by April Sanders
For most families, the dining table is the heart of the home. Whether it's a place to gather with your children for casual dinners or a formal table at which you and your spouse host elaborate dinner parties, the dining table is an important and substantial piece of furniture. In many families, the dining room table has been well taken care of and handed down from generation to generation. Carefully consider how and where you will be using your table before you choose to purchase one.
Decide on the style of table you would like to have. Perhaps you have an elegantly decorated dining room. In that case, you will want to choose a table that will enhance the formal style of your room. On the other hand, if your dining area is part of the kitchen, you might choose a more casual dining table.
Choose the size of your dining table. If you have a large family or like to host dinner parties, you should consider dining room tables that are large or have inserts (usually called "leaves") you can fit into the middle of the table to extend it. Measure the room and make sure there will be enough space for chairs to be placed around the table and for people to maneuver around it when the table is at its largest size.
Select the finish of your dining table. Perhaps you want a dark mahogany table to match the wainscoting in your formal dining room, or maybe you would like a raw pine table to fit into your country kitchen breakfast nook.
Set a budget. Now that you have an idea of the style, size and finish of your table, you need to determine how much you are going to pay for it. This will allow you to narrow your options so you can choose a dining table that is both beautiful and budget-friendly.
While some dining sets include chairs with the table, other dining tables do not. Make sure you determine how many chairs come with the table, if any, when you are checking out the price.