Types of Extendable Dining Tables

Types of Extendable Dining Tables

Many dining tables have extensions to make them bigger or smaller. The ability to change the size of your table is useful if you have limited space but need room for more seating on occasion. During holidays and other events, it’s nice to have a large table that can seat a crowd, but for everyday living sometimes a smaller table can make your space feel larger and give you more room to move around the house. While most tables do have an extension, the types of extensions can vary. Keep reading to learn about the most common types of extendable dining tables.

Traditional Center Leaves for Extendable Dining Tables

The most common type of extension is a leaf that goes into the center of the table. Typically 12 to 18” wide, each leaf adds room for another row of seating at a table. These leaves are one solid piece and usually have an apron attached to the bottom to give the table a finished look when the leaf is in the table. These leaves usually store separately from the table, and it is recommended to keep the leaf flat when stored to prevent warping. Under a bed or on a shelf are common places to store these leaves.

Butterfly or Self-Storing Leaf

A very popular table extension is the butterfly leaf. These leaves are hinged in the middle and fold up like a book to store easily under the tabletop. These tables have extra space below the top to store the leaf. Instead of one solid piece, these leaves are split in the middle, so it does add an extra seam to the tabletop when the leaf is in. The ease of storage is very popular for homes that don’t have a lot of extra space, and because the leaf is built into the table it won’t get lost in a move or damaged from improper storage.

Breadboard Leaves for Extendable Dining Tables

Breadboard leaves are extensions that attach to the ends of the table, rather than the middle of the table like a traditional leaf. Usually there are two extensions with this type of table. The most common way these leaves are attached is with rods or slides that extend from the ends of the table to support the leaves. There is a latch lock or clip to keep the leaves attached. One benefit to this type of table is that when the leaves are not in use, the table has a solid, one-piece look without any seams in the tabletop.

Leaves are a great way to add some versatility to your dining set. There are some other nifty ways to expand tables; some custom order brands have leaves that hide completely under the table and use a butterfly leaf mechanism combined with wheeled legs on one side of the table to expand. Whichever type of leaf your table has, the ability to make your table bigger or smaller is a feature many consumers appreciate.


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