Custom Made Table Bases: Tips and Tricks for Correct Sizing

At Industriale, quite a large number of the enquiries we get relate to custom made bases for dining tables. Increasingly, we find people are choosing to carry through their kitchen bench top material in to their dining table. This might mean stone, concrete, or timber. The other popular option is re-using an existing table top, which is a fantastic idea and saves both money and natural resources. 

From our customer's perspective, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to a custom table base. Since every table is different - and our custom orders tend to be for very non-standard sizes - we've put together this list of things we're likely to ask you when you enquire about a custom design. You don't need to have all the answers before you start (that's what we're here for!), but these are the types of things to think about. 

How many people do you need to seat? If we all had limitless open-plan homes, we could have four metre dining tables and get the whole crew around. Most of us, though, are limited in some way, whether it's by walls or the need for a walkway (or of course, by budget!). 

The old standard was 1800 x 900 for six people. Most of our clients go to 2.1m x 1m and seat eight in a pinch. It does vary by style of base - more on that, below. 

Above: This dining table base is relatively narrow, but the shape of the legs means it can easily accommodate four chairs a side, with room for one more on each end in a pinch. There's lots of hidden steel work to support that stone table top! 

Who's going to use the table? When looking at table tops, consider how they'll wear with use. Marble might look fantastic, but if you have small kids be prepared for it to take some serious damage. A rustic timber, on the other hand, will only look better with use. There are other options still, from concrete to plywood. 

Since you're going custom, we can also make adjustments for height. A standard dining table is 750mm high (75cm), but if you're a tall family you might like to go to 780 mm - or down to 720 mm if you're shorter folk. 

Have you already bought chairs? Having said the above, if you've already got chairs you should aim for a table that's 300 mm (30 cm) taller than their seat. So a table at 75 cm needs chairs at 45 cm. This doesn't have to be exact, but if you choose a smaller chair and a taller table, you'll likely be left feeling in need of a booster seat! If you haven't purchased chairs, it's worth trying some on for size and using that as a starting point for the table height. 

What style of table base are you looking for? There are as many variations on table base styles as there are tables. It's worth noting that not every base suits every application. For example, a smaller rectangular table could look funny with U shaped steel legs on the ends, and the legs being on the extreme edges of the table would potentially block chairs. Wondering whether your desired base style will work? Drop us a line, we're happy to take a quick look and offer advice! 

Above: This dining set re-uses the client's existing table top. We've made the whole thing lower because the family are shorties, and we've sized the bench seat so it tucks neatly in under the table top. There's a lot to consider there, with leg angles, but in this instance the width of the table was what we needed to make it work.

How heavy is your table top? Really heavy, or *really really* heavy? Concrete, natural stone, and engineered stone table tops need quite a bit of support, which means more steel in your table base and a greater cost. It also means that we need to take more account of things like unsupported overhangs. Expect additional delivery costs for very heavy items, because we need additional people to move them. 

What's the site access like? Or: can we get the table through the door? Are there twists, turns, corners, stairs, verandah poles in the way, narrow(er than the table) doorways? Being honest about this - or better yet, having us visit you on site - can help prevent unexpected delivery or restocking charges where we can't gain access to deliver your furniture. There are lots of ways we can accommodate narrow spaces, whether it's designing a table base that bolts together, moving the top and base separately, or even going through a window! But this is always best thought of during the design phase. 

What's your budget? Before we get you a quote, we'll ask you what your budget is. Generally, this allows us to say either 'nope, not even in the ballpark', 'yes, we can do that', or 'we can almost do that, can you compromise on a detail/material/size or can you stretch a little'? 

We don't ask your budget in order to use up every last cent of it, but to present you with options that are realistic. As an example, we might propose a 50mm thick marine ply table top, instead of a Marri one. Or we might say that material savings can be made by slightly reducing your desired size to reflect the available sizes of materials. Similarly, if you've got in mind a premium product, we don't want to offer you a budget one. 

More questions? Something we haven't covered? Email contact@industriale.com.au or pick up the phone and call 0438 002 056.