According to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), a regulation table tennis tabletop should be five feet wide, nine feet long and 30 inches high. In order to prevent warping, it is highly suggested that one purchase a table tennis tabletop that is at least 3/4 inches thick. Usually, the table tennis tabletop is manufactured from specific timber made hardboard, called Masonite.After the tennis table is coated with a low-friction material, a blue, green, or black coloring is applied. (Regulation table tennis tabletops are either blue or green). With a white painted strip, the tennis table surface is divided into halves lengthwise and the edges of the table are defined with white painted strips. Lastly, a net is attached 15.25cm above the tennis tabletop, evenly dividing the table in half. The net should be pulled taut, but avoid pulling the net so tightly that it creates a buckling in the net.The tennis tabletop frame should be sturdy, and made of durable material. Tables with many points of connection, from the bottom of the table connecting it to top of the frame, are the most durable, but the connections should also be stable and not flimsy. Likewise, the coasters connected to the frame should be of good quality and should have ample locking devices so the table does not roll around during playtime. The larger the caster, the sturdier and easier the table will be to move to its storage area. Generally, tables manufactured with larger legs will be sturdier, and will prevent the table from moving during playtime.Many tables are designed to fold in half for easy storage capabilities and greater mobility. Therefore, before buying a table, make sure the table folds in half easily and make sure the folding connections are secure and strong. As a practice method, many table tennis players like to fold one-half of the table top up so they can serve and return without a partner. With this in mind, make sure the tabletop is easy to set up with one-half up and without worry of collapse. It is also wise to make sure the gap between the table halves is not too wide.The material used to manufacture the tabletop will greatly influence where you can set up your table and begin to play. Tables made from wood or wood byproducts are not suitable for outdoor uses as exposure to excessive moisture, humidity and temperatures will undoubtedly make the table warp. If you wish to play table tennis outside, a suitable tabletop would be a table made from aluminum. Aluminum tables involve an encapsulation process that makes the tabletop virtually warp free.Of course, you do not need to purchase a tennis tabletop in order to play table tennis. However, if you are truly interested in learning table tennis and are serious about increasing your playing level, it is advisable to make the purchase. Once you begin to play on a regulation table, through habit alone, you will become accustomed to how hard to hit the ping-pong ball, where to hit the ball and learn how your spins will affect the ball.Additionally, you can play against an opponent of similar skill and practice more efficiently and effectively whenever possible. Depending on your enthusiasm for the game, and where you intend on playing, will determine what table tennis tabletop is appropriate for you to purchase. With this in mind, make sure you keep playing time, the place you will most likely set up your table and how much you will play on the table, all in mind before you make a purchase.