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dining tables

Dining Tables Buying Guide

Your dining space influences the way you dine. An expansive dining room creates more hosting opportunities, as well as a chance to show off to extended family and friends. A practical round kitchen dining table has a homely feel and is the perfect place to serve up family meals and help the kids with homework. If compact living is your thing, you may simply want to make do with a bar table and stools and use the rest of the space more effectively.

So, what's your dining table dilemma, and how can we help solve it?

How big should my table be? How many will it sit?

Before you start daydreaming about high-class dinner parties for thirty guests, measure the room and see how big your table can be. You'll want enough room to comfortably walk around all sides (while your guests are seated), and for your guests to be able to pull out their chairs to sit down.

Factor in your other furniture, as well, or else your sideboard or display cabinet will be living in the hallway. Measure the furniture and your room - and don't forget to include your skirting boards and radiators in your calculations.


So, with what's left, how many people can you sit?

Again, it depends - sorry, no simple answers! - this time on your dining chairs. However wide your chairs are, add another 15cm. This gives everyone some elbow room. If you're getting a rectangular table and plan to seat people at either end, allow 30cm for each end. Finally, check where the legs fall on your table to make sure they aren't obstructing the chairs, unless you don't mind someone's dinner going in their lap. (There are more chair dimensions to consider, so check out our dining chair guide to find out more.)

Always, always check before going ahead, but roughly speaking:

  • For two people, a 60-70cm square table will do
  • For four, try a 90cm square, 110cm round or 100cm x 75cm
  • You should be able to seat six to eight at a 150-180cm x 75cm table
  • Hosting eight to ten? 200cm x 75cm should be about right

Benefits of an extending table

Extending tables are tables which extend to seat more people when the occasion calls for it. They come in a range of sizes, so there are small options for compact living and large options for hosting big family occasions.

Extendable tables may use a range of different mechanisms in order to extend.

  • Table with extension leaf - an extra bit of wood called an extension leaf is attached to the end of the table. This option is cost effective, but bear in mind you'll need a safe place to store the leaf when not in use in order to prevent it from breaking or warping. In addition, the leaf won't be able to take as much weight because it is situated at the end of the table
  • Butterfly leaf tables - these tables have one or two butterfly leaves which are concealed underneath the table. The table opens outwards from the centre and the butterfly leaf or leaves fit in the middle
  • Moving leg tables - these tables have legs which move outwards, leaving a gap in the centre of the table which is filled in with a leaf. Please note that you will need to lift and carry the legs outwards, which will require more strength than other types of extending table
  • Radial tables - generally round, these tables extend outwards from the middle when turned. Not only does this action look great, but the table generally requires less effort to extend
dining tables
dining tables
dining tables

What style should I have?

We do our best to cater for all sorts of different styles. For inspiration, explore our showrooms; for advice, speak to our sales experts instore or over the phone on 0333 200 1552. If you just need a few pointers to send you on your way:

  • Oak is a popular material, in particular for more rustic style ranges, and is sturdy and versatile enough to survive a few style swaps
  • For the farmhouse look, look out for white or grey painted tables with wood finish tops. Pedestal or cross bases often complete this look, but standard four-leg tables are available, too
  • Dark wood tables have a more opulent look and can be glammed up with a metal base
  • Ceramic, glass, stone and high gloss tables are fantastic for a modern abode. Be prepared for some extra cleaning, though, as it takes a bit of elbow grease to remove any marks

Speak to an expert

Still unsure about what to purchase? Why not speak to one of our sales experts, either in store or on the phone on 0333 200 1552.


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