Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Five Things to Consider When Shopping for Your Next Dining Room Table

A dining table is often the communal centrepiece of your home. While the living room might be the place where everyone congregates to crash out in front of a box set or a film, the dining room is a place for conversation.

It’s where the whole family gathers to share meals and stories about their day, make plans, solve problems and simply enjoy each other’s company. A dining table is often also a pivotal part of entertaining, when you host friends and family for celebratory meals and dinner parties.

In short, food and socialising are inextricably linked. But you also need a place to sit and share a meal. That’s why a dining table is such a key feature in so many homes.

If you are thinking about buying a new dining table, it’s a decision you should take some time over. It’s a big investment after
all, and one that will have a big role to play in your home for years to come.

Here are five things to consider when choosing the perfect dining table for your home.

Build quality

You want a dining table to last many years. It may be used once, twice, maybe three times a day, day in, day out for years on end. That’s thousands of meals served, thousands of pieces of crockery and cookware placed on it, thousands of pieces of cutlery to scrape at its surface. You want it to stand up to all that use. You don’t want a table that starts to creak or crack or look tired after only a few short years.

Premium quality craftsmanship is a guarantee of durability. As with all luxury home furniture, the better the build quality, the longer your dining table will last. It’s worth investing a little more in a top quality table as you will get value from it in the longer term.


Hand in hand with build quality are the materials a dining table is made from. Again, it’s a case of getting what you pay for in terms of longevity and durability. Pre-pack MDF furniture is affordable and utilitarian. But it has a much shorter lifespan. Whatever you pay for an MDF dining table, you will probably have to spend again in five years.

Softwood like pine is an upgrade on MDF and will withstand the test of time much better. But pinewood furniture often needs regular maintenance in the form of varnishing and polishing to keep it at its best. If it comes with a protective lacquer, that will eventually chip and scratch.

To guarantee years of use with minimum deterioration and maintenance requirements, it’s well worth considering investing in a hardwood dining table. Hardwoods like oak, maple and teak are premium materials for furniture, they are hard wearing and maintain their appearance even under heavy use.

Size and shape

The size and shape of your dining table will largely be dictated by the size of your dining room or whatever space you want to have your table in. But different shaped dining tables are also slightly better suited to different purposes.

For example, if you have the room, large rectangular dining tables are best for entertaining large groups. Square tables work well if you have limited space or if you are only concerned with having dining space for a family of four or less. Round tables are similarly handy for compact spaces and also provide an intimate dining experience that is great for conversation.


When you buy a new dining table, you have the option of buying new chairs to match or sticking with ones you already have. Buying matching chairs does add considerably to the price you’ll have to pay. A set of six chairs with a table is likely to double the cost of a table alone.

On the other hand, if you want to stick with chairs you already have, you will probably have to do more work looking for a table that matches. It’s also worth noting that chairs tend to deteriorate sooner than tables. The stress from people sitting on them wears out joints over time and makes them ricketty. So if you think it’s time to upgrade your dining table, it’s a good idea to give your chairs a thorough once over to see what kind of condition they are in.


Finally, you will get even more value from your dining table if you can use it for multiple purposes. The classic example is buying an extendable table that you can add to when you have guests round and need to seat more people. Extendable tables mean you can save space until you need the larger size.

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