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Dining Table Buyers Guide

May 19, 2017
Dining Table Buyers Guide

The Dining room acts as one of the main focal points of a home that often becomes a social hub at meal times.

It’s a place to spend some of the most important times in your life with loved ones; celebrating special occasions, holidays and more importantly – quality time together. As such a dining table needs to not only be stylish, but also hard wearing. It should be made from good quality materials, built well and long lasting.

If you are thinking about buying a new dining table but you’re not sure where to start, the process may be a lot less complicated than you think.

We have compiled a comprehensive guide to assist you in understanding what to look for when researching tables so you can make the right choice. Our guide takes you through some simple steps and lists what to consider (such as measurements, style, space, and the size of your family), along with an overview of the different types and most popular styles. Purchasing a new dining table for your family home has never been easier with our handy hints below.

Measure Your Dining Area

As is the case whenever you buy larger sized furniture, make sure you measure your room like a pro. It may seem like a chore, but it's an essential part of the process that will also assist you to determine exactly what size table will best fit your space.

Step 1: Start by measuring the size or the area you have available with a tape measure. Measure the width and length of the space you intend to put your table, and tape off the measurements on your floor with masking tape to give you a better idea of what the room will look like with a table in-situ.

Step 2: Next, measure the clearance from the edge of the table to the wall. You will require a minimum clearance of 760mm of space to allow enough room to pass by. don’t want to be cramped in your new dining room!

Determine What Space You Have

After measuring and marking off your soon-to-be table space you’ll have a better idea of what type of table you should be considering for you room. Larger or traditional dining areas can usually afford to have a longer, horizontal shaped dining table whereas smaller eating areas do better with rounded four seater tables. For middle of the road spaces, try using a drop-leaf or extendable table which you can make larger or smaller depending on your amount of guests.

Always Check for Faults

As always when buying a new piece of furniture, you’ll want to do a thorough check on the piece to make sure there are no cracks, wobbly legs, scratches, chips, or missing pieces. Be sure to check the legs on the chairs if your dining selection comes in a set.

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Consider the Materials and Finishes

"Wood is very traditional and classic but glass can work well in many different living rooms, and gives off a lightness because of its reflective surface, where as wood may feel heavy. Marble can feel like a dining room show stopper and can be exactly what your dining room needs. It's just important to keep an open mind!" - Lauren Fleming, American Freight Furniture

The materials and finishes for your table will vary depending on your family. If you are a couple, you can have your pick, however, if you have a family of small children you will require something that's easily wipe-able that won't scratch or stain easily.


Marble looks beautiful but is porous and can easily stain or discolour from heat. It would need to be sealed and protected with placemats. Not a suitable for a family with small children, but great for a couple.

View Marble Dining Tables.


When it comes to wood opt for hardwood such as oak, walnut, maple, teak or mahogany. Woods do need to be sealed and can split of not cared for properly. However, if looked after they will last a long time. Wood can also be sanded and re-sealed for a whole new lease of life. If opting for choose a timber that contrasts to your floor.

View Wood Dining Tables.


Be mindful that veneer has the appearance of solid wood but consists of a layer applied to a composite board such as MDF. If an veneer scratches, depending how thick the layer is, you may be able to see the composite wood below and there is no fix for this. So not the best option for growing families but great for couples on a budget.

View Veneer Dining Tables.


(Medium Density Fiberboard) is made from a mix of hard and soft wood chip particles that have been compressed. It is reasonably heard-wearing but not as strong as hardwood. The advantage is however, that MDF won't contract or expand like natural wood can. They are usually finished with a laminate which is easy to clean but like veneer can scratch over time.

View MDF Dining Tables.


A glass dining table must be made of tempered safety glass so that if it breaks it doesn't shatter and will be less likely to scratch. It's important to not glass edges can be quite sharp so having a beveled edge can help to reduce this, better still a round or oval shape would be a safer option. As glass is reflective it can be a good option for darker space that need to appear a little brighter.

View Glass Dining Tables.

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Buy for Your Style

Having an eclectic taste is great if you feel confident on how to blend styles together. However, if in doubt it's best to choose a dining table that works back with your style of home and compliments the rest of your decor.

It may feel difficult to choose a style to match with your current décor at first, especially if you are working within an eat-in-kitchen, but rest assured with so many different designs available on the market, finding the right dining table is easy once you have a basic understanding of the different styles.

There are so many unique styles to choose from including but not limited to;

  • Classic
  • Contemporary
  • Traditional
  • Mid-Century Modern
  • Scandinavian
  • Industrial
  • French Provincial
  • Hampton's Style

There are some simple rules for decorating when it comes to choosing your table style, just keep an eye out for the characteristics that match your look. Below we highlight the elements of some of the most popular styles.

Scandinavian Style

If you are styling a Scandinavian dining area, choose pieces that simple and sleek. This style tends to 'borrow' from the Mid-century Modern look, however, in the form of white or blonde timbers only.

Mid Century Modern Style

This style combines traditional materials, such as wood, with non-traditional materials such as metal, glass, vinyl, plywood or Plexiglass in a vast range of color, ranging from a neutral palette to bold, and a graphic use of black and white.

Industrial Style

This highly functional and hard-wearing style has a very raw, utilitarian feel. It showcases vintage, recycled looking objects in neutral tones with timber and metal surfaces.

French Provincial

A look that stems from the picturesque quaint farmhouses and fragrant lavender fields of France, the characteristics of this style is somewhat rustic and practical but is blended with a refined elegance such as Baroque elements. Think 'distressed', light coloured or painted white timber with carved wood legs and shapely lines.

Hampton's Style

The Hampton's Style has risen from the popular coastal area of Long Island, New York. This style is timeless; encompassing a 'classy', 'beachy' vibe with a relaxed neutral palette.

Hampton's style shows some similarities to French Provincial but is less ornate and delicate. Think heavy solid oaks or wicker or cane that reflects a more coastal vibe.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wish list of products, then be sure and check out our Dining Tables products range.

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