Style & Design
Dining Table Top Materials
The center of your eating and hosting should support the activities you expect to share over your dining room table. Consider how you expect to use the dining room table to understand what kind of material would best suit your needs and purposes. Will it be more formal, used only for special occasions? Or a table more suited for daily use by family and friends?
Each dining table material comes with its own character that you can personalize your dining area with. Dining room tables come constructed in a variety of materials, and the material will largely depend on your preferred aesthetic and structure. Also, look at the longevity of the material and consider how much maintenance your selection might require.
Wood - Wooden dining room tables are a classic, durable, and versatile option, a popular choice for many. Available in hardwood, soft wood, or composite/engineered wood, a wood table can be formal or more casual, depending on the color and finish. Wood tables add a natural warmth, or even elegance, to a room and can work for a variety of styles, from farmhouse to contemporary. Keep in mind that wood reacts to humidity and temperature. Some types of wood tables are also easily sanded or refurbished for a fresh look every few years, if needed.
Best hardwood for dining tables:
Laminate - Laminate dining tables come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs and usually more budget-friendly and customizable. Laminate table tops are also called veneers. Usually made of layers of materials, often including PVC, melamine, and wood grain finish, laminate tables are sturdy and easy to clean, but they may be prone to damage. Note that formica and laminate are the same kind of material, though their names may be used interchangeably.
Metal - Metal dining room tables are for if you want to go bold and modern or industrial in style. Metal tables are very sturdy, require little maintenance, and run cool to the touch, though that means they are susceptible to changing temperatures and may run hot or scorch with hot pans. Metal tables are not ideal for rooms that run warm and place mats will be needed.
Marble - For a more luxury feel, a marble dining room top may be to your liking. Low maintenance, a marble table top won’t stain or scratch easily and is easy to clean. Marble comes in different colors and patterns, so you can find one to match your style. Popular marble tops include white Indian marble, Italian marble, onyx, and stone.
Quartz - Also low maintenance, engineered quartz table tops are also a solid option for dining. It’s more cost friendly and still provides a natural stone look, so it’s a great alternative for the latter. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns to suit your taste, though note that the colors may fade if the table sits under the sun for a long period of time. Kalinga stone is a very strong and hardy quartz top that’s gained traction lately.
Synthetic - Synthetic materials are quite versatile though usually structurally strong, so they can make a variety of designs for dining tables. They are often inexpensive and lightweight, but don’t let that fool you in how sturdy they can be. Stylistically, synthetic tables have their own flavor and may not appeal to all.