While choosing a dining table, it is important to get the little things right. The dining table becomes the gathering space in many homes as it’s the place we go to eat, chat, laugh, study, work, and above all, live. Realistically speaking, the dining table (if done right) should become the heart of your home.
We have put together a list of everything you will need to know about dining tables before making that final investment and some suggestions to make it even easier for you! Ready to eat your (dining table) heart out? Let’s get started!
When it comes to dining tables, there is an abundance of materials you will be able to decide between and have fun with. Some of these materials include glass, wood, marble, melamine and even a fully scratch-resistant ceramic. Our EZ Living Furniture experts advise that you should first choose several of your favourite materials and then narrow it down depending on which best fits your lifestyle and matches your style.
For example, there is no point in having your heart set on a glass table if your toddler is in their terrible two-stage and could end up throwing their plate across your lovely glass table.
The ultra-modern Orbit Glass Dining Table will make a striking addition to your contemporary dining area.
However, if you are a couple looking to brighten up your interior with something that little bit contemporary, the glass could be your perfect fit!
Aside from creating warmth and character in every room wood occupies, wood’s biggest asset is its strength. A good wooden dining table could last a lifetime if looked after properly and when it comes to wood, your chances have just been increased!
Have a messy household? The right kind of wood will also withstand years of wear and tear, spilt milk, make-up stains, you name it, wood will endure it!
Hardwood VS Softwood
Although wood has many advantages, it is important to note that some woods can be quite porous. Therefore, we advise cleaning down your wooden table with a barely damp cloth in order to quickly clean any spills and avoid soakage.
Hardwoods do not like water and tend to be a bit more porous. Some examples of hardwoods include walnut, oak, and maple. These woods will require a sealant such as Danish Oil. Our experts recommend using this oil on your dining table 3-4 times a year to bring out the depth and warmth in the natural grain of the wood. Apply using a cotton cloth for the best results.
The Mila Walnut Dining Table is an example of a hardwood dining table. As shown here with green velvet Ottowa Dining Chairs.
Read: In the spotlight – The Ottowa Collection.
Oil will seal your hardwood table and cover light scratches but If you burn a hardwood table it will require sanding. Simply sand it down (a mm) and it will appear brand new again. Sandpaper and oil will give you a dining table that will last a lifetime.
Some oak, although a form of hardwood, needs waxing (3-4 times a year) instead of oiling. For instance - our Arizona Grey Wood Wax Dining Table. A wood wax will help to keep its colour and add to its longevity.
Crafted from 100% reclaimed pine, the San Francisco Dining Table boasts impressive texture and is a “pine” example of a softwood table.
Softwoods are non-porous, meaning they do not permit the transfer of water or air; therefore, a sealant will not be necessary. Examples of softwoods include pine, cedar, birch, and redwood. A softwood dining table is very easily maintained because they do not require any oiling. Simply use a damp cloth to wipe after use.
Similar to us, tables can also get sunburnt! If any wood is exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light in any way, this can change the colour of the wood's surface and change its look over a very long period of time. Try moving your table out of direct sunlight or incorporate stylish set of blinds or curtains.
EZ Tip: Use placemats and coasters when eating hot food or drink. This will prevent creating a mark on your table.
One of the biggest benefits of a melamine dining table is its durability. Melamine is a manufactured wood and is similar to particle board but is much stronger. If you are looking for a dining table that has a smooth finish and is easy to clean, then look no further than melamine! No maintenance is required, simply wipe with a damp cloth to remove any spills.
Our Eminence extending dining table is made using a walnut/smoked wood. The finish on this melamine dining table is more consistent than on a solid wood designed table.
Melamine dining tables are available in a large selection of colours and shapes, meaning you are sure to find something that will suit your dining room décor. Not fully scratch resistant, our experts recommend using coasters and placemats in order to preserve your melamine dining table for as long as possible.
Glass tables can be great because they are extremely low maintenance. Unlike wood, glass is porous free and therefore all mess or spills can be cleaned up in a matter of seconds! On (table) top of that, a glass table can also make your dining room look bigger while adding a touch of class to your interior.
The stylish and contemporary Turin Glass Top Round Table can make your own dining room feel and look like the fanciest of restaurants.
Sometimes fingerprints, smudges, and scratches can appear on a glass table but don’t let that stop you. We have an exclusive range of glass tables that you can choose from. Glass tables will also require clean flooring, so in order to make the most out of your dining experience for both you and your guests we also advise giving under the table a quick sweep before you eat!
In order to avoid scratches, always use placemats when dining at your glass table.
EZ Tip: To clean your glass table in a cheap and efficient way, mix water and vinegar together and apply this solution directly to the glass. Use a newspaper after to remove any excess streaks.
There are two main types of marble, one that has a matte finish and one that has a sealant already applied which creates a shiny look. The treatment of your marble will all depend on its type. Not unlike a glass table, a marble table will enhance the beauty of any room.
Like wood, marble is also extremely durable and if cared for properly, will easily withstand the test of time. Scratches and etches can sometimes be seen on a matte marble table. To avoid any dents or bumps, we suggest investing in sturdy placemats!
Fashioned from gorgeous grey travertine marble, the Round Leon Dining Table provides amazing texture for your interior.
A marble table which is already sealed is a lot easier to care for and will not be susceptible to stains or water absorption. If you do, however, prefer the matte finish, always keep coasters close by as if you leave a glass of wine on the table overnight to avoid stains and headache.
As you have now learned, matte marble can be porous therefore putting the final finish on your marble is essential if you want a stain-free table. Adding a seal will make your marble waterproof. If you are applying sealant, we advise that you wait for a full 24hrs before putting your table to use. This will allow the sealant to be fully absorbed without the mess.
EZ Tip: To know if your seal has been successful, splash a small amount of water on your table and if the water does not bead, then you will need to reapply the seal.
The Calligaris Italian range of dining tables are available in a variety of colours, shapes and materials including melamine and ceramic. A ceramic dining table has every feature you could possibly think of.
Ideal for families, this finish on dining table is stain and chemical resistant and does not require any extra such as oiling or waxing. Not only that, but if you were to accidently drop something onto a ceramic dining table, it will not scratch or shatter either. What could be better for children and adults alike?
EZ Living Furniture’s ceramic range of dining table can be extended with a laminate or ceramic extension piece. Available in a variety of colours, this table can be easily partnered with any style of dining chairs.
Ceramic is thermal shock resistant, meaning from a metre above it will not shatter. Phew! And for everyday spills simply wipe with a damp cloth.
EZ TIP: A ceramic dining table will last you a lifetime and will continue to look good forever. Don’t believe us? Ask our experts to run a key along a ceramic table in one of EZ Living Furniture’s 14 showrooms throughout Ireland. Our ceramic dining tables really are fully scratch resistant.
When selecting your dining table, it is important to note that the standard table height is 30 inches or 76cm. Although the standard height is 30 inches, the average height can range anywhere between 28 to 30 inches (71 to 76cm).
You will need to take a table-to-wall space into account. When selecting the right size dining table, make sure you have at least 24” of extra space all the way around the table. There’s no point in getting a beautiful dining table and dining chairs if your guests struggle to access their seats. The only thing people should be squeezing is the fresh orange juice placed beautifully on your new dining table.
Finally, there should also be 7” between the chair arm and the apron of the table so that the arm of the chair doesn’t get stuck or wedged under the table.
EZ Tip: Before you even enter a furniture store, get the dimensions of a table you like. Place newspapers on the floor to the width and length of the table, now add more newspapers according to the chair dimensions and how far they will come out to.
You should also take into consideration any surrounding drawers or presses. Actively pull out or open these items as far as they go in accordance to the newspapers. This will give you an accurate indication of whether the sizing needs adjusting or not.
Choosing the shape of your dining table is just as, if not more important as choosing the material. The most common shape is the rectangular table. This table has the ability to fit more than 4 people so if you have a busy house, this one is for you!
Square shaped tables are best suited in square-shaped rooms. These tables can provide a sort of intimacy that the rectangular tables cannot.
The Oliveto Dining Table has a rectangular shape and is higher than a usual dining table. This makes it ideal as a bar or kitchen counter. To find the ideal bar stool to pair with this table, Read: How to choose the right bar stool for you.
Like square tables, round tables can also create intimacy, a cosy feeling, and are highly suggested for every couple/ Oval tables are like rectangular tables in that they can fit many around them except they tend to occupy less space.
EZ Tip: Before investing in a specific shaped dining table, you should ask yourself this one question “How many people are we willing to cater for?”.
If the answer is between 2-4, every shape will fit your needs, whereas if you’re likely to entertain big crowds or simply have a big family, definitely consider either a rectangular, oval, or extendable dining table.
Extending mechanisms or additional surfaces are the real MVP’s of the dining room interior. Like a hero that answers the call once summoned, these extending inserts are capable of either accommodating extra guests, or simply increasing the table surface. Ultimately, they are the lifesavers of domestic hospitality.
The Giove Round Dining Table has an extendable feature, making it ideal for additional diners.
These extensions come in many shapes and forms and can be placed either at the end or even in the middle of your dining table. Such mechanisms include pull-out rod extensions, sliding leg extensions, central butterfly system and many more.
EZ Tip: To see how durable your extended piece is, simply press down on the constructed extension with an open palm once assembled. You will now be able to determine whether this extension is durable. If it withstands the added pressure, this means it is stable. However, if you feel it could give way and snap at any stage, this is a sure sign of its instability.
Another problem that can arise over the years with extendable table parts is colour discolouration. If your table is exposed to ultraviolet sunlight every day and your extension piece only exposed once a month (if even) there may be a colour difference in your table parts over a long period of time.
Therefore, we suggest you put the extendable part in a place that can receive equal sunlight exposure, like a spare bedroom!
Check out our range of extendable dining tables.
We hope that after reading this blog, you have a better idea of how to choose the perfect dining table for your home. If you still have questions, feel free to pop into one of EZ Living Furniture stores Nationwide and ask our experts. You can also ask our online team too!
For the ultimate dining room décor, Read: How to choose the perfect dining chair for you.
"After all, one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well" (at the perfect dining table!) – Virginia Woolf.