Kitchen Table Buying Guide

A kitchen table is more than a place to eat. It's your home's social hub and all-purpose work table. This kitchen table buying guide will help you choose one that meets all your needs.

Kitchen Tables 101

Your kitchen is the busiest room in your home, so you need a kitchen table that can take a pounding and looks great at the same time. Compared to dining tables, kitchen tables tend to be smaller, more functional and more affordable. To complement a contemporary design theme, consider a modern kitchen table with clean lines and an easy-to-maintain surface. A farmhouse table with a thick wood tabletop is the perfect addition to a large rustic kitchen, while a bistro table is well suited to stylish homes with smaller kitchens. To find your ideal kitchen table, start by considering your space and how you will use it.

Kitchen Table Styles


Modern Kitchen Table

Industrial materials, sharp lines and easy-to-clean surfaces are some of the features commonly found in modern kitchen tables. Most designs are square or round to position people close together for a more intimate, casual atmosphere. The tabletops are typically constructed of affordable laminates, metal or glass. These materials lend a sleek, modern look to the design. Modern kitchen tables come in a wide variety of styles, shapes and sizes, so you'll easily find one that suits your household’s needs and budget. 

Farmhouse Table

On the other side of the spectrum, a rustic farmhouse kitchen table is usually handcrafted, with a traditional wood tabletop and straight or turned legs. This kind of table sets a casual mood that suits a busy kitchen atmosphere. One big advantage of farmhouse tables is that their rugged appearance tends to improve with daily wear and tear. Farmhouse tables are sturdily constructed, usually affordable to buy and can be returned to mint condition through simple refinishing. Common materials are teak, oak, ash and reclaimed wood.

Bistro Table

A space-saving bistro table can be a perfect pick for a small kitchen or to create a casual eating area in larger kitchen. Inspired by the cafe culture in Paris, this table is taller than regular kitchen tables and typically seats two and three at the most. By their nature, bistro tables create a casual, intimate atmosphere that can quickly turn romantic with low lighting and the addition of a candle. When buying a bistro table, consider the strength of the legs and overall sturdiness of the table. Models with a pedestal base instead of legs offer more leg room and space for chairs.

Kitchen Island

A kitchen island table is a centrally located countertop that’s used for food prep but doubles as a table. The unit as a whole often includes shelves, drawers or cupboards to store kitchen tools and gadgets. Kitchen island tables are extremely functional, space-saving alternatives to regular kitchen tables. They work well as auxiliary dining tables for overflow guests, convenient snack tables for everyday use and main tables in homes lacking an eat-in kitchen area. It’s important to keep in mind that a kitchen island table will be counter height instead of table height, so you’ll have to purchase bar stools instead of regular dining chairs. 


A kitchen bar is a modern way to add seating to a small kitchen. It provides a convenient place to eat breakfast or a quick meal and is especially suitable for on-the-go families who eat at different times of day. The countertop of a kitchen bar typically extends at a right angle off the main kitchen countertop. The kitchen bar countertop is the same height as the main countertop but narrower. These units often include shelves, drawers or cupboards to store kitchen tools and gadgets. You'll need to purchase bar stools, rather than kitchen chairs, to sit at your kitchen bar.

Kitchen Table Set

Kitchen table sets are the easy way to outfit your kitchen with a table and chairs that complement your decor and serve your family's needs. Buying a kitchen table set takes the guesswork out of finding matching furniture. Better yet, kitchen table sets tend to be more affordable than individually priced items. You can find kitchen table sets in all styles of kitchen tables, including modern kitchen tables, farmhouse tables, bistro tables and kitchen bars.

Kitchen Table Buying Tips:

• If you have small children, avoid buying a table that requires high chairs
• In small kitchens with lots of traffic, consider buying a round table to save space and eliminate the danger of sharp corners
• If you’re short on kitchen counter space and storage, consider buying a kitchen table with a cutting board surface and drawers or shelving underneath
• Before buying, consider how many people you want to seat
• The standard counter height is 36 inches (91 cm); the standard bar height is 40-42 inches (102-107 cm)

Kitchen Table Features

Material +

A kitchen table should be made from materials that are both durable and easy to clean. Glass, stainless steel or lightly polished wood tabletops are ideal for households with young children, where spills and rough use are inevitable. A butcher block tabletop creates an attractive rustic atmosphere and provides an extra workspace when needed. If you intend to use your kitchen table as a dining and entertaining table, consider a polished wood tabletop for a more formal look.

Legs +

Leg placement and design is an important consideration when choosing a kitchen table. If the legs are too close together or too bulky, seated guests may feel cramped or be awkwardly placed around the table. A pedestal base helps eliminate this problem, since the support is in the middle of the table. If you frequently move your kitchen table, consider buying one with rolling casters on the legs for greater convenience.

Drawers & Shelves +

A kitchen table with drawers and shelves gives you extra storage space for stowing kitchen tools, cutlery, small household items and even craft or hobby supplies. Drawers and shelves are more likely to be found on kitchen island tables and kitchen bars. It’s a good idea to look for tables with drawers or shelves installed just beneath the tabletop, leaving plenty of legroom below.

Drop Leaf +

A drop leaf is a hinged panel on one or both sides of the kitchen table. This design feature is ideal for a kitchen that’s tight on space. For everyday use, you simply fold the leaf down to shorten the table. This creates a less cluttered feel and frees up room for easier traffic flow. For holiday dinners or when you're entertaining, just fold up the leaf and, presto, you temporarily have extra elbow room and additional seating space for your guests.

Height +

The height of your kitchen table will have an impact on both the atmosphere of your kitchen and the actual eating experience. The standard height for a kitchen table is 30 inches (76 cm) from the ground. Kitchen tables above or below this height tend to be more casual. For example, kitchen island tables and kitchen bars are both taller designs, and they're typically more suited to munching down snacks and quick meals. Shorter tables are a good option if you have several young children. Keep in mind that taller tables will require bar stools or pub chairs and lower tables may require kids’ chairs.

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Kitchen Table Maintenance Tips:

• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and maintenance
• For a low-maintenance table, look for something with a waterproof or stain-resistant finish like laminate or glass
• Clean up spills as soon as they happen
• Use tablecloths, coasters and placemats to help prevent damage from everyday use
• To get rid of water stains, rub a bit of petroleum jelly into the stain with a clean, lint-free cloth
• Keep wood tables out of direct sunlight to avoid discolouring the wood
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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