What Are Dining Tables Material – the Ultimate Guide

Dining tables are a hallowed altar in many homes, where family bonds are built. These melting pots of familial synergies can be made through the utilization of different material resources. This piece discusses some common dining table materials.

Dining Table Materials

1. Wood

Wood finds one of the most popular uses as a dining table material, offering a timeless and classic aesthetic. There are several types of wood types utilized as furniture material for dining tables. These can be hardwoods or softwoods the former offering strength and durability.

Wooden Table
Wooden Table

Advantages

  • The natural grain offered by wood adds aesthetic appeal to the dining table enhancing the overall aesthetics of the dining area.
  • Wood can be crafted in different ways accommodating diverse design options.
  • Dining tables fashioned from hardwoods are highly durable given their rigidity and less prone to wear and surface infractions.
  • Wood can be treated differently to achieve desired finishes such as staining, polishing, painting and even burning.
  • Wood is easily customizable, allowing for intricate detailing, carving, and shaping to create unique and personalized designs.

Disadvantages

Maintenance practices on wood such as polishing and dusting are necessary to keep the wooden surface in optimal condition.

  • As a natural material, wood can be comparatively expensive than other materials like plastic. Hardwoods generally cost more than softwoods as a matter of fact.
  • Dining tables made from wood i.e. hardwoods can be heavy making frequent moving inconvenient.
  • Since wood is a natural material, it can be prone to humidity and moisture effects which can result in surface deterioration and mold growth.
  • You are limited in terms of color options when using wood dining material. While you can paint over the wood surface, the aesthetic result is not as pleasant as retaining its natural look.
  • As a natural material, using wood for dining tables raises environmental concerns given the role trees pay in our ecosystems.

2. Veneer

This dining table material constitutes a thin wooden layer reinforced with layer(s) of less expensive materials. This reduces the overall cost compared to pure wood and includes particleboards or Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF).

Veneer Dining Table
Veneer Dining Table

Advantages

  • Dining tables made from veneer cost much less than solid wood tables. As such, they are a reliable alternative for persons on a budget but desiring a dining table with a wooden finish.
  • Since they have the appearance of wood, veneer dining tables are aesthetically astute, similarly offering a natural look.
  • Veneer dining tables can accommodate different shapes and designs as desired.

Disadvantages

  • Veneer materials do not offer the same robustness as solid wood and are likely to chip or peel easily. This is likely to be initiated by moisture absorption and/or thermal expansion.

3. Glass

The use of glass for dining tables is a modern style that adds a touch of sophistication to the dining area. Different glass types can be used such as tempered glass which offers increased strength than regular glass and tinted glass.

Glass Dining Table
Glass Dining Table

Advantages

  • Glass as a dining table material has an undeniable aesthetic appeal given its qualities.
  • Since glass blends easily with other colors, using it for your dining tables will not make it out of place.
  • Glass is transparent and allows light passage making dining rooms with glass dining tables appear brighter and more vibrant.
  • Maintaining glass surfaces is easy as they hardly stain only requiring simple wipes to clean.
  • Compared to wooden dining tables, glass dining tables are lighter and easier to move around.

Disadvantages

  • Glass is highly fragile making breakage a potential risk with glass dining tables. Heavy impact on the glass surface can result in cracking or worse, breakage.
  • Extreme temperature changes can cause glass dining table tops to crack from rapid expansion.
  • The glass surface easily smudges and when touched leaves behind fingerprints. It also easily attracts dust which is visible given the transparent nature of glass.

4. Stone

Stone table tops used for dining tables can be made from marble, quartz blend, cast stone, and granite among others. Stone is highly durable and resistant to surface infractions such as scratches and cracking. These dining tables can be polished to enhance their appearance.

Marble Dining Table
Marble Dining Table

Advantages

  • Stone dining tables offer a natural and elegant appearance which can always be appreciated.
  • There are different stone options available from marble, quartz and granite to suit your needs.
  • Dining tables made of stone are highly durable and can withstand heat, scratches and stains.
  • Stone hardly wears with time allowing use of these dining tables for a longer period.
  • Cleaning stone dining tables is relatively easy given they do not stain easily.

Disadvantages

  • Using stone for dining tables makes them heavy, requiring reinforced supports to buttress their weight. Additionally, such dining tables pose great difficulty when moving furniture.
  • Stones like marble can be defaced via etching when brought into contact with corrosive substances like acid.
  • There’s little freedom in designing dining tables using stone owing to their structure and weight.

Top of Form

5. Metal

Metal is a versatile material whose use in making dining tables can involve steel, wrought iron, aluminum, brass and even copper. The different options allows for use of multifarious styles and finishes.

Stainless Steel Dining Table with Bench
Stainless Steel Dining Table with Bench

Advantages

  • Metal offers a modern look and can be combined with other materials like wood or glass.
  • Some metals like aluminum and stainless steel are resistant to corrosion and can be used for outdoor dining areas.
  • Metal as a dining table material is strong and durable and can be fabricated in different designs.
  • The different options with metal dining tables allows you to implement different tastes and themes for your dining area.
  • Where a lightweight option is desired, aluminum is a decent alternative.

Disadvantages

  • Since metals are good conductors, they can create discomfort upon touch when used for dining tables depending on the conditions.
  • Light metal materials like aluminum and copper can be deformed on heavy impact leaving dents on the dining table.
  • Some metals like wrought iron are susceptible to rust formation requiring specialized treatment when used for a dining table.

6. Plastic

Plastics are versatile materials derived from polymers that find a myriad of uses including making dining tables. There are different plastic types available for such use like polypropylene, polycarbonate, polyethylene, and acrylic.

Polypropylene and polyethylene are lightweight with capable resistance to impact, moisture, and chemicals. Polycarbonate is transparent with impact resistance quality whereas acrylic has a glass-like appearance.

Plastic Dining Table
Plastic Dining Table

Advantages

Since plastic is a low-cost material, dining tables made from plastic cater to those with smaller budgets.

  • Plastics are very light materials making plastic dining tables easy to move around.
  • The versatility and design flexibility of plastic allow for different dining table designs to match the dining area theme.
  • Using plastic for your dining table allows you to select from a wide color range depending on your preference.
  • Dining tables made from plastic can resist all weather types making them ideal for outdoor dining settings.
  • No other dining table material demands simple maintenance needs like plastic. This material is incredibly difficult to stain and a wipe-down is sufficient to keep it clean.

Disadvantages

  • High impacts or heavy loads on plastic dining tables can result in their breakage due to their lightweight quality.
  • Plastics are susceptible to high heat which can melt the dining table surface when hot objects like pans are placed directly.

7. Composite Material

Some dining tables can be made by combining multiple materials to enhance certain qualities. Common composites used for dining tables are fiber-reinforced composites, wood-plastic composites, and metal-matrix composites.

Fiber-reinforced composites combine fiberglass with a resin matrix to form a material that is light and formidable. Combining wood and plastic serves to recycle plastic and provide a wooden appearance. Metals are combined with materials like carbon fibers or ceramics to make metal-matrix composites.

Composite Dining Table
Composite Dining Table

Advantages

  • Composites enhance properties like durability and impact resistance allowing long-term use free from sustained wear and tear.
  • Combining wood and plastic overcomes the weight disadvantage of wood, reducing the overall weight of the dining table.
  • It is possible to overcome design difficulties when using composites to your desired mix allowing intricate dining table designs.
  • Dining tables can be made to tolerate all weather conditions without significant wear by utilizing composite materials.
  • By using wood-plastic composites, you can have colored dining tables with a wooden finish as opposed to plain wood.

Disadvantages

  • Sometimes achieving the ideal composite may involve costly processes that usurp the derived benefit. Consequently, composites will vary with factors such as the design complexity and individual materials.

Conclusion

The dining table material you settle on while ultimately influenced by your preference should possess reliable qualities. An ideal material offers reliability, convenience, and practicality. Importantly too, the material should serve your needs for a considerable period.

More Resources:

Furniture Materials – Source: DONGRONG

Dining Room Table Size Guide  – Source: DONGRONG

Table Top Guide – Source: GRAIN AND FRAME

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