How to Choose A Leg Table, Pedestal Table, or Trestle Table

By Holly Rennels · January 21, 2016

How to Choose A Leg Table, Pedestal Table, or Trestle Table

Dining and Kitchen Table Function Guide

When making a large furniture purchase, most of our patrons have determined what they like. On occasion, however, that may differ from what an Amish furniture patron may need. Below is a list of our basic functional styles of dining tables and some things to consider when deciding which table is right for your home or restaurant.

Dining Tables with Legs

Hands down, Leg tables are by far the most versatile. Tables with legs open on wooden slides and we offer some that can seat more than 20. Below are the questions to ask when you are considering a leg table.

Who will be using it? For family dining, leg tables are the best. It is easy to add extra seats at the end if the table is wide enough and leg tables are available in every style and shape.

What is its purpose? If you use your table for daily meals, a leg table is great because it is easy to clean around and beneath it.

What are my custom options? In many cases, you may choose the size, shape, edge, and leg of your table, virtually designing it yourself. This creative license is not always available with trestle or pedestal dining tables.

When will it be used? If you are seeking an "extra" table that will tuck into the nook for now, but may be moved during family gatherings, a leg table is the best option. Lighter than trestle or pedestal tables, leg tables are far easier to relocate both within your home or when moving. 

Where will it be placed? One drawback to a leg table is that it can look a little less substantial or formal than other tables. If you are going to be adding leaves frequently, you may have centered support legs with which to contend. For formal dining, this may not be your table.

Why do you like it? If it is the delicate presentation of a leg table you love, you will probably not be satisfied with anything else. If you simply like a stylistic element, you may be able to find a trestle or pedestal table you like equally well.

How long will it last? With reinforced corner blocking on every leg and superior construction methods, Amish leg tables will last for generations.

How much will a table cost? Leg tables are significantly less expensive, in many cases, than their trestle or pedestal bearing counter parts. If you want to purchase an heirloom with the biggest bang for your buck, this may be your table. For more insights into specific designs, read Wood Table Leg and Base Styles

Trestle Dining Tables

Trestle tables are literally the oldest functional style of table ever recorded. As far back as Biblical times there are images and writings indicating two "props" and a long piece of wood was used for dining and work. Modern day trestle dining tables can be made in virtually any style and the stretcher between the trestles can take on many forms: large, small, plain, ornate, almost touching the table top, or practically resting on the floor. It is this variance in trestle and stretcher design that makes this table so popular. Let's ask the same questions relative to a trestle table.

Who will be using it? For family dining, these tables work well. You may want to consider, however, that small children may play on or trip on a trestle or stretcher depending on its location. This is not a serious hazard, of course, but keeping chairs around the table will be a wise decision. Also, if there are very tall adults in your family, consider where they are likely to sit. The ends of a trestle table afford sufficient room for average height diners, but may be less comfortable for those of considerable height. A person's height may also impact how comfortably they may sit at the side of a trestle table depending on the stretcher's location.

What is its purpose? For daily meals, trestle tables are wonderful because they open on gear driven slides. It is literally possible for one person with one hand to open the table for a leaf. This is great when you have unexpected guests. Depending on the location of the stretcher, however, cleaning beneath your dining table may be a little more arduous than with a leg table. 

When will it be used? Trestle tables are not as conducive to frequent moves as the trestle and stretcher base is a single piece and can be quite heavy depending on the style you choose. If this is a table that is placed and seldom moved, it is a terrific choice.

Where will it be placed? Trestle tables have the uncanny ability to become nearly anything. These tables are especially great for Mission or Arts and Crafts inspired dining rooms. If you are more formal, however, there may still be a trestle table that works for you like our Abbey Court above. 

Why do you like it? If you like the look of a trestle table, you may also enjoy a double pedestal table as they are functionally quite similar.  Leg tables will likely not give you the character and "feel" you are seeking.

How long will it last? Because the trestle and stretcher are so sturdy, this table can last many lifetimes over. This is a very durable table style.

How much will it cost? In many cases, trestle dining tables are our mid-range price point table. Usually costing a little more than a leg table, trestle tables require less wood and weigh less than many pedestal tables, so they are a viable option for most Amish furniture buyers.

Pedestal Dining Room Tables

Pedestal tables, like our Benelux above, can be quite formal and Traditional. Choosing between one pedestal and two is really a matter of the number of diners you wish to accommodate. Single pedestal dining tables have limits as to their size, but all our single and double pedestal tables open on geared slides to expand easily. The single pedestal version of these tables is best for seating eight or fewer and for round or square tables. 

Two pedestals better serve oval, banquet, or rectangle shaped tables. These dual pedestal type tables are beautiful and versatile, but we need to ask our questions again. Remember, that double pedestal tables may have points in common with both pedestal tables and trestle tables depending on the design.

Who will be using it? If a large number of children will be using a pedestal table, choose carefully. It can be quite entertaining to kick the pedestal if the base is substantial and the table top small by comparison. Whether one pedestal or two, careful attention should be paid to the "feet" of the pedestal and the distance chairs will naturally sit from it. Very large pedestals can be difficult to navigate for taller diners.

What is its purpose? For large homes, pedestal tables are perfect in the grand foyer as a focal element. Actually sitting at a very formal pedestal table, however, should be carefully considered. The proportion of table top to base size in a single pedestal table is particularly important. Our Amish artisans are careful to offer only table tops that will provide sufficient leg space for average height diners with large pedestal bases. Cleaning around a pedestal can be a challenge if there are feet and open space in the center.

When will it be used? For daily dining, small single pedestal tables are perfect in an eat-in kitchen, breakfast nook, or even in the man cave. Double pedestal tables and large single pedestals can seem very formal.

Where will it be placed? In small spaces, pedestal tables can be amazing. In the proper base to table top proportion, it is possible to make a smaller footprint with the table without giving up dining space. This is especially true of round tables. Pedestal tables can be quite heavy, however, as the base is solid wood. Even when a turned pedestal is "hollow", it is made from a significant amoung of real hardwood. 

Why do you like it? Fans of French Country and Queen Anne styles are often drawn to the pedestal table. Other styles can be represented in pedestal tables, of course, but this functional style offers a lot in the way of visual interest. If you are drawn to pedestal tables, you should go with it. It is unlikely a trestle or leg table will ever measure up.

How long will it last? Because our pedestals can be removed when moving, these tables will also become heirlooms. Superior construction methods and materials are used for our pedestal tables, so they will stand the tests of time. When your pedestal dining table is delivered to your home, you can watch our delivery team assemble it for your future reference.

How much does it cost? Price can vary widely in pedestal tables, but the most expensive tables we offer are placed on a pedestal. The style of the table and size of the pedestal determine how much it will cost.

Everything from the average age of your dinner guest to your cleaning philosophy to your decorating style should influence your dining table choice. An Amish made dining or kitchen table from Countryside is going to last a lifetime, so choosing wisely is important. If you need further assistance with the size, shape, or edge of your table, we have a blog for that. Also, if you have not selected your wood species, we have a blog for that. Any questions that remain may always be directed to our friendly team by e-mail, chat, or phone. Thank you for trusting Countryside to build your authentic Amish furniture.

Author, Baileigh Basham

Bailiegh Basham is Lead Sales & Marketing Strategist at Countryside Amish Furniture. She's been a team member since 2014. Bailiegh is deeply passionate about furniture design and home decor.