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FAQ’s: Farmhouse Tables

Farmhouse Tables FAQs

The 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Farmhouse Tables

1. What size farmhouse table do I need?

The best dining table size for you depends on the number of people you want to accommodate, and the size of the room/area you have to work with.

Rectangular Tables (36″ – 42″ wide)

# of people seats comfortably workable
4 4ft  
6 6ft 5ft
8 8ft 7ft
10 10ft 9ft


Round Tables

# of people seats comfortably workable
4 48”R 42”R
6 60”R 54”R
8 72”R 66”R


Extensions can be added when additional seating is needed.

To determine the maximum table size for a room, it is best to plan a clearance of 36” around the table for chairs.  The minimum clearance is 27”, but this can feel tight.  For banquette applications, you should consider either a trestle or pedestal table to avoid seating interference with a table leg.

For additional information, please see our Dining Table Seating Guide.

2. What kind of wood is used to make a farmhouse table?

Farmhouse tables can be made out of a wide variety of woods.  The most popular are pine, old reclaimed pine, and cherry.  Final selection is usually a balance between appearance, durability, and cost.  Many people are concerned with the hardness of the wood as softer wood can be more susceptible to dings.  However, the harder the wood, the higher the cost – therefore, distressed tables have become increasingly popular.

A rough guide to the hardness of different woods:

New Pine 350-400
Poplar 550-600
Old Pine 650-700
Cherry 900-950
Maple 900-950
Oak 1250-1300


3. What is the most durable finish for the top of a farmhouse table?

Water Glass Test on Farmhouse TableA stained or painted finish with a clear top coat is the toughest, and most durable, surface for a farmhouse table top.  Water marks take longer to form, and, since most clear coats are water-based varnish, water marks will usually disappear when they dry.  The disadvantage to this finish is, if the surface is scratched, it will require professional repair to fix the damage.  Of course, if the table top is distressed to begin with, minor marks just increase the character of the table top and do not stand out.

Higher quality finishes usually include several coats of clear finish, and can be ordered with a lower gloss satin sheen, which looks great on a farmhouse table.

Regardless of the final finish, place mats, coasters, and hot pads are recommended for a wood table top to keep from creating water or heat marks on the surface.

4. Should I buy extensions for my farmhouse table?

Extensions are usually available for farmhouse tables, either center extensions or company board extensions, which designed to be inserted in the ends of the table.  To maintain to look of the long planks used to make traditional farmhouse tables, and to avoid a split in the table, company boards are the preferred extension option.

If extra seating is only needed once or twice a year, you may want to consider using spare tables to accommodate guests instead of investing in extensions. If you plan on entertaining often, extensions increase the size of your farmhouse table by 3ft, providing seating for everyone at the same table.

Farmhouse Table FAQs | Company Board Extensions

5. How do I care for my farmhouse table?

Place mats, coasters, and hot pads are recommended for daily use of a wood farmhouse table to keep from creating water or heat marks on the surface of the table top.

The top of your table is relatively easy to maintain.  Spills of cold liquids (juice, sodas, etc.) can be easily wiped with a damp cloth.  DO NOT USE HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS (Pledge, 409, etc.) on any wood farmhouse table top.   USE ONLY a damp cloth.  This is all you should have to use for the daily maintenance of your table.

Brought to you by Cottage Home – specializing in cottage furniture & farmhouse tables

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