Seattle, WA
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January 3, 2022

Dining Tables Extensions and Types

What's the greatest thing about furniture, what's one of the most valuable properties of any product we want to 'gift' to our home, besides obvious wow-factor, practicality of use, stylish finish or matching color? What's that extra 'edge' we sometimes are looking for but can't find?

That's versatility

Furniture is created to serve us, to be comfortable, to be solid and pretty much satisfy our need without breaking a bank. It's one of the bigger, sturdier types of home goods that are supposed to last. Versatility comes as a nice bonus, but due to 'sturdiness' of the product itself extra versatility feature is rather an exception than the law.

What do we mean by that? Well, sofa bed is versatile and great because it serves two purposes: first of all, it's a sofa and then if needed it quickly becomes a bed. Storage ottoman is nice seating piece but when needed it can be opened and you can hide something inside.

Same applies to another furniture category we want to talk about which is dining room tables. Some of them have that extra versality feature we want to discuss today: those tables can be extended!

Extensions are main 'versatile' advantages of dining tables

Expandable dining tables' main purpose is to ... well, be extended when needed. Temporary increase in functional furniture size is quite important, especially for dining room needs. Dining tables can be huge and in most cases are taking quite a bit of space. That's not a problem if you have a huge dedicated formal dining room where table peacefully resides along with some oversized comfy armchairs and extra pieces like servers, buffets or Chinas and curios. Oh, yeah, we forgot about dining chairs. In case of formal dining these can take a LOT of space.

So, as a natural evolution of dining tables design an extension was introduced. These can be many types but service main purpose - to convert a dining table to a different shape (typically make it longer) when needed, and reverse conversion when extra space is no longer a necessity.

table insert extension

Center extensions are typically stored somewhere else when not needed

Types of Extensions

Table extensions come in a few forms. The most common and natural type of extension is when two halves of the table are moved to the ends and insert that is literally inserted to the middle. Sides then move back and voila! - your table is now quite longer. Sometimes for these types of extensions hooks are designed so table sides and middle part are hold firmly together.

Some tables feature more advanced version of middle insert - butterfly leaf. Idea is pretty much the same, except middle insert is typically folded in two parts and stored under the main tabletop using simple mechanism. When those halves or 'leaves' store it looks very similar to butterfly leaves - hence the name.

butterfly leaf table

Butterfly leaf design assumes storage inside or under the table

Very elegant and simple solution, but some people think if something is moving it will most likely break more easily. Not true, especially if you use it casually, don't overuse and simply pay an attention to the moving parts.

Besides in case of separate, 'taken out' extension pieces there's always a minor risk of damaging something by dropping extension on table surface, etc. Not common but can happen. You should consider that when picking a type for your furniture extension table.

Third very common style of table extensions is sides that add up just a little on table ends, and if not needed either rotate or simply placed under table ends. Here some elegant solutions exist on the market, and we sell quite a few very interesting tables that use very sophisticated extensions.

contemporary dining table extension slide under tabletop

Extension slides under tabletop is very convenient way of storing extensions

Some tables even have side extensions that are not supposed to be kept under table at all times, but rather supposed to be kept somewhere else. Some tables we sell have not 1 but 2 extension options, those are quite rare though.

How to find Extension tables?

It's very easy to find a for expandable table on our website. First of all, there are 3 main dining categories, casual (everyday use), formal dining and pub style dining. In most cases you won't be able to easily see which table has this feature from a category view, so we've made a special filter for it.

All dining categories have filter for extension enabled, so just choose it while browsing for dining tables. For the ease of seeing each category here we'll include filters in the links: casual extension dining tables, pub style extension tables and formal dining tables with extension. By checking those out you'll easily see what we have available.

Typically extension can be seen in detail on one of the extra pictures. Also, a note on measurements, which are quite self-explanatory: if you see something like Length: 68(80) that means that table is normally 68 inches, and extension (or both in case table has two) are giving it a size of 80 inches. When table has 2 extension options measurements will look approximately like this: 60/80/100. This is quite rare though. Typically, it's only one size change. Of course, if you're not sure how to understand dimensions properly contact us and we'll gladly help.

Extension in dining tables is a great feature. Despite popular belief extension(s) doesn't make table flimsier or in any way more 'vulnerable'. Extensions are rarely used, typically you just use then in case of large company, family gathering on Christmas / Thanksgiving party and so on. When carefully picked and maintained a good extension dining table will serve you for years and be an endless source of joy and function to you and your family.

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