Furniture Buying Guide: Dining Tables

This furniture buying guide aims to help you choose a dining table that fits perfectly into your life and your home.

Used as the kitchen office, the homework station, the family meeting place and the dinner party banquet table, the loyal dining table is a versatile bit of kit. Are you making the most of your table? Do you have the right table for your family’s needs? Why not take a seat and have a read through our list of things to consider when buying a new dining table.

Dining Tables | Furniture Buying Guides from A World of Oak A Touch of Pine

What to Consider Before Buying a Dining Table


Do you have a separate dining room or will your table live in the kitchen? Will it double up as extra worktop space if it’s located in the kitchen? Will it be pushed up against the wall or take pride of place in the centre of your dining room? Perhaps it will form part of your lounge and needs to be pushed to one side after every use.


It’s easy to determine whether the table you have your heart set on will fit the space you have available. Simply mark out your the table’s dimensions – you can find them on each item’s page on our website – on the floor of your kitchen or dining room using masking tape, string or even sheets of newspaper.

Make sure you have at least 90cm (roughly 3ft) of space between the table and the wall or any other pieces for furniture. This will allow diners to sit down and get up without struggle and food to be served without having to squeeze past.

Not Enough Room?

If finding enough space is a challenge, consider alternatives. A circular dining table can seat as many people as a square or rectangular table, but takes up much less floor space!

If you prefer rectangular tables to round one, you could opt for benches instead of dining chairs to save space. Or if a large table is only needed once in a while, then take a look at our extendable dining tables. They’re great for saving space when not in full use.

How Many People Will it Seat?

One of the questions we’re most often asked by customers wanting to buy dining tables. It’s important to know whether your new dining table will seat two for tea, five for dinner or the whole tribe for Sunday lunch.

It’s also easy to work out starting from your chosen table’s dimensions, which you can find on the website. Dining table designers plan on place settings of 55cm – 60cm wide for a rectangular or square dining table. If you covet a round dining table, allow about 75cm per person. And if your dining chairs have arms, then you need to plan for 70cm wide place settings.

Mix or Match?

Most customers who come to us for their dining table also pick out chairs or a sideboard for their new dining room. And one question we’re often ask is: should furniture match?

Of course, it’s your home and you create the look you love, but we have learned a few important facts in over 25 years of selling furniture:

  • unless you’re going for a shabby chic look, matching dining chairs will make your dining space look more “put together”
  • in the same vein, matching dining room furniture can make a small room look less crowded
  • if you like to mix and match your dining room furniture, try to stick to the same materials – all oak or all painted pine, for example, for a more coordinated look
  • dark furniture in a very bright, light dining room adds a dramatic tone
  • pale, straight-edged furniture looks great in modern rooms
  • and table heights vary, so if you’re buying your dining chairs separately, or are replacing the ones you currently have, make sure they’re the right size!

Many of our customers buy their dining furniture over a period of years, adding pieces as they need them. If that’s you, and you like one particular look or furniture collection, please check with us whether the range is likely to be discontinued before you purchase.

square dining tables from A World of Oak A Touch of Pine


Dining tables aren’t just utilitarian pieces. Depending on their shape, design and the material they’re made from, they can add a distinctive style of their own.

Ornate oak tables, especially D-ended pedestal dining tables look stunning in traditional dining rooms, while lighter woods designed along straight lines fit best into very modern homes.

In between you can find tables with a small amount of ornamentation, waxed or oiled finishes and bevelled edges, which fit almost everywhere. Small round tables are great for breakfast rooms and small square tables will be a godsend if you’re starting out in your first flat or your dining room is a corner of your living room.

Painted furniture works well for small dining rooms, kitchen diners or if you’re creating a farmhouse kitchen look.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Painted dining furniture needs little more than a dusting or a wipeover with a damp cloth. Unpainted oak or pine tables would benefit from a polish now and then. If you’re not sure how to keep your table looking as perfect as the day you bought it from us, please just ask. We do stock a range of furniture care products and will be able to advise.

Dining Table Buying Checklist

  • Measure the size of the space you are allocating for your dining table. Ensure that there is enough space all around the table for serving food.
  • Work out how many people you need to seat at your table on a daily basis and how many it needs to accommodate occasionally.
  • Will the table be used just for dining or for other activities?
  • What finish, colour and materials will match the rest of your decor and the activities it’s being used for?
  • If you are planning to buy other pieces from the same furniture collection in the future, check that the collection is not about to be discontinued
  • If you already have dining chairs or are planning to buy them separately, make sure they’re the right size for your table
  • Purchase your care products
  • Before taking your new dining table away with you, or choosing our delivery service, please check whether the table will fit through doorways, hallways and around corners.

If you’d like to browse our range of dining tables, simply click here or visit us in store!

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