don't want to build multiple tables, you can stagger the recreation schedule of colonists to make sure they don't take all of the space on a table.
|Name||Cost||Work to build||Beauty||Market value||Seats||Mass||Max hit points|
|Table (1x2)||28 (Wood/Metals/Stone)||750 ticks (12.5 secs)||0.5||36||6||5 kg||75|
|Table (2x2)||50 (Wood/Metals/Stone)||1,500 ticks (25 secs)||1||64||8||10 kg||100|
|Table (2x4)||95 (Wood/Metals/Stone)||3,000 ticks (50 secs)||2||122||12||20 kg||150|
|Table (3x3)||100 (Wood/Metals/Stone)||3,300 ticks (55 secs)||2||128||12||22 kg||175|
Prior to Beta 18, tables only came in two forms: short table (2x2) and long table (2x4). These were renamed to reflect their actual sizes, and two additional sizes (1x2 and 3x3) were added.