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How to choose your dining table’s material

Dining tables are real home heroes, so it’s important to choose a material that’s practical, durable, and fits your personal style. What’s the difference between hardwood and softwood? And what about a hardwood veneer or melamine? Here’s our guide to some of the most common materials, and what to consider for each.

An ash veneer LISABO table top holding coffee cups and a cutting board with a jar of honey and some buns.
An ash veneer LISABO table top holding coffee cups and a cutting board with a jar of honey and some buns.

Solid hardwood

Natural, solid wood feels warm and welcoming, and hardwood species such as acacia, birch and oak are naturally durable and sturdy, because of the high density of their wood fibers. Hardwood ages beautifully as the color deepens and becomes richer over time. Varying grain patterns and color shifts are all part of the natural charm, giving you a truly unique piece.

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Solid softwood

Softwood, like spruce and pine, is also durable, but because it isn’t as dense as hardwood, softwood tends to scratch more easily. Many times softwood is lighter colored than hardwood, and often has visible knots, giving the furniture that unique look. By giving it a little love now and then and maintaining the wood (re-staining) you will be able to enjoy your table in softwood for many years.

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Hardwood veneer

Hardwood veneer has the look and feel of natural wood, combined with an easy-care, durable surface that will hold up to bangs and bumps from chairs, children and toys. Thick particleboard is dressed in a top layer of durable hardwood to create a strong and stable surface that’s much less likely to crack or warp than solid wood.

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Melamine

Melamine is very durable and easy to clean, giving you great value for your money. The material is a smart choice for families with children since it’s moisture and scratch-resistant and can withstand spills, banging toys, crashes and splashes. Paired with a sturdy frame, you’ve got a table that will survive the toughest trials.

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See all dining tables