Buying a Dining Table
- Top Finish
Consider the available space and the number of people who will typically use the table. If there are usually only 2 or 4 of you but you need to cater for up to 12 on high days and holidays you may wish to consider an extendable table. Fritz Hansen and Carl Hansen both offer a wide range of extendable tables. For example the Fritz Hansen B619 extends from 180 to 300cm. There is also an extendable round table available, which is pretty unusual. The PK54A table has a separate outer extension ring, which changes the diameter from 140 to 210cm.
Take a look at the shape of the room. If it is fairy square, a round table works well as it will soften the overall feel. For a rectangular room, you may wish to consider an oval table, which fits perfectly in this shape and is a more sociable shape than oblong. In addition, round and oval tables are kinder to children- with no sharp corners to run in to! The shape of the Saarinen Tulip table is hard to beat. It’s smooth curved oval shape works perfectly as a cosy setting for two people at one end, but it also copes well with large numbers of up to 6/8 for the medium and up to 10/12 for the larger size.
We have created a Tulip table template so that our clients can see exactly what a particular size or shape looks like in their dining area. Please email us to request a copy or for more information.
The dining tables in our collection come in a wide range of options including wood, marble, slate, laminate, glass and even linoleum. When choosing the right surface, here are some helpful pointers.
Consider the materials and colours already in the room, especially in a kitchen diner where the table needs to sit well with the kitchen cupboards and worktops. If the room already has lots of wood, you may wish to introduce a completely new and different material such as marble, glass or laminate. If the room is stark and white, adding a wooden table will soften the overall look of the room.
Our hardest wearing options for families with children is laminate followed closely by marble. Laminate is extremely durable and will take pretty much any bashes from cutlery or toys, in addition to it being very easy to clean. The marble tops on Saarinen Tulip and Florence Knoll tables are more durable than you might expect. Each marble top has four separate layers of polyester coating, to protect it from food and drink. Whether it’s red wine, Weetabix or spaghetti Bolognese, it will all clean off thanks to this special protection. If the marble takes a heavy knock it can be damaged. If this should happen, we offer a repair service within London and the M25. Once repaired, it is almost impossible to find the original chip in the marble.
We have a wide range of wooden tables, with a variety of wood types and finishes. In terms of durability, we suggest you consider Fritz Hansen’s Essay table and any of Carl Hansen’s tables, as they both offer oak and walnut with an oil finish. The oil finish gives some protection to the table and can be completely restored by using elbow-grease and oil if required.
There are other wood finishes available. Carl Hansen’s table tops are available with lacquer or soap as well as oil. The lacquer gives a fairly good level of protection from everyday use, but if a mark or scratch appears in a certain area, generally it is a specialist job to restore the table. Soap treatment is a traditional Scandinavian way to protect wood and gives the most natural look. However, tables which have been soap-treated require more regular maintenance.
Other top finishes such as glass and linoleum require more work and are a little more likely to get damaged, and are therefore less suitable for busy family homes. But these table tops work fine in homes without young children and as long as you are prepared to follow a regular cleaning and maintenance regime.
All of our tables are easy to care for on a daily basis, just with a damp cloth. But we always recommend the use of table mats, and trivets especially for hot dishes and to protect the table from every day use. We can provide specific cleaning instructions for your particular table, if required.