Choosing a dining table for your dining room can be deceptively difficult. There are many different aspects you need to consider beforehand to ensure the table matches stylistically and practically within your space. Aspects like the construction, size, and style are core elements that you should carefully consider before choosing any modern dining table. To help you in your search, here’s how to choose the perfect dining table for your home.
Measure the Space
Naturally, the best place to start is by surveying your dining room and getting an idea of how much space you have to work with. This is where a measuring tape will become your best tool, as it allows you to thoroughly and accurately measure the dimensions of the room. You can use these dimensions to make a comparison to the dimensions of the dining table you’re considering. When considering the size of the table for the room, you also want to reserve at least 3 feet of open space around the table so that individuals can easily navigate around the table and seat themselves comfortably. A good rule of thumb is to measure the length and width of your potential dining table and then subtract 6 feet to get the ideal target width and length.
Something else to consider is that dining room tables will feel much larger or heavier than they are if you choose a bulky or dark design for small homes or apartments. So, even if a table may technically fit in the allotted space, the “visual weight” of the table may make your dining room still feel claustrophobic.
A good method of visualizing how a table may look in your dining room is to block out the length and width of the floor using painter’s tape. This can provide a handy visual reference that may help you get a better sense of how truly large or small a table is in comparison to the assumptions in your mind. You can also consider finding a dining table that has leaves so that you can extend the table as needed but is otherwise a more pleasing size for the room.
Lastly, we should just touch on the shape of the room and the dining table. You want to avoid having a round table in a rectangular room or a rectangular table in a square room. These will make the space look crowded or too open, as two sides of the table have either less space or far more space than necessary. Instead, some good options include an oval table in a rectangular room or a round table in a square room. Likewise, a square or rectangular in a matching room shape is always a safe bet.
Consider the Table Supports
An often-overlooked aspect of how to choose the perfect dining table is what kind of supports your potential dining tables have. In particular, there are three kinds: pedestals, trestles, and legs. This is important because the type of support plays a factor in how many seats you can comfortably fit at the table.
Dining tables with legs at the corners are likely the most common, and they’re a solid choice for being the least intrusive when it comes to leg space. However, because the legs are at each corner, your table will be less flexible with adding an extra chair, which is often restricting depending on the length of the table. You’ll often see pedestals more frequently on circle or oval tables so that seats can be consistently placed around the entire perimeter of the table.
Trestle tables are a compromise between the two. They generally allow for greater flexibility along the length of the dining table, but there is often no way to include chairs at the ends of trestle-supported tables.
Choosing Table Materials
The materials you choose for your dining room table have a huge impact on both its quality and style. You’ll want to find a comfortable balance between cost, ease of care, and your own personal preferences so that you don’t end up with any regrets. For your consideration, take a look at this brief overview of the most common table materials.
A very classic choice, this is a solid material because of how durable and easy to repair it is. Not only does wood provide a very natural and rustic feel, but you can also choose a wide variety of colors and grain patterns from the different kinds of trees. The most popular types of solid wood include pine, acacia, mango, and teak. While wood is fairly easy to repair, one of the challenges it presents is that it contracts and expands with heat and humidity and can be easily scratched.
This includes tabletops of marble, quartz composite, or simply cast stone. Quartz and marble are popular for more elegant and higher-end tables, as they provide a unique design for each table. The biggest challenge with a stone look is that the materials are porous and can thus easily stain.
Available in clear, frosted, or tinted versions, glass tabletops create a feeling of spaciousness that can help a small dining room feel larger. Glass dining tables are a modern choice that capitalizes on minimalist designs. Glass tables can last a very long time as long as they’re cared for properly, but scratches and chips will be incredibly visible.
Quality of Construction
Once you take your choices and considerations into account, you’ll want to look for a dining table that uses your chosen materials and features high-quality construction. A good table is sturdy and durable, with an equally durable finish that can withstand heavy use while showing little obvious wear. Since many people buy furniture online these days, it’s always a good idea to refer to customer reviews who have experienced the table for themselves. This is the best way to get an unbiased third-party review of the table you’re considering, as it will give you a good indication of how well the table is made.