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Designer FAQs: Kitchen & Dining Room Tables
How do I know how big my dining room table should be?
Your dining table should be big enough to accommodate both your everyday and special occasion seating needs. We also suggest leaving about 3' of space between your dining room table and both the wall and nearby furniture for chair movement and traffic flow through your dining room.
If you’re not confident about whether your table will fit, we have some visualization tools to help you out:
- If you want to preview dining room tables in your space, download our EA inHome® app. The measurements aren’t to-the-millimeter perfect, but they’ll give you a good idea of the scale of the table and how it will look in your dining room.
- If you want to see a new table within your floor plan—or rethink your whole floor plan—you can experiment with our 3D Room Planner.
How do I know how many my dining table can seat?
Square dining tables generally seat 4.
For rectangular dining tables:
- 62" length seats up to 6
- 82" length seats 8
- 112" length seats 10
For round dining tables:
- 36" diameter seats 2
- 48" diameter seats 4
- 60" diameter seats 6
If you will need a smaller table for most of the year and a bigger one just for parties or at holiday time, consider getting an extension table, so you can add and take out a leaf as needed.
Is there a difference between kitchen tables and dining room tables?
We don’t label any of our tables “kitchen tables,” but any of them could be! Generally, kitchen tables are smaller because they have to fit into more snug spaces, and they’re understood to be less formal, with a casual family vibe.
Rather than getting caught up on labels, think about both the table’s size and its design aesthetic. A big, formal rectangular dining table would feel out of place in a kitchen, but a small round dining table or square dining table would feel just right in a cozy corner.
Does it matter what kind of wood a dining table is made from?
Most of our dining tables are crafted from both wood solids and veneers, and we use a variety of woods including maple, birch, poplar, cherry, and oak. We make most of our dining tables in our own workshops, often from logs we mill ourselves, and we kiln-dry our own lumber, so it doesn’t split or crack when we work with it. We also offer tables made by artisans who work with sustainably harvested Indonesian mahogany.
Because we take so much care in the preparation of our wood, we can stand behind the quality of any dining table, no matter what it’s made from. Rather than focusing on the type of wood, look at the finish and make sure it matches the way you want your table to look.
You use veneers? I’m not sure what to think about that.
When you think of veneer, don’t think of printed laminates glued over particle board—at least, not at Ethan Allen! Our veneers are thin strips of real wood, which we apply like a mosaic over hardwoods to give a dining table surface a particular look.
We may apply veneers in marquetry and parquetry patterns, for example, or we may apply veneers in a V-shaped pattern called “cathedral veneers.” Also, real wood veneers add to a dining table’s structural strength by stabilizing it as the wood expands and contracts in your dining room’s natural environment.
Are real wood dining room tables hard to take care of?
Not at all! We do have a few recommendations:
- Use coasters or placemats under beverages, and use trivets or hot pads under pots, pans, or other serving dishes that contain hot food.
- Rotate your tablescape so the sun doesn’t fade the finish around it, and stick felt onto the underside of candlesticks, jars, etc., to keep them from scratching your tabletop.
- Skip the furniture polish, and wipe your table down with a clean, slightly damp cotton cloth. Dry it after you’ve cleaned it to soak up any remaining water beads.
- Keep your furniture out of direct sunlight, and try to keep the temperature in your room as constant as you can.
- Still worried about protecting your table? You can have a protective custom table pad made—just call or stop by a Design Center to find out how.
If you’re worried about scratching and marks, choose a dining table that comes in a distressed finish. A mark or scratch won’t mar a finish like that; it simply adds to its character.
Do you have more questions? Click the Designer Chat icon, or contact your local Design Center—we’re happy to help!