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Coasters - useful or useless?

Coasters - useful or useless?   

60 members have voted

  1. 1. Coasters - useful or useless

    • 100% Useful - I have coasters on every living area table and force/teach my family to use them
      24
    • Official coasters are useless - we use whatever is handy to set our drinks on - book, newspaper, magazine, mail, etc.
      2
    • Coasters are useless - we just sit our drinks directly on our furniture
      8
    • Somewhat useful - we have them, but they are used sometimes but not always
      22
    • Obligatory other
      4


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Coasters - are they useless or do they have a purpose in your home? 

I've wondered since we use them in our house but often visitors don't. Am I out of touch with reality? 

I spent many months when we were first married to try to break my husband of using books as coasters. Was I wrong and he right? 


I'm hoping to set up a poll, so we'll see if this works!

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We don't use coasters. Our kids are not allowed to eat or drink anywhere but the dining table and there are no coasters used at the table.  For DH and I, the couch has little cup holders in it.  Plus, we each have a yeti cup that we use....it doesn't sweat.  And we don't generally have enough visitors to worry about where they will put their drinks lol.  

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I voted somewhat useful. I used to be adamant about them when I had nice things I cared about before children and spouse made their mark. And now my children have repurposed them into different things to the point we now have none I can find. However, we also have no coffee or end tables anymore either,  thanks to children and dogs, so they're more of a moot point. As for the dining table,  I keep a tablecloth on at all times so no coasters there. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
spouse, not spouses. we aren't polyandrous over here!
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We have coasters and use them occasionally. Dh complains that the kids don't use them- but unless he sees them right on the coffee table, he doesn't use them either. 

My dmil is a big fan of coasters, so we have always had them around. Probably we use them more in the winter for hot mugs. And we have a set of disposable Christmas ones from dmil.

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We have coasters and use them.  I have a coffe table I would like to keep mark/stain free.  I will bring them to a guest and place their drink on it if they don't use it.   Last year I redecorated the living room and now I want it to stay decent.

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All of us use insulated tumblers so coasters aren’t useful for us. FIL would use old ads as coasters when he visits us once every few years for his beer bottles and beer cans as he likes them chilled so the carpet would get wet without a coaster.

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It depends upon the surface.  If water will ruin it, you need some sort of coaster be it makeshift or not.  I think Do No Damage is the rule and how you comply with that is meaningless. If a surface cannot be ruined by water, there's no compelling reason to bother.

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We have some. Somewhere. I think a few became hockey pucks. 

I do try to avoid setting a drink right on wood, but I'm also kind of sick of my wood coffee and side tables, which are getting pretty dinged up just from having young kids in the house. Furniture is supposed to serve me, not the other way around! I'm thinking of replacing the coffee table, at least. Maybe glass, or maybe an upholstered ottoman in a bullet-proof fabric, so the kids can roll around on it. Then when they're in bed DH and I can set our drinks on a pretty tray.

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We mainly use insulated tumblers and mugs to avoid the need for coasters.

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We don't use coasters because drinks are only allowed in the kitchen/dinning area. We also don't have a coffee table, so no where to put a drink in the family room.

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We use cork coasters.  I find that most decorative coasters are too slick to handle condensation.

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1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

It depends upon the surface.  If water will ruin it, you need some sort of coaster be it makeshift or not.  I think Do No Damage is the rule and how you comply with that is meaningless. If a surface cannot be ruined by water, there's no compelling reason to bother.

This. With the exception of coffee in the morning our drinks are all cold drinks in glasses/cups that sweat. We use stone coasters to absorb the water that condenses on the outside, but we  really only use them on surfaces that would be damaged by water. In that sense they're 100% useful.

Dh and I both grew up in a time when everyone used coasters on all surfaces for all types of drinks, but we don't do that ourselves. We only use them when it matters. If I'm at someone's house I follow their lead. If they put out coasters or I see them using a coaster, I use one too. 

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Someone upthread commented that their coasters were being used as hockey pucks, that gave me an idea.  We have hockey pucks that are momentos of our college days and a couple of very fun hockey games we have attended.  Maybe we can use the hockey pucks as coasters instead.  They would  be fun conversation starters!

I will have to find out if the cups and mugs will fit on them nicely!

 

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2 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

It depends upon the surface.  If water will ruin it, you need some sort of coaster be it makeshift or not.  I think Do No Damage is the rule and how you comply with that is meaningless. If a surface cannot be ruined by water, there's no compelling reason to bother.

I agree, but on the makeshift thing, I would be picky about what is being used--the people in my house would not look or weigh what they improvise and truly create a major problem.

We don't allow our kids to have drinks in very many places--one of our kids is very uncoordinated. If we let them take drinks more places, I would vote for 100% useful.

On a side note, they do often get used for other things as well. We were gifted some woven coasters, and they make great toys for littles. Everyone in the family that has these coasters has found that kids gravitate toward them as imaginative playthings. It's fun to watch each kid in the family (and sometimes friends' kids) reach "the coaster stage" and see what they'll do with them.

 

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It depends on the surface and the weather.  In our current home, we have table cloths or lacy cloths, etc., covering most tables -- even little end tables.  So no coasters are really necessary, unless we think it might be drippy!  But our new home happens to have surfaces that are glass and a lighter wood, and we don't plan to have the lacy look anymore.  🙂  So, I think we'll start using coasters!

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3 hours ago, Bambam said:

Coasters - are they useless or do they have a purpose in your home? 

I've wondered since we use them in our house but often visitors don't. Am I out of touch with reality? 

I spent many months when we were first married to try to break my husband of using books as coasters. Was I wrong and he right? 


I'm hoping to set up a poll, so we'll see if this works!

When a guest doesn't use a coaster on one of my beautiful tables, I casually walk over, pick up the guest's beverage, and put it on a coaster for him.

I am more direct with family members: "Put your drink on the coaster now." 🙂

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7 minutes ago, Ellie said:

When a guest doesn't use a coaster on one of my beautiful tables, I casually walk over, pick up the guest's beverage, and put it on a coaster for him. 

I am more direct with family members: "Put your drink on the coaster now." 🙂

I did not grow up using coasters. But we only had drinks in the kitchen, and our table wasn't super nice. Heck, it's the same table my mom still uses and I can't tell that coasters haven't been used.
For me, coasters feel like one more thing to keep track of and deal with and have to move when cleaning. Of course, we only allow drinks in the kitchen, so it's not a big deal.

As for putting a guest's drink on a coaster for them, that would seem extremely rude to me. It would come across as treating someone like a child. I'd rather you hand me the coaster and say something like, "Oh, would you mind putting this under your glass?" (FWIW, I do look for coasters in other people's houses. If I don't use one, it's because I don't see one. So you handing me one wouldn't bother me at all.)

I should mention that I am sure Ellie has fabulous manners, and that she manages to do such a thing gracefully. I just commented because I like to read about other people's experiences.
 

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1 hour ago, Ellie said:

When a guest doesn't use a coaster on one of my beautiful tables, I casually walk over, pick up the guest's beverage, and put it on a coaster for him.

I am more direct with family members: "Put your drink on the coaster now." 🙂

I would do this too.  It really doesn't come off as rude.  It's just the hostess noticing a need and taking care of it without drawing attention to it.  Like noticing a spill or someone needs a refill etc.

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Normal, store bought coasters suck. They don't absorb the liquid from the glasses "sweating" or the glass sticks to the bottom and it falls off when you drink. I crochet coasters with cotton yarn. It absorbs the liquid and are easily washed. I made different colors so each person has their own. I made a set of four for my MIL and she requested four more. Said all her friends loved them and wanted to know where she got them.

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No coasters here. We mostly use Yetis that don't sweat, and I don't care about imperfections on my furniture. There are some rings on my coffee table from my kids and their hot bowls of soup, but I actually like those - they remind me of all the good times we've had sitting around that table.

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Only I use a coaster regularly, and only at the kitchen table which is pretty impervious and old enough that no one cares. HOWEVER, I tend to nurse an iced drink - coffee, tea, or water all day and simultaneously have lots of papers out that I'm using for planning or grading or sorting or whatever and I've had to carefully hand dry often enough in the past that I now use a nice, absorbent, crocheted-by-grandma coaster. Always.

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3 hours ago, barnwife said:

I did not grow up using coasters. But we only had drinks in the kitchen, and our table wasn't super nice. Heck, it's the same table my mom still uses and I can't tell that coasters haven't been used.
For me, coasters feel like one more thing to keep track of and deal with and have to move when cleaning. Of course, we only allow drinks in the kitchen, so it's not a big deal.

As for putting a guest's drink on a coaster for them, that would seem extremely rude to me. It would come across as treating someone like a child. I'd rather you hand me the coaster and say something like, "Oh, would you mind putting this under your glass?" (FWIW, I do look for coasters in other people's houses. If I don't use one, it's because I don't see one. So you handing me one wouldn't bother me at all.)

I should mention that I am sure Ellie has fabulous manners, and that she manages to do such a thing gracefully. I just commented because I like to read about other people's experiences.
 

My house. I'm not going to sacrifice the finish on my tables for the sake of being polite. And also, it isn't rude for me to casually walk over and put the guest's drink on a coaster while I'm casually chatting, as if of course the guest would have put her coffee on the coaster but she had just overlooked it.

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I don't even own coasters. I thought they went out of use with antimacassars and such. 😉

Or maybe I just have such cr@ppy furniture that it can't be ruined by a drink ring. 

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10 minutes ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

We have them and use them.   They work,  they are necessary since my furniture is antique and I do not want it ruined with water marks from glasses and coffee cups. 

Ditto. We aren't exactly living in a gallery at Winterthur or anything, but our furniture is almost entirely old family stuff, and I love it. It tells our history, in its own way. Every once in a while something happens which adds to our recorded history 😉, mind, but since earlier generations tried to look after it, I do too. Coasters are everywhere. 

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We use insulated cups so no coasters are needed. However, both end tables have miniature quilts on them so when guests come their drinks will go on the mini quilts, which have always protected our tables just fine.  Usually guests drink from a Dasani water bottle, can of soda, or a drink in a regular glass. So without the mini quilt, the table probably would have marks. 

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For a while (before I added two babies to the family) I had a family room that didn't need them.  I had a sectional and a fantastic midcentury round marble coffee table.  But the sectional got ruined and tiny head bumps from babies growing into toddlers might turn into hospital trips if they were on marble and chrome instead of the ugly carpeted floor.  So now I have a console table behind one sofa and an end table behind one chair and a higher shelf on a bookshelf and a spot on the mantle with coasters on them.  Someday the littles will be old enough to trust to not kill themselves on marble and I'll have to evaluate whether we're done having kids and pull the table out of the basement and put it back into a family space.

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For us it depends on the surface the hot or cold item is placed on.  Most surfaces in my house do not need protection from a beverage container.  Some do.  Basically any bare wooden table top.  Coasters also offer some stability if I'm putting my coffee mug on a soft surface.

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I voted that they are 100% useful, but I don't exactly force friends/family to use them. If anyone is using a regular glass, I'll just saunter on over and slide a coaster under their drink. It's less to preserve the furniture (although, of course, that is an issue) but more because those left-behind waterblobs make me crazy and will run across the table onto books or magazines, etc.

But, really, only guests are using those glasses. The kids usually drink non-iced water from their water bottles or sparkling water from the can/bottle itself or we all have Yetis for ice drinks that would normally sweat onto furniture.

If anyone around these parts dares set a drink (of any type) on a BOOK, though... the S#!+'s gonna hit the fan. No sirree. Not on my watch. 🦸‍♀️

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In my own house, it depends on the age of the furniture. If it's showing its age, I don't get upset if no coasters are used. In someone else's house, I always look for one and will ask before setting a drink on any surface other than a kitchen counter.

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