How to Add an Extension to a Dining Table?

Add an Extension to a Dining Table

Adding a table extension leaf allows you to accommodate more guests and expand seating for holidays or dinner parties. Follow these tips to properly install an extension on your existing dining table:

Add an Extension to a Dining Table

Step 1: Measure Space for Expanded Table

Before purchasing an extension, take measurements to ensure enough space:

  • Measure overall dining room dimensions, accounting for traffic lanes and room to pull out chairs.
  • Consider the expanded table footprint and confirm it can fit while allowing at least 36-48 inches for comfortable movement around the table.
  • For large tables, you may need to move or reposition existing furniture to make ample room.

Step 2: Buy a Matching Extension Leaf

Source an extension leaf made to blend with your current table:

  • Check if the manufacturer sells matching extension leaves, often stored compactly under the table. Matching is ideal.
  • If not, have a woodworker make a custom leaf to match the wood, finish, edges, legs and underframe.
  • For DIY, use quality boards in the same stain and finish as the table. Make it 1-2 inches narrower than table width.

Step 3: Install Extension Slides or Hardware

Use slides, brackets, hinges or pivoting legs to connect the leaf securely:

  • Full extension slides mount along the table sides to slide the leaf smoothly into place between.
  • Drop-leaf hardware allows each end of the table to hinge down for added length.
  • Removable brackets lock the leaf firmly in place between both table ends.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for properly installing the hardware.

Add an Extension to a Dining Table

Step 4: Test Extension Fit and Function

Once installed, test the extension:

  • The leaf should fit snugly against the table edges, flush on the same plane, with no gaps, overhang or height differences.
  • Any supports like legs or braces should deploy smoothly for optimal stability when extended.
  • Sit at the table to confirm enough functional space around all sides when expanded.
  • Check that the table feels sturdy and wobble-free in the extended position.

Step 5: Finish Edges and Touch Up

Final details for a seamless look:

  • If needed, custom cut the leaf edges with rounded corners or decorative profiles to precisely match the table.
  • Touch up the finishes like stain, sealer and polyurethane on the extension leaf to blend with the existing finish.
  • Adding an extension leaf to your dining table is an excellent way to accommodate a few extra seats for special occasions.

With the proper mounting hardware and a quality tabletop material that matches the existing look, you can successfully expand your seating in style.


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