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Oak table buying guide for your home

Welcome to the oak table buying guide.

Properly cared for, a well-chosen piece of quality oak furniture is an investment purchase which will reward your home and family handsomely for many years. An oak table in particular is a classic centrepiece for any dining room or kitchen. So to assist anyone who intends to purchase one of these magnificent tables, we’ve put together this straightforward oak table buying guide for your convenience.

oak dining table buyers guide

Things to consider

It’s surprising how easy it can be to fall in love with a beautiful piece of furniture which just isn’t right for your home. Here, then, are a few simple questions to ask yourself before bringing home whichever attractive oak table just happens to catch your eye:

  • Will it look right in my home?
  • Is there really enough space in the room?
  • Will it seat the whole family, or do I even need this much seating capacity?
  • Does the style suit my family’s dining habits?
  • Is it worth investing a little more money for a far superior outcome?

The first point really depends on your own judgement. However, when deciding if a table is a sensible size for your room, it is recommended that you allow around 60cm (24in) of space behind each chair when it is being sat on. You’ll need to add an extra 30cm (12in) for seating space, which brings us to 90cm (36in). For areas in which it is necessary to walk behind seated diners, for example to access doors or cupboards, allow at least an extra 50 to 60 cm (20 to 24in).

Only you can decide if a table is the correct size and style for your family. But on the final point, we’d suggest spending as much money on an oak table as you can comfortably afford. After all, true quality always comes at a price, and any extra you spend will almost certainly be recouped in the longevity of your table and the price you can expect it to fetch if you should ever decide to sell it on.

Solid Oak vs. Oak Veneer (Pros and Cons)

Vale oak round table

If you’ve got your heart set on an oak table but you’re not sure if you can spare the necessary funds, a more economical option is to look into wood veneer alternatives. While we believe that there really is no comparison in terms of quality and durability, the potential financial savings mean that this at least warrants consideration. With that in mind, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both:

Solid Oak


  • Classic style with a feeling of real quality
  • Finish can be endlessly renewed
  • Light scratches can be easily removed by sanding
  • Rock-solid build quality which will last indefinitely
  • Any minor damage can be easily repaired by a skilled craftsman
  • Holds its value and can even appreciate over time


  • Can be heavier and more cumbersome
  • Relatively high purchase prices.

Oak Veneer


  • Lower financial outlay
  • Potentially more lightweight.


  • Less hard-wearing
  • Lacks prestige
  • Cannot be repaired as effectively.

Why buy from us?


Based near Guildford, Vale Furnishers are one of Surrey and Hampshire’s leading furniture shop specialists. As a family business of well over fifty years’ standing, we’re serious about style and craftsmanship. That’s why we look for exceptional quality and attention to detail in all the furniture we sell. An oak table is an investment purchase which you should expect to use for a very long time, so it’s especially important to deal with a company which you can be certain represents these fundamental values. You can rely on the impartial and well-informed advice we offer, and you can be sure that we’ll still be here to help you care for your oak table many years from now.

Do you have any questions not covered in this oak table buying guide?
Please contact our furniture experts in Surrey and Hampshire on 01252 325525 for more information.

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