How to Buy a Dining or Kitchen Table

dining table west elm box frame expandable

We spent 40 hours researching why it is a good eating table-including interviewing a grasp furniture restorer, an inside developer, and four more industry experts-as well as reading a large number of articles and taking a look at hundreds of furniture online (and 50 to get). Our buyer’s guide shall help you determine the right size, shape, and design of the table for your space, and the actual desk’s construction and materials can inform you of its longevity. We also recommend 16 kitchen tables that we think offer an exceptional mixture of quality construction and materials, attractive design, and a good price.

Our picks include small dining or kitchen table for just two to four people, drop-leaf tables apartment-friendly, expandable desks, and dining-room-worthy models designed to chair up to 10. We centered on tables under $1,000 (and perhaps significantly less) to find affordable options for first-time homeowners, renters, family members with destruction-prone kids, and other people who are probably not ready to buy their “permanently” table. Obviously, you can spend more always, but the benefits we have spoken with decided that to get more than $1,000 you’re spending money on the brand or pricier materials often. The majority of our picks are constructed of either solid high-quality or wood veneer, but we feature furniture manufactured from marble also, glass, and metallic. Whether you’re purchasing new or used regardless, online or in a store, our goal is to help you buy a table that is wonderful for your lifestyle for quite some time to come.

The best dining or kitchen table for you shall be the one which works for your budget, offers solid construction, fits your space, and has a method you’ll love for a long time. If you’re not considering permanently at this time even, you will probably have a table for at least five to a decade. “Five years is not a very long time,” said Pourny. “If it’s your first desk, you may utilize it else after a few years somewhere, so you want it to be durable and simple and a style you’ll like for a while.” So a little, well-made table might find an accepted place in your house for years to come. Here will be the factors you should think about before buying a desk for your home.


The number-one rule: Your dining table has to fit in your dining area! But a dining table is a deceptively large piece of furniture, and you need to account for space around it, too.

To visualize how a bigger piece of furniture will look in your room, take the time to block out the length and width on the floor (such as with painter’s tape), and also the height of the kitchen table.

“In addition to the footprint of the desk, you’ll want 3 feet of breathing room on all sides-and more is better!-to comfortably sit in a chair and move around the space,” said Harris. So whether your eating area is part of a multiuse space (such as a great room that you’re dividing into living and dining areas) or you have a separate dining room, start by measuring the space and width of the space you can dedicate to the table. Then subtract about 6 ft from those two measurements to get a target dining table length and width. Next, think about how you’re going to use the table and how many people will typically sit at the kitchen table. “Figure that each place at the table needs 22 to 24 inches of desk space and that larger-scale chairs will require more,” said Dyer. These are the general dimensions you can expect:

To seat … Try …
1 or 2 people 30- to 36-inch round or square table
30- to 36-inch oval or rectangular table
4 people 36- to 48-inch round or square table
36- to 48-inch oval or rectangular table
6 people 60-inch round or square table
72-inch oval or rectangular table
8 people 72-inch round or square table
96-inch oval or rectangular table
10 people Round or square tables not advised
120-inch oval or rectangular table

Like a longtime apartment dweller, I’ve discovered that the “visual weight” of a bit of furniture really can influence what size it feels in a room. It may fit technically, but it’ll appear huge if it’s a dark or heavy piece or if it’s too near to other furniture. To imagine what sort of bigger furniture piece shall look in your room, take time to block out space and width on to the floor (such much like painter’s tape), and the height of the table also. I stand on my tape corners with a tape measure and then make an effort to complete that space with similar-size furniture (just like a couple of seats), and I have a step back again to observe how to feel it’ll. It also really helps to have a close friend stand there with the tape measure when you take a glance. In case your desk won’t have a complete lot of room to breathe because of other furniture close by, consider a desk with a leaner framework or lighter-colored materials.

A dining table is a large piece of furniture deceptively, and you will need to take into account space around it.

If you’re limited on space, consider options such as leaves that permit the table to expand. “These enable you to customize the desk for different entertainment parties and needs sizes,” said Mahoney. The thing Pourny warned against was way too many systems or leaves which were attached or concealed within the table (versus stand-alone leaves). “In the event that you buy things that are too complicated, it’s just more chance for something to fail,” he informed us. The sturdiest growth dining tables shall be those where in fact the leaves are solid, separate models that you put on the bottom once you’ve opened up the desk (pitched against a flip-up or butterfly style). In the event that you intend to use your table very on weeknights versus weekends in a different way, expansion desks can be considered a great option. And don’t just forget about considerations for moving your table into the home, to begin with. Range out any certain area the desk must travel through, including doorways, hallways, and hard becomes an available room that will limit your maneuverability. “Measure everything first, and treat the delivery team who brings your furniture well!” said Dyer.


“The shape of the room gets say first since some tables do not work using rooms simply,” Dyer told us. Tabletops come in two main forms family members, square/rectangular or round/oval. Ideally, you want your desk to proportionately fill up your space, if you have a rectangular room, try an oval or rectangular kitchen table; if your available space is more square, a square or circular desk shall look better.

A rectangular or oval-shaped table might look out of proportion in a square room. Illustration: Michael Hession

For a square room, look for a square or round table. Illustration: Michael Hession

For a rectangular room, look for a rectangular- or oval-shaped table. Illustration: Michael Hession

A round or square table can seem to float awkwardly in a rectangular room. Illustration: Michael Hession

A rectangular or oval-shaped table might look out of proportion in a square room. Illustration: Michael Hession

Square or rectangular tables will be the most common, so you’ll find the most options for the reason that category in conditions of styles, sizes, and extensions. But an oval or round desk can provide you a bit more space to go around, since it cuts off the corners but offers a good surface still. “For tighter rectangular areas, the oval maybe your best option,” said Dyer. Harris added, “Circular or oval furniture can be ideal for celebrations and discussion because there’s no relative mind of the table, too.” For squeezing people in, you’re limited only by the perimeter of the table-but you can lose just a little space for providing pieces after you have all of your place configurations at a circular or oval desk.


The base-usually legs, a pedestal, or an effect be had by a trestle-can about how many people you can fit at the table. “You want to make sure the lower leg space isn’t being invaded by the facilitates,” said Hirschhaut. When a kitchen table is seen by you personally, sit down at it to find out if your hip and legs strike the table’s legs; also verify if you have sufficient space for your legs when you scoot in every the real way, and when you can mix your hip and legs underneath the desk. The apron-the framework that keeps the tabletop up-can lessen your room to go.

Illustration: Michael Hession

If you wish to become more flexible in adding supper guests, focus on the calf width and where in fact the legs are put. “Generally, a desk with thinner hip and legs, or where the legs are in the corners, can make it simpler to squeeze a supplementary seat in,” said Harris. So that as Dyer mentioned, take note: “A knee table is generally limited by how long it could be prolonged without bowing in the centre.” An extremely large-scale desk may have two pedestals or a trestle foundation to aid it, but a four-leg table that stretches far out could easily get unstable really. Having a trestle or pedestal table, you have significantly more flexibility to include more folks to the desk. “A center foundation is your best option to press people in,” said Harris. Pourny told us he was cautious with larger circular pedestal-style dining tables because they maybe just a little less sturdy when compared to a four-leg table. “You need to be in a position to slim on it and dine onto it every full day without it tipping over,” he said. Trestle desks can provide you versatility along the edges of the desk but can limit the area at the ends of the table. Dyer said, “The task with the trestle desk is that there may be places along with the desk where a seat is straddling the bottom.” This example can be less comfortable and make pressing in seats impossible. But Pourny informed us he liked this style because it’s durable and rooted in classic furniture. Look carefully at how much space design has between your advantage of the table and where in fact the trestle helps are mounted on be sure you have space for your legs.




“If it’s good wood, in 10 years you can strip it and you’ll still have something to work with.” —Christophe Pourny

Solid wood is a classic material because it is easy and durable to repair. Pine, acacia, mango, and teak are less costly woods that have become popular now. Different woods have different hardnesses-pine is a lot softer than acacia, for example, which is softer than walnut. “Wood is typically the most popular, though it’s usually the priciest,” said Hirschhaut. Manufacturers have been attempting to get the price tag on wood down-IKEA, for just one, has an unfinished solid-pine table for just $70, but a larger-scale one from a different retailer can cost $1,000 or even more.

“There’s been a move from dark staining and back again toward very natural materials and real wood species that individuals recognize,” said Dyer. Predistressed items with rustic surface finishes can wear a little better under abuse from little kids.

Solid wood agreements and expands with warmth and humidity and can show scrapes and wear, but is easy to repair fairly. “If it’s good timber, in a decade you can remove it and you’ll have something to utilize still,” said Pourny. Moisture and temperature may damage the end, so “anticipate to protect [the] tabletop with pads, cloths, trivets or mats,” added Hirschhaut.


Solid wood veneer is a more economical option to wood often. To create a wood veneer, a producer glues an extremely thin coating of solid wood (or material printed to appear to be solid wood) to a plywood or other real wood core. With regards to the manufacturer and the materials, wood-veneer pieces can be as durable as solid wood-or quite flimsy just. “Generally, a veneer is utilized to achieve 1 of 2 goals: an ornamental patterned top (for better goods) or even to appear as wood (to lessen costs by utilizing a cheaper substrate beneath it),” said Dyer. “A well-made veneer is a little thicker (1/36″ or higher) and can use multilayer, cross-banded plywood as the primary that it’s glued to.”

Harris told us that she found good timber veneer to be just like stable as solid wood. To recognize good veneer, you should look for tables with labeled core interiors clearly, such as kiln-dried wood. “A lesser quality veneer, however, will be very slim, poorly printed, and you will be put on multi-density fiberboard (MDF) or particle table,” said Dyer. Harris decided a veneer put into composite hardwood, which is manufactured out of fiberboard or other reconstituted wood-pulp-based materials, is less durable and vulnerable to delaminating (where the veneer detaches from the bottom). avoid these lower-quality products “To, avoid cores created from particleboard or MDF and appearance out for phrases like ‘all wood,’ which can make reference to anything produced from wood-like newspaper-or ‘designed solid wood,’ which often means everything from real wood composites to artificial resins,” said Dyer. You will probably pay under $500 for a more affordable veneer, but the higher-end ones go into the thousands.

Another real way to identify cheaper veneers is to look within the table at the store. “If the outside is finished just, however the underneath appears like different materials, the maker is trimming costs,” said Dyer. Look along the desk’s outside sides also. “On the solid-wood table, or one with a good veneer, the timber grain shall run yet path, of changing direction instead,” Dyer mentioned. Russell pointed out another concern: “Avoid products that appear too cheap, and make sure particleboard says it’s CARB compliant, this means it’s approved emissions tests.” And you may always ask the salesperson precisely what the table is manufactured of-if they’re uncertain, that’s a red flag, said, Dyer. You can usually touch up a good wood veneer with a little of paint or stain, but much like wood, stay away from direct connection with dampness and warmth.

Stone and stone-look

Stone tabletops range from marble, quartz composite, or solid rock (like cement). are both natural and man-made options in the stone category “There, but it isn’t a large category in eating furniture,” Dyer informed us. Rock is durable, but it can be porous and can absorb staining easily. “Depending about how it’s made, it can chip or split,” said Hirschhaut, as soon as that happens, it could be impossible or tough to correct. Such tabletops can be quite heavy also. The price tag on rock can vary, too: Cement-topped items can be under $500, but marble-topped ones come across the thousands.


Cup tabletops can be clear, frosted, or tinted. They’re inexpensive and “can create a sense of space and openness relatively,” said Hirschhaut. Though glass isn’t vulnerable to dampness, it can chip, scrape, or split from heat. It shows every fingerprint also, which makes it a higher-maintenance material. A good cup tabletop can last years if you’re not too clumsy but will begin to look bad in a couple of years if you’re susceptible to chipping the sides or dragging plates over the table. You’ll find larger-scaled glass-topped furniture under $750.


Metal, including stainless, brass, zinc, and painted or lacquered variations of these, views use more for table bases than for tabletops frequently. “Metallic is durable rather than broken easily,” Hirschhaut informed us. But because it’s higher sparkle, every fingerprint is showed by it and can require special cleaning tools, which makes it a higher-maintenance option. And Harris has discovered that colored metals can be hard to correct: “In the event that you nick a high-gloss or lacquered desk, it’s hard to touch it up. I’ve experienced trying to match toenail polish to coatings to attempt to repair them.” Furniture using metallic can be less costly than wood furniture, though finding an all-metal kitchen table beyond utility furniture is rare.

Plastic and laminates

Man-made materials, either shaped into a form or glued onto plywood or another core, are a cheap option. “They are able to last a considerably long time but aren’t considered the nicest-quality materials,” mentioned Harris. These materials have a tendency to resist require and staining little upkeep, but appear cheap often.


A good dining table is well-made and sturdy, with a finish that withstands heavy use while suffering little apparent wear. “The materials are a significant part of good structure, but a desk is only as effective as the joinery,” said Dyer. Joinery is the industry term for the places where in fact the foundation and tabletop fit together-the more solid this fit is, the much longer the table shall last. “Wood is a superb material because a screw is held by it, as well as old-fashion bones like groove and tongue, dovetailing, tenon, and mortise or pegged tenons, dyer mentioned ”.

At a store, you can look within the floor test: Wood joined directly with solid wood is quite strong, whereas way too many hooks and attachments can weaken the construction. In general, the easier, the better. “Go through the connection factors where the legs meet up with the tabletops with the corners-if the items are beginning to separate, you observe spaces at the edges, or it’s wobbly when you move it, it’s not well-constructed,” cautioned Harris. “An excellent kitchen table must have some heft to it, you don’t want the hip and legs to be wobbly,” said Russell. And avoid really inexpensive furniture: They may be held as well as just staples and glue, which isn’t very sturdy.

On the top, look for tables with a “clean top,” suggested Mahoney, and prevent ones with deep grooves or “crumb catchers” (Russell’s phrase) among planks or in a distressed complete that might make sure they are harder to completely clean. Which includes areas where you may individual the desk to expand it. In general, the greater the moving parts-whether they’re intersections became a member of with screws or growth systems for leaves-the more opportunities for the table to breakdown. “The very best leaves will be the ones where you grab the desk and arranged the leaves directly on it,” said Pourny. many mechanisms-push this “Too, springtime that-can get difficult.”

This is the best solid-wood table we’ve found (that also comes with free shipping) for around $100. Purchasers say it’s sturdy and reasonably durable. Modern chairs would help tone down the country look.

Why it’s great: We didn’t see this Coaster butcher-block-style desk personally, but it is one of Amazon’s best retailers and has high customer reviews. Many buyers say it’s a durable and standard value. It’s one of the least expensive solid-wood dining tables we’ve found, and the purchase price includes delivery (through Amazon Primary), which makes it a good option if you would like an inexpensive solid wood table and don’t live near an IKEA store (or have an automobile to make it happen). The oak tabletop should become more durable than the pine IKEA uses on its solid-wood desks (though it will still dent and scrape easily). The tiny level works for a flat, as a kitchen desk, or as a table or art table even. The narrow, spaced hip and legs offer maximum seat capacity widely. You could firmness down the country-kitchen look by using newer chairs (or, down the relative line, painting the desk in fun colors). It will come in an unpainted version also.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: We didn’t test this table in person. However, many user commenters complain easily that the tabletop scrapes, which it’s a good fit to get more than two different people. Remember that unlike the IKEA Jokkmokk desk, this model’s price will not include the seats.

Buy From Amazon

When you have an ardent dining space, fill up it with a great-looking deck. This large-scale furniture (which range from 54 to 92 ins long) seat 6 to 8 comfortably, and you may chair more if you’re prepared to squeeze.

7pc Dining Table and Black Parson Chairs Set in Deep Cappuccino Finish

Product Feature:

  • 7pc Dining Table & Parson Chairs Set Cappuccino Finish
  • Dining and Kitchen
  • Dining and Kitchen->Dining Room Sets->Parsons
  • Some assembly may be required. Please see product details.

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Coaster Home Furnishings 9 Piece Counter Height Storage Dining Table w/Lazy Susan & Chair Set

9 Piece Counter Height Storage Dining Table

Product Feature:

  • Rich cappuccino finish
  • Contemporary style
  • Solid hardwoods
  • Wood veneer top
  • Storage base

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Classically styled marble and brass table

This model looks more timeless than other marble tables we considered, and the top will resist temperature changes and possibly chip less than wood, but it can also stain more.

Design Tree Home Versailles 42″ Marble Top Coffee Table with Stainless Steel Antique Brass/Gold Base

Coffee Table with Stainless

Product Feature:

  • HIGH QUALITY, DURABLE TABLE: All Design tree home products are made with high quality materials that will withstand the test of time
  • EASY TO CLEAN: This table is extremely easy to clean, and maintain. It’ll simplify and beautify any space you put it in
  • VERSATILE, EYE-CATCHING CHIC DESIGN: Featuring a durable marble top and a sturdy brass metal base, this table would be a great addition to any trendy home or office. Because of its simple yet elegant design, it can be incorporated into any room.

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Carol Modern Marble Coffee Table with Gold Finished Stainless Steel Frame

Gold Finished Stainless Steel Frame

Product Feature:

  • This modern coffee table is the perfect way to add some luxurious flare to any available room in your home. With a marble table top paired with a chic perfectly, modern gold completed stainless steel framework, this table has all the right flair and elements. The original body make it a perfect way to include some style and table space to your living room without dominating your sofa space. Today enjoy this table in your home.
  • Includes: One (1) Table. Material: Marble. Frame Material: Stainless Steel.
  • Table Top Finish: Marble. Frame Finish: Gold. No Assembly Required.
  • Dimensions: 23.80 inches deep x 35.62 inches wide x 16.50 inches high.

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Best big kitchen table

At over 92 ins just, this sturdy table is an excellent option for a big eating area. It’s cheaper than similar-size options and has cleaner lines than most rustic farmhouse furniture.

Homall 11 Pieces Patio Furniture Dining Set Patio Wicker Rattan Chair Sets Outdoor Furniture Cushioned Tempered Glass W/Ottoman Brown

Patio Furniture Dining Set

Best big kitchen table

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  1. Max Dyer, vice president of casegoods, La-Z-Boy, email interview, April 23, 2017
  2. Lucy Harris, interior designer and principal at Lucy Harris Studio, interview, April 14, 2017
  3. Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of public relations and marketing for the American Home Furnishings Alliance, email interview, April 11, 2017
  4. Christophe Pourny, master furniture restorer and author of The Furniture Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Identify, Restore & Care for Furniture, interview, April 12, 2017
  5. Thomas Russell, senior editor at Furniture Today, interview, May 10, 2017
  6. Meredith Mahoney, design director of Birch Lane, email interview, May 10, 2017

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