Dark wood rectangular dining table with upholstered dark wood chairs.

Types of Dining Tables

The style of your dining or kitchen table adds a unique touch to your eating space, and it brings comfort to the friends and family who are seated around it. And making sure that your dining furniture matches not only your dining table but the space it’s in is also important. Dining sets come in an array of different design styles and choosing the right one is ideal for a put-together space. Become your own interior designer, and put time and effort into browsing different furniture styles, shapes, materials, and designs before choosing the perfect choice for your family. 

Dining Table Shapes

When it comes to the shape of your dining table, what speaks to you? Maybe you prefer rounded edges as opposed to sharp corners? The shape of your table is a design element for your space and can also set the mood for your dining area. There are many table shapes from which to choose, including:

  • Rectangular
  • Round
  • Square
  • Oval

And the shape of your table should also match the job you need it to perform. For example, large family events or special occasions call for elongated or larger shapes such as a long rectangular dining table or an oval dining table. Conversely, tables for two or in a small space are usually square or round shape. Match your new dining room table to its purpose and to the space you have allotted to get the most enjoyment. 

1. Rectangular Tables

Rectangular wooden table with wooden and cream upholstered chairs.

Rectangular tables are classic and can fit in most spaces. They’re practical and simple and use space better than round or oval-shaped dining room tables. If you’re tapped for space, a small rectangular table may be just the ticket. However, this shape also works well for grand dining rooms that must accommodate whole, extended families at Christmas and Thanksgiving. The straight lines and angular corners allow guests to move about easily, while leaving room for additional furniture such as hutches and sideboards. 

2. Round Tables

Round wooden dining table and upholstered wood chairs.

Round tables, on the other hand, eliminate sharp edges that may not be to your taste. They’re great for smaller settings, too. So, if you’re just starting out with your significant other and small, intimate dinners are the norm, a round dining table may suit your exact needs. Keep in mind that round tables are intended to seat guests all around the circumference. This means to function as intended, it must be placed away from the wall. If you have a small apartment or miniscule dining room, a round table might not be ideal. 

3. Square Tables


Square tables, like round tables, are usually better for smaller, more intimate dinners. A square dining table can be placed against a wall or even in a corner, while still providing enough space for two to dine comfortably. When positioned in the middle of a room, square tables are usually able to accommodate four to eight diners.

Many modern square tables feature extended heights and require taller, pub- or counter-height chairs. Tables like these are beautiful additions to the contemporary or minimalist dining room, as well as for smaller spaces. 

4. Oval Tables


Oval tables serve roughly the same purpose as rectangular tables but with clean lines. Oval tables are good choices for larger families with active children because they provide ample room to dine with lower threat of injury. These elliptical shapes tend to look more classic, too. This makes them ideal for formal dining rooms that require a more traditional design style. And an oval shape lends itself well to rich, old woods that feature glossy, dark patinas. 

Dining Table Materials

Rectangular glass top dining table with metal base and beige dining chairs.

Aside from the shape of your new dining room table, you’ll also want to take care when selecting the best material. Metal, wood, and laminate are all solid options. However, each has its own benefits and disadvantages. While each can be a beautiful addition to your space, not every material will be a match for your decor style or for your family. Learn more about the unique properties of the materials used in crafting dining room tables before you buy. 

  • Metal: Metals such as stainless steel, chrome, or wrought iron are both sturdy and stain-proof. They’re great for a modern look, and they’re all highly resistant to damage and wear. However, they’re usually heavy. If you require a dining room table that must be shifted around on occasion, such as to accommodate the placement of a child’s table nearby, metal may not be the best choice. And if you’re trying to create a more classic or traditional look in your dining room, a metal table may look out of place. 
  • Wood: A solid wood table is a classic and visually diverse choice. There are many different kinds of wood used for tables, including oak, ash, maple, mahogany, pine and cherry wood. All are stunning to the eye, and all will stand the test of time. Just look most wood furniture, wood dining tables are more prone to scratches and gouging. Unpainted wood, especially, is tricky to clean because liquids may seep into the stain. If you have small children or pets with claws, a wood dining table may not last as long as another material, or it may need to be sanded and refinished over time. But, for classic appeal, a wood dining room table is a sound investment. 
  • Laminate: Laminate tables are worry-free additions to homes that see heavy dining-room traffic. If you need a place where kids can do homework and art projects while serving as a second office for you or your spouse, a dining table covered with laminate may be a perfect solution. Laminate is usually an affordable option that looks nice while being ridiculously easy to clean. A simple wipe with a damp cloth is usually all that’s needed to wipe up spills on stain-resistant laminate. 

Dining Table Styles


The style of your new dining table matters, too. There are probably more options than you realize. And you might be surprised to learn how many different options you have. 

  • Traditional: Traditional dining tables are simple, blending with any environment. They’re ideal choices if you’re trying to avoid an atmosphere that’s too busy.
  • Industrial: Industrial dining tables are capable of adding a wonderful, rustic feeling to your dining space.
  • Extendable: Extendable dining tables are great for areas with limited space. The seating benches may be pulled out from under the table when ready to be used, and leaves can be added to make the table longer. 
  • Mid-Century Modern: Mid-century modern tables are simple and sleek, good for blending in with the room’s atmosphere. These tables are based upon styles that were popular around the 1950s. 
  • Farmhouse: Farmhouse dining tables are gorgeous and often chunky. They add a homey, rustic feeling to your dining room. 
  • Modern: Modern styles, or contemporary designs are usually simple tables with complex and unique shapes.

Dining Table Capacity

Both the size and shape of your new dining table determine how many guests you can comfortably seat. For example, a rectangular table can seat anywhere from four to fourteen guests comfortably, as long as your dining area is capable of accommodating a table up to 10 feet long. Meanwhile, an oval table of the same length can seat up to 12 people. A large round table, similarly, can usually seat around up to eight adults comfortably. This refers to a table that’s roughly 72 inches in diameter. Most large square tables (54 inches), similarly, are capable of seating eight people as well. 

Dining Table Bases

Deluxe CAP Lifestyle

The base of your dining table is another consideration. Available options for diverse table bases are:

  • Single post
  • Double-based
  • Four-legged

A single-post table base is just how it sounds. The table is supported by one post in the middle. Double-based tables are similar to the single-post tables, except there are two posts, one at each end, sometimes these can be called double pedestal tables and come in a variety of shapes. Two posts are used if the table is an oval or rectangular shape, creating more support. Meanwhile, four-legged tables are a classic, popular choice, offering support at each corner of the table. These types of tables offer the most leg room for guests. 

Dining Tabletops

Rectangular glass top dining table and chairs.

Often, your new dining room table will be crafted from one material for the frame and base and a second material for the tabletop. Popular types of tabletops include:

  • Solid wood: Dining tables that feature solid wood tops are good investments because the older they become, the more appealing they look. Most woods age well, and the small nicks and dings they accrue over time only add to their value. 
  • Veneer: Tables with veneer tops are easy to clean and long lasting. They’ll still look new down the road, regardless of heavy traffic. 
  • Natural Stone: Natural stone tabletops such as granite, marble, and quartz lend a high-end appearance to your room. 
  • Glass: Glass tabletops are modern and appealing, but they may not be the best choice for families with small, active children. 

Bay Area’s Largest Selection of Dining Sets

There’s so many places to browse dining tables and other furniture. Trust California Dining & Barstools as your go-to furniture store in the Bay Area. With a variety of dining table styles and materials to choose from, we are happy to help find your perfect piece. When you’re ready to invest in a new dining room table, come shop California Dining & Bar Stools in Sunnyvale and Pleasant Hill today.