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What To Look For In A Drop Leaf Dining Table

Updated on March 7, 2010

Firstly, before we go out to buy a drop leaf dining table it is a good idea to be sure that we know exactly what we are talking about. A drop leaf dining table is a type of dining table that can be any shape at all but is usually oval, in which the ends can be lowered on hinges to form a smaller table. On the whole these types of tables are made of some variety of wood or another with oak or pine particularly common types.

The classic drop leaf dining table folds right down to the size of a small sideboard with the hinged part folding down until each side almost touches the ground. All that is left as the surface of the table is a thin strip that makes up the middle of the table. This kind of configuration can be a particularly useful space saver that allows you to fold the table when not required and moved to sit against a wall where it may serve as a display shelf.

As mentioned earlier drop leaf dining tables are available in a number of different shapes and these shapes are also variable in size. You can choose from a round, oval, rectangle or square and in each case the sides of the table are deceptively large and the conversion from a small table to a much larger one is often a quick and simple procedure.

Although the smaller round drop leaf tables may not extend to a particularly large size, a rectangular drop leaf table with the folded down section running the length of the table will extend out to a very reasonably sized table.

So what should you look for when you are buying a drop leaf table?

The basics of buying a dining table come into play here with the type of wood - or other material - a particularly important consideration. Whether it is maple, oak or pine or a glass or plastic, you will have to decide on whether the color and the texture is compatible with the rest of the room.

The next consideration is the size of the table when it has been extended out to its full size.

This is an important consideration because you will have to adequately seat everyone when visitors come calling and ensuring that your dining table comfortably seat everyone is going to be a vital part of a successful dinner party.

Take a look at the selection of drop leaf dining tables displayed on the left that are available to by through eBay.

The consideration specific to a drop leaf table comes next and that is what the table look like when it has been placed into its folded configuration. The table still must look like a functional piece of furniture when folded so it should not only look good but it should it must perform some secondary function while folded and out of the way. Sideboards, display shelves or a small, more intimate table will fit the bill.

Next is the ease with which the drop leaf table can be converted from the small to the large configuration. It should be a simple process, most often it will just be a case of raising the hinged elements and locking them in place. Make sure the locking mechanism is secured properly and the flaps won’t collapse in the middle of dinner.

Go with a table shape that you want to see when the dining table has been extended out into its day to day consideration. Just because the round drop leaf table looks nice as a smaller two-seater kitchen table shouldn’t mean that you would buy it regardless of the fact that the round table won’t fit in the room when it is extended out.

Here are a few wood types to choose from when looking for a drop leaf dining room table that may suit your home décor. You may choose from mahogany, cherry, oak or maple, all of which will give you a highly durable and attractive dining table.

Drop leaf dining tables have been around for many years and there is still a large range of quality antique drop leaf dining tables to choose from. Some of them are particularly ornate and will add style to the room in both the folded down state and the fully extended state.

There’s not too much that can go wrong when you buy a drop leaf dining table as long as you have done a little bit of homework and you have a good idea of what you are going to buy.


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