WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Make a practical choice
Lacquered wood and veneer need little upkeep, while oiled or waxed finishes will need treating. Wood can be marked, so table mats should be used. Glass surfaces are less prone to damage.
Avoid chairs with light colours and delicate fabrics if you have kids or pets. Go for patterns and harder-wearing weaves or loose covers that can be washed. Leather and faux leather are durable and easy to clean.
To work out how many chairs you can fit around a table, allow 60cm per diner, and 80cm between the table and wall.
Make sure chairs are the right height. Standard seat height is about 48cm, while tables range from 73-77cm. Allow 20-28cm between the top of the seat and the underside of the table.
A table should sit firmly on its feet if you apply pressure to the corners or pull on the legs. Check that the joints aren’t loose and if it’s an extending design, test it first.