What Is the Best Wood for Dining Tables? 10 Durable Choices

When it comes to choosing the perfect wood for your dining table, there are numerous factors to consider. From the rich tones of walnut to the classic appeal of oak, each type of wood brings its unique characteristics to the table. 

In this guide, we’ll explore 10 types of wood commonly used for dining tables, delve into their features, and help you make an informed decision. So, let’s get started!

10 Types of Wood for Dining Table

1. Walnut

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Walnut is renowned for its luxurious appearance and dark, rich tones. It’s a hardwood with a straight grain and a fine texture, making it a popular choice for dining tables.

  • Tone:

Walnut wood boasts a warm, deep tone that adds an inviting and cosy atmosphere to any dining room.

  • Grain:

The grain of walnut is typically straight, which contributes to its elegant and sophisticated look.

  • Durability:

Walnut is a durable wood that can withstand daily use. It’s resistant to warping and shrinking, making it an excellent choice for a long-lasting dining table.

  • Overall Look:

In terms of aesthetics, walnut dining tables exude timeless beauty and elegance. They work well in both traditional and modern settings, making them a versatile choice.

2. Oak

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 Known for its strength and durability, oak dining tables are a classic.  They are available in red and white varieties.

  • Tone:

Red oak features a warm, reddish-brown tone, while white oak has a lighter, yellowish hue.

  • Grain:

Oak has a prominent and distinctive grain pattern that adds character to the table’s appearance.

  • Durability:

Oak is highly durable and resistant to wear and tear. It’s an ideal choice for families and individuals who want a table that will last for generations.

  • Overall Look:

Oak dining tables are timeless and versatile, fitting seamlessly into various interior design styles, from rustic to contemporary.

3. Maple

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Maple is a hardwood with a fine, even texture and a pale, creamy colour. It’s known for its durability and versatility.

  • Tone:

Maple has a light, almost white tone that can complement a wide range of interior styles.

  • Grain:

The grain of maple is generally straight, creating a clean and uniform appearance.

  • Durability:

Maple is exceptionally durable and resistant to dents and scratches, making it a practical choice for dining tables.

  • Overall Look:

Maple dining tables exude simplicity and elegance. They work well in contemporary and minimalist settings.

4. Cherry

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Cherry wood is admired for its reddish-brown colour that darkens with age. It’s a hardwood with a fine, straight grain.

  • Tone:

Cherry has a warm and rich tone that deepens over time, giving it a timeless and inviting appeal.

  • Grain:

The grain of cherry wood is often wavy, adding character and charm to the table’s appearance.

  • Durability:

Cherry is moderately durable and can develop a patina with age, which many find attractive.

  • Overall Look:

Cherry dining tables have a classic and elegant appearance, making them an excellent choice for traditional dining rooms.

5. Mahogany

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Mahogany is a tropical hardwood known for its reddish-brown colour and exceptional durability.

  • Tone:

Mahogany boasts a deep, reddish-brown tone that adds warmth and sophistication to any dining space.

  • Grain:

Mahogany features a straight, fine grain with a consistent appearance.

  • Durability:

Mahogany is highly durable and resistant to rot and pests, making it a great choice for long-lasting dining tables.

  • Overall Look:

Mahogany dining tables exude luxury and elegance, making them a preferred choice for upscale dining areas.

6. Ash

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Ash is a type of wood known for its light colour and distinct grain pattern. It is commonly used in woodworking and furniture working due to its desirable characteristics.

  • Tone:

Ash has a light and pale tone. It goes from creamy white to light tan or a bit greyish-brown. This light colour makes Ash look bright and airy.

  • Grain:

Ash has a good-looking grain pattern. The grain is typically straight and easy to see, making it look nice. The lines of the grain are often even, and they give the wood a cool texture.

  • Durability:

Ash is tough and strong, making it great for furniture that has to handle lots of use.

  • Overall Look:

Ash has a timeless and neat appearance. With its light colour and unique grain, it can fit well in various design styles, whether traditional or modern.

7. Rustic Cherry

Photo by Bojan Nikolic on istock

Rustic cherry is a variation of cherry wood that retains knots and imperfections, giving it a weathered, rustic appearance.

  • Tone:

Rustic cherry maintains the warm, reddish-brown tone of traditional cherry wood.

  • Grain:

The grain of rustic cherry can be more pronounced, with knots and irregularities that add character.

  • Durability:

While still durable, rustic cherry may have more imperfections due to its rustic nature.

  • Overall Look:

Rustic cherry dining tables have a distinct, aged appearance that’s perfect for rustic and farmhouse-style dining rooms.

8. Pine

Photo by Zocha_K on istock

Pine is a softwood with a pale, light-coloured appearance. It’s often used for its affordability and rustic charm.

  • Tone:

Pine has a light, pale colour that can vary from creamy white to yellowish-brown.

  • Grain:

Pine typically has a straight grain, and it may contain knots and natural imperfections.

  • Durability:

Pine is softer than hardwoods, making it more susceptible to dents and scratches, but it can still serve as a charming dining table.

  • Overall Look:

Pine dining tables are ideal for rustic and casual dining spaces, offering a warm and inviting ambiance.

9. Beech

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Beech is hard, pale wood from beech trees, often used in furniture and woodworking, and it can be bent to create curved shapes in a process known as bentwood.

  • Tone:

Beech has a light, pale tone that can complement various interior styles.

  • Grain:

The grain of beech is typically straight, creating a uniform appearance.

  • Durability:

Beech is highly durable and resistant to wear, making it a practical choice for dining tables.

  • Overall Look:

Beech dining tables offer a clean and simple design that works well in modern and minimalist settings.

10. Albizia

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Albizia wood, often referred to as Albizia Saman or Samanea Saman, is a tropical hardwood known for its unique characteristics. It is native to regions like Central America and is used in various woodworking and wood dining tables.

  • Tone:

The colour of Albizia wood changes based on the type of tree and which part is used. Usually, it’s a medium to light brown, sometimes with hints of red or gold. This colour makes it look warm and welcoming.

  • Grain:

Albizia wood usually has a kind of mixed-up grain pattern. It might look wavy or swirly, which makes it more visually appealing. Even though the grain isn’t as bold as some hardwoods, it gives the wood a special texture.

  • Durability:

Albizia wood isn’t as tough as some hardwoods, especially dense ones like teak or mahogany. It’s decently sturdy for indoor stuff like furniture and cabinets. But if you want to use it outside, it might need some special coatings or treatments.

  • Overall Look:

Albizia wood has a warm and unique look with varying tones. It has a special grain pattern and sometimes has hints of red or gold, making it stand out. People often use Albizia wood in furniture, decorations, and interior design to highlight its warm and exotic appearance.

Best Wood for Table Top

When selecting the best wood for your dining table’s top, consider the following options:

  • Hard Maple:

It offers a clean and contemporary look with its light tone and straight grain, making it highly durable and ideal for modern and minimalist dining spaces.

  • Soft Maple:

With a similar appearance to hard maple but a slightly lighter tone, offers good durability and is suitable for those seeking a lighter wood option.

  • Red Oak:

With its warm, reddish-brown tone and distinctive grain pattern, is highly durable and a classic choice for traditional dining rooms.

  • White Oak:

White Oak, with its lighter, yellowish hue compared to red oak, offers exceptional durability and versatility for various interior styles.

  • Cherry:

Cherry wood’s warm and rich tone makes it a popular choice, moderately durable, and ideal for adding elegance to your dining space.

  • Walnut:

Walnut wood’s dark and luxurious appearance creates a striking table top, known for its durability and sophistication.

  • Pine:

Pine, with its light and rustic appearance, is an affordable and charming choice, perfect for casual and rustic dining rooms despite being softer.

How to Choose the Best Wood for a Dining Table?

Choosing the best wood for your dining table involves considering several factors:

1. Appearance

Consider the overall look you want to achieve in your dining space. Do you prefer a classic and elegant appearance, or do you lean towards a rustic or minimalist style? The wood’s tone, grain pattern, and colour play a significant role in the table’s aesthetics.

2. Cost

Your budget is an essential factor in selecting the wood for your dining table. Hardwoods like walnut and cherry tend to be more expensive than softwoods like pine. Be sure to choose a wood that fits within your budget.

3. Durability

If you anticipate heavy use of your dining table or have a busy household with children, durability is crucial. Hardwoods like oak and maple are known for their durability and resistance to wear, making them great choices for long-lasting tables.

4. Maintenance

Consider how much maintenance you’re willing to put into your dining table. Some woods, like pine, may require more upkeep due to their softer nature. Harder woods often require less maintenance and are easier to clean.

What is a good material for a wood dining table?

A good material for a wood dining table is hardwood, such as oak, maple, cherry, or walnut. These woods are durable, attractive, and can withstand the wear and tear of daily use, making them ideal choices for a dining table.

What kind of wood should I use for a dining table?

Choosing the right wood for your dining table comes down to your style and needs. For a timeless look, consider walnut, cherry, or mahogany.

Oak and maple are durable and versatile. For a rustic feel, go for hickory, rustic cherry, or reclaimed wood. Pine or soft maple can be budget-friendly options. Keep appearance, cost, durability, and maintenance in mind when deciding.

Where to buy wood to build a table?

If you’re planning to make your own dining table, you’ll need quality wood. Tablelegs.com, a reputable US company, specialises in table components, offering various wood choices and styles to suit your DIY project needs.

While crafting a dining table from the ground up can be immensely rewarding, it’s also a challenge that demands time, effort, and expertise. For those moments when convenience beckons or timelines tighten, consider buying dining tables online without the wait.


Whether you’re venturing into the realm of DIY to handcraft your own dining table or leaning towards the convenience of a ready-made masterpiece, the allure of wood remains undeniable.

Its timeless charm, durability, and versatility make it a top choice for dining tables. But remember, it’s not just about the table – it’s about the memories you’ll make around it.

So whether you build or buy, ensure it’s a piece that resonates with your style and will stand the test of time. Cheers to many delightful meals and conversations around your wooden centrepiece!

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