How to choose a dining table

A clear description of the most important things to know before choosing a dining table.

How big a table do you need?

At the beginning it is always a good idea to think about how many people you want to seat at the table. Don't be afraid to think a few years ahead and be sure to allow for two to four extra seats for visitors, parties or family gatherings.

 

Table for 4 - Minimum 130 x 80cm, ideally 150 x 90cm and larger

Table for 6 - Minimum 180 x 90cm, ideally 200 x 100cm and larger

Table for 8 - Ideally 260 x 100cm and larger

 

If you choose a classic four-legged table (Ramla, S42, or Spider), you can add two extra seats to the number of people. The table sizes usually quoted do not allow for seating at the head of the table.

If you are already clear on how big a table you need, then it's a good idea to take a tape measure and measure thoroughlywhether a table this big will fit where you want it. When you measure, be sure Don't forget to allow enough space for pushing chairs back (allow at least 70cm on each side where the chairs will be). For clarity we have distorted everything into simple plans with dimensions. If you run into a space problem like most people, don't be afraid to consider a well-placed bench that saves precious inches by not having to move away.

 

If you are still unsure of the overall dimensions or you are dealing with a tricky interior design, there is nothing better than to "model" everything in reality. Instead of a table, you can use a cardboard or thin board laid up high, instead of chairs any stool or cardboard boxes. Then it's up to your imagination and ingenuity.

Dominant or subtle and how it affects table stability

Do you want your new table to look massive and dominant, or are you looking for something airy and subtle? This question is directly related to the final behaviour of the table, especially its stability and overall rigidity. We'd like to write here that at a time when mankind is preparing to fly to Mars, you can finally get a thin, space-flying tabletop that won't budge even at a small home dance party, but that wouldn't be true.

 

Realistically, our experience is that the higher the weight of the material used, the more stable the behaviourbut also visually more pronounced perception from all over the table. Yes, there are certainly various design tricks to increase the stability of the table without interfering with the look (cleverly placed bracing, winding the structure, the shape and slope of the legs, etc.), but primarily it's always about the gross weight that gives the table its heft, mass and feeling of immovability.

 

As you can see, it's not rocket science. Now you're able to predict the behaviour of a table from a photo on the web. Just look at the thickness of the board, its reinforcement and the solidity of the base construction. The more material you see, the more stable the table will be. If the manufacturer doesn't show what's going on underneath the board, you can safely assume there's just nothing there (which is common practice).

Rectangular dining table with unique metal base and solid oak top.

Leg shape and number of seats at the table

This connection is not talked about much, but it is a crucial thing with regard to everyday use. The shape of the legs affects the number of seats. Since ancient times, tables have been made with four legs. The reason was simple. Families were large and living space was scarce. So the way of dining was to have as many diners per square metre as possible. In this respect. classic four-legged tables absolutely insurmountable. They offer the most legroom in a small area and allow comfortable seating around the entire table.

 

The design trend is metal legs in O or V. These tables always have a connecting profile near the floor, which unintentionally interferes with comfortable sitting at the head of the table. This is also the reason why most of these tables are seated only on the sides. Sitting at the head is simply a problem with these tables. This is often solved by either buying four-legged all-wood chairs (which can be slid over the profile and won't scratch the paint if touched) or by dragging the top in the direction of the table length.

 

We've had the overlapping board custom made a few times, but in practice you always find that there has to be at least 40cm of overlap in the headboard to sit comfortably. Once it's less, it's never going to be quite ideal. Once it's 40cm or more, the metal legs start to bother people sitting on the sides, or the table starts to get ridiculously long. That's why we only recommend these tables for sitting on the sides, with only occasional sitting at the head at a family party, but certainly not every day.

Dining table with solid oak top and modern metal chair

Table length and board reinforcement

Does it make sense to pay extra for a table with a structure, aka a base, or are regular metal legs enough? The answer lies in the overall length of the table and the material of the top. Each material behaves differently and the resulting optimal solution corresponds to this.

 

Stone or concrete is always good to place on a stand-alone baseregardless of the length of the table. These materials are sensitive to millimetre deflections and like to crack when not in perfect alignment. For long tables with these tops, we definitely recommend choosing the most massive bases that can withstand the extra weight of the board at rest while ensuring perfect plane.

 

U laminate, worktops and veneered particleboard, you will not notice any difference between a table with a base and a table with a pair of metal legs up to a length of 160cm - the strength is the same, the load capacity is the same. From 180cm+, it's worth paying extra for a table with a metal base that supports the natural deflection of the board with its own weight.

 

Solid wood is a living natural materialwho sensitively perceives his environment and reacts to its changes - popularly called working. When it is too warm, it shortens, when it is cold, it lengthens, and when it does not like anything in the long term, it can twist, bend and do all sorts of other things. You can't beat nature. The way we deal with it is that only solid metal bases or spreader plates are used under solid boardsthat hold the board in place across the entire surface. And that's without exception. In practice, this works by allowing the board a small amount of freedom for fine movements (due to small clearances), but any large movements are held by the metal frame/sheet. The solid boards then behave more calmly and you can be sure you will have a consistently beautiful table that will last.

Round dining table with metal base and solid oak top.

Table height

Quite common questions fall on the height of the table. From experience we can say that 95% people are absolutely comfortable with the standard height of 75cm. For really tall people (195cm+) it is a good idea to consider a height of 76cm. We make higher tables absolutely exceptionally and always after a thorough consultation.

Now all you have to do is choose

And we're at the end of our guide to the most important things to choose a great dining table by. Everything else is nice-to-have, and you'll be fine with that. Fingers crossed and good luck choosing the table of your dreams.

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