Are you in the market for a new dining table? Then you’ll want to find out how to choose a dining table that will elevate your dining room. There are a few key considerations to bear in mind when choosing a dining table that suits your needs and the style of your home.

Firstly, your dining table will almost certainly be one of the most often-used pieces of furniture in your home, so it pays to choose carefully. Secondly, a quality dining table – such as those offered by Fishpools – is an investment, and if cared for properly, it can last you decades!

It might be tempting to choose any dining table that matches your chairs and existing décor, but it’s important to factor in other considerations too. Choosing a dining room table may seem like a daunting task, but our dining table buying guide is here to help.

Read on as we discuss everything you need to know about choosing the perfect dining room table for your home.

What dining table size is best for me?

The sizes of the dining tables available for purchase today vary widely, so it’s crucial to choose carefully. Never buy a table that’s too large or too small for your room. Plan the table as a key feature of the room by laying down newspaper or cardboard boxes in an area roughly the size of the table you like. Walk around the newspaper and put chairs around it to visualise how much space the table should take up without leaving your dining room feeling cluttered. Boxes will also help you to assess the ideal height of your table.

You should allow for a minimum of 60cm around the table in every direction so that you can comfortably pull out chairs and seat your guests. Once you have factored this space in, reassess the flow of the room. If it feels cluttered, choosing a small dining table might be necessary. If your table area feels too small, consider looking for a larger furniture piece to find the right spatial balance.

What dining table shape is best for me?

The ideal shape of your dining table will depend on a number of factors. These include the size and shape of your dining room, the size of your family, and whether you’ll host guests regularly.

Round tables are a fantastic option if you have limited space, as they can fit into small areas and create an intimate dining setting with good visibility for all seated guests. However, round tables are not generally ideal for growing families or large groups of people. Square dining tables, like the Santana Solid Oak Square Dining Table, fit square spaces particularly well and can be used for smaller areas to create an intimate setting. However, if you have more than four people seated at any time, square tables can begin to feel cramped.

Most dining tables are rectangular, and there’s a good reason for this. A rectangle dining table leaves more room for walking and movement in your dining room and can easily seat more than four people.

If you need to maximise the number of people you can seat in a smaller room, it’s recommended that you choose a dining table and bench set instead of traditional chairs on both or one side of your table. Choosing a dining table with a bench provides plenty of extra seating without hindering comfort and are easily stowed underneath the table to provide additional space when not in use.

Dining table and chairs set

What material should I choose?

Material is a key factor when choosing a dining table. Modern dining room tables come in a range of materials and finishes, all of which offer different benefits. Glass dining tables are great for saving space and provide a lighter, more contemporary look. Ceramic tables are practical, hard-wearing, and suit a variety of interior décor styles, from industrial to modern. Ceramic tables are also often heat- and scratch-resistant, making them an extremely popular choice.

If you’re aiming for a more rustic look, you can opt for wooden dining table choices like natural timber, solid oak, and open grain tables. In contrast, high gloss finish tables create a glamorous look and are particularly popular for show houses and higher-end homes. Matte lacquer tables provide an upmarket feel that is more in vogue nowadays than their high gloss counterparts.

Marble is another classic option that provides a natural version of ceramic with a completely unique and individual graining pattern on each table. While marble is not as practical as some other finishes, opting for a marble table will ensure that your dining table is a one-of-a-kind piece that nobody else will have. The Caesar Dining Table in Bone White Marble exudes elegance and sophistication, making it a stunning centrepiece for any dining room.

What configurations are available?

The two most common dining table configurations are extendable tables and fixed tables. Extending dining tables are the most popular option as they can easily be expanded to fit at least two to four extra guests.

If you have a large, open plan kitchen diner or dining room, we recommend opting for a fixed 3m dining table that can seat around eight to ten guests. Most people opt for four to six-seater tables. But if you entertain regularly, a larger or extending table may suit your purposes better.

Extending dining table and chairs

What are the different styles of dining tables?

There are many different dining table styles to browse through when considering choosing a dining table. Some of the most in-demand styles include:

  • Traditional. Traditional tables have a clean and classic look and will fit well with most interior décor styles. They create a refined ambience in any dining room setting and are usually made of polished wood or ceramic.
  • Rustic. Rustic dining tables invoke the feeling of countryside living and are full of charm and character. They often boast textured or weathered wooden surfaces and are sometimes made of reclaimed wood to add an extra touch of rural appeal.
  • Industrial. Industrial dining tables are based on a minimal décor approach inspired by industrial warehouses and commercial spaces. They use raw materials like metal and wood to create strong and robust furniture pieces that are as long-wearing as they are interesting to the eye.
  • Modern. This dining table style focuses on minimalist design and sleek materials like glass, ceramic, marble, and matte finishes with limited colour schemes. Modern dining tables tend to have slim legs and supports that add a unique look to the table itself without compromising on comfort or functionality.
  • Glamour. Statement, glamourous dining tables focus on high-gloss and shine materials like polished metal, glass, and marble, paired with distinctive design elements like intricate patterns and embellishments to add a luxurious look.
Rustic dining table set with bench

Enhancing your dining table

Choosing unique dining chairs is one of the best ways to enhance your dining table on both visual and functional levels. One growing trend is to mix up your table and chairs to create an individual look and add extra character to your dining room setting.

The material of your chairs should be chosen for both comfort and practicality, and your chairs should correspond appropriately to the size of your dining table. You can make your chairs your own by choosing from a variety of colours, fabric finishes and leg options, and choosing them to complement and coordinate with your preferred table.

The right choice of chairs can make your dining room look more industrial, contemporary, or traditional, depending on your tastes, so bear your design style in mind when selecting your dining chairs. Consider what you will do at your dining table. Do you plan on working at it, hosting parties and events, or turning it into a cosy family room? Pick your chairs according to their intended purpose to ensure that anyone seated at your table always feels at home.

Benches are another great option that are fantastic for saving space in smaller areas. They are also popular for kitchen diners. They enable you to better utilise wall space and seat more guests around your table. Corner bench dining tables in particular will help you to save space while prioritising comfort. Benches tend to create a more contemporary or industrial look, depending on their design. So, choose strategically to ensure that your benches align with the ambience of your home.

Dining table with bench seating

Accessorising your dining table with home décor

A stylish dining table can look elegant on its own, but you can elevate its look even further with a few carefully curated pieces of home décor.

Options like vases and planters, decorative bowls and plates, and ornaments can all create a stunning focal point for your dining room, and faux plants will bring botanical charm to your table without requiring any maintenance. Candles and candlesticks can be used to create soft, inviting lighting and create a romantic ambience in dining rooms of any size.

Dining table accessorised with home decor

Frequently asked questions

What colour should my dining table be?

The sky is the limit! Fishpools offers plenty of colour choices, along with a range of different table finishes. You can customise the colour of metal and ceramic finishes in certain ranges to help create the perfect look. Remember to bear in mind the style you wish to achieve in your kitchen or dining room and choose your colours according to this style and your existing décor.

What dining table material is the most practical?

Ceramic tables are the most practical choice, as they are often scratch and damage resistant, easy to clean, and highly durable.

What dining table configuration is best for families?

Extending tables in a practical material like ceramic are ideal for families, as they can be extended as your family grows or whenever you have extra guests round.

What dining table is best for a small space?

Glass tables can bring light to small rooms and create the illusion of depth and space, and round, fixed and extending tables are well suited to smaller spaces. Use benches instead of dining chairs to maximise your space without leaving it feeling cramped.

Who will assemble my dining table?

Choosing a dining table from Fishpools means that your table will be delivered and assembled in the room of your choice.

How do I look after my dining table?

Ideal dining table care will depend on the material and finish. Ceramic and glass are very easy to maintain, and you can take out our Guardsman Policy to protect against scratches and surface damage. This policy offers protection against accidental damage for a period of 5 years to bring you peace of mind. Oiled oak can be re-oiled regularly to prevent cracking, and marble can be waxed on occasion to leave it looking as good as new.

Find the right dining table for your home with Fishpools

With so many great options available, use our dining table buying guide to inform your choices as you browse our extensive dining table and dining table sets online.

If you’re still thinking ‘how do I choose a dining table’, then why not view our collection of dining tables at our store in Waltham Cross and talk to our friendly team? View our opening hours to plan your visit.