Know What Table Leaves are Best for You!

We get a lot of questions regarding table leaves or extensions. How much space can they add? What sizes are available? How much seating is gained? Are they storable? How do they work? The list goes on. Overall, they can add a lot of space to a table setting and are a lifesaver when hosting larger numbers. Think about those handful of times per year you need the extra seating but don’t want a table that stretches out year-round? Thus, we thought now’s as good a time as any to spew some information at you.

The Basics

We offer three different kinds of table leaves: perimeter, drop-in, and standard extensions. Each offer different solutions depending on the desired look and style. Your goal when calculating space per person should be about 24 inches each for elbow room. Based on this, the length your table begins at will affect how many extra seats to calculate when factoring leaves. Walnut table with table leaves and belly pedestalsThis is where we can come in and assist you in figuring both what length to begin with and the best leaf size.

Standard Leaves

There are three different sizes available for our “standard” table leaves. Before we go through them, to help avoid any confusion, the standard leaves are made for rectangular tables. The size options are: 12, 18, and 24 inches. As we stated earlier, it will depend on the initial length of your table, but we typically say to figure 2 additional people for 2-12” leaves, 2-4 additions for 2-18” leaves, and 2-24” leaves will gain space for about 4 people. Addressing a 4-leg table, we calculate the leaves a bit differently than a pedestal base table. What we suggest for a 4-leg, is to add 1-24″ leaf to one end. This allows enough space to add 2 people while preventing the need to maneuver around table legs.

Now, let’s briefly discuss how they function and storage requirements. The standard leaves attach at the ends. The leaves simply slide in and out and are secured with a wooden shim. When removing, pull out the shim and the leaves follow. When it comes to storage, the leaves will need to be stored separately. As for where, that’s up to you. We only encourage you to keep them close to the table to ensure the fluctuations in the wood remain similar.

Perimeter Leaves

Does the term perimeter table leaves confuse you a bit? Perhaps it’s because it’s a recent invention of ours designed to extent round tables. This eliminates the need for a drop-in table leaves which allows a round to maintain its shape. The standard sizes allow seating as such: 4-42”, 6-60”, 8-72”, and 10-84”. Keep in mind, the number that will comfortably fit around a table will depend on chair size and level of comfort. Adding extra seating will be reliant on leaf and initial table size. For this style of leaf, we don’t have specific sizes, but will instead do what makes sense for your needs. Use and storage are the same as our standard leaves.

Drop-In Leaves

The last table extension we offer are drop-in leaves. This style is standard to your typical drop-in leaf; however, we typically only utilize this design for round tables. There is the option to use drop-ins with a square/rectangular table. If you choose to go this route we prefer to be conservative with size as we want to maintain the integrity of the table structure. Keep in mind that there will always be a seam with or without the table leaves. We have previously design drop-in leaves that run the length of the table, adjusting where the seam is seen. For a round table we offer: 12, 18, and 24 inch leaves. We’ve gone as large as 2-18” leaves, but this is where we like to cap it. When you start to look at build, structure, and function, going larger will add limitations. It is also important to point out that Belly pedestal round turned oval with drop-in leavesadding a drop-in leaf will change the table shape. Instead of keeping its round shape, it will morph similar to that of an oval. Finally, you can probably guess what we’re going to say, original size will determine how much seating is added, but you can reference above for a gauge. Use and storage requirements remain the same.

Hopefully this bit of information is beneficial to you while making some decisions. Feel free to contact us if any questions linger. We’d be more than happy to assist.

Interested in seeing more of our work? Explore our Table Collections to browse examples of the different types of tables we’ve built in the past. For more information on the various table customization options available to you, view our Table Options page.

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