For what it's worth, I don't have traditional art tables in my room at all (elementary). I opted years ago to use old lunchroom tables in my classroom, for a variety of reasons. First, I can seat a lot of kids at each table if necessary--although I really have comfortable room for eight at each. Second, because the tables are old and have been replaced in the lunchroom with new models, I have zero investment involved, either for my budget or the school's, for that matter. Third, I don't worry about getting an occasional scratch on them, because they usually come to me that way! Fourth, the maintenance people love them because they fold up and roll out of the room for cleaning. Fifth, the lack of chairs cuts down on the noise tremendously and makes seating assignments a simple process. Sixth, these tables are easy to cover for really messy projects, because an old roll of mural paper or table cover is easy to roll out in a jiffy and easy to discard (eliminates newspaper
altogether). The beauty of the whole thing is that I usually can get a new used set of tables every few years or so, to boot!