The best dining table is one that’s functional, beautiful, and within budget. It must be strongly constructed, fit perfectly within the space, and come in a style that you’ll love for years.
Therefore, when buying a dining table, appearance alone isn’t enough. A good table lasts at least ten years.
Another critical factor is suitability. The best interior designers say one way to tell if you’re picking the right option is to imagine sitting at the table five years from now. Will you feel comfortable? Or perhaps the table will be scratched beyond recognition by then? You can tell that a table is not fit for purpose by checking whether it has nicks and scratches.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together this simple dining table buying guide. The seven tips will allow you to choose a dining table that matches your home, lifestyle, and taste without skimping on quality.
When selecting furniture, size is perhaps the most important consideration. Do you even have room for a dining table in the first place? Or could you do with an alternative solution? And if you do, how big a table can you fit into the area?
The only way to find out is to get your tape measure to determine how much space you have. The rule of thumb is to leave a three feet clearance (or more) around the edges of the table. This provides enough room to walk around the room. So, measure the space available and deduct three feet at every edge to determine the most suitable table size.
Another sizing consideration to keep in mind is that each person on the table requires 22 to 24 inches, with larger-scale chairs requiring more.
2. Choose a shape
Often, you’ll find that the available space has a massive impact on the most fitting dining room table. If you have a small space, then a 36-44-inch square table would be just fine. Such a table can host up to four people. Alternatively, consider a round-edged table with a diameter of 36-48 inches. Round shapes make spaces feel less cramped.
Not many people love triangles, but it’s another excellent chape for dining room tables in smaller rooms. Indeed, a perfect triangle 36-48 inches on each side can host up to six people – two more than the square table.
You’re probably wondering why we haven’t mentioned rectangular-shaped tables yet. That’s because they are best suited to a larger room. Oval and larger circles are other shapes that work excellently in larger spaces. Obviously, the size will depend on the number of users.
3. Consider style
You likely have a theme within the dining room that you’d like to keep or complement. Or perhaps you’re getting the table to set the tone for a particular theme. Whichever the case, you’ll need to shop with the pre-selected style in mind,
For example, if you’re fixated on creating a farmhouse theme, you need to bring in a farmhouse-style table. Farmhouse-style dining tables are bulky and characterized by exposed wooden surfaces. They also feature plenty of carvings. Alternatively, you can opt for classic or period-style tables. These are distinctive, featuring elements such as curbed cabriole legs, embellishments, and shaped aprons.
Other common dining rooms styles are modern/contemporary and industrial. Modern furniture is simple with straight edges and clean lines, whereas industrial units are rustic.
4. Material and finishes
Dining room tables come in endless materials and finishes. Wood, which is the most popular material, is perhaps the easiest to maintain. Wooden tables are also fairly affordable compared to other materials.
Hardwoods are some of the best options for dining room tables as they’re more durable and resistant to impact, although they are also the most expensive. Walnut, mahogany, oak, and teak are all excellent choices.
Granite, quartz, glass, and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) are two other excellent materials. Glass tables are reflective, thus add a lighter and brighter feel to the room. They are also easy to clean. The only downside is that they can get chipped easily. Granite and quartz are also very elegant and make exceptional choices for contemporary interiors. MDF mainly stands out for its resemblance to wood and ease of maintenance.
Don’t Forget About Usage
A dining table is only useful if it fulfills its purpose. So, think about your needs. For example, if you’re buying a table for the entire family, it must be sturdy and large enough. However, if you don’t expect a lot of traffic, you can get away with a more decorative finish, such as a patterned veneer finished tabletop.