The following guide discusses various dining room table material such as wood, glass, metal, marble, laminate tables etc. Also, it talks about table styles, shapes etc so go ahead and have a look.
The dining room table is a crucial piece of home furniture. It’s both a gathering spot and your room’s focal point.
You should, therefore, shop for a table that complements your dining room’s design as well as your fashion taste and style.
However, with the furniture market flooded with all kinds of dining room tables, choosing the best table can appear quite strenuous.
To find the best dining table, you should consider the table’s material, style and shape.
More Reading: Complete guide on Dining Room Interior Design
Dining Tables Materials
Dining room tables’ construction relies on different materials. The table may have a holistic design or a design that uses different materials for the tabletop and the table’s frame. Here are the most common dining tables materials:
Wood Dining Table
This is the most popular option for table tops. Wood is a versatile construction material and can be hardwood, softwood or composite wood. If you settle on a wood dining table, opt for hardwood.
Common hardwoods include mahogany, oak, maple, walnut, cherry etc. Hardwoods are both attractive and long lasting. However, hardwood dining room tables are more expensive than their softwood and composite wood counterparts.
Glass Dining Table
A glass tabletop is modern, airy and elegant. Glass is also easy to clean. A table with a glass tabletop may have a graphite, wooden or metal frame. This material gives a sophisticated look and with a simple vase with flowers it can create a powerful impression. On the other hand, you will have to clean it often as fingertips and dust tend to cling to it.
Metal Dining Table
Metal is sturdy and durable. A metal tabletop is also modern, stain resistant and cool to the touch. If your dining space is industrial or contemporary, a metal tabletop can be a good fit.
Marble Dining Table
Marble is not just for kitchen counter tops. Today, marble is a common material for particular luxurious dining table models. Marble has an elegant rich tone. Marble is also easy to clean. Some other related stone-based types include also Granite and Onyx table tops.
The laminate tabletop fits different styles and budgets. Laminate tabletops have different layers of materials that can include PVC, high impact melamine and some wood grain finish. Laminate is sturdy and durable.
Because synthetic material is fairly durable, lightweight and less expensive than others, there is an increasing trend of synthetic dining tables nowadays. This material can be made to resemble other types such as organic materials like wood, teak etc.
Dining Room Tables Shapes
The shape of your dining table may depend on available space or your preferences. Dining tables come in a variety of shapes. Most common shapes include:
- Rectangular (most common shape. Good as a divider in open plan houses).
- Square (in fashion lately. Consumes a lot of space. Good for square areas).
- Round (old fashion but looks very cozy. It consumes also a lot of space).
- Oval (easy in placement. Practical and does not consume a lot of space).
- Freeform (good for eccentric or artistic designs).
Dining Tables Styles
Style is an important consideration since it’s your chance to make a personal statement. Dining room tables’ styles include the following:
Pick the style that creates your intended ambiance and rhymes with your other home furniture choices.
All in all, purchasing a dining table is a personal experience. Fortunately, anyone can find a table that fits their taste and budget. Take your time and find a dining table of your dreams.
Here are some more detailed descriptions of various dining table styles with their pictures:
Pedestal Dining Table
Pedestal dining tables typically feature a small tabletop supported by a single column. The support may spread out into three or four feet near the ground. The first pedestal tables were used for holding candles and featured circular or oval-shaped tabletops. However, newer designs feature tabletops of varying shapes and sizes.
Pedestal tables are commonly used in rooms with limited space, as the pedestal table has a smaller footprint and the tabletops are not very long. Some pedestal tables feature leaf inserts to extend the length of the tabletop. There are also double-pedestal tables, which feature two central support columns.
Farmhouse tables are heavy, rustic tables that are often built with distressed wood to give the table an aged look. Most farmhouse tables have a rectangular tabletop and thick, sturdy legs. The legs are typically either standard posts supported by a stretcher beam that runs the length of the table or X-shaped legs for added support. Some farmhouse tables also include bench seating on two sides of the table.
The farmhouse tables are rarely painted. Owners often choose a finish to help highlight the natural grain of the wood. The main benefits of these tables include their durability and rustic charm.
Rustic modern dining room tables combine rustic elements, such as wood tabletops, with modern features. The most common combination is an aged wood tabletop with sleek, metal legs, or supports. These tables often have a rectangular top with brass, steel, or aluminum legs.
Besides wood tops with metal legs, rustic modern dining tables are also available in a wide range of styles, shapes, and designs. There are rustic modern tables with pedestal bases, bench seating, or modern designs featuring only wood elements. The one thing they have in common is the use of rustic materials with modern design features.
A trestle dining table uses one of the earliest table designs. They consist of a tabletop supported by two or three trestle supports. These supports are often made with two or four legs connected by a horizontal board.
Modern trestle tables typically feature sturdy trestle supports made of oak or other durable materials. The tabletops are also often wood. Trestle tables are mostly known for their sturdy construction. However, they come in various lengths, width, and styles. Older designs often feature intricate details along the edges and the trestle supports, while modern designs typically feature clean lines and simple details.
Traditional oval dining tables come in many designs. However, they are most commonly single or double-pedestal tables. The pedestal support requires less leg space and allows for elegant, detailed designs on the supports. Long oval tables may include double supports, while a smaller oval table may feature a single pedestal design.
Traditional oval tables are also available with four legs, trestle supports, and other designs. The main feature is the oval tabletop, which may also feature a leaf to extend or shorten the length of the oval. The traditional oval tables are commonly constructed from wood and then stained instead of painted.
Shaker tables and other Shaker furniture were created for simplicity and function. They do not feature fancy inlays and other detailed carvings. The designs are simple, functional, and built to last. Due to these features, Shaker tables are typically sturdy and often handmade using pine, maple, cherry, or cedar.
Shaker tables often have a rectangular tabletop, while the legs or supports may come in a variety of styles. The primary characteristic of the Shaker table is a minimalist design. This minimalist design is like many modern styles, but often with straight lines instead of curves, resulting in a heavier look.
Industrial dining tables are typically large, heavy tables. Some industrial tables feature a wood tabletop with metal legs or supports, while others are entirely constructed of recycled metals. The styles vary. However, most industrial tables are made using materials that are associated with construction.
For example, the supports may be made from metal support beams while the tabletop may be made from a sturdy door panel. These tables are occasionally given a distressed look, to appear like they have been used in an industrial setting. Industrial tables are also often heavy, which can provide a more stable surface compared to lighter tables.
We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our readers below:
Where to put dining table in living room
The classic arrangement of placing a dining table is in the center of the room under a light fixture.
Why choose a round dining table
Usually round tables can fit more people than rectangular ones and also round tables feel cozy.
Why choose a wood dining table
The most obvious advantages of wood dining tables (especially solid wood tables) is that they have a warm, natural and elegant look and also they last much longer than plastic molded or glass tables.
What are standard dining table sizes
The minimum width of a dining table is 36 inches to have enough space for guests and for food. Also, the height of the table should be such as to allow enough clearance above the knees of people sitting, so height should be around 28 to 30 inches.
Below you can find some standard table sizes based on table shape:
Square Table Size
- 36 to 44 inches Square for 4 people.
Rectangular Table Size
- 36″W x 48″L for 4 people
- 36″W x 60″L for 4-6 people
- 36″W x 78″L for 6-8 people
Round Table Size
- 36″ to 44″ Diameter for 4 people
- 44″ to 54″ Diameter for 4-6 people
- 54″ to 72″ Diameter for 6-8 people
Oval Table Size
- 36”W x 56”L for 4-6 people
- 36″W x 72”L for 6-8 people
- 36″W x 84”L for 8-10 people
Which dining table material is best
This depends heavily on the design of the rest of the house. If you have a minimalistic or contemporary interior, then choosing metal or glass dining table is the best choice. If the whole interior is traditional, then wooden table is the way to go.
Best wood for Dining Table Top
If you are considering a wooden dining table for your house and you want it to stand the test of time, then avoid engineered or composite woods, which include plywoods and MDF. Although these wood types are economical and will also last several years, if you truly want a dining table to last for a lifetime then go for hardwood material.
The best hardwood for dining table includes:
Feng Shui Dining Table Material
If you are into Feng Shui, then selecting the proper dining table for good Feng-Shui in your home is important.
Generally speaking, round or oval tables are better for Feng-Shui but only if they fit well in the rest of the area. You can also go for rectangular or square tables if they fit better in the dining area but always try to avoid sharp corners (try to find one with rounded corners). Moreover, regarding material, invest in good quality wood and try to avoid a glass top dining table.
How to build a Walnut Dining Table
Here is a video for DIY people who want to build their own Walnut Dining Table:
What is the most durable dining table top material?
The debate between dining room table experts on the topic of durable materials comes down to those who advocate on behalf of glass, wood and recycled wood composite tables that are impervious to marks and scratches, according to manufacturer’s claims.
But the proof is in the pudding, say editors at the website Houzz.com, so they surveyed table owners, asking “What makes an indestructible dining room table material?” Responses were diverse and while consensus was not reached, owners of engineered wood tables and solid wood were the winners of this survey.
“Forbes” magazine writers concurred. “Tables made from engineered or composite woods, which include plywood and MDF, are durable and economical,” they concluded. But if your budget can take the hit, a marble tabletop meets durability criteria, though it is not impervious to stains and scratches.
When all is said and done, woods and marble make the final cut according to these experts.
Glass versus wood dining room tables
When the website ThingzContemporary entered the long-standing debate about whether glass makes more sense than wood in terms of durability, editors concluded that it all comes down to the impression one hopes to make on guests and the environment into which the table is placed.
Glass dining room tables remain the standard for modern, sleek sophistication, while the most elegantly-honed wood suggests “comfortable hominess.” Glass dining tables fit into myriad decorating schemes. But be prepared for constant “fingerprint” duty; glass is a magnet for skin oils and if glass is thick, moving the table could be difficult.
Some dining room table shoppers eschew glass because it can break or shatter, while those passionate about wood may wind up perpetually mending scratches and stains because wood is so porous.
Scratch resistant dining table material
According to some furniture experts, it’s not so much the material that turns a table surface into one that can survive knives, kids to cat claws. Thick layers of baked-on enamel applied over wood can create an impervious sealant that’s hard to penetrate.
Those in hot pursuit of the ultimate scratch-free tabletop may wish to look outside the U.S. furniture market. Frances Hunt Furniture in the UK makes compelling arguments for the company’s line of traditional-looking dining tables that won’t succumb to the aforementioned threats.
These tables feature heat-resistant surfaces that tolerate hot plates at a price that won’t consume an entire furnishing budget. Hunt claims their tables don’t require waxing, polishing or staining and they won’t succumb to scratching, warping, swelling or splitting. In other words, this manufactured wood is as close to perfection as it gets until a new material comes along.
Bernard Clyde says
I hadn’t thought how big of a role the shape of the table plays in fitting into your home, either. I would imagine this plays even a bigger role with glass tables since they have little to no color. It’s important that we know what table options are out there so that we can use them as inspiration for our home. I appreciate you sharing these unique tips with us, especially since there is a such a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from with tables.
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Jay Jorgenson says
My mom wants to buy a dining table that matches her kitchen. I like how you mention Hardwood tables are long-lasting. Thank you for the information. I’ll contact a furniture shop and look for the best Hardwood table at a fair price.
Tammie Houston says
This is such a good read! My sister recently bought a new house. She wants to remodel the dining room to make it more classy and appealing to the eyes. We are looking for a dining room furniture supplier that can provide us insights regarding the newest trends in the market. I love that you mentioned that the dining room table is a crucial piece of home furniture because it is the place where we usually gather all together. Cheers!
Afton Jackson says
We’ve been looking for ways to decorate our outdoor dining spaces and we want to figure out how to nail that natural garden aesthetic. I really like how you stated that compared to other types of tables, wooden tables provide the elegant and warm look that are great for outdoor areas because my wife has used a lot of other types of materials for different rooms but has never considered wooden furniture just yet so starting the outdoors with this kind of furniture might be a great way to introduce it to the house. We’ll be sure to keep your tips in mind when looking for furniture that we can set up. Thank you!
Victoria Addington says
This coming September, I thought about doing a kitchen renovation which includes the dining area. Thanks for your helpful guide on dining room table materials and styles. Since I’m aiming for a contemporary look, I guess I shall then opt for your suggestion to find different styles of glass tabletops since it provides a sophisticated look for the entire space.