Ultimate Dining Table Buying Guide

Ultimate Dining Table Buying Guide

22nd Oct 2020

Posted by Kayla Wilson on 22nd Oct 2020

Your dining room is a central part of your home which provides lots of uses from entertaining family and friends for big dinners, the kids getting their homework done, having a cup of tea and a biscuit, coffee and breakfast...it might even double up as your work from home office.

There's lots to consider when buying a new dining table set from the size, shape, materials, number of seats and more. Read on for more on choosing the right dining set for you.

Choosing a Dining Table

6 white modern dining chairs around a wood effect dining table

How will you use your dining table?

Do you have a family with young children? Are you a couple but entertain friends often? Or do you only use your dining table for the odd special occasion? Having this in the front of your mind when shopping will help you choose the right dining table for you and avoid buying a table which you fall in love with but in the long run isn't quite right.

How much space do you have?

Be realistic about the space you have in your dining room as many of us tend to over-estimate the space and buy something too large. Measure for the table but also plenty of clearance space for the chairs both pushed in under the table and pushed right back. You need a minimum of 90cm (but ideally 100 to 120cm) between the table edge and the wall to allow someone to comfortably get up and push their chair back.

modern wood effect dining table with gold brass legs
wood effect dining table with 6 green velvet dining chairs

How many seats do you need?

Think of all the different scenarios that you'll be using your dining for and make sure you have enough seats for that. There's nothing worse than hosting a dinner part and one of your guests has to sit on a too-low folding chair. You can use any extra chairs for your home office or as a feature chair in your bedroom. So you can still put your additional dining chairs to good use.

Shapes and Types of Dining Table

an example square dining table with a glass top and chrome legs in a modern house

Square dining tables are a popular choice for their ability to comfortably seat 2 or 4 people and still be the right size for smaller dining rooms. They can be tucked away against a wall or in the corner of the room to save even more space. Shop square dining tables here.

an example of a round glass dining table in a contemporary dining room

Round dining tables are eye catching and are great for adding extra seating (size permitting) when you have more guests. Shop round dining tables here.

example of a recntagular white gloss dining table in a white modern room

Rectangular dining tables are the more traditional dining table shape if you have the space or need a dining table for the entire family. They're great if you have a long, narrow dining room. Shop rectangular dining sets.

an example of an extending dining modern dining table in a modern home

Extending dining tables are ideal when you have enough space to accomodate a large dining table when needed but can be downsized to give you your dining room back for regular use. Shop extending dining tables here.

Dining Table Materials Available

Getting the choice of materials for your dining table right is a key decision in the process of choosing your new dining set. Each type of table material has its own pros and cons and not all types are suitable for everyone. There's also personal preference to consider and the material suiting the design of your dining room. Glass and high gloss look great in modern homes where wood or wood effect add a traditional or rustic edge.

the Giovani contemporary dining table with 4 grey dining chairs in a modern dining room
close up of a glass top round table top

Glass top tables are a modern looking choice and work well when the table legs are something a bit special that you want to show off. Easy to wipe clean and maintain. Can be prone to dust and fingerprints so requires regular cleaning

close up of a white gloss dining table top

High gloss finish table tops are a great choice for a contemporary dining room and can come in a range of colours like white, grey, black and more. Easy to wipe clean and maintain. Bright and reflective to light up the room but can reflect other colours so consider this with your accessories.

close up of a oak wood effect dining table top

Wood or wood effect table tops are a timeless choice for a dining table and can suit both traditional spaces and modern depending on the table design. Real wood can be susceptible to water damage whereas wood effect will be more durable.

How Many People Will it Fit?

For all of our dining sets you'll find details of how many seats will comfortably fit at the dining table. For reference here's a useful guide on the table measurements vs number of seats.

Rectangle/Oval TableNumber of Seats
180cm6 seats
250cm8 seats
300cm10 seats

Round/Square TableNumber of Seats
90-120cm4 seats (120cm could seat 6)
150cm6 seats
180cm9 seats

Choosing a Dining Table Base

large white gloss extending dining table with large base and modern accessories on a white background
Arezzo white gloss extending dining table with contemporary, rectangular base

Think carefully about how the table base will impact on your daily use of the table. Large bases take up more space and may reduce the amount of room to tuck your dining chairs under the table. This is fine if you have a large dining room but if you're short on space and you're relying on tucking everything neatly away to save space, then a large base dining table may not be for you. Instead look for narrow single bases or narrow legs in all 4 corners. Below are an example of some of our popular modern dining set base designs.

Caring for Your Dining Table

Try our furniture room planner

Need some more inspiration? Try our free room planner to visualise our dining tables in your dream room before adding to basket!"


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