Complete Guide to Buying a Dining Table in NZ | RJ Eagar

Marlborough Dining Table

When you need a new dining table, the choices can seem endless. Whether setting up a new dining room or upgrading from an old table, there’s a lot to consider.

Your dining table is the centre of your home life. It’s where family gathers for quality time and where friends meet for special moments. 

It might even double as an extra study desk or craft table.

A great dining table isn’t just there to get the job done. A well-chosen dining suite will complement the space and add a special touch to your home.

The best table for you needs to balance functionality, durability and style. With the right advice, you can find just what you need to complete your home.

What’s Included In This Article;

What should I look for when buying a dining room table?

From practicality to style, here is what to keep in mind when finding the perfect table for years of memorable dining moments.

  • Table size
  • Extendable VS Regular Table?
  • Shape of the table
  • Durability: Ceramic, Wood, Marble or Glass?
  • Budget: Compare the avg. cost of a dining table in NZ 

How do I find the right size dining table?

Measure your dining roomAllow approximately 92 centimetres of space on all sides of the table to comfortably fit chairs and allow for movement. Take into account extra distance around doorways as well. The space left over from these calculations is the largest table you should consider buying.

Size is one of the first factors that will influence your decision. You can’t buy a table that won’t fit the room. 

Should I buy an extendable dining table? 

The seating capacity of a table can make all the difference. Extendable dining tables give you the option of more seats from time to time without committing to a large suite. They provide more flexibility in seating and room arrangement.

Some tables, like this Bosque DBL Ext Dining Table, are capable of multiple extensions, adding one or two extra seats at each expansion.

Here are four things to keep in mind about extendable tables:

  • They come with a range of extension options. An extension usually allows for two additional chairs, although single chair extensions are possible for smaller tables. 
  • Most extendable tables are made of wood, but may feature other materials, such as glass panels or metal legs.
  • If you are after this kind of flexibility, you will probably want a relatively lightweight table. This allows you to move it around and reposition it as you adjust the size.
  • Extendable tables are most often rectangular. They can also be oval-shaped, or circular tables that extend to create ovals.

Which shape dining table is best?

If your dining room is an even square, go for a square or round table. If it is a rectangular room, you will need a long table. The table can be a rectangle or an oval, but it should complement the length of the room. 

Avoid putting a long table in a square room and vice-versa.

This helps balance the room since the dining table is its most prominent feature. 

The choice to have a table with or without corners ultimately comes down to the atmosphere you want to create. 

Southbank Ext Dining Table 180 – 280cm

A dining table with corners will feel formal, while a round-edged table has a more relaxed look. 

A smaller dining room or dim lighting, however, may create a bumping hazard. This makes round edges a safer option. 

If you have small children likely to bump their heads on table corners, a round table would be a much safer option.

What is the most durable table top?

A dining suite is a big investment and therefore needs to be made of some sturdy stuff. Tables made from hardwood and ceramic are the most durable. If going for hardwood, choose walnut, mahogany, oak, maple or teak. Composite or engineered woods like MDF are cheaper but not as durable.

If you enjoy hosting a lot of dinner parties, you will need to be prepared for some light scratching and spills.

Multiply this several times if you have children or pets to deal with.

Here are a few common table surfaces to consider:

  • Ceramic

These tables are the hardiest as they are resistant to scratches and stains. 

Ceramic is also easy to clean and only requires wiping to remove surface spills. 

This option is low-maintenance and keeps its stunning look day in, day out.

  • Wood

Wooden tables can have varying degrees of durability, depending on the wood type. 

They should generally be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild cleaning spray. 

So, which wood is best for a dining table? Hardwood varieties, like oak and mango timber, are the most solid and scratch-resistant. 

Meanwhile, pine is a softwood and more prone to minor damage.

Karel Dining Table 200 x 100cm
  • Marble

These surfaces may take a bit of extra work to keep in good shape. 

To avoid long-term damage, spills need to be cleaned up straight away. Marble is a soft stone that can show scratches

These tables need to be resealed as often as 2-4 times a year. 

With adequate care, marble tabletops can stay elegant and fresh for as long as any other surface.

Radius 1.2mt Round Marble Dining Table
  • Glass

Glass is a less durable material that can become scratched. 

Besides wiping up mess, you will also need a glass cleaning cloth and solution to make the table sparkle. 

Glass-top tables are ideal for low-maintenance environments.

What is the best way to buy a dining table?

From considering the options to installing your new dining room furniture, how do you buy a table? Here are five tips to guide your important purchase.

Nordik Medium Ext Table 160-210

Get to Know Your Space

Before you buy, take the time to think about the size and feel of your dining room

Measure the room and consider what look will complement your other furnishings.

Shop Around Online

Make use of online catalogues to see what’s out there. 

This will offer a wide scope of different ideas, giving access to pictures as well as information on material, dimensions and any special features.

Visit Stores in Person

There’s only so much you can learn online before you need to experience the dining suite in person. 

If possible, we recommend visiting stores once you have some general ideas about what you’re after. 

This lets you see and touch the surfaces, try out the chairs, and visualise the furniture in your home.

RJ Eagar is family-owned and operated furniture store that has been proudly serving the Taranaki region for close to 70 years! 

Visit our stores in New Plymouth and Stratford to see our collection of premium dining tables.

Ask Lots of Questions

Your furniture salesman will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about the details of a particular dining suite and how to make the best of your purchase. 

Don’t be shy about asking what you need and taking the time to weigh up your choices.

Ask About Holding and Delivery

Most furniture stores will help you move your dining table from the store to your home. There should also be some flexibility to fit your schedule. 

Specialists in the furniture business are experienced in working out big purchases for clients with busy lives. 

They will know just what you need to bring your new dining suite home.

RJ Eagar offers FREE DELIVERY Taranaki- wide. This includes our team setting up and explaining use and care of all our products.

What is the average cost of a dining table?

The prices to expect will depend on the combined features of a dining table, from seating number to material to extendability, and so on.  A small, good-quality dining table in New Zealand will start from around $1,000 with additional costs for better quality material, and higher seating numbers. 

Extendable tables can cost more as they have the added bonus of flexibility.

You can expect an average dining table to cost around $2,500 to $3,000. 

The upper range is closer to $4,500.

How do you make an old dining table look modern?

If you want a modern dining table and like a challenge, one great hack is to buy a second-hand dining table and do it up. There are lots of great ways to refurbish a dining table. The key to a modern look is minimalism, straight lines and muted colours.

Here are several trendy suggestions on updating your old wooden dining table:

Restain the table in stages, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one. You might apply a separate varnish after staining the table. Alternatively, you can use a combined stain and varnish solution, following the instructions to apply  coats.

Repaint in a variety of ways to create stunning effects.

  • Paint the entire table white for a light, classy feel. 
  • Choose one colour for the tabletop and another, lighter colour for the apron and legs. Just make sure the two colours work well together!
  • Create an aged effect by streaking the table with light and dark toned paint, or thinly whitewashing a stained tabletop.

Combine effects for a modern look. Don’t limit yourself to just one method.

You can create a beautiful contrast by staining the table-top to any shade and painting the apron and legs a lighter colour, like white.

Add new dining chairs

Whether restaining or repainting, be sure to start by sanding the table surfaces to remove marks and old varnish. 

After applying the paint or stain, you will need to seal the table with a varnish or lacquer. The final step is to use finishing wax. This will protect the table and have it looking like new.

Finding the right dining suite is worth the time and effort. 

The perfect table for your home and lifestyle will last for decades and host many special moments in the years to come. 

Why Buy A Dining Table at RJ Eagar?

Free Delivery

Taranaki-wide and our team setting up and explaining the use and care of all our products.

Finance Deals to Suit Your Budget

Finance deals customised just for you, meaning you get what you need now, at term

Trusted brand of 70+ Years

100% NZ-owned and operated local family business with over 70 years of experience!