The Complete Guide to Buying a Dining Room Table

by Jane K on April 30, 2019

Roslyn Country 5-Piece Rectangle Dining Room Set

In the market for a new dining room table? At Star Furniture & Mattress, we understand that choosing a table is about more than just furniture, it’s about creating a space where your family and friends can gather together to spend quality time together. We want you to find the perfect dining table for your lifestyle, budget, and interior design style, which is why we’ve put together this dining room table guide. Take a look and let us help you find your next dining room table.

Dining Room Table Height

Here’s a question we’re frequently asked: what is the standard height of a dining room table? While table height hasn’t been entirely standardized, there are three popular styles of table to consider when choosing the right dining table for your family.

Standard Height Tables

Rachael Ray Home Highline 5-Piece Standard Height Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Rachael Ray Highline 5-Piece Dining Set)

Standard height tables, also known as chair height tables, tend to be 30 inches tall. Because this is the most common table height, you will find the widest selection of standard height tables at most furniture stores. This is also a great size option if you’re not buying a dining room set, because most chairs are designed to fit standard height tables, giving you more potential chair options. In terms of comfort, many people prefer standard height tables because you can rest your feet flat on the ground, which can be great when you’re sitting somewhere for a long period of time.

Counter Height Tables

Plank Road 5-Piece Counter Height Dining Room Set

(Pictured Above: Plank Road 5-Piece Counter Height Dining Set)

Counter height tables tend to be roughly 36 inches tall, which means they line up with most standard countertops. In the past few years, counter height dining tables have increased in popularity, which means you’ll likely be able to find a large selection of counter height tables and chairs available at your nearest furniture store. Not only do they offer a unique and modern style to your dining room, but they’re also great for entertaining guests, since the people sitting at the table are at the same height as those who are standing, making conversation easy and convenient.

Pub or Bar Height Tables

lattice 5-piece pub height dining set

(Pictured Above: Lattice Pub Height 5-Piece Dining Set)

Pub and bar height tables tend to be roughly 42 inches tall. Like counter height tables, it’s easy to converse with others while sitting or standing at a bar height table. While bar height tables are less popular than standard and counter height tables, they offer a casual look, perfect for taking advantage of small spaces. While many bar stools have leg rests to make them more comfortable for longer sitting periods, bar height tables are often too tall for children, so they don’t make a great option for families hoping to utilize a bar height table as their main dining room table.

Dining Room Table Shapes & Sizes

Because dining room tables can be a variety of shapes and sizes, there isn’t a firm set of dining room table dimensions that tables fall into. Dining room table heights tend to line up with standard, counter, or bar height, but table width and length tends to be determined by the shape of the table and the amount of people you’re hoping to accommodate.

Rectangular Table Width & Length

Arch. Salvage 5-Piece Dining Room Set

(Pictured Above: Arch. Salvage 5-Piece Rectangular Dining Set)

Rectangular tables tend to the most popular shape, and while the width of rectangular tables can vary, most are between 36 and 40 inches wide. This width allows for someone to comfortably sit on each end of the table, while providing ample room for place settings and serving dishes. You’ll want to consider how many people you are trying to seat before choosing a table length. To comfortably seat four people, a table should be about 48 inches long. If you’re hoping to seat six people, we recommend a table that’s closer to 60 inches long. Comfortably seating 8 people tends to require at least 78 inches. If you’re having trouble determine which length is right for you, a good general rule is to allow 24 inches of space per individual seat.

Round Table Width & Length

Ginger 5-Piece Round Black Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Ginger 5-Piece Round Dining Set)

Round tables are often either circular or oval-shaped, and because of their rounded shape, they tend to work better for small dining rooms. The key measurement to consider when choosing a round dining table is diameter. If you’re hoping to seat four people at the table, you’ll likely want table with a diameter of 36 to 44 inches. For groups of six people, you’ll want to choose a round table with a diameter of 44 to 54 inches to ensure that each person has enough space. Because of their round shape, seating more than six people at the table isn’t always ideal, as people tend to be far away from anyone not sitting directly next to them, but if you do decide to choose a round table for seating eight people, we recommend a diameter of 60 to 72 inches.

Square Table Width & Length

Madera White & Grey 5-Piece Leg Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Madera Black Square Dining Set)

Like round tables, square tables are best for smaller groups of people, and most square tables tend to be designed for four people, each of whom are seated along one edge of the table. Because of this, most square dining tables are between 36 and 44 inches wide and long. Many counter height and bar height tables are square, so even though they have a smaller width and length, they can sometimes be taller than traditional tables.

Extendable Tables

Rhapsody 5-Piece Extendable Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Rhapsody 5-Piece Extendable Dining Set)

Just because you sometimes entertain dinner guests doesn’t mean you necessarily need to have a large, rectangular table full-time. Many tables have extendable leaves, which can be added to the middle of the table, creating additional space for more seating. This can be a great option if you’re hosting the holidays at your home.

Dining Room Table Supports & Bases

Dining table construction extends past the shape, size, and height of the table. In fact, you’ve probably noticed how different dining room tables have different supports holding them up. While different bases create a different style, which base you choose is about more than aesthetics.

Trestle Table

Roslyn Country 5-Piece Rectangle Dining Room Set

(Pictured Above: Roslyn Country 5-Piece Trestle Table Set)

Trestle supports are often found on long, rectangular tables. In addition to adding a level of style and charm, trestle supports allow for extra leg room along the sides of the table, making them a great option for people who are trying to comfortably fit a large group around the table. That said, the head and foot of the table can sometimes run into space problems if the trestle extends in such a way that prevents chairs from being tucked under these ends of the table.

Pedestal Table

Hill Country 5-Piece Round Dining Room set

(Pictured Above: Hill Country 5-Piece Pedestal Table Set)

If you’re looking to comfortably fit people around a table, pedestal supports can create additional legroom for your guests. While not all pedestal supports are created equal, they do tend to centralize the base of the table, allowing for varying degrees of legroom. Because of their construction, some pedestal tables can be somewhat less sturdy, so you’ll want to check for stability when choosing a pedestal table.

Table Legs

Madera White & Grey 5-Piece Leg Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Madera Gray & White 5-Piece Table Leg Set)

Many dining room tables have four legs supporting the tabletop. These are often located at the four corners of the table, and they provide stability and ample leg room for people on all sides of the table. To maximize space, consider the leg placement as well as the leg width, as this can greatly impact how much space you have around the table.

Dining Room Table Materials

From wood veneers to glass and marble, dining room tables can be crafted out of a wide range of materials, each with their own style and benefits.

Wood Dining Tables

Easton Square Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Easton 5-Piece Square Dining Set)

When it comes to crafting furniture, wood has traditionally been one of the main materials used in furniture construction. Not only is it beautiful and natural looking, but wood can also be incredibly durable and easy to maintain. While hardwoods can be expensive, there are many solid wood dining tables available in a wide range of styles, making it appealing option for interior design.

Wood Veneer Tables

Valencia 5-Piece Gathering Height Dining Room Set

(Pictured Above: Valencia 5-Piece Dining Set)

Wood veneer tables provide the natural beauty you’d expect from solid wood, but because the most interesting logs are often cut into veneers, veneers can often be even more unique looking than solid wood. In addition to conserving wood, veneer tables can be more affordable and less likely to warp or crack. Because the veneer can be placed over different materials, do make sure your wood veneer tables feel sturdy and well-constructed, as you don’t want to sacrifice stability for beauty.

Glass Top Dining Tables

Olson 5-Piece Glass Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Olson 5-Piece Glass Dining Table Set)

While wood and veneer are the most popular dining table material, there’s a real argument to be made for glass top dining tables. Because of their reflective surface, glass tables can brighten and energize your dining room. They can fit a wide range of interior design styles, and they look great in small and large spaces. On top of being easy to clean, today’s tables use tempered safety glass, so you don’t have to worry about the glass being scratched or shattered.

Marble Top Dining Tables

Colfax Round Marble Dining Table

(Pictured Above: Colfax 5-Piece Marble Dining Table Set)

Looking for a sophisticated and stylish dining table? Consider marble table tops. While marble provides a sense of grandeur, marble top dining tables can range from modern and contemporary to a more traditional furniture style. Plus, with the proper upkeep, marble is incredibly durable and can resist stains and damage.

Dining Room Tables by Interior Design Styles

At Star Furniture & Mattress, we have a large selection of dining room tables in every shape, style, and budget. In fact, we offer free interior design services at our furniture stores, so you can get an expert’s advice on which dining set to choose. In the meantime, here’s a look at dining tables by furniture style.

Traditional Dining Room Tables

San Mateo 5-Piece Traditional Dining Table

(Pictured Above: San Mateo 5-Piece Traditional Dining Set)

Traditional furniture tends to include ornate detailing, rich wood tones, plush fabrics, and soft edges, and traditional dining tables tend to be large and sturdy, with exquisitely detailed chairs. When decorating a traditional dining room, consider utilizing china cabinets and buffet tables adorned with china, figurines, or meaningful trinkets. If your dining room has wood floors, you might consider decorating with a large area rug, which will anchor the room and help create distinct dining space.

Modern Contemporary Dining Room Tables

Modern Quartz 5-Piece Modern Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Modern-Quartz 5-Piece Modern Dining Table)

Modern contemporary furniture tends to include a minimalist approach, straight lines, geometric shapes, metal accents, and bold colors. When it comes to modern contemporary dining tables, you’ll find some or all of these same characteristics. While many modern tables use a combination of two materials to complement each other and create a distinct look, you’ll find that many modern dining chairs make use of natural fabrics, with comfort being at the forefront of their design. As with all contemporary interior design, lighting plays an important role, and mixed metal ceiling fixtures can serve as bright, stylish overhead options.

Transitional Dining Room Tables

Farmhouse Reimagined 5-Piece Transitional Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Farmhouse Reimagined 5-Piece Transitional Dining Set)

Transitional furniture tends to combine elements of contemporary and traditional design in a fun, modern way. When decorating a dining room in the transitional style, consider neutral-colored furniture that combines the straight lines and geometric shapes popular in modern furniture with the curved edges of traditional furniture.

Casual Dining Room Tables

Trisha Yearwood 5-Piece Casual Dining Set

(Pictured Above: Trisha Yearwood 5-Piece Casual Dining Set)

Casual furniture tends to create a comfortable and inviting room using simple details, textured fabrics and accessories, restful horizontal lines, neutral colors, soft upholstery, and arrangements that avoid perfect symmetry. When decorating a casual dining room, consider a dining table that is long and chunky with distressed wood, padded dining chairs, and elements of farmhouse style.

Still not sure what table to choose for your dining room? Visit one of our Star Furniture & Mattress stores in Houston, Austin, San Antonio or Bryan, Texas today to browse our extensive dining room furniture collection.

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