Dining Tables: The Ultimate Buying Guide

Dining Tables: The Ultimate Buying Guide

Thinking of giving your dining room a makeover? Start with your dining table. It sets the vibe for the whole room. At your dining table, you hang out, eat good food, and make those special memories with your favorite people.


There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a dining room table, so the process can get a little overwhelming – trust us, we’ve been there. But don't worry, we're here to help. We’ve put together a guide covering all things dining tables so you can find one that checks all the boxes. Here's what we'll go over:


1. What is the best material for a dining table?

2. How do you choose the right size dining table?

3. What dining tables are in style in 2024?

4. What seating do you need for your dining table?


What is the best material for a dining table?

When choosing a material for your dining table, you just can’t beat solid wood dining tables. Their durability, minimal maintenance, and versatility puts them miles ahead of the rest. Here’s why:



Solid wood dining room tables are your go-to for everything life throws at them. Whether it's a chill breakfast or a lively dinner party, they've got you covered.


Glass tables easily crack and shatter and metal tables rust quickly. Meanwhile, solid wood tables are up to the challenge of everyday wear and tear. Solid wood also beats out other wooden dining table materials like particle board and veneer. With top-notch durability and stability, solid wood is a clear winner in the sturdiness department.



light wood dining table with black chairs



Minimal Maintenance

Taking care of a solid wood dining table is way easier than you might guess. A simple wipe-down with a damp cloth is all it takes to keep your table looking its best.


Plus, with a bit of TLC, a real wood dining table won't warp or crack – which will save you a headache and some cash down the line.


pecan solid wood dining table set for 6



Solid wood kitchen tables are always in. They come in a wide range of finishes – think warm, natural tones and bold blacks and whites. This allows you to perfectly match them with any décor. Plus, they're available in an array of styles, whether you’re into a sleek, modern look or prefer rustic charm.


modern kitchen table with walnut dining chairs



How do you choose the right size dining table?

Now that you know solid wood is the way to go, let's talk size. Finding the right size table for your space is key. Here's how to do it like a pro:


Measure Your Dining Space

First things first, grab your tape measure and get to work. Measure the entire length and width of your dining area to see how much space you have to work with. And don’t forget to leave at least three feet of space between your table and any walls, counters, or furniture – nobody likes feeling cramped during dinner.


natural wood table with black dining chairs


Determine Your Seating Needs

Next up, think about who you’ll need to seat at your table. As a rule of thumb, allow at least two feet of space per person at the table. For example, a 48-inch kitchen table works best for four people. On the other hand, a 60-inch dining table or 72-inch dining table would make the perfect solid wood dining table for 6.


Don’t be afraid to get creative with your seating arrangements by adding dining benches. A dining table with bench will help squeeze everyone in at the table – and it’ll make your space look pretty great, too.


solid wood dining set with two dining benches


Choose the Appropriate Shape

The shape of your dining table can switch up the feel of your dining space. Round dining tables are great for smaller areas or square-shaped rooms. They encourage conversation and make everyone feel together, perfect for close-knit meals.


small round dining table with white chairs


If you have more space to work with, rectangular tables are the way to go. Great for bigger rooms or even breakfast nooks, they give you tons of room for all your food and fun, making them a hit for hosting.


solid wood dining table set for 6



What dining tables are in style in 2024?

Looking for the next big thing in dining tables? Here are some of our favorites that have been taking center stage this year:


Minimalist Dining Tables

In 2024, it’s all about embracing simplicity and letting your décor do the talking. Minimalist dining tables are up-and-coming this year. With clean lines and understated designs, these tables allow your other furniture and accessories to shine.


Want to get this look for your space? Our modern dining tables and Contour dining tables are a great place to start.


modern dining table with benches and minimalist dining table with bench and black dining chairs


Round Dining Tables

Round dining tables are having a moment lately. For starters, they create a super cozy setting that’s perfect for both family dinners and game nights. Plus, no sharp corners mean they're easy to move around, even in tighter spaces.


Their round shape lends itself to conversation, fostering a feeling of togetherness. A small round dining table would make the perfect addition to your smaller space or breakfast nook.


round wood dining table with white dining chairs


Farmhouse Dining Tables

The farmhouse trend is here to stay. Farmhouse dining tables, with cozy vibes and rustic flair, make your house feel like a home. Super versatile, farmhouse tables blend in with any décor style you've got going – from the classic to the modern farmhouse look. Try out one of our classic dining tables to bring this shabby chic feel into the comfort of your dining room.


farmhouse dining set with dining table benches and black dining chairs


Mid-Century Modern Dining Tables

Mid-century dining tables have a timeless appeal. They blend sleek lines with warm woods to give your space a vibe that's both retro and refreshingly modern.


Plus, they're flexible – whether you're hosting a dinner party or just enjoying a quiet meal, these tables work like a charm. They're also pretty great at making even the simplest meals look Instagram-worthy. Who wouldn't want that?


mcm dining room table with black chairs



What seating do you need for your dining table?

Now that you've found the perfect dining table, it's time to pull up a chair (or bench!). Here's what to consider when choosing seating:



Before setting your heart on a chair or bench, double-check your measurements. You'll want to leave about two feet of space for each seat at your table. Pro tip: a solid wood dining set with benches gives you the most bang for your buck for seating.


Also, make sure to check the height of your dining table to ensure the chairs fit comfortably underneath. Ideally, you should leave about 10 to 12 inches of space between the bottom of the table and the top of the chair seat.


modern dining table with dining benches and windsor dining chairs



No one likes sitting in an uncomfortable chair for a long dinner. Go for chairs that give your back and legs the support they need. Chairs with angled backrests and contoured seat design make a huge difference in comfort, especially when you're hanging out for a while.


wooden dining chair at solid wood dining room table



Picking the right chairs or a bench can take your dining area's style to the next level. Try out a dining table set to nail that perfect color match between your seating and table. Or if you’re up for something bold and trendy, go ahead and mix up the finishes. Imagine pairing cool black dining chairs with a natural wood dining table – pretty stylish, right?


For a pop of color and personality, consider upholstered chairs that also make the seat extra comfy. For the most durable option that never goes out of style, solid wood dining chairs and benches are always a great choice.


real wood dining table with solid wood black dining chairs


Now you've got all the insider info on picking out that perfect dining table. You're all set to create a dining space that’s as stylish as it is practical.


Remember, your dining table sets the tone for your space, so have fun with it. Don't be afraid to experiment with different styles and finishes to find a table that is uniquely you. This will create a space where you can make lasting memories with the people you love the most.


At Plank+Beam, we’ve got the best of the best solid wood dining tables to match your vibe and space. Tiny apartment? Huge dining room? We’ve got you.


No matter your personal style, there’s a Plank+Beam table with your name on it. Don't just take our word for it — shop our dining collection today and find your perfect match. Let's give your dining space the glow-up it deserves – because your next gathering should have a centerpiece that gets everyone talking.