How to Choose the Best Dining Table for Your Home

Finding the best dining table for your dining room is easy right? Just pick a table and you’re good to go.

Well, it’s that easy if you’re just looking for something that “will do”, but if you’re truly looking for the best dining table – one that you will have around for many years to come – then it’s not quite that easy.

Price, style, and durability must always be kept in mind. And ignoring these factors is just off the table. 

And when we say the best dining table, it’s not always the ones that you see in magazines, or in Instagram garnering thousands of hearts. For us, the best dining table is always the one that’s right for your style and your space.

No matter how stylish, sturdy, or viral your dining table is, if it doesn’t fit the size or match the vibe of your dining room, it just won’t work.

But fret not! In this piece, we’re going to help you find the best one. Below are four things that you must do before you buy a dining table.

 

1. Roll the tape

Every time you are designing or arranging a space, the first thing you should do is to get the exact measurements of your space.

Just like a tailor who’s never seen without a measuring tape hanging on his or her neck, you must always have a measuring device with you.

So, roll your sleeves up and roll that measuring tape on the floor to get the exact area of your dining room. If you have awkward nooks or corners in the room, those must be covered, as well.

Getting your measurements right will help you have a sense of how big or small your dining room actually is. Because the last thing you want to happen is you forcing a bulky table that is impossible to sit at.  

But if you have your numbers right, finding the right dining table size for your space is a piece of cake. 

2. Decide on the shape

The shape of your dining table can be influenced by two major factors: the shape of your dining room, and the number of people that regularly use your dining table.

Rectangular dining table

If you have a big family or you just love to host dinner parties with friends, a rectangular dining table like this Grasshopper Rectangular Dining Table is the best option.

This shape is relatively bigger than most types because of its length, so you would need longer space for this one.

Square dining table

Square tables, on the other hand, will suit smaller groups better as they can only accommodate up to four people usually (sometimes more if it is a very large table). 

The advantage of going for a square table is that it creates a sense of intimacy and togetherness, which is perfect for smaller families.

Check out this simple and sturdy Twenty Twenty Square Dining Table.

Round dining table 

Speaking of togetherness, there’s no better option than a round dining table. It also creates a more intimate vibe because everyone is seated closer to each other and is able to see each other’s faces, thanks to its lack of corners.

If you have a small and square dining room, a table like the Vintage Round Dining Table will perfectly complement the shape of your space.

The best thing about it is that you can squeeze in an extra seat for a visitor if needed.

Oval dining table

Much like the rectangular table, an oval dining table works really well with bigger families because it can accommodate more than six people.

The difference is that the oval table fits well in narrower rooms because, visually, it seems to occupy less of your space. It can also seat more people than rectangular tables because of the lack of corners.

Not sure which shape is the best for the shape of your room?

Here’s a general summary of what works well:

A round table in a square room fills the space well without overwhelming the space, while a round table in a rectangular room can feel off if not positioned well.

An oval table works wonders in a rectangular room, as you can work the shape so that it sits in the same position as the room – with the long sides of the table parallel to the long sides of the walls.

A rectangular table in a square room isn’t necessarily the best option as the people at the shorter ends of the tables might feel a little boxed in, while a rectangular table in a rectangular room is perfect!

 

3. Get the right table dimensions

Now that you’ve identified the best shape for your dining room, the next thing to do is to identify what dining table size will fit into your space.

This is where the measurements we mentioned in the first step come into play.

Whatever the size of the space you’ll dedicate for dining is subtract around 90 centimetres from each side. The remaining area will be the maximum recommended size of your dining table.

For example:

If your dedicated size for dining is 360 cm x 290 cm, the maximum size you should buy is 270 cm x 200 cm.

This will allow you to have a breathing room around the table so you can comfortably sit on a chair and move around the space without bumping into a wall or a piece of furniture.

Another factor to consider is the number of people that a dining table can accommodate.

As a rule of thumb, you should at least provide around 60cm-worth of space per person. However, you can always squeeze in a few chairs if needed. Check the simple guide below.

  

4. Chose the best material 

Choosing the right material for your dining table is probably one of the hardest decisions to make.

A lot of factors like price, durability, ease of maintenance, and style must be considered before you get to the one that you won’t regret later. Not only are there a lot of factors to consider, but there are a lot of options to choose from, as well!

But don’t worry! We listed below the most common materials used in dining tables and their pros and cons to help you gauge what’s the best one for you.

Solid Wood

Why you’ll love it:

1. It's durable and sturdy because of the high density of their fibres

2. Solid wood species such as acacia, birch, and oak have the most gorgeous grains and patterns

3. Hardwood ages beautiful as well

Why you might not like it:

1. Solid wood can be expensive

2. It can be difficult to maintain especially if the wood is not treated and coated properly

3. Scratches and other signs of wear and tear are inevitable

 

Veneer

Why you’ll love it:

1. It’s essentially the imitation of solid wood, however, it can be far from looking cheap. The synthetic grains and patterns still look beautiful

2. A veneer table is very easy to clean and maintain

3. It’s still durable, but nothing compared to hardwood

Why you might not like it:

1. At its core veneer is just sheets of plywood glued all together with a beautiful cover on top

2. It’s susceptible to water damage, so buckling and bubbles are inevitable

3. Repairing veneers can be difficult and costly, so once the table gets damaged, buying a new tabletop might be a better option

 

Glass

Why you’ll love it:

1. Glass tabletops are not overly expensive, but they always exude a luxurious and classy vibe

2. Glass also creates a sense of space and openness in the room

3. It’s not susceptible to water damage and can last decades with great maintenance

Why you might not like it:

1. It can chip, scratch or crack

2. It might not be a great option if you’ve got kids in the house or just simply clumsy people

3. Glass is notoriously hard to keep clean because even the smallest fingerprint smudge is easy to see.

    Metal

    Why you’ll love it:

    1. It’s perfect for covered outdoor spaces like patios and decks

    2. While metals like stainless steel or brass are more frequently used for table bases or legs, they’re still a great option because of the durability

    3. They’re much more affordable compared to hardwood

    4. Easy to clean

    5. You can easily change the colour by simply painting over them

    Why you might not like it:

    1. Metal tables can be heavy so you can’t easily move them around the house

    2. They can be too hot to handle when exposed to the sun

    3. Damage like scratches, dings, and rusts can be difficult to repair. And might cost you a little bit of money

       

      Sustainable materials

      Why you’ll love it:

      1. Sustainable furniture lessens our environmental impact and saves our forests

      2. Contrary to popular beliefs, upcycled timbers, when properly cured and constructed, are on par with traditional hardwood in terms of durability

      3. The unique patterns and weathered look of revived wood are just as stunning, if not better, as the natural grains of solid wood

      Why you might not like it:

      1. Honestly, we can’t think of any reason why not to go for sustainable materials. Durability and style-wise, they’re a great option for any type of furniture. More importantly, they’re eco-friendly!

        If you want to learn more about sustainable furniture, click here.

         

        And that wraps up our checklist! Once you’ve accomplished these steps, you’re ready to go buy your dining table.

        Where to buy the best dining tables in Australia

        Look no further! SLH Australia is the perfect haven for people like you who are on the lookout for durable and stylish contemporary furniture.

        We pride ourselves in our great collection of sustainable dining tables that are either made of ethically sourced timbers, bamboo, or recycled wood.

        This is our way of reducing our environmental footprint and saving the forests. If you decide to buy our beautifully handmade and eco-friendly products, it’s a way of taking part in the movement as well!

        Take a peek at our dining table collections here! If you want to see our dining tables and other pieces of furniture up close and personal, you can also visit the SLH showroom in Sydney!