The dining table is one of the most important furniture choices that you will make for your home.
It is where you can gather family and friends to share a meal together, whether it’s a weekday dinner or to celebrate a special occasion.
Children are likely to use the dining table to do their homework and it can even be used as a makeshift office if you work from home.
No matter your individual needs, there are some essential criteria to meet when you are choosing your dining room table.
The shape of the table
The shape of the table is often dictated by the shape and size of the room – whether that is your dining room or open plan kitchen.
If you choose a rectangular dining room table, make sure that you think about the width of the table. If you enjoy entertaining, make sure there is enough table space for serving dishes.
A round or oval dining table is ideal for smaller spaces as the design takes up less space.
Circular tables allow all the diners to have an equal seating and view and this immediately creates a more relaxed, informal setting. It’s easier to talk at a circular table, making this ideal for dinner parties and special occasions.
A square dining table will fit more easily in a smaller room, but you should bear in mind that not all the chairs will be able to be tucked under the table all the way.
Square tables are great for couples or mates with little room to spare. If you have a small number of people in your home, square tables are also practical – a large rectangular table might feel unnecessary and also take up too much space.
The material the table is made from
The type of material that you choose for your dining table depends on your budget, needs and the style you are going for.
Some of the most popular materials used to make dining tables are:
Wood is the traditional dining table material simply because it looks good, it’s strong and also easy to repair.
Wood does expand and contract in different temperatures and can show general wear and tear over time.
There are many different types of wood available and each has different qualities and characteristics.
Choose a veneer that looks like wood for a cheaper, durable alternative. A good veneer will have clearly labelled core materials.
Stone is strong and heavy, but some stone can crack or chip so make sure you research the different types before you buy.
Stone can vary enormously in price and look – cement topped tables are ideal for an industrial style in your home and they are cheaper than opulent marble-topped tables.
Glass topped tables can create a feeling of light, open space, making a room instantly feel larger.
A glass table shows every fingerprint and smear, so you will be a slave to the cleaning spray if you have children in the house!
Metal can also show every fingerprint – but it is very hygienic which is why is is used in professional food preparation areas.
Laminate and plastics
Laminate and plastic tables are not the best choice if you want a long lasting and durable dining room table, however, due to their low cost and easy to wipe surface, they are popular for communal dining in canteens or for conference tables.
If you want to choose a striking design and change the table in a couple of years, laminate is a wise choice as it is inexpensive.