Not rollercoasters; drink coasters! You know…the thing you put under your glass or coffee cup.
I love antiques, which means I have a lot of wood tabletops with old finishes. Wood doesn’t usually like water or heat. And old finishes never like water or heat. For that reason, I have glass or natural stone cut to fit on top of most of my tables. Be it coffee tables, end tables, dinner tables, and even my desks, I put something on them to protect the tops from water and heat. I even put glass on top of the wood surfaces in my vacation rental units.
For those surfaces that don’t have a protector, I supply plenty of coasters for guests to use. I am very particular about the coasters I use. First, they must have something underneath to protect the surface they are placed on from scratches. I like coasters that have cork on the bottom.
Second, they must be absorbent. Now there are lots of beautiful coasters out there, but very few of them are absorbent. Glass coasters (maybe with a lovely initial on them) are not going to absorb any glass sweat or drips. Marble coasters (maybe trimmed in gold that exactly match your dining room) aren’t going to absorb liquids. Plastic, wood, cork, and metal won’t absorb liquids either.
Why must coasters absorb liquids? Isn’t catching the liquids good enough? No! If coasters only catch the liquids (that is assuming they have a turned-up rim to catch liquids in), then the liquids will splatter when you take your glass off the coaster. Now if you only plan to use your coaster for a warm mug, non-absorbent coasters might be okay. But that means you probably need to wipe your mug with a paper towel or cloth napkin after you fill it with your drink. That is the only way to ensure that liquids aren’t running down the side.
Also, when your lemonade glass is sweating due to all that ice, water builds up on top of a glass or granite coaster, and sometimes a suction forms. When you lift your glass of lemonade, sometimes the coaster comes right along with it. Disaster! Glass sweat splatters everywhere, or worse, the coaster falls off midway and hits a tabletop or you.
The best and only way to prevent disaster is to use absorbent coasters. The best options are sandstone coasters and unglazed ceramic coasters. Thirstystone is a brand of sandstone coasters that have cork bottoms and come in a variety of shapes, colors, and designs. I love these, but they are a bit pricey (about $24 for four coasters).
The unglazed ceramic coasters I like are by Lifver and run around $14 for six. They too absorb water and have cork bottoms. Additionally, they offer several variations of colors, designs, etc.
Now you may be thinking a good felt or cloth coaster or even a paper towel seems to be the answer, but that is not true. Although these materials are absorbent and collect water, they also allow the liquids to run through them and get on the tabletop. This can spell disaster as much as non-absorbent coasters.
Through the years I have ordered five sets of the Lifver unglazed ceramic coasters. I have them all around my vacation rental units as well as my home. I have some of these as well as some Thirstystone coasters at my office. I still use coasters on top of my glass desk because I don’t want to have to clean the water rings each time I set a mug or glass on top.
Absorbent coasters are amazing and can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in furniture refinishing.
As you can probably tell, water rings and ruined furniture finishes are a pet peeve of mine. I think that all young people should be taught to never set a drink, wet towel, wet potted plant, etc. on top of anything wood. But since I am not in charge of the world, I will just try to educate the masses!
As always, this post is not sponsored. I paid for my coasters and received no discount or promotional offer for this post. I just wanted to share my love of absorbent coasters!