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How To Choose A Kitchen And Dining Table

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The dining table - a gathering hub, a focal point and the heart of the home, it's crucial that you pick one that fits the space, enhances the aesthetics and suits your budget.  

Kitchen and dining tables have evolved into this protean, utilitarian surface that's burdened with a multitude of responsibilities these days. It is where your guests will gather, come an impromptu weekend do. It is where the kids will come together to finish their arts projects. It is also where you will sit, with family, often for hours, sharing laughs and contemplating about the days to come. 

If this is your first attempt at shopping for kitchen and dining tables, then it can be a tad overwhelming. Here's some help.

How big a dining table should I get?

Irrespective of whether you have a formal dining room to place the table in, or you are just squeezing out some space between the living room and your open kitchen, measuring the space is the first step to ensure balance and harmony. 

How do you decide whether there's enough space? Here are some numbers to use as a reference point. 

What's the right shape for my dining table?

Square and rectangular tables

Square Extendable Butterfly Lea Dining Table
Brown Cherry Square Counter Height Dining Table
Solid Wood Square Dining Table
Teal Blue Rectangular Dining Table
Washed Pine Rectangular Dining Table
Distressed Solid Wood Rectangular Dining Table
Manufactured Wood Extendable Rectangular Dining Table
Beech Solid Wood Square Dining Table

Round and oval tables

Light Oak Solid Wood Round Dining Table
Dark Pewter Metal Round Dining Table
High Gloss Lacquer Round Dining Table
Oatmeal Extendable Oval Dining Table
Rubber Wood Oval Dining Table
Glass Solid Wood Oval Dining Table
Tempered Glass Extendable Oval Dining Table
Solid Wood Round Pedestal Extendable Dining Table

Pro tip: Analyze visually before deciding

If you aren't able to decide on a shape and size, here's a possible way to wrap your head around it. 

What are the advantages of different dining table materials?

Aesthetics and dimensions apart, the table needs to be as sturdy as a rock, easy to maintain and suited to the space around it. It's vital to pick the right material and texture.

Your options are manifold. 

Wood

Classic, infallible material available in almost every style of furnishing. Surprisingly low on maintenance, extremely durable and easy to fix if it does get damaged. Solid hardwood like Oak, Maple, Walnut and Mahogany are top of the line, followed by less expensive varieties like Mango, teak and Pine. If you have a limited budget, then you can consider wood veneer, which mimics the look of solid wood at a fraction of the cost.

Oak Solid Wood Dining Table
Mahogany Solid Wood Extendable Dining Table
Walnut Solid Wood Dining Table
Pine Solid Wood Dining Table
Pine Wood Veneer Dining Table
Natural Teak Wood Dining Table
Natural Solid Wood Dining Table
Mango Solid Wood Dining Table

Stone

Very durable material choice available in a wide and stunning range of colors and patterns. Marble, Granite, Limestone, travertine, soapstone, slate, onyx and quartzite are some of the natural stones used for making dining tables. But some of these can be very pricey options and also prone to staining.

Dark Gray Concrete Dining Table
Marble Solid Manufactured Wood Dining Table
White Carrera Marble Dining Table
White Concrete Wood Dining Table
Gray White Marble Dining Table
Beige Genuine Marble Dining Table
Metal Round Pedestal Stone Table
Gray Stone Concrete Dining Table

Glass

Perfect for small spaces as it creates a sense of openness. There's no dearth of options too with clear, tinted and frosted varieties. But glass can be prone to chipping, scratches and damage. Not to mention, a magnet for smudges and fingerprints. But some household cleaner and a wipe can go a long way in keeping it in prime condition. A well-maintained glass table can last for years.

Glass Solid Wood Dining Table
Gold Glass Metal Dining Table
Glass Steel Round Dining Table
Ant Mirror Glass Dining Table
Dark Sonoma Glass Dining Table
Silver Glass Solid Wood Dining Table
Clear Tempered Glass Dining Table
White Clear Glass Dining Table

Metal

Metals like copper, iron, brass and even silver are increasingly being used by designers to make kitchen and dining tables. Apart from being versatile enough to match any décor, metal tables are incredibly durable. If you get hit by a tornado, get under one of these. They can however, be prone to stains. Not to mention, extremely heavy. If you are looking for something that can be pushed around and readjusted, an all-metal table will not be a good option.

Antique White Metal Dining Table
Antique Rust Metal Dining Table
Metal Solid Wood Extendable Dining Table
Metal Fir Solid Wood Dining Table
Counter Height Metal Solid Wood Dining Table
Brushed Gold Metal Dining Table
Metal Stainless Steel Dining Table
Metal Solid Manufactured Wood Dining Table

Final word

Despite all the advice that we can give, selecting the right dining table is an intimate, personalized experience. Sit down and make a checklist of some of the best features that you'd like in a dining table.

Keep ticking that checklist and you should be able to decide on the factors that matter the most to you. Happy shopping.