6 essential tips for buying the perfect dining table

solid oak dining table with wooden spider leg and grey faux leather dining chairs

How long have you had your dining table? A good dining table, whether that’s rustic, oak or a reclaimed dining table should last between 5-10 years, so it is important to make the right choice to avoid needing to replace your table too soon. As with any investment buy, you want to get it right, but what do you need to consider when buying a dining table? Here, we offer our essential tips to help make purchasing a dining table just that little bit easier.

solid oak table with wooden spider leg

1. Measure the space

It’s all too easy to go shopping and fall in love with the perfect rustic dining table thinking it will fit in your dining room, only to discover it is too big. In order to avoid disappointment, your first step to buying the perfect dining table should be to measure the space that you have before you even begin shopping.

A workable dining space is calculated by measuring the available space and then deducting 80-100cm from each dimension. This is to give sufficient room around your table for access and for people to sit comfortably. It’s also good practice to create a “mock-up” of your room by drawing the room to scale and add your existing furniture. Then, you can create templates for table sizes to see how they fit.

reclaimed wood round dining table with grey faux leather dining chairs

2. Which shape is best?

Whether you are considering a farmhouse table or a reclaimed wood dining table, the shape of your table will be important. If you have plenty of space then any shape will work well, although an oval dining table has all the sociable qualities of a round table but the additional length that is better suited to a longer room. If you are short on space, a rectangular or square dining table may be more practical and can be pushed up against a wall when not in use. A wooden dining bench can be a popular choice with this type of table in a smaller room as it fits snugly under a table when not in use.

3. Consider its use

This may sound an odd question to ask yourself, it’s a dining table, right? But, will your table be just for eating or is there a chance that it will also double up as a workstation or somewhere for the children to do their homework? You should also think about whether it will be used every day or in a dining room that will only be used occasionally. These factors will have an influence on the type of material and finish you should consider for your dining table. See our next tip for more on this….

close up of reclaimed wood dining table with brown faux leather dining chairs

4. What material?

If you are considering a wooden table and chairs, then you should think about whether you prefer a rustic or reclaimed look or a smoother wood finish for your table. You may also want to consider a glass table or even a concrete one; quite often the type of material you choose will be something sympathetic to the rest of your décor. You may also want to consider whether you would prefer a fabric dining chair or a wooden one.

5. How many seats?

The type of table that you opt for may well depend on how many people you want to seat at your table, both on a daily basis and when you have guests over. Think about whether you want your dining chairs to be pushed under the table when not in use – this can give more space in the room – or if this isn’t an issue. If it isn’t, a dining chair with arms offers both style and comfort.

solid oak dining table with black metal spider leg and brown leather dining chairs

6. What type of base?

The final aspect to consider is the type of base that will work best for you. It often comes as something of a surprise to people to discover that not all tables come with legs just at the corners. A central pedestal for example gives great leg room. Spider legs also give good leg room and allow for chairs to be pushed fully under the table for better storage. A trestle table with an end overhang is a great option if you want the possibility of more seating.

Let us help you pick your perfect table

Check out our gorgeous collection of reclaimed and rustic dining tables or for more tips and ideas, take a read of our blog. If you have questions, leave a comment below or email us and we’d be happy to answer your questions. about our collection of dining tables.