How to Choose the Right Dining Table [5 Expert Tips]

The dining table is the most imposing piece of furniture in a dining room or open kitchen. Round or rectangular, fixed or extendable, it must be well chosen, depending on the room that will accommodate it, its style, and your needs. How to choose the right dining room table?

But what should we prioritize? Is the round table for more conviviality or a less bulky square one? And in what material?

Which model should you go for? Discover our tips and our shopping to make the right choice according to your interior.

Questions to ask yourself before choosing your dining table

Before you start looking for your dining table, don’t hesitate to ask yourself a few questions: this will help you make your choice more easily.

How to Choose the Right Dining Table
Dining Table

How many guests for the dining table?

Size always matters, especially for the table. Indeed, it must meet your needs as best as possible. If there are four of you but you receive your loved ones very often, it is preferable to opt for a model large enough to accommodate them in good condition. 

On the other hand, if you only occasionally receive family, you can opt for a less bulky version.

What location for the table?

It may seem trivial, but nothing is more horrifying than realizing that the only place for the table is far from the kitchen. 

Our advice: think carefully about the location of your table so that neither its size nor its shape prevents you from placing it where you want. 

Without forgetting the necessary clearance for the chairs. If you are in doubt, take your measuring tape and take measurements: this way you will know which models will best suit your interior.

What shape should you choose for a dining table?

Oval, round, or even rectangular, dining tables can take several shapes. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Fortunately, Ootravaux serves you all the arguments on a platter!

A square table to start

The advantages of square tables

This type of furniture is ideal for your first home which does not always have a lot of space. In fact, a square table can accommodate 4 people while maximizing space. If the feet are placed at the corners, no one has difficulty sitting down: the foot.

Square tables are also very easy to double: you can place them next to each other if you have more people. This is not the case for rounds or ovals.

The flaws of square tables

Beyond the 4 places, there is no way to add a person who arrives unexpectedly! If you entertain often, you can opt for a larger table that can accommodate 8 people. Be careful, it will take up more space and it will not be suitable for a small dining room.

The square table is ideal…

If you have a fairly small kitchen or dining room. It can be placed against the wall when not in use. It is also perfect for meals in complete privacy.

The rectangular table, a classic

The benefit of a rectangular table

This shape of the table is also very classic: it can accommodate more people than a square table, thanks to the two places for the ends of the table. 

Even with its reduced size, the table is more practical for having lunch with several people. 

If there are usually 4 of you at the table, you also benefit from more space. This is useful for placing the bread basket or drinks for example.

The inconvenience

Its size can be a disadvantage in a dining room or kitchen. If you choose an intermediate model for 8 people, for example, this represents a significant footprint. It can also remind you of an office table: it must remain a decorative element in your living room.

Choose a rectangular table if…

You want to receive your friends in a friendly atmosphere: you will all be able to talk to each other and see each other. And don’t forget the extensions that allow room for more guests.

The round table works too

The benefit of a round table

Are you sensitive to his particular style? You are right: the round table is less classic than the others. It evokes the atmosphere of the 70s. But it’s not just its look that’s interesting, it’s also its shape. It allows all guests to see each other, which is not always the case with rectangular ones, for example.

The disadvantages of a round table

You need to know them before getting carried away! The round table can become quite imposing if you want to accommodate more than 5 or 6 people in your dining room. A minimum diameter of 120 cm is required. And like square tables, it’s not very easy to add more people.

The other concern is the difficulty of communicating with the guest opposite: the distance does not allow for a discussion without raising one’s voice. You will often fall back on the people to your right and left.

Finally, a round table can be more difficult to store against the wall when not in use, except for those that fold up.

You will love the round table…

If you are one of the admirers of the Knights of the Round Table but especially if you like the conviviality and design that this type of table exudes.

The oval table, a shape like a compromise

The advantages of an oval table

It offers a good compromise between design and space. In fact, you can benefit from a table that can accommodate up to 8 guests but with a special and original touch. 

You may know the most iconic oval table, created by Eero Saarinen in 1956: the Tulip table with its Carrara marble top and central leg.

The faults of an oval table

It also combines the faults of round and rectangular: it takes up space. In fact, you cannot push it against the wall and the shape requires a fairly significant grip.

The oval table is perfect…

If you have a dining room spacious enough to accommodate this type of bulky furniture.

What material to choose for a dining table?

Once you have chosen the shape of your table, there is still the question of material. Here are some things to think about to help you find the table of your dreams.

How to Choose the Right Dining Table
Dining Table

A wooden dining table


This is the most classic version: wood is a material that has a pleasant appearance, which fits into all interiors. 

As for its maintenance, it is very simple and can withstand being wiped with a sponge if it has been varnished. And don’t hesitate to protect it with tablecloths that give different looks to your table.

The lessers

This piece of furniture can be a little too classic if you have a more modern decoration. A bit of a country style is not always an advantage!

Some trays are particularly fragile when they are not varnished: there is no need to remind you that an accident can quickly happen when you have lunch!

The wooden table, an ideal piece of furniture…

Because it adapts to all interiors: you can even paint it to change its look.

A concrete table


If you like industrial style, this type of designer table is for you. And what’s more, the concrete table is extremely solid and requires limited maintenance. That’s a lot of benefits!

The inconvenient

It is a piece of furniture that is particularly heavy and you should not have to move it often. Once installed, the table no longer moves. 

And of course, it is important that its style matches the decor of the rest of the dining room. Some models can be a little expensive.

do not hesitate

Choose the concrete table if you like its contemporary spirit!

The glass table


When we talk about glass tables, we most often mean trays. This material brings lightness to the piece of furniture thanks to its transparency: this allows you to install a large piece without impacting the appearance of the room.

The lessers

It is necessary to protect glass well because it is more fragile than other materials. And above all all fingerprints, stains or even scratches are particularly visible. 

This is not recommended for maniacs! Don’t neglect the noise of cutlery and plates either: a tablecloth or placemats will help you limit it.

Focus on glass

If you want to bring a touch of sophistication to your dining room, without neglecting the type of chair that finishes the decor of this dining area.

Other possible materials for a dining table

A marble dining table can be seen as the ultimate. It’s true that some pieces are very beautiful even if they are quite heavy. The price is also a point to take into account for this type of part.

And have you thought about metal? You can choose the board in another material. This allows you to benefit not only from a solid base but also from an original dining table.

What height and dimensions of a dining table?

For a long time, tables were standard, without much originality. But in recent years, the rules have changed to offer versions more in line with your lifestyle.

Possible heights for a dining table

A traditional table

The classic height is 75 cm under the top. You can easily sit down by choosing chairs with a seat 60 cm from the ground.

Choose a high table, snack style

This is a proposal that is out of the ordinary! You perch on high chairs or stools to have lunch on the table which is 90 cm high, but very comfortable.

You can easily store the chairs under the table. Note that this configuration generally takes up less space than traditional tables.

Always higher, the bar table in your dining room

You can gain even more height with this style of furniture which is generally at a height of 110 cm. It’s a sort of “eating standing” but you can install comfortable seats. 

Of course, it is not recommended if you have young children or if you like large tables. It is more of a piece of furniture for 4 people.

Dimensions for your dining room table

Are you having trouble finding the measurements and spaces to respect? Ootravaux provides you with some valuable information.

  • You must allow a space of at least 120 cm between the wall and your table: this will prevent chairs from hitting the wall, for example.
  • It is necessary to space the plates 60 cm apart so that the meal happens in good condition, without elbowing!

All you have to do is do some multiplication to find out the possible sizes for your table. 

And why not call on a carpenter for a custom-made table?

If you can’t find what you’re looking for among furniture manufacturers, why not ask a carpenter to offer you a specimen made especially for you?

You will then have a unique tailor-made piece, which will match the decor of the furniture in your living room. This specialist can also give you good advice for a modern or Scandinavian version of your model.

Do not hesitate to request several quotes based on your expectations and the materials you prefer for the table of your dreams.


What is the right size for a dining table?

The right size for a dining table depends on the space available and the number of people it needs to accommodate. Generally, a table of 36-48 inches in diameter is suitable for up to four people, while a table of 60-72 inches can seat six to eight people.

Which type of dining table is best?

The best type of dining table depends on your needs and style. Solid wood tables are durable and timeless. Metal tables suit industrial aesthetics, while marble or stone tables offer elegance. Glass tables give a modern look, and plastic tables are practical and affordable.

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