FAQs About Butterfly Leaf Tables

Large brown table with leaf extensions
Also known as expandable tables, butterfly leaf tables are a helpful solution for solving space problems in a small dining room. Traditional dining room tables can take up a lot of room, which doesn't work for everyone. Rather than settling for a smaller table, opt for a table that can be extended, allowing more seating when you need it. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about butterfly leaf tables.

Large brown table with leaf extensions

Questions About Butterfly Leaf Tables:

1

How do butterfly leaf tables work?

Butterfly leaf tables have a separate center section, called a leaf, that can be removed when the extra table space isn’t needed. Some leaves must be completely removed and stored in a closet, while others hide underneath the table when not in use. When you’re ready to extend your table, just pull on one end and a gap will widen in the middle where the leaf can be slid into place.


2

How much space is saved?

While the length of the table will vary depending on the brand and model, the butterfly leaf extension is typically 18 inches wide. For instance, if you buy a 78-inch-long table, removing the leaf will shorten it to 60 inches, saving 18 inches of space. This amount can make a huge difference in a dining room with limited space. When you add the leaf back in, it’s usually just enough space to add two extra chairs to the table, one on each side.


3

What are butterfly leaf tables made of?

Butterfly leaf tables are most often made out of wood because metal and glass don’t easily accommodate a separate leaf. Some tables feature composite wood with a veneer. Others are solid hardwood — these are considerably more expensive. What you choose should depend on your budget as well as the overall design of your existing living room. Dark tables make a stylish addition to contemporary rooms, while a lighter wood table is a good fit for a more casual space.


4

How do I choose the right size?

First, consider the size of your family and the number of guests you regularly entertain. Smaller butterfly leaf tables typically seat four to six people without the leaf and expand to seat six to eight people. Larger tables may seat up to 12 people once they’re expanded.

Second, consider your available space. It’s vital to measure your dining room before you make a final purchase. While the leaf will save you around 18 inches when not in use, longer tables might not fit in your dining room. Make sure to leave some extra space on all sides of the table too, so maneuvering around it isn’t difficult.