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Pros and Cons of an Extendable Dining Table

by Olly Mason

A person pulling apart an extendable table

At a Glance:

What is an Extendable Table?

Pros & Cons Extendable Dining Tables

5 Top Extendable Table Reviews


Why Trust Us?

A good modern home is a flexible home, but when it comes to dinnertime, that’s easier said than done. There’s no guarantee everyone will be a fan of what you put on the table, but you can still be in control of your table on every occasion. We’re talking about extendable tables, of course.

If you’re unfamiliar with this style of table, you’ll be able to find everything you need to know about them in this crash course. Along the way, we’ll detail the different styles, where they work best, and also include a list of recommended expanding tables for you explore something new and different for your dining room.

What is an Extendable Table?

If you need a little space in the dining room or it’s your year to host the holiday dinner and you need more eating room, an extendable table is a convenient option to have in your home. Unlike regular tables, these dining surfaces are modular and can be lengthened or shortened whenever needed.

Traditionally, expandable tables were crafted of wood in classic banquet-style designs, but today’s market features a variety of shapes and materials to suit tastes from formal to laid-back.

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Dining Tables

Types of Extendable Tables

Opening up an Extendable Table

Over the years, there have been various variations on the original expandable table design. Take a look at each one to get a better idea which option works best for your dining room layout.

Drop In Extendable Tables

Known as the classic extendable design, drop in tables are arguably the most basic of expanding tables. It’s simple: both ends pull apart, opening up a segment in the middle of the table where a leaf or multiple leaves can fill the gap. Certain tables sit in place, while others use a special lock to keep extension leaves secured.

Because there is no mechanism or storage involved, drop in extendable tables come available in pretty much every shape from square to round. If you want variety, we recommend get familiar with this style of expanding table to get a feel for the rest.

Butterfly Leaf Extendable Tables

There’s nothing wrong with a little drama during dinnertime when it comes in the form of a butterfly leaf table. These are true showstoppers that go from cozy to family style in an instant. When not in use, these tables house one or two leaves that can fold out to provide additional table space. When you’re ready to go back to an intimate setting, simply unhinge the leaves and push the table back to its original form.

Drop Leaf Extendable Tables

Apartments, condos, and lofts are notorious for having small kitchens and dinettes, and that’s why drop leaf tables are popular choices in these dwellings. Instead of having a separate leaf that has to be installed and removed, a “wing” attached on hinges can be dropped down to save space when necessary. By doing so, this also creates a flat side that can be placed against a wall, meaning even round tables can be used in small spaces such as apartment kitchens.

Stow Leaf Extendable Tables

Technically, stow leaf tables are any table that harbors either removable or hinged leaves. Drop in and butterfly leaf tables are both available in the option, and the major benefit to this style of extendable table is that users do not need to store the additions elsewhere when they’re not in use.

Pros & Cons Extendable Dining Tables

As convenient as they are, expanding dining tables do come with a few tradeoffs along with the perks. Learn about them below to decide whether the benefits are worth upgrading to one of these tables.

✅ PRO: Flexible Seating Arrangement

Even with planning, the occasional unexpected guest (or few) can pop over at any moment. With an expandable table, you can make extra room for company without squabbling for a makeshift table for them to sit at.

✅ PRO: Save Space

Of course, the most obvious advantage to using an extending table is being able to save space in tight areas. With the average table leaf being 12 inches, that can be the difference between being able to add a hutch, dining room credenza, or a few extra chairs to a space.

✅ PRO: Showstopper

It’s worth repeating extendible tables are a classy way to put on a little show for the holiday or for guests. Just imagine how impressive it would be to pull apart your butterfly leaf table and have the center automatically lift to present extra seating for two or more.

✅ PRO: Adaptable

Being able to make a table larger or smaller comes in real handy if you happen to be moving into a new home. Typically, interior designers recommend measuring the dimensions of a dining room to select a table and chair arrangement that suits the size. However, the adaptability of an extendible table can save you from having to purchase a new table for your new space.

✖ CON: Storing Leaves

The downside to having extra table leaves is requiring a place to store them when you’re no using them. Of course, stow away tables solve this problem by tucking the leaves discreetly beneath the tabletop, but for other versions, you’ll need to find a place to keep these add-ons safely stored. Additionally, making room for more diners means needing to store chairs, too.

✖ CON: More Expensive

Unfortunately, the luxury of an expanding table does come at a cost. These dining room eating arrangements cost substantially more than their conventional counterparts, but there is a silver lining. Most often, these tables are carefully crafted rather than mass-produced, so you get a quality piece of dining room furniture with the potential to become an heirloom piece.

✖ CON: Require More Care

Whether they have hinges, a self-storing mechanism, or locks, expandible tables require more care than normal tables. Granted, the amount of maintenance isn’t a deal-breaker, but regular upkeep and care is recommended to avoid damage to any delicate parts these tables might have.

5 Top Extendable Table Reviews

Check out all the possibilities when it comes to an extended dining table with these five designs you can find from our catalog.

Legacy Classic Cinema by Rachael Ray Metal Oval Dining Table

Legacy Classic Furniture Cinema by Rachael Ray oval dining room table

It’s all about gathering around and making memories with this oval extendable dining table from the collaboration between Legacy Classic Furniture and Rachel Ray. Beaming with timeless architecture from the four-post pedestal base to its neutral wood finish, this table feels formal with a dash of Hollywood glam. Feel like the hostess with the most by making room for everyone by adding the leaf to this drop in table.

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Legacy Classic Easton Hills Distressed Denim Extendable Leg Table

Legacy Classic Furniture Easton Hills table

If you prefer your dining table extendable presentation more angular, this two-tone rectangular concept hits the nail on the head. It features beautifully decorated, carved legs with a butcher-style tabletop with stone wash detail, and a distressed denim finish for a touch of modernity. Seat up to eight with the addition of a drop in table leaf.

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Benchcraft® Flaybern Brown Rectangular Dining Room Counter Extension Table

Benchcraft Flaybern stow away extendable table

Enjoy this double-duty “hack” for the dining room that maximizes space in two ways. First, this wooden extendable dining table goes from seating for four to six by simply pulling both ends and revealing the self-storing table leaf. Then, the bottom features built-in storage perfect for organizing dinnerware and other dining room essentials. With a rustic finish in all wood, this seating arrangement is perfect for a dose of hearty hospitality.

Benchcraft Flaybern Table Reviews

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Jofran Inc. Madison County Black Rectangle Extension Table

Jofran Inc. Madison County extendable table

At a max of seven feet long, this black extendable table with a contrasting wooden top is the largest on our list and offers plenty of elbow room to host a banquet. Its construction of reclaimed solid pine expertly crafted in shapely legs and natural grain is everything a vintage furniture lover enjoys. A single 22-inch removable leaf can be added when it’s a full house and removed when it’s family night for a versatile seating arrangement suited for large dining room settings.

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Chintaly Imports Tara Black Pop-up Extension Glass Dining Table

Chintaly Imports pop-up glass extension table

Here’s something different. This modern extendable dining table from Chintaly Imports is unlike another other dinette set on this list featuring clean lines with metal posts for a chic seating setup. This extendable glass dining table is the perfect addition to apartments, and includes a self-storing leaf for easy use.

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Aside from giving you the liberty to create more dining room space at a whim, extendable tables ensure everyone has a place to enjoy dinner even when it’s a full house. There are plenty of styles to choose from to complement your dining room décor, with sizes for dining areas from cozy to generously scaled. Best of all, at Colder’s, you can find expanding tables that are reasonably priced from leading brands in the industry. Explore the possibilities today!


Now that you’re inspired and informed, let’s review a couple last-minute questions regarding extension tables.

What is the average size of a table leaf?

Typically, table leaves range from 12 to 18 inches apiece. Many models feature two or more leaves, which can extend the length of a table by a few feet.

Can expandable table leaves be replaced?

If a table leaf has been misplaced or damaged, the best option is to contact the manufacturer for a replacement. Because each style of table varies from another, it’s unlikely a leaf from another table will fit or work.

Why Trust Colder’s?

Since 1942, we at Colder's pride ourselves on offering value, selection, and service. Serving Southeastern Wisconsin with four showrooms that stock quality name-brand furniture, appliances, and mattresses, Colder’s is sure to house exactly what you are looking for. And if you can't find it on our floors, chances are, we can order it for you. As a local, family-owned company, we are always doing our best to provide the highest value at the lowest cost to everyone who walks through our doors.

Colder’s is committed not only to continuously offering can’t-miss sales but also to working with each customer, making sure that you take advantage of every possible markdown — that’s our best price guarantee.

Shop Extendable Dining Tables at Colder’s

Don’t put off happiness — shop dining room furniture online for unbeatable prices at Colder’s. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you complete your eating area with an extendable dining table, whether you call us at 414-476-1574 or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by one our Colder’s locations in West Allis, Oak Creek, Delafield, and Grafton, Wisconsin to touch, see, feel, and experience home products that fulfill your dreams. Visit us today!

Learn More: How to Choose Dining Room Chairs