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How to Choose a Dining Table: A Buyer’s Guide

Signature Grey Square Extending Dining Table

Choosing a dining table can be a bit overwhelming, with the number of different products available. There is an abundance of choice when it comes to size, shape and material, so where do you start? Here, we’ll be looking at how to choose a dining table based on the qualities that matter.

What materials are best for a dining table?

There are quite a few different materials available when it comes to dining tables, but we would recommend opting for solid hardwood for its unrivalled strength, durability and character. Some of the best options are:

Mahogany – Mahogany’s unmistakable and rich red-brown colour is available in a variety of shades and has good stain and corrosion resistance with good workability, meaning some great designs are possible.

Walnut – Walnut is especially good if you are looking for a dining table with an ornate design or detailing as the wood is especially receptive to turning and carving.

Oak – Oak is a popular choice for dining tables for good reason. It is very strong, hard and dense, with a close grain. Oak is also very resistant to everyday wear and tear and its appearance is very versatile, suitable for a range of home aesthetics.

What qualities should you look for in a dining table?

When you choose a dining table, there are a few traits that you should be looking for:

Strength – Your dining table needs to be strong as it will bear a lot of weight. Cheaper, thin materials can create unsteady tables and the last thing you want to be worrying about is something breaking and all the plates falling off the table!

Durability – A dining table is an investment, and you need it to last as long as it should. Having to replace your dining table regularly is both an expense and a headache, but the best dining tables will keep their form, shape and colour for years.

Stain and spill resistance – Dining tables will inevitably be spilt upon, and you don’t want anything to stain when that happens. Solid hardwood tables with the correct finish are great at resisting stains and any spills can be wiped up with a wet cloth.

Consider the aesthetic of the room

One aspect you have probably already considered is the aesthetic of your dining room but it bears repeating. Most people try to match their existing furniture, which is always a good choice, but remember that contrasting dining furniture can work too. 

If you don’t find an exact match with your dining table and chairs, it’s probably better to go for an intentional contrast anyway. When mixing wood tones, it is best to pick a dominant wood tone and then match the undertones using a wood with high contrast to the dominant shade.

Consider the size

When choosing a dining table, size is an important factor. Is the table going to be used in a standalone dining room or an open plan kitchen/diner? In a standalone dining room, the table can probably afford to be a little bigger, but you won’t want to block off too much space in an open plan kitchen/diner.

In smaller rooms, a round table can often be more practical than a square or rectangular table. You will also need to consider how many people your table needs to seat, including guests, if you regularly entertain.


These are the factors you need to consider when choosing a dining table, but personal taste accounts for a lot when it comes to your furniture. Just make sure that you are aware of your requirements before you start shopping!

To get started, you can view our range of dining tables.