As the name suggests, Extending Dining Tables offers the option to increase the Dining Space available in your existing Table to accommodate more guests, without having to move or alter your current seating area. This flexible option comes in many different configurations and depends on the type of table, the size and in many cases the material used. There are different styles of extension where the Extension is a separate piece which is added to the table or more popular, an Extension that is revealed through a movable mechanism.

When purchasing an Extending Table, you need to consider the space available for the Table when fully extended as some extensions can offer up to 75% additional space. You also need to consider the storage of extra Chairs but in many cases, these can just be taken from other rooms, from occasional use. Perhaps the most important factor to consider is whether the extension really works for you when closed and gives you sufficient additional space when opened. Traditionally Extension Tables increased the table top space but the legs didn’t move so if you were adding a Chair to the side of the Extension you need to consider the comfort of the extra guest. This is not a problem with Pedestal Tables or Tables where the Legs also move to increase the space available for the extra Diner.

We will detail some of the common types of Extension Tables below with Pros & Cons and some tips for care & maintenance.

End Table Extension

End-leg extending dining tables expand from the table ends so it’s easy to set up. The shape and material of the Table generally dictate whether 1 extra chair can be added at the end like the Oak Extension below or 2 at each side like the Ceramic Extension. The Oak Extension is a separate piece and there is generally extended on 2 pull-out rails and the Extension may need to be stored separately while the Ceramic extension is part of a mechanical mechanism and stored within the table. The extensions can be cut from the same piece, so the pattern is continuous or more likely from a separate piece with a similar pattern or grain. This is our Ceramic Ascoli Table and has an independent extension at each end which essentially gives you 3 different table sizes & is a great option.

         

Centre Leaf Extension

Another popular method of extension is Centre Leaves which again the type of material can dictate the type of mechanism used. The extension is generally stored within the table and is revealed when the 2 sides of the tabletop are opened. Again, the type of table can dictate the level of ease with which the sides are opened. More modern versions simply require one side to be gently pulled and this will allow both sides to open and the extension to be revealed and fitted. Below is our Casserta Ceramic Table which is a Butterfly leaf which means the Leaf folds back into the Table.

         

Another example below is our Lavello Ceramic Table which has a mechanism which requires only for one end to be pulled open to reveal the extension and also allows the extension to fit into place, due to a more detailed mechanism.

         

Most Centre Leaf Extension tables should have locks fitted to allow a more snug fit and also ensure the Tabletop does not move in either the opened or closed positions., so make sure to look out for these.

Pull out End Extension

Pull out End is a really clever method of extension which and allows for more comfortable & convivial seating for the extra guests. This method works when your Table has 4 Legs and the mechanism allows for 1 side to pull out with the legs, to reveal the extension. This basically increases the distance between the legs and allows for the seamless addition of extra Chairs along the length of the Table. The example below is our Brindisi Ceramic which is 1.22M closed and extends to 1.82M allowing for 3 Chairs to fit along the side.

         

Pros & Cons

As already mentioned, Extension Tables offer flexibility and convenience and are great when you want to be able to add extra dining space for that gathering that has a few more guests, but you don’t want that extra space with your regular day-to-day use. It is great to have all your guests around the same Table and not have to have your guests or family pushed to another area….Also, it’s so easy to set up and also to return the table to its everyday size. Finally, if you want to have food/refreshments on your Table and not have to return to the Cooking area, just extend the Table and everyone can enjoy the setting together.

Not too many negatives with Extensions but you do have to be conscious of the moving parts in your Table and more detailed mechanisms, do require maintenance & attention. Extension leaves, particularly wood can over time reveal colour differences with the top which is more exposed to light and may have to store the Leaf in a separate area. Mechanical Extensions do need maintenance and can get stiff over time, so we recommend using a silicone-based spray lubricant(easily available in your local hardware store) to keep the mechanism smooth. Occasionally with Centre Leaf Extensions, you may need to clean away any crumbs or similar, but no different than a normal clean. Also, be careful with complicated mechanisms which really are not strong enough to support the function & can wear too easily.

In summary, an Extending Dining Table is a great option to have and offers so much flexibility that you will use it for so many different uses. Choose the one that best fits your area equally well, closed and extended. Enjoy the convenience of the extra space and just note the few easy tips to keep it working as hard as you do.