Things to think about when choosing wood for a table

What seems to be an easy task has many options and the more you think through those options the better the outcome of your project.


First off, you’ll need to decide whether this will be a trendy table like a resin poured river table, a functional table to fit a particular family size, timeline or budget, and lastly an Heirloom or piece of art…? Along with this comes the style you desire..live edge, square edge, chamfered, breadboard ends, extensions…?


Second, what will be the shape of the table…? Round, square or rectangular…?


Third, how many people are you planning to use the table…? 4,6,8,10,12…?


Fourth, size and it does matter when it comes to tables…..! The standard height for a table is 30” and 18” for the chair seating. The width can vary from 30” to 42” on average. Let’s do examples for illustration:


Round/Circle tops, 5’ round seat 7-8 people, 6’ seat 8-9 and 8’ seat 10-12 people….

Square tops, 5’ seat 4-6 people, 6’ seat 8-10 and 8’ seat 8-12 people…

Rectangle tops, 5’x2’-6” seats 4-6 people, 6’x3’ seats 6-8 people, and 8’x 3’-6” seats 8-10 people…the width is determined by the need for shared space, the 5”-9” above your plate; by that I mean are you setting wine bottles or serving platters in between the person across from you? The average place setting space is 15” deep by 24” wide; the ideal setting is 18” deep by 30” wide between guests. Always remember you can use a sideboard for your serving dishes. So here is an example: minimum rectangle top for 6 people is 40” x 78” and the ideal size is 54” x 96”.


Finally, you are to choose a wood species, which is always to be kiln dried so you don’t bring in any unwanted critters. Domestic hardwood is king and you have a lot of choices in the Midwest, from Ash, Cherry, Maple, Oak, Sycamore, and Walnut to name a few. I’m talking indoors with these choices. If you want to create for the outdoors, then look at Teak or Sapelle to hold up to the weather. With outside tables you will need to use different finishes and as such, they will require annual maintenance.


Hopefully, this will prepare you for your search into what wood to choose for your next table project, please contact us if you have additional questions.


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