LaSalle Rectangular Extendable Dining Table

3 Types of Extendable Dining Tables – Which One is Best for You?

Gracie Oaks Noemi Extendable Rustic Dining Table

Always find your dining table too small for those dinner parties, family and holiday gatherings?

You need an extendable dining table!

Have you thought about buying a dining table with an extension before but, never got around to it. Instead, for your larger dinner gatherings, you bring out the folding tables from the basement and either try to faux-extend your current table or you create a second seating area…or maybe you don’t have an extra table and you simply squeeze everyone in to the small table – elbows and all.

Folding Card Table

Card table (as I am used to calling it) or folding table can be saved from the messy dinner plates and kept pristine for playing cards.

I say, save the card table for cards   🙂

The Flexibility of an Extendable Dining Table

Having a dining table with an extension leaf or leaves, you can easily transform your table into the size you need when you need it. Maintain the smaller table size for everyday use, and transform it into the larger dining table when you have multiple dinner guests.


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Two Tables for the Price of  One

I suggest that if you are in the market for a new dinner table, why not consider a dining table with extensions. You get dinner guest flexibility and versatility without much fuss, or added cost.

There are basically 3 types of extensions available for dining tables. There are the traditional – and newer versions of this classic – folding drop leaf extension tables, the classic leaf extensions typically inserted into the middle of the table, and the new and improved butterfly leaf extension system which folds into and under the table top.

1. Folding drop leaf extensions

Classic folding leaf extensions were originally found on this iconic Duncan Phyfe dining table.

Duncan Phyfe Drop Leaf Table

The drop leaves on a Duncan Phyfe dining table are generally quite large. This makes the table much larger when extended and quite small when not extended. This allows one to maximize room space when the leaves are not extended – one of the great benefits of extendable dining tables.

Notice that with this older design of a drop leaf table, when the large leaves are folded down, it takes us much less space but, it is almost unusable as a dining table. I suppose you could sit 2 people at either side opposite of the drop leaves…not particularly useful.


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While not readily available today except at antique and second hand stores, online selling forums, or estate sales, similarly styled drop leaf tables are available today but with much more versatility and usability.

Duncan Phyfe Drop Leaf Table
Classic folding leaf table by Duncan Phyfe is not fully usable when the leaves are folded down, even though it makes a large table when unfolded.

A modern take on this practical folding leaf table is this wooden dining table. Instead of 2 large drop leaves on either end, this dining table has 4 drop folding leaves on each of the 4 sides.

The rounded folding sections are not nearly the size of the Duncan Phyfe table making it usable both as a smaller square table and a larger round table.

Round drop-leaf rounded dining table
This square dining table with drop-leaf extensions un-extended is a perfect size for 4 people.

Size of Extendable Leaves

The design elements of the drop leaves are important to the functionality of this table. The drop leaves are small enough to fold and tuck completely under the table. This allows for complete usage of the table when in the smaller size. You do not have the leaves dropping down – literally – which would make it more difficult, or more uncomfortable, to seat oneself without potentially banging your knees on the leaf.


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Essentially, this extendable dining table design with drop-leaves has the leaves but, has dropped the ‘drop’ part of it – making the table completely usable in both forms.

Sit 4 very comfortably at this round / square table with the fold-down leaves folded under the table.

Dining Table Tip: Generally, any square table, regardless of the length or width, suits numbers in multiple of 4.  For example, a 48″ square table sits 4 very comfortably with lots of room for extra dishes (and elbows). While you could sit 8 guests, it will be quite tight – and you may end up with a fight of the elbows, and certainly NO extra space for extra food or drinks. To sit 8 at a square table, it would be better to have a table of at least 60″ wide.

Square and Round Extendable Dining Tables

With the 4 leaves fully extended, the table has now been transformed into a round table. With the rounded drop-leaves extended, you can easily add at least another 2 chairs or guests at your table.

Square Round Drop Leaf Dining Table
Seat 4 comfortably at this table when in square mode. Extend the folding drop leaves on all 4 sides transforming this table to round, and you can easily add 2 more guests for a total of seating for 6.

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Butcher Block Extendable Dining Tables

Want a different style of extendable dining table? Even this rustic butcher block table is extendable. Where, you say? The drop leaf ends extend to add another 2-3 feet of dining space – potentially adding another 6 guests – mind you, cozily – at your table.

Butcher Block Extendable Dining Table
While not truly considered a classic or traditional dining room table, this large chunky butcher block harvest table is, in fact, extendable. Drop leaves are added to the ends of this rectangular shaped table to make it an even larger rectangle – able to sit even more guests.
Butcher Block Extendable Dining Table
Beautiful butcher block designed harvest table can extend to seat many more guests. Who would have thought a chunky butcher block table would be extendable.
Extendable Butcher block dining table with Chairs and Bench
Easily transform this butcher block dining table from seating 6 comfortably to seating 10, with the extension of the drop leaves on each end.

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Modern Glass Extendable Dining Tables

Looking for a more modern version of a drop-leaf dining table…look no further.

This glass leaf extension table is not exactly a folding leaf extension table but, it does fit into this category due to the leaf extensions. The leaf extensions do not fold over the end of the table but, rather are cleverly hidden or stored under the table top. Not only does this add to the functionality, the glass exposes the decorative and artistic chrome mechanisms.

This glass extendable table has leaf extensions which do not fold over the end of the table. Instead, these rounded table extensions fold under the table for even more usable space and comfortable seating.
Glass Extendable Folding Leaf Dining Table
This very modern glass dining table is – believe it or not – extendable. Goes from square to oval table in a few quick flips. A unique mechanism under the table serves as both a conversation piece of industrial art as well as the folding mechanism for the glass leaf extensions.

Adding any glass dining table to your dining room will add a splash of modern or contemporary. With this glass extendable dining table, you get the desired look with the added benefit of great flexibility and style.

Casabianca Home Glass and Steel Modern Extendable Table
Another great example of a very modern extendable dining table by Casabianca Home. Who would have imagined an extendable table made of glass and steel – these designers did!
Shop Modern Extendable Dining Tables NOW!

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Black Glass Top Extendable Dining Table

Looking for a sleek glass top look with a hint of natural wood. Consider this deluxe fully extendable dining table with frosted black glass top and wooden rectangular base.

With the addition of the wood base, this modern extendable dining table takes on an almost mid-century modern look. Whatever style file you think this table fits into, it looks ultra stylish and modern and also has the completely useful functionality of having built-in glass extensions.

Park Frosted Black Glass Top Extendable Dining Table
You may not believe it but, this frosted black glass topped table does have built-in extensions. The easy to use semi-automatic extension system allows for maximum space efficiency bundled in a clean, contemporary design. As with other glass top extendable dining tables, there is no need for any storage space for the table extensions – as they are completely built-in.
Park Glass Top Extendable Dining Table in Dining Room Extended
The sturdy toughened glass top of this Park Extendable Dining Table can be extended thanks to two side extension leaves. The wooden pedestal base standing on a rectangular metal base plate features an interesting mix of materials while guaranteeing optimum comfort for all guests.
Shop Modern Extension Tables here

2. Center leaf extensions

The next generation of extendable dining tables is the center leaf extension design. Practical and flexible, a center leaf extension or multiple extensions has the capability to almost double the amount of seating. Most often, a center leaf extension table will have more room for expansion than the drop leaf version. So, if you need a lot of extra dining space, a center leaf extension will be preferable to the drop folding leaf table.

casual contemporary country table with extension leaf
A casual contemporary country table with extension leaf installed. Change the table from a small rectangle to a larger rectangular table with a simple slide open, install, and slide closed action.

If space is an issue for you, look for a center leaf table which is able to store the extra leaf or leaves under the table. Otherwise, plan on making space in a closet or laundry room where the leaves won’t be damaged.


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Rustic Extendable Dining Tables

For an even more rustic dining table look, you may want to consider this chunky wood version of  extendable dining tables – with a center leaf extension.

This rustic, harvest styled dining table will work well for a more casual dining room setting. Again, I am amazed at what styles of extendable dining tables are available today. In the past, we would have thought that a harvest table would be the size that the carpenter made it…period. Today, you can have that wonderful hand-made, worn look and still get the added bonus of having a larger table when necessary.

I call that a ‘having your cake and eating it’ moment! Actually, I would say all of the tables featured here are just that. You get the style you desire with the functionality you need.

Chunky Butcher Block Center Leaf Extension Dining Table
The variety of extendable dining table styles available today extends even to this rustic butcher block table with center leaf extension. Get the functionality with the look you have always dreamed of.
Center Leaf in Extendable Harvest Table
Clever design of this extendable harvest dining table leaf uses the wood planks in the other direction – adds extra table length and even more visual interest to an already beautiful table.
Gracie Oaks Noemi Extendable Rustic Dining Table
Even this rustic aged gray dual pedestal dining table by Gracie Oaks is extendable. By looking at it, you may not have guessed.

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Round and Oval Extendable Dining Tables

Round or oval dining tables are also available in extendable versions. Many round dining tables come with an extra leaf or two making the table longer for larger gatherings. Not that it is an issue – only if you do not like the look – but, most round extendable dining tables will have a center base foundation, as is typical of many round tables.

Round Oval Extendable Rustic Dining Table
I particularly love the center base of this round extendable table. Not only do I love the big, bold wood sculpted look, I love the ease of sitting around a table with a center base. No-one has to walk away with a bruised kneed from bumping themselves on the corner or outer legs.

Shiny Modern Extendable Dining Tables

Traditionally, it was thought that only wood or wood-like tables could include extensions. This is no longer true. Extendable tables with extra leaves can be found in various types of materials. This very modern solid shiny black table is just one example.

Strikingly modern, this table will take you from sitting 6 to over 12 with its extendable leaves. So for you modern lovers, there is an extendable dining table for you too.

Modern Shiny Black Extendable Dining Room Table
Add this shiny black extendable table to your dining room and get the benefits of modern style and practicality.

3. Butterfly leaf extensions

The newest version of the extendable dining table comes in the form of the table having butterfly extensions. This butterfly extension design is very clever. You get all of the benefits of having an extended table without having to store your table leaves in a closet, laundry room or basement. We all know that when something gets left in another room, there is always that chance that there could be damage – for whatever reason. Out of sight – out of mind.

This out of sight, out of mind saying can be applied to this style of extendable table. Because the leaf is actually stored underneath the table, it is completely safe and out of sight…and only out of mind until you are in need of extending your table.


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Classic Styled Extendable Tables

For a more classical traditional country-feel dining room, you may want to opt for this butterfly leaf designed classic country styled dining table and chairs.

Butterfly Leaf Extension Dining Table and Chairs
Now that I look at this table more closely, I wonder if the butterfly extensions actually fit under the table OR…are the leaf extensions hinged in the center so that they take up less room for storage. Either way, the storage requirements for this type of leaf are less.

Aged Wood Extendable Dining Tables

For a more modern version of a butterfly leaf extendable table, you may like this aged-wood look table done in a very boxy geometric design – a definitely modern contemporary look – but with all of the extendable and leaf-hidable functionality.

Modern Extendable Butterfly Leaf Dining Table
Who could tell that this dining table is an extendable one? In fact it is – the extendable leaf is designed in the butterfly leaf style with the leaf hidden and stored under the table top.
Butterfly Leaf Extendable Dining Table
The butterfly leaf in action. This dining table extends, the butterfly leaf pulls out, unfolds and extends the table.
Extendable Dining Table Sits 12
Dinner seating goes from 6 to 12 people comfortably with this practical extendable dining table with butterfly leaves. Thinking about your next great dinner party?

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Mid-Century Modern Extendable Dining Tables

A nod to mid-century modern with the added bonus of extra table length can be found in this teak dining table. It, too has, a butterfly leaf in the middle.

Teak Mid-Century Modern Styled Dining Table with Butterfly Leaf Extension Installed
If you look closely enough, you may see the seam down the center of the table where the butterfly extension is installed….but then again, you may not see it….just the way it was meant to be.
Teak Mid-Century Modern Styled Dining Table with Butterfly Leaf Extension
Just another decor style available in extendable dining tables today. Grab this mid-century modern table and seat 4 comfortably without the leaf. Add at least another 2 chairs at the table when the butterfly leaf is used and table is extended. Great style – great flexibility.

Large Butterfly Leaf Dining Tables

If you have a large family or often have large dinner parties, you will be looking for a larger dining table, and definitely one which is extendable.

You can get dining tables with extensions which are extendable to seat well over 8 guests.

Jonathan Charles Classic Butterfly Leaf Extendable Dining Table
The stunning neo-classical dining table with dual pedestals is already a large table which will sit 8 comfortably. With the addition of 1 or 2 of the butterfly leafs, you can seat 10-14 guests.
Jonathan Charles Neo-Classical Extendable Table with 2 Butterfly Leaves
The beauty of innovation can be found in this neo-classical twin pedestal table. Even with the traditional styling, it comes with 2 very practical butterfly leaves which store inside the table.

Which Extendable Dining Table is Best for You?

Whatever style of extendable dining table you choose, whether folding drop-leaf, center leaf extension or butterfly hidden leaves, you are sure to have made the correct choice. After all, even if you only use the extensions only once or twice a year, when you do, it will be well worth it.

Enjoy your new extendable dining table tonight! But, be careful…with all of this extra room at your dining table, your guests may not want to leave!

Browse more extendable dining tables here!


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Shop more extendable dining tables CANADA here.

5 Replies to “3 Types of Extendable Dining Tables – Which One is Best for You?

  1. I have found this article very helpful. I have been looking for an extendable dining table for a while now and you gave me some great considerations. Glass tables are not my thing. I have chosen to go with a butterfly extension table..

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Samantha,
      Glad the article was helpful. It is amazing to see the various types of extendable tables there are available on the market today.
      Hope you like your new table!

  2. I myself bought an extendable dining table with center leaf extensions which are stored right under the table top – very convenient for easy access when you want to extend the table and takes up no storage space at all.
    I love it for both reasons!

  3. Wow! I did not realize that there were so many glass extendable table options available. I have always liked modern furniture and would love to buy a glass extendable dining table for its flexibility in sizing and seating.

    It is amazing what designers have come up with in recent years. Thank-you for shedding light on that.

    I now need to go shopping!

    1. Hi Pamela,
      Yes, even I – as an Interior Decorator and Designer – find the selection of glass extendable dining room tables quite amazing. Makes it easy now to get the flexible dining room seating along with maintaining a modern decor style.
      Happy shopping! Hope you find the right table for you and your home!

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