Skip to navigation Skip to search Skip to content

Which Type of Dining Table is Right For You?

The process of shopping for a dining table can often feel daunting, with the vast array of options available.

From choosing between wood or glass materials, to determining the appropriate size for your needs, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

But fear not, as we are here to help! In this article, we’ll provide answers to these common questions and more.

So stay tuned, and let’s find the perfect dining table for you!

Dining Tables with Wood Tops

Darafeev's Algonquin Dining Round Table

When it comes to dining tables, you’ll often have the option to choose from various types of wood tops, including wood veneer, solid wood, or distressed solid wood. It’s important to consider your personal taste and style when making this decision.

One of the benefits of a wood table top is that it can complement other wooden elements in your kitchen, such as cabinets or flooring. In addition, the natural warmth and welcoming feel of a wood top is hard to resist, especially if you’re inspired by nature.

To keep your wood top looking its best, it’s recommended to apply a layer of min-wax paste wax or butchers wax 1-2 times per year for added protection. For daily use, be sure to keep the top moisturized to prevent drying and cracking. With proper care, your wood top will maintain its beauty and durability for years to come.

Dining Tables with Glass Tops

Trica's Astro Dining Height Table with Glass Top

Introducing a glass top to your dining area can add a sense of spaciousness and lightness, creating a more open and airy ambiance.

Glass tops are particularly well-suited to modern kitchens and dining rooms, and can be paired with a range of chair styles, including metal with any color upholstery. This versatility is one of the many advantages of glass tops.

Types of Dining Table Bases

Pedestal Tables

Pedestal tables are characterized by a single column that runs down the center of the table base.

This unique design allows for greater seating capacity, as there are no legs to contend with.

With a pedestal table, you can comfortably accommodate more guests around the table without anyone feeling cramped or squeezed in. This makes it an excellent choice for those who enjoy hosting dinner parties or large gatherings.

Additionally, the sleek and streamlined appearance of a pedestal table can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your dining area, making it a stylish and practical choice for any home.

Leg Tables

Round glass dining table

Leg tables are a popular type of dining table that feature four legs positioned at the base of the table. These legs can vary in shape, with some being square-shaped and others tapering to a point.

One of the main benefits of a leg table is that it provides excellent stability and support, making it a reliable choice for those who prioritize sturdiness. This can be especially important for families with young children who may be prone to accidentally knocking over items.

In addition, leg tables are often recommended for the elderly or anyone who needs to push up on the table to get out of their chair. The four legs of a leg table offer a sturdy base to push against, making it a safer and more practical option in these situations.

Sizing for Your Dining Table

When choosing a dining table, it’s important to consider the amount of space you have available.

To ensure comfortable seating and easy movement, a minimum of 18 inches of clearance is recommended around the outside of the table.

However, if you have 2 feet of clearance, you’ll have even more room to move around and get in and out of your chair comfortably.

To help you choose the right table size for your space, here are some common dining areas (in feet) and the recommended table sizes:

  • 6′ x 6′ minimum = 36-inch round
  • 6½’ x 6½’ minimum = 42-inch round
  • 6′ x 8′ minimum = 36 inches x 60 inches rectangular

If you’re unsure about the best table size for your space, try laying out books in the size and shape of the table you’re considering. This can give you a better sense of how the table will fit in your dining area and help you make a more informed decision.

36-inch Round Top

A 36-inch round top dining table is an excellent option for a cozy meal for two people.

While it can accommodate up to four place settings, keep in mind that space may be tight and there may not be enough room on the table for serving dishes like mashed potatoes.

It’s worth considering the size of your dishes and the amount of food you plan to serve when choosing a table size.

42-inch Round Top

A 42-inch round top dining table is the industry standard for a good reason. It offers enough space to comfortably seat four people and still leaves ample room on the table for serving dishes and side plates.

This size strikes a great balance between functionality and space efficiency, making it a popular choice for many dining areas.

36-inch x 60-inch Rectangular Top

A 36-inch x 60-inch rectangular top dining table is the standard size in the industry for everyday use when seating up to six people.

This size provides enough room for each person to have their place setting and comfortably enjoy their meal without feeling cramped.

Consider this size if you frequently entertain or have a larger family that regularly gathers for meals.

36-inch x 36-inch Square Table

A 36-inch x 36-inch square table is a great choice for cozy dining experiences, as it accommodates four people with two people seated on each side.

Its compact size makes it perfect for small dining areas, apartments or kitchen nooks.

It’s worth noting that this size may not be suitable for serving larger dishes or having additional table space for decor.

Dining Tables with Leaves

These versatile tables, also known as extendable or drop leaf tables, offer the flexibility to adjust the length of your dining area quickly and easily.

Depending on the specific model, these tables can feature one leaf, two leaves, or even more. To expand the table, simply open up both ends and insert the leaf or leaves in the center.

This convenient feature allows you to create additional seating space for unexpected guests or when hosting larger dinner parties.

Sizing of Extendable Dining Tables

When it comes to determining how many people a table can accommodate, a general rule of thumb is to divide the table length by 10. This calculation will provide a comfortable serving capacity for your dining table. For instance:

  • 60 inches = 6 people
  • 78 inches = 8 people
  • 96 inches = 10 people

If the result is not a whole number, it is recommended to round up to the nearest whole number. This method provides an easy and practical way to estimate the seating capacity of a dining table.

Custom Dining Chairs

Once you have decided on your dining table, it’s time to choose the perfect dining chairs to complement your space.

We offer a wide variety of high-quality side chairs and arm chairs that can suit your style and needs. Here are some of our top recommendations:

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have about dining tables.

With over 20 years of experience in the business, we have a wealth of knowledge about not only dining tables, but also barstools.

Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you find the perfect dining set for your home.

Posted by Deborah

on in Guides


Deborah has spent over 20 years as a design professional helping others create the kitchen of their dreams. She's drawn to modern kitchens, colorful interiors, and living comfortably.