Last updated: August 6, 2021

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When furnishing the dining room, the dining table in particular is of enormous importance. Depending on the material, a dining table can have a different effect on the room and create a different atmosphere. It can be essential for communication in the family and is often used for many years.
Therefore, the selection of a new dining table should be well thought out. When buying a new dining table, you will be spoiled for choice, because they differ by several factors. Which material, design, shape and dimensions are best for you, you will learn in this article.
Whether for small or large rooms and households - the right table can be found for everyone! We give you an overview of the aspects to consider and also introduce you to different models.




Summary

  • A dining table is the focal point of the dining room and can have a different look depending on the model. At best, it should be adapted to the already existing interior style.
  • To ensure that everyone has enough space at the table, the total space requirement should be calculated in advance or space-saving alternatives, such as extendable dining tables, should be used.
  • Proper care is crucial for the longevity of the dining table and differs according to the different materials.

The Best Dining Table: Our Choices

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Buying and evaluation criteria for dining tables

To make it easier for you to find a suitable dining table, we have selected some evaluation criteria that allow an objective comparison.

The criteria to be considered include:

You can find out exactly what to look for here:

Material

When choosing a new dining table, you have a variety of materials at your disposal. Which material should you choose when buying? If you prefer something robust and a warm ambience, solid wood is the right choice. A dining table made of a light wood tone such as birch or maple looks great with dark floors. Conversely, dark woods such as oak, acacia or walnut stand out against light floors. So don't be afraid to combine wood with wood!

For smaller rooms that also enjoy a modern interior, glass is best suited instead. The transparent surface gives the room a certain lightness and is also ideal for highlighting other pieces of furniture.

Natural stone such as marble, travertine or concrete also make very good tabletops and give your home a rough industrial style. This makes the dining table a real eye-catcher. Depending on the furnishing style, you should therefore get a matching dining table.

Shape

When it comes to the shape of the dining table, you can choose between rectangular, square, round or oval. Which shape is most suitable for you depends on the size of the room and the number of people. You will find the largest range of models in rectangular tables - the classic family table. Square dining tables are ideal for smaller households of up to 4 people. Square dining tables have the advantage that they can be placed against the wall to save space and use the room even more effectively.

A round dining table, on the other hand, is ideal for strengthening communication in a household and also gives the room a harmonious flair. It also has no corners where people (especially children) could bump into each other.

A good compromise between these variants is the oval table. Its elongated shape makes it suitable for 6-8 people and it is also more space-saving and safer than the square versions.

Dimensions

The dimensions of the dining table also depend on the size of the household. As a rule of thumb, each person should have 60 cm of table width and 40 cm of depth to allow for comfortable seating. For the pots and bowls in the middle, ideally another 20 cm should be added to the depth. Examples for orientation:

  • up to 4 persons: 120 × 100 cm
  • 5-6 persons: 180 × 100 cm

When buying a new dining table, you should also consider the total space required, including chairs. In order to make it comfortable to sit down and stand up, you should allow a margin of 30 cm in addition to the chair depth. This allows you to calculate the total space required for your dining table.

Weight

Weight can also play an important role when it comes to moving the table from time to time. Metal and natural stone tops are also associated with considerable weight and are therefore rather inflexible. If you like to move the table, e.g. to clean properly underneath it or to rearrange the furniture, glass tables are the more suitable choice.

If you still don't want to do without a marble design, you can also opt for a glass table with a marble look and thus combine both advantages.

Table frame

If you want your dining table to stand out, you should also pay attention to the table legs when buying. Here, the industrial style is becoming increasingly popular. For example, a material mix of a metal frame combined with a table top made of wood or glass can be a real eye-catcher.

The shape can also be decisive if you want to give the room a certain style. Depending on the furnishings, you can choose modern frames in X-shape, V-shape, square profile, hairpin legs and many more.

Frequently asked questions about dining tables answered in detail

The most important questions about dining tables are answered below. Here's what you should know before choosing the perfect dining table for your needs:

What types of dining tables are there?

Dining tables differ in many ways, as you have already seen in the buying criteria. To help you choose the right dining table for you, here is an overview of the most important questions:

  • How much space do you have available? Calculate the required space beforehand.
  • How many people usually sit at the table? Adapt the dimensions and shape of the table to the size of your household.
  • Which shape do you prefer, round or square? Square tables are more common, round tables look cosier.
  • Does the weight matter to you? If you want to be able to move the table easily, lighter models are the better choice.
  • How do you want the dining table to look? Decide here whether you want the table to create a warm or cool ambience.
  • What functions should the table have? Extendable or fold-out tables are a good alternative, especially in smaller rooms where the table should not have a constricting effect. This way, even a large household can enjoy a visually small table and still have a comfortable place to sit while eating.

What does a dining table cost?

Prices can vary depending on material, design, size and functions. In the following table, we give you a rough overview of the approximate price range of the materials:

Price range Dining tables
Low-priced (100 - 250 €) simple, glass, veneer wood, mostly no functions
Medium-priced (250 - 600 €) solid wood, glass, with functions
High-priced (from 600 €) ceramic/metal, natural stone, precious wood, glass with natural stone/metal, with functions, designer pieces

You can also save money by building the table yourself. You can also have a table made to order in some furniture stores to keep the price low.

What care does a dining table need?

To ensure that the dining table remains particularly beautiful for a long time, you should care for it regularly. The different materials also require different treatment.

Solid wood is generally considered easy to care for and much more durable than other materials. A protective lacquer repels dirt and liquids and gives the dining table a shiny finish. A glaze, oil or wax are also ideal for this purpose. If, however, after a certain period of time, everyday marks appear on the surface, you can easily freshen up the table by sanding the wood and treating it again with furniture wax or hard oil.

Esstisch

With the right care, a wooden table will retain a beautiful shine for a long time to come and ensure a discreet appearance. (Image source: Alvin Engler/ Unsplash)

In contrast, there is a greater risk associated with the purchase of glass tables, because they are much more susceptible to scratches and these are much more difficult to treat. However, minor dirt and fingerprints, on the other hand, can be cleaned up quickly with a window glass cleaner and a clean, soft cloth.

Metal tables are also considered very easy to clean, as their powder coating makes them both scratch-resistant and resistant to stains. All you need to clean them is a cloth and lukewarm water to maintain their shine.

Where should the dining table be placed?

There are various ways to place the dining table in the room. It is important to pay attention to the passages and how you use the room in everyday life.

In smaller rooms, it is advisable to use a table with a corner bench or - if the number of people allows it - to place the dining table against the wall so that you can use the room even more effectively. If you have enough space, you can ideally place the dining table as centrally as possible in the room. You should leave enough space on all sides so that you can easily walk around the table.

Lighting also plays an important role. Ideally, the dining table should be placed where there is plenty of daylight shining into the room. To ensure appropriate lighting conditions in the evening as well, a pendant lamp hanging above the table is ideal. Especially lamps in Scandinavian style - light wood with a noble design - are currently in vogue and provide a lot of cosiness, warmth and light-flooded rooms.

Conclusion

Buying a new dining table is anything but easy, because there are several criteria to consider. At best, you should decide at the beginning what effect the table should have and what kind of furnishing style you prefer. Depending on this, you can then choose the right material and design.

To ensure that the table is adapted to your needs, you should calculate the required size beforehand and also find out about the right care. Ideally, the dining table should be able to be used for many years.

(Cover photo: Jesse Bridgewater / Pixabay)

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