Extendable tables are the chameleons among tables. They come in many different colours, shapes, sizes and materials and can be found in small or large kitchens, dining rooms, gardens or terraces. What makes these practical extending tables so special, however, is that they can be enlarged or reduced quickly and easily as needed.
In our extending table guide, we advise you on all questions about extending tables. What are the advantages of an extending table, what are the differences between the various extending tables, how do I find the right product for me and what should I look out for when buying? We'll answer all that and much more here!
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Extending Tables: Our Selection
- 4 Extending tables: buying and evaluation criteria
- 5 Extendable tables: frequently asked questions and answers on the subject of extendable tables
- 6 Conclusion
- Extending tables can save space in everyday life and be enlarged when needed - daily or when there are extra guests at the table.
- Extendable tables come in many shapes, colours and materials and also differ in the extension mechanism.
- Furniture stores offer a wide range of different extension types, and tables and extension mechanisms can even be customised online.
The Best Extending Tables: Our Selection
Extending tables: buying and evaluation criteria
In the following section, we will show you the most important buying criteria that you should consider when buying an extending table and that you can use to evaluate and compare the products. They will help you find the right product for you and support you throughout the entire buying process.
The criteria are as follows:
The following section explains what these criteria mean in detail.
When considering the size of an extending table, you can generally look at three aspects:
What dimensions does the table need to fit into my room?
Measure the room or area where the table is to be placed and allow enough space between the table and the wall, ideally at least 80 cm.
Tables with legs or bases that do not extend to the edge of the tabletop will look less bulky.
How many people should be seated at the table?
Consider how many people will be sitting at the table - also whether additional guests are often expected. As a rule, 60 cm wide and 40 cm deep are included per person. For orientation: A square dining table for 4 people should have a size of 120cmx80cm. A round table should have a diameter of 1m.
How wide are the chairs that should fit at the table?
Whether you already have chairs or buy them together with the extension table: Make sure that the dimensions of the chairs are compatible with the width, height and depth of the extending table.
Do not forget to pay attention to the position of the table legs or the base. Even if the width of the table matches the dimensions of the chairs, possible table legs may be inconveniently in the way.
When examining these aspects, you should always bear in mind that the extending table can take on two states and thus also two different sizes:
- Extended state
- Non-extended state
Extendable tables are usually offered in square or round shapes. There are, of course, unusual designs with more unusual shapes. But for now, we will concentrate on square and round. When deciding which table shape best suits your needs, you should consider two criteria:
What shape and size is my room?
In rectangular rooms, rectangular tables are often chosen to make use of the space and to achieve a symmetrical look. One advantage of the square table is that it can also be placed directly against a wall.
A round design often makes the room more friendly and is therefore also a popular choice for rectangular rooms. If the room is large and empty, a round or oval table can fill the space both decoratively and practically. Especially in households with children, a round table can also minimise bumping hazards for children.
What is the extension system for the shape of the table?
With square tables, there is the option of multiple extensions. Depending on the size and extension, the table can be very long and thus become a table.
The round option can be more sociable than the square option when extended. With the extension function, the table either retains its round shape or becomes an oval shape.
The material is another point you should consider when buying an extending table. We have listed the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular materials:
Wood (solid wood such as maple, birch, beech, oak, spruce or pine)
Wood is the most natural material for extending tables. There are many different types of wood and colours to choose from, for example, unfinished coarse wood, finely sanded wood, light, dark or even lacquered. However, the natural material also needs special care to last for a long time.
Plastic (e.g. HPL (High Pressure Laminate))
Plastic is one of the most frequently used materials for extending tables. The material is often inexpensive and is available in many colours. Plastic can also be used well for garden extension tables due to its frequent UV and weather-resistant properties.
Metal (mostly stainless steel or aluminium)
Besides wood, metal is one of the most robust materials for extending tables. Metal is also often easy to clean and looks very modern. However, metal can heat up quickly and is susceptible to stains when exposed to water. It is therefore advisable to use coasters or place mats or to combine metal with other materials.
Extendable tables, or rather table tops of extendable tables, are also available in glass. Glass is one of the most elegant materials, but also requires a lot of care, as dust and stains are quickly visible on the surface.
Natural materials (ceramic or concrete)
Natural materials such as ceramics and concrete are experiencing a real trend and fit into many environments. They are also usually robust and easy to clean. The material itself is often inexpensive - extending tables made of natural materials can often command high prices due to their popularity and high weight.
For outdoor use: Make sure in the product description that the material is UV and weather resistant.
Before buying, you should familiarise yourself with the different extension systems and find the right one for your needs. Through the mechanisms, you will understand how easy or difficult it is to extend a table, how long it takes you to do so, whether the shape of the table changes or in which direction a table extends.
Simplicity of assembly
Some dealers offer the possibility to book a service for the assembly of the extending table. If you need help with your craftsmanship, you should look out for these services.
The simplicity of the extension system should also be considered. Especially if the table is to be pulled in and out daily or guests are frequently expected for whom the table needs to be enlarged, the pull-out system should be simple and durable.
The Butterfly System is suitable here. If the table is to be extended not only quickly but also without effort, the synchronous pull-out or a front pull-out with a rotating additional leaf is suitable.
Extendable tables: frequently asked questions and answers on the subject of extendable tables
In the following section, we would like to answer frequently asked questions and give you tips on the subject of extending tables. These can help you to find out whether an extending table is right for you, support you in your purchase decision, but also give you advice for after you have purchased an extending table.
Who is an extending table suitable for?
Extending tables offer the possibility to enlarge the table for special occasions or to save space in everyday life when the table is not actively used. For those who like to have guests at the table, an extending table means that they can dispense with an additional table, which often takes up a lot of storage space, has to be set up awkwardly and usually represents a break in style.
Extending tables can also bring variety into the room. Round tables in particular can take on a different shape by being extended, thus transforming the room.
What types of extending tables are there?
- Dining tables
- Coffee tables
- Garden tables
In addition to the many designs, shapes, colours and materials, an important aspect in which the extending tables differ is the mechanism of the extending table.
We would like to show you here which systems are available and how they work in detail.
The extension leaves are stored outside the table and attached to the head ends of the table. The tops usually have two slats that are pushed into the frames of the table. Here they can be attached either by magnets or screws. In specialist areas, we speak of profiles and swivel arms respectively.
The folding table can be extended both at the head end and at the long sides. This extension system is quite uncomplicated because the sides are simply folded up or down. The folding sides are usually not very wide, otherwise they take up too much legroom and are not visually appealing.
Pot-and-pan drawer with inset shelves
With the front pull-out, one side of the table is pulled out together with the table legs, exposing a frame on which one or more table tops can be placed. The table can become twice as long with this extension system.
With the so-called drawer system or frame pull-out, only one frame is pulled out without changing the position of the table legs and a top is placed there.
With some mechanisms, the top is already attached to the frame under the table and is automatically raised to the height of the tabletop when the drawer is pulled out.
Front pull-out Rotating additional top
The additional rotating top is often already attached under the tabletop and is rotated 180 degrees when the drawer is pulled out.
This variant is often used for glass tables or heavy tops, as the extension is very easy, the top does not have to be lifted and the additional top also looks attractive with glass. One advantage of the front extension is that the table top is not interrupted when not extended.
Centre-extension runner with automatically moving additional top
With the centre pull-out, also called a linkage pull-out, both ends are pulled out so that the tabletop divides and a frame emerges in the resulting gap. Here, either an additional top is already available, which moves up automatically, or a top can be inserted.
With the so-called synchronous extension, only one end of the table needs to be pulled and the mechanism causes the other side to move outwards at the same time. This facilitates the pull-out procedure.
Centre extension with butterfly mechanism
The so-called butterfly mechanism is used particularly frequently. Here, the table is pushed at the head end, the table tops form a gap from which the two additional tops under the table emerge like butterfly wings. When the table end is pulled further, the additional table tops swing into the correct position and lock into place. To make the table smaller again, this is simply reversed. At the table head, the table is pushed inwards and the additional table tops swing back and are lowered under the main table tops again.
The so-called Xpand system is a modern mechanism that allows the already set table to be enlarged.
The Xpand system is innovative and suitable for spontaneous extensions, but it is usually expensive.
The table is pulled apart like a concertina. This pull-out system is therefore often called accordion or accordion pull-out. The production is very complex, which is why this system is usually expensive.
How much does an extending table cost?
The main factors influencing the price are size, material, brand and extension system. Depending on how often the dining table is used and what demands you have on the factors mentioned, you should also make your investment dependent. The following table serves as a rough guide:
|Product||Ø Price range|
|Brand products||from 200 euros|
|No-name products||from 50 euros|
|Extendable table for up to 10 people||from 300 Euro|
It is possible to find high-quality extending tables for a reasonable price. However, if you have special requirements and value sustainability and quality, you will usually have to dig deeper into your pockets.
What should I look for in an outdoor extending table?
The most suitable materials for outdoor extension tables are:
- Wood: The material looks lively and chic and is well suited for the garden. But be careful: Not all wood is UV and weather resistant, so make sure it has an appropriate varnish for outdoor use and avoid extreme heat or cold. Teak or acacia are popular for garden tables.
If you want to do something good for the environment, you should use recycled materials for tropical woods such as teak.
- Glass: The glass table can look elegant in the garden or on the terrace and is waterproof. Glass is usually combined with other materials, but it is still advisable to protect the glass top from extreme heat and cold.
- Polyrattan: The chic wicker material is popular and fits in most gardens or terraces. It is also weather-resistant and easy to care for. A glass or ceramic top is often added to the table to level the surface.
- Metal: Most metals are well suited for outdoor use due to their robust and weatherproof properties. Caution: Metals can become very hot in summer, so avoid strong sunlight and use cushions or other protective materials.
- Plastic: High-quality plastic tables can also be UV and weather resistant. Plastic is usually comparatively cheap but at the same time often not stable and durable. With plastic, pay particular attention to the appropriate varnish and two layers of material without stiffening ribs so that the extending table lasts a long time outdoors.
If you are looking for outdoor tables, you should specify this directly in your search. There are usually special extension tables for the garden and terrace that meet all outdoor requirements.
How do I care for an extending table?
Here are some general tips for cleaning the following materials:
- Wood: You should regularly wipe the table with a dry cloth. For thorough cleaning, use a damp cloth and also natural soap, but make sure that you do not leave the table damp for long and wipe it thoroughly with a dry cloth. There are special care products for wooden tables and it is advisable to seal the wooden table annually with oil or wax.
- Plastic: You can use many different cleaning agents, as plastic is not very sensitive. The most common is soapy water. If you want to protect the material in the long term, you can clean and seal it thoroughly with wax.
- Metal: When buying, look for a powder coating that offers scratch protection. Metal is susceptible to dust and stains, but is easy to clean. Regular cleaning with a damp cloth followed by a microfibre cloth that does not leave stains is recommended. Chemical cleaners can damage the material, alkaline cleaners can be used.
- Glass: Regular dusting with a feather duster or microfibre cloth is also recommended here. For heavier soiling, you can use washing-up liquid, but avoid alkaline agents or those containing fluoride.
- Natural materials: Dust and dirt are not as noticeable on natural materials. Use a damp cloth and then a dry microfibre cloth for regular wiping. You can also use light and neutral detergents. Aggressive cleaners can damage the appearance.
In conclusion, it can be said that the purchase of an extending table is worthwhile above all for people who want to save space but still want to create additional space at the table easily and quickly. The variety of extending tables as well as their manufacturers and suppliers is large and can thus be chosen on the basis of individual needs. When buying, particular attention should be paid to the size, shape, material and extension system of the table.
We hope that we have given you more than just an insight into the world of extendable tables in our guide, but that we have also been able to help you with specific questions, give you important buying tips and provide inspiration with our favourite extendable tables.
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