Custom Table Buying Guide
There’s a few things that you need to consider when requesting a size. First, think about how many people are sitting around your table most days of the year - we suggest 24 - 30” per person. Second, how much space do you have? This question will determine whether or not it’s worth it to make a larger table or to get extensions (see “Extensions” below). We also suggest that you consider the chairs that you will use with the table to ensure they will fit comfortably between the legs of the table. All of our chairs are built in-house so you can ask us how many chairs will fit if you have a specific table length already in mind. Some people like the flexibility of trestle-style tables, which are better suited to squeezing more people around because the legs are centered underneath the table rather than on the edges. Of course, you can always ask us in person, on the phone or via e-mail if you don’t know exactly what size will work best and would like our recommendations.
Here’s a basic guideline:
A 6 foot table will fit 2 chairs per side.
A 7 foot table will fit 3 chairs per side.
An 8 foot table will fit 4 chairs per side… etc.
One thing that we love to suggest for families with kids is to get a bench with your table! We all know that playdates often include snack time and sometimes we need more seats than we have! Benches are great because in the same space that you would normally fit two chairs you can fit four kids!
There’s no such thing as a “standard” dining room or kitchen, so the width of your table will vary based on the space available and what you’d prefer. In a usual residential setting, you’ll only want one chair per end, but if you have a different space where you’d like a square table or if you are looking for a conference table, you’ll definitely need different dimensions.
Seat height: 18-19” for dining tables, 24” for counter stools and 30” for bar stools.
Table top heights: 30” for dining tables, 36” for counters, 42” for bars.
Of course, if you want something different (like if you’re very tall and are sick of hitting your knees on the skirts of everyone else’s tables) we can definitely build something totally unique to you!
If you entertain frequently it’s likely worth it to go with a bigger table, but if you only host a crowd once in awhile or you don’t have the space to comfortably fit a bigger table on an everyday basis, consider extensions. Extensions can be built to insert into the center of the table (“leafs”) or on the ends (“company boards”). We prefer to add Company Boards instead of leafs for a few reasons - first, so that we don’t have to break up the gorgeous boards in the middle of the table, and second, because leafs affect the structure and durability of the table. All of us who grew up with a table with leafs know that it can be a pain to separate the table, put the leaf in, and close the table, and it’s certainly not a one-person job. Adding company boards is a painless experience that can be done by anyone, on their own! A good size for extensions is between 18-24.”
We’ve talked about our wood options on a few other pages, but wood choice comes down to what you’re looking for in your table. You might decide based on color preferences or on character. Some people love the color and grain of walnut or the reddish, lush tint of mahogany. Maybe you need a harder wood because you have three kids whose joint goal is to destroy everything or you have a teething ten month old who likes to chew on everything that he can find. Maybe you don’t know what you need and you just know what you like - we can help you figure out what’s best for you!
We also specialize in reclaimed woods, including oak, pine and hemlock, which we get from a vendor who sources the across the eastern half of the United States. As we mention in our FAQ page, this salvaged wood has a depth of character and a unique beauty that comes from age and reusing materials that have stood the test of time in another life. It’s super strong and can handle even the most abusive owners (children). Reclaimed wood will often include features such wormholes, nail holes, and deeper color variation. If you like a lot of character in your wood, reclaimed may be a great choice for you.
We have a small but talented team of woodworkers and designers who design and build our tables from start to finish. Whether it’s something we do on an everyday basis or something that you saw in a magazine, we can build it. If you have a design in mind that you don’t see on our website, just send us a picture of what you would like to build. If you don’t have a picture and you just have an idea, one of our designers can draw it out for you and we can make it happen!
When it comes to finishing, you have several different options available. Our first choice is to do a natural finish - we prefer to use a natural oil applied in multiple coats until it saturates the wood, creating a finish that is water and stain resistant. This approach lets the natural beauty of the wood shine through, while creating a finish that is easy to care for over time. Should a scratch or spot happen on the table (because let’s be honest, it will happen), it is easy to spot-refinish, unlike a lacquer or urethane finish which typically requires a complete refinish when compromised. If you choose an oil finish you can actually refinish it yourself after some wear and tear - it’s that easy! However, we also offer lacquer finishing, as well as staining, painting and custom washes. We offer standard stain options but we can also stain or paint a top or base to your specifications. We do not warranty custom finishes outside our standard offerings, but are happy to work with you to find the best finish solution for your project.
Breadboard Ends are a classic table design feature, originally designed to help stabilize a top against cupping and warping. Because wood moves across the grain seasonally, a breadboard end will either fall short of the panel edge or extend past it, depending on the season. This changing condition is a sign of good craftsmanship and not a design flaw.
Breadboard ends can be added for aesthetic reasons, but it’s important to understand these basic characteristics of the design.