Picking out the best wood for your dining table doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. The dining table is the focal point of the dining room. It’s more than just a spot for eating food, it’s a gathering place for everyone in the family.
There are so many types of wood that it can be difficult to make a decision.
You have plenty of choices, from rich, dense hardwoods to charming softwoods and even to budget-friendly wood composites.
Whichever wood you choose as the best wood for your dining table, we're sure it'll make an elegant and durable material that will last for a long time.
Why Use Wood for Your Dining Table?
All have their own winning properties, but wood excels in a lot of departments too.
Furniture for life
One of the reasons you need to choose the best wood for your dining table is durability.
Hardwood, softwood, and even some types of wood composites are inherently strong and stable.
When crafted by talented artisans, a wood dining table can last for decades. You get great value for your money as you keep using the table every day for the next several years.
Wood is also easy to care for. You simply need to wipe it down every day to prevent dust and give it a good waxing once or twice a year.
Bring nature inside
Wood brings unlimited potential when it comes to design.
When you want to bring nature indoors, a dining table made out of wood will effortlessly let you do that.
You can choose dark-colored wood to bring an air of elegance to your dining room. Or you can get light-colored wood to bring warmth and cheer.
Also, every piece of wood is unique. There’s an unlimited number of wood fibers and grain patterns, giving you an unlimited number of table designs to choose from.
Yes, wood is eco-friendly
Wood is the only sustainable building material in the world. When trees are cut down to make wood for furniture, they can always be replaced.
When you’re choosing the best wood for your dining table, always ask where it comes from. You want to work with a company that observes eco-friendly practices that have the least impact on the environment.
Choose your style
Dining tables in wood come in a variety of styles. When you’re choosing the best wood for your dining table, consider the look and feel of the wood you’d like to use.
Some hardwoods lend a dark, even brooding atmosphere to the room, while others draw in sunlight to bring positive vibes.
Your Options When Choosing the Best Wood for Your Dining Table
Artisans typically classify wood into three groups: hardwood, softwood, and wood composite.
Hardwood is undoubtedly the strongest and also the most expensive option. Softwood is also durable, but because it isn't as dense as hardwood, softwood tends to scratch more easily.
Finally, some types of manufactured wood are a great option for those looking for an expensive-looking dining table that won’t break the bank.
Hardwood trees usually have broad leaves, which they shed every year.
These trees grow very slowly, with many of them aging up to a hundred years or more. This leads to denser wood that can withstand the stresses of everyday use, compared to softwood and wood composites.
Of course, this also means that hardwood dining tables tend to be the most expensive.
1. Wood to last a lifetime
It’s not surprising why, in Nordic folklore, the mighty oak is a symbol of immortality.
Oak is simply the best wood for your dining table if you’re after something that will last an entire lifetime.
Oak comes in two varieties, red oak and white oak.
Red oak can be anywhere from a rich reddish hue to a light brown. It has a prominent grain in swirling, flowing patterns. White oak, on the other hand, has linear tiger stripes flecked with yellow rays.
Both varieties are extremely durable. They easily resist denting and warping. And on those rare occasions that they don’t, the distinctive grain can easily mask imperfections on the surface of the table.
2. Wood to bring light into a room
What’s the best wood for your dining table to brighten up your dining space?
That would be maple. Maple can be hard or soft, but you want to use hard maple if you’re going for something that can withstand the busyness and chaos of everyday life.
Maple is a light-colored hardwood that can go anywhere from cream to off-white, with darker streaks and minimal, smooth grain. As one of the hardest woods available, furniture makers favor maple for building cabinets and dressers.
It’s also a great option if you’re looking for the best wood for your dining table because it’s moisture-resistant. You may want to consider that if your kids keep spilling food and drink on the dining table.
3. Wood for traditional tastes
If you’re going after a tasteful, traditional look, the best wood for your dining table would be mahogany.
Its color ranges from deep red-brown to medium brown, depending on the age of the wood. The grains are set close to each other in a straight pattern, giving mahogany a simple and austere look.
Mahogany is one of the softer hardwoods. It isn't as hard as oak or maple, but that means it’s more pliable and easier to cut and fashion. It’s also extremely resilient and isn't prone to splintering.
If you like furniture carved with intricate designs, mahogany may be the best wood for your dining table.
4. Wood for making a statement
Walnut stands out for its bold and daring look.
If you want a huge statement piece, walnut is the best wood for your dining table. It goes particularly well with sleek, simple, mid-century-style furnishings to allow the walnut to take center stage in your dining room.
Walnut’s color can go from a delicious chocolate brown to deep purple with hints of black, gray, or gold. The straight grains bring a lot of movement and flow to the wood.
Walnut isn't just about aesthetics. It’s a strong, durable hardwood that can stand the test of time.
5. Wood that ages like a fine wine
There’s no mistaking the satin-smooth circular grain of cherry wood. The gentle undulations of the grain peppered by knots and pits here and there provide the perfect atmosphere for a rustic farmhouse setting.
Cherry wood is the best wood for your dining table if you’re after a charming, rough-hewn look for your country-style dining room.
It goes from a deep, rich red to reddish-brown and even to blond. When unstained, the wood retains its beautiful color. It develops a darker patina as it gets exposed to light. Like a fine wine, cherry wood ages gracefully over time.
Can a softwood be the best wood for your dining table? Softwoods come from evergreen trees, such as pine and fir. You know these trees by their long, needle-like leaves.
Unlike hardwoods, softwoods grow much faster, giving them a lighter, more pliable wood that’s easy to work with. They’re also more affordable than hardwoods.
6. Wood that’s light on the eyes and the pocket
Pine is a beautiful softwood with a pale yellowish or whitish hue with neat-looking grains.
It’s lightweight, durable, and inexpensive, which makes it the best wood for your dining table if you don’t have a fortune to spend on a pure hardwood table.
Pine makes great pieces of furniture if you’re after the look and feel of a chic countryside house. Pinewood develops a patina to give it a classic, timeworn look.
It doesn’t shrink or swell as a reaction to changes in the weather, although it’s more prone to scratches and dents than hardwoods.
7. An alternative for those who don’t want pine wood
if you’re looking for an alternative to pine, you may want to check out fir wood.
Fir is one of pine’s closest cousins, only it doesn’t have as much character. It shares the same light hue of pine but has a straighter grain with fewer knots.
But it’s much harder than pine. In fact, on the hardness scale, fir wood can give some hardwoods a run for their money. It's the perfect choice for those who want a balance of form and function.
In general, wood composites or manufactured wood such as fiberboard and particleboard aren’t recommended for dining tables.
But if you have a restrictive budget, go for plywood. Plywood is a strong, stable composite wood that’s made of different wood veneers bonded together.
If used for dining tables, plywood typically has a veneer to give it a more sophisticated look.
What’s the Best Wood for Your Dining Table?
Wood is an excellent material for dining tables, or any type of furniture for that matter.
It is strong, solid, and stable. If you pick a hardwood, you can expect your dining table to last many years into the future.
And even if you pick a softwood or plywood, you will still be able to get the most bang for your buck. After all, you’ll be using your dining table at least once a day every day for several years.
Have you picked out the best wood for your dining table? Do you prefer hardwood or softwood? Let us know in the comments below.