How to clean care wood furniture

How To Clean & Care For Wood Furniture To Last A Lifetime

How to clean care wood furnitureWhat’s unique about wooden furniture is that regular cleaning and basic care can keep it looking like new. Over the years, if you take the time for proper cleaning and care, your wooden furniture can even last several generations. Just head to any antique store – you’ll hardly see an old plastic table in sight.

On the other hand, wood furniture requires more attention than chemical-based furniture because it is a natural material and susceptible to environmental elements. It can be fickle too: over time polishes and dust can build up to create a sticky mess, or chips and scratches start to look unsightly. But it’s all easily fixed… and worth it: the more love you give your wood furniture, the more years it will give back.

When purchasing your wooden furniture, it always helps to ask if there are any special care or cleaning instructions. Otherwise, we provide some tips below on how to properly clean and care for your wooden furniture so it lasts a lifetime:


Dos & Don’ts

Cleaning & Caring for Your Wood Furniture

  • Deep clean your wood furniture regularly – as often as you clean your house – because dust buildups can scratch the surface. This can be as simple as wiping it with a cloth dampened with water. We recommend the revolutionary nano-cloth, which doesn’t drip water and is also a sustainable product.
  • Never saturate your wood furniture when cleaning it, nor pour solutions directly onto the wood; use a damp cloth that has been wrung out, and squirt your solution onto the cloth or pre-mix it with water to create a soapy liquid.
  • Read the ingredients of your cleaners – avoid any products with alcohol, bleach, and abrasive and harsh chemicals.
  • Dust and clean in the same direction as the grain.
  • Always use soft cloths, like microfiber or cotton, to prevent small scratches.
  • Polish and oils can sometimes do more harm than good; we explain below how to minimize ugly, sticky buildups, and suggest some natural alternatives.
  • Protect the surface: become friends with coasters, placemats, heat protectors, and felt bases; it only takes a second but will maintain your wooden furniture for years. If you do get rings or scratches, we explain some ways to fix it below.
  • Avoid extreme elements, such as sunlight, cold, heat, humidity, or dry air. Extreme environmental changes can cause the wood to warp.
  • Try to keep your nail-polish remover and other solvents away from wooden furniture; a spill could strip away the finishing.
  • Plastics can leach color into the wood, so opt for natural materials or put down a protector first.

The Best Way to Clean Different Wood Finishes

> Cleaning Painted Wood Furniture

Painted wood furniture has a protective layer that is harder than natural wood. Still, dishwashing soap and water is enough to remove grime and sticky spills. You can also make a spray from 2:1 water and white vinegar.

> Cleaning Unfinished Wood Furniture

Stick to dusting and water, or if needed a soapy solution, which should be applied from a cloth and never directly on the wood. You should dry it straight away.

> Cleaning Stained Wood Furniture

Similar to unfinished wood, a damp cloth is sufficient.

> Cleaning Varnished Wood furniture

Dusting, a damp cloth, and the occasional soapy water will fix most problems. After cleaning, a polish or wax can help boost the shine. A chamois leather cloth is also effective.

> Cleaning Veener and Fake Wood Furniture

This material warps and bubbles easily, so water should be used sparingly or hardly at all. If the top coating is hard, it will handle a little soapy water, but always wring the cloth and dry immediately.

> Cleaning Wax Finishing

Liquid detergents can dull wax finishings, so use soapflakes if you have them, or buy a ready-mixed soapy wood cleaner.

> Cleaning Antique Wood Furniture

Diluted white vinegar is an effective cleaner if your antique furniture has build-up or grime. Start with a couple of drops in a cup of water and strengthen if needed.

> Cleaning White Wood Furniture

The usual cleaning techniques work equally well for cleaning white wood furniture: dust and use soapy water for a deeper clean. You can also spray a mixture of 1:2 parts vinegar and water for removing stains or mold. If the paint starts to flake, that area will need sanding and re-painting.

How to Clean Your Wood Furniture

You obviously want to keep your wooden furniture clean – but there are some limits. Below are some of the best ways to clean your wood furniture… without damaging it.

Cleaning Unfinished Wood Furniture

Unfinished wood is more susceptible to damage and needs more careful cleaning than finished wood; on the upside, fixing unfinished furniture is much easier than with varnished wood!

In general, avoid water because it can warp or swell the wood. It is also important to be gentle and clean slowly because it’s easy to scratch and mark unfinished wood. You should also clean any spills or marks straight away to avoid deep damage.

A brush, microfiber broom or a vacuum with a brush head is the first step to remove dirt and debris from the grooves in the wood. Follow this with a wipe of a dry, soft cloth. Regular maintenance will reduce the need for more aggressive cleaning.

If you need a deeper clean, you can try flicking a stiffer brush and vacuum up the dirt after. Don’t rub too hard with the stiff bristles.

You can also try adhesive rubber, which is a natural product that you stick into the grooves to bring up dirt. Erasing compounds also work, which you rub into the wood remove dirt and vacuum after.

For stubborn stains, you can try mineral spirits. With a damp towel, wipe it sparingly and gently across the whole table. Always test in an inconspicuous place to make sure there aren’t any adverse effects.

Deep Clean Your Wood Furniture

A periodic deep clean helps your wood furniture last longer, even if it doesn’t appear dirty to the eye. If you regularly clean your wood furniture, a deep clean is only necessary two to four times a year.

Move through the stages of light to deep cleaning, and always start with softer cleaning products before moving to the hard stuff:

  • Dust off the surface – it is important to remove particles first so you don’t push dirt and grime deep into the cracks; for wood grooves, you might also need a vacuum with a soft-brush extension.
  • Remove light dirt with soap, water and a damp cloth, which you should rinse often and wring well so it doesn’t leave excess water on the wood; test the detergent first in a hidden area – if it shows damage, use water only.
  • If you still have stains or grime, try a cleaning product, preferably a natural one; mineral spirits can also help with stubborn stains, although test first and wash off with a damp cloth afterward.
  • For extra shine on treated furniture, put on a wax or natural polish; make sure the table is thoroughly clean so you don’t trap grime underneath the slippery layer. Lint-free cloths, like cotton, work best.
  • Dry immediately and thoroughly with a fresh cloth.


If you have particularly bad stains, especially if it seeped into the textile, you can try a specialized multi-surface cleaner that will break down the stains, plus omit odors. This cleaner is 100% plant-based and non-toxic.

For a sustainable soft cloth option, we recommend this one.

Keep the Dust Bunnies at Bay

The name is cute but dust or airborne particles build a filmy layer on your wood furniture that can scratch the surface. Dust often – at least once a week – using a soft or damp cloth with water, like an old cotton t-shirt or microfiber cloth. A damp cloth is ideal to avoid swirling dust into the air.

If you opt for a duster, lambswool is effective for getting dust out of hard places, which is ideal for cleaning carved wood furniture and hard-to-reach places. Shake it outside after use to get rid of the dust, or you can vacuum or wash it with mild dishwashing soap.

Clean Off Old Polish & Dust Buildups

If you’re cleaning old or antique wood furniture with a significant buildup of dust and polish, all is not lost. One natural remedy is to steep two tea bags in hot water, and once cool, dampen a cloth and wipe the wood. The tannic acid is a great remedy to bring back the shine to old, grimy wood.

How to Clean Grime & Spills Off Wood Furniture

If your wood furniture becomes grimy or sticky from spills or food, soap and water is often sufficient. Otherwise, try a natural home cleaning remedy or a non-abrasive product. Wiping it dry afterward is the best way to reduce streaks on the surface, which can make it look dull.

Cleaning Water Stains & Discolorations from Wood furniture

If you have water rings from hot or cold drinks, there are a couple of home remedies to clean your wood furniture. Depending on the finish, it may take it off slightly, so afterward, you may need to add a polishing agent or oil.

  1. Rub on non-gel toothpaste until the stain disappears.
  2. Mix equal parts of baking soda and toothpaste and apply to the stain; wipe off with a damp cloth.
  3. Rub on an essential oil like lemon or orange, in a circular motion.
  4. Apply wood furniture wax, or natural wax, like beeswax.
  5. Wipe on petroleum jelly and leave overnight; rub it off the next morning.
  6. Equal parts of baking soda and water (1/2 cup), and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar (this can take off the varnish for when you can’t reach those really stubborn stains).

How to Clean & Maintain Veneer Furniture & Fake Wood

Moisture is the enemy for all wood furniture, but even more so for veneer and other composite products. If your budget allows, always opt for solid wood furniture if you want it to last. If not, you’ll need to be more aware of regular humidity changes and cleaning with water, otherwise, it won’t take long for the veneer to warp or bend.

Ink Stains & Difficult Marks

If you have a tricky ink stain, sanding is always a backup option. However, you might have some luck rubbing on a paste of baking soda (1 tablespoon) and water (1 teaspoon), then wiping if off with a damp cloth. Rub gently and dry thoroughly after.

If it’s treated wood, try the good ‘ole soap and water first. If you try anything stronger, it’s a good idea to test it in a non-visible place in case it wrecks the finish.

If your wood furniture looks dull afterward, you can wipe on a thin layer of wood polish or a natural alternative, like lemon oil. Wipe with the grain and buff till it looks shiny.

Chewing Gum

If you find it on your furniture, someone probably needs a lecturing first. Then try scraping off as much as you can, and freezing it with a bag of ice (preferably one that doesn’t leave water stains!). Leave it for around 10 minutes, then use something blunt to scrape the rest off.

Scratches & Nicks

For scratches that are small or shallow, you can generally use a special marker, shoe polish or even coffee grounds can do the trick. Just pick the color closest to the wood, and rub in the direction of the scratch.

If the damage can’t be treated with polishes or touch-up sticks, then sanding it back or painting it is always an option.

How to Clean Odors from Your Wood Furniture

You can try sprinkling baking soda on the surface of your wooden furniture, or place a pan of coal inside if there are drawers.

Dry Wood Furniture Care & Cleaning

If your wood furniture starts looking dry and faded, it may be time to re-oil. Before oiling, sand the surface with a fine steel wool (grade #0000) or sandpaper, and do a thorough clean. Apply the oil liberally, and let it dry at least 24 hours before putting anything else on it, such as a wax coating.

The Best Cleaning Products for Wood Furniture

When cleaning your wooden furniture, aggressive cleaners can end up hindering, not helping, the wood. Harsh or abrasive cleaners can even take off the finish. Many professionals recommend against using any commercial grade wood cleaners.

Some people use wood cleaning products, furniture oils, or oil-based polishes. These can protect the surface by making it more slippery, but they don’t actually build a protective layer.

Unlike the myths and advertising, you cannot feed or nourish wood with oils and polishes. Especially once it has a protective finish, the wood is sealed and oils can’t penetrate it.

Many commercial wood furniture sprays and polishes have silicone oil. You might see a little of the protection that they claim, but residue and build-up can interfere and potentially need professional attention. That ‘fresh polish’ smell might be addictive, but like all things addictive, they hardly bring any good.

Don’t be distracted by easy care or magic cleaners – a regular dust and wipe are usually enough to bring back the shine. If, however, you are looking for a bit of extra shine, there are many natural polishes and waxes that can do the trick.


Avoid overuse of cleaners with ammonia or silicone, like polish. Either use polish sparingly, or not at all. It doesn’t really benefit treated wood, and instead you usually end up building a sticky film that attracts dust and dirt.

If you do use polish for extra shine, only apply a thin layer and buff well. Never combine polishes with wax protectants, otherwise, you could end up with a sloppy mess.

If you want to try a natural wood cleaner, you can try ¼ cup of vinegar, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of oil (olive, mineral or other). Use it as a spray and always shake well before using it.


In some cases, wooden furniture with varnish, polyurethane, or shellac will benefit from a sporadic application of wax. Wax tends to provide a harder, longer-lasting protection, and smears less than sprays or polishes. It also creates a slippery surface which can reduce scratches.

If you want to clean your wood furniture naturally, beeswax can be a good alternative, especially for older wood furniture that might be fragile or not have intact finishing. However, if your wood furniture has been lacquered, beeswax polish can’t penetrate the finish, so it’s not useful.

If you don’t get the desired shine, repeat the waxing process again, making sure the table surface is clean.

How to Clean Wood Furniture Naturally
Some say that you can revive grimy wood furniture with home remedies. You can find many recipes online to clean your wood furniture naturally, all with slight variations. In general, the common ingredients include vinegar, oil, lemon or orange oil, lemon juice, or baking soda.

Like commercial cleaners, you should test it in an inconspicuous spot first. You still need to use natural cleaners with caution, and not overuse them.

Cleaning Your Wood Furniture with Home Remedies

For a light cleaner or dusting spray, you can try 1 cup of water, ¼ cup of vinegar, 2 teaspoons of oil (coconut, mineral, or vegetable), and. 10–15 drops of lemon oil. Make sure you shake it well, and wipe off with a soft cloth.

For removing grime, you can mix equal measures of olive oil, denatured alcohol, gum turpentine, and strained lemon juice. Wipe it on your wood furniture with a soft cloth and buff it off with a clean cloth.

If you want to avoid vinegar or alcohol, you can swap it out for Castile soap; then add 4 cups of warm water and 10–15 drops of lemon or orange oil. This works well for cleaning wood furniture and floors.

If you need something stronger or have a stubborn stain, try: equal parts of water and vinegar (1 cup each), a tablespoon of oil, and 15 drops of orange oil (optional). Put it in a spray bottle, and you have yourself a cleaner and wood care product in one. It can be used on any wood furniture, like tables, chairs, cabinets, door posts, and more.

If you have wood that needs extra care, or you want to maintain a dark color, add more oil, for example, ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 table spoon of lemon juice (to disinfect), and essential oils (lavender, lemon or orange).

Natural cleaners may need to be repeated until you see results, or you may need to tweak the ingredients depending on how stubborn is the stain.

Cleaning Wood Furniture with Oil

One downside of some oil cleaners – especially those with a high percentage of oil like pure olive oil – is that they can make the surface looked smeared and show fingerprints. If there’s too much oil, it can also attract dust. So apply sparingly and choose a light oil.

There are many natural oils that are less sticky than olive oil: grapeseed oil or linseed oil, for example. With a regular application, it can stop natural wood furniture from drying and cracking. It is less effective on treated wood.

Oil can be a great natural alternative for wood furniture in the kitchen, where food might be involved, like chopping boards and counter tops.

To apply, pour small portions of oil onto a cloth and wipe it on your futnirure. Leave it to dry itself.

Cleaning Wood Furniture with Vinegar

Vinegar and oil can act as a natural polish for cleaning your wood furniture. Mix 1 cup of olive oil with ¼ cup of white vinegar. Use it sparingly, though, because excessive oil can attract dust and give you a grimy layer.

Just pour the solution on a soft cloth and wipe it into the wood in the direction of the grain. Then buff it off with a dry cloth.

How to Care For Wooden Furniture

Like everything in our homes, time takes its toll on wooden furniture. It will eventually show signs of wear and tear, but you can fix it – or even prevent it altogether – with some attention and care. The same rules apply for all types of wood, natural and fake, from fine wood furniture to reclaimed wood furniture.

Avoid Hot & Cold

Wooden furniture changes with temperature, where it responds by expanding and contracting. Of course, many of us wouldn’t survive the winter without a heater, and others, air-conditioning in the summer.

So does this mean most of us can’t have wooden furniture? Don’t worry, your furniture will survive – but try to avoid putting it side by side one of these elements. Where possible, place your furniture as far away as you can from air-conditioners, heating units or vents. The best way to maintain your wood furniture is to keep it within the ideal temperatures of 60–80 degrees.

Dampness Is the Devil

Like temperature, humidity also creates physical changes in the wood. High humidity causes the wood to swell, and low humidity shrinks it, causing the wood to dry and crack.

Eventually, if the wood is subject to continual humidity changes, that’s when you get warping – sometimes to the point of breaking.

The ideal humidity level is between 30 and 45 percent. If you plan on storing wooden in places like attics or cellars, you might want to check the humidity levels first.

There are several affordable devices to help:

  • a humidity gauge can tell you if your storage space is suitable;
  • you can buy a humidifier or dehumidifier if you live in an area that experiences any of these extremes.


In the drier months, use a humidifier to bring the moisture up to the 40 to 45 percent level.

No Excessive Sunlight

Chemical changes can occur in the wood if it sits directly under ultraviolet sunlight or even florescent lights. It can bleach and fade the wood’s color, as well as degrade the finishing.

You can prolong the life of your wood furniture by placing it out of direct sunlight, or closing the curtains or blinds during hours of direct sun. There are also UV filters for artificial lights.

Cover up

It’s easy for a hot mug or condensation from a cold glass to penetrate the finish and leave those dreaded crop circles all over your wooden furniture. Likewise, hot food or pans should never be placed directly on the table without a trivet or potholder.

Try to cover the table any time you use it, with placemats or coasters during meals, felt bases on lamps, or a tablecloth for craft activities. If not, always act quickly once you see any damage; moisture can travel, and the deeper it goes, the harder it is to get out.

In some cases, blowing a hairdryer on the area can help release the trapped moisture. Some swear by using the steam from a low-heated iron. You can also try rubbing car wax, petroleum jelly or toothpaste on the moisture, then wipe it off with a damp cloth.


Wood is a bug’s candy, so watch for beetles and termites and stick to your country’s guidelines and regulations for home fumigation. This is also why it’s important to check when buying wood furniture, that the seller buys certified and fumigated wood, or offers a guarantee.

If you do see bugs, act quickly. Contact a professional in your area. Home remedies are also possible but may take longer. For example, you can inject a high-percentage alcohol into the bug holes.

Felt up

If you plan on using a table lamp or other decoration on any wooden furniture – be it your desk, a side table, dressers, shelves or consoles – a felt base or some other type of protection will go a long way to prevent scratches.


If your furniture piece becomes unrepairable, there’s only one step left: now it’s time to maintain the environment by recycling your wood.




calculate best dining table size

How To Calculate The Best Dining Table Size For Your Room

What is the exact dining table size you need to create visual balance in your design?

Before starting your furniture search, you should calculate the range of dining table sizes that can fit in your room based on design principles, which can vary between round, square and rectangle table sizes. Besides considering how many people you want to seat, your dining table size also needs to allow enough space for people to pass, fit a dining setting, and be proportional to the room size to create visual balance.

If you need a quote for a particular dining table size, when you contact PAROTAS, we offer advice on the best table design for your space and seating requirements. You can also read how to calculate the ideal chair and table height, or see a list of standard bar and counter stool heights.

Dining Table Size

Dining table size guide

Calculate the minimum and maximum dining table size for your room dimensions. Click to jump straight to each section:


Rectangle, oval, square and round table sizes

Below is a table showing the minimum dining table size requirements for each type of dining table shape (not include shared space).

2 seater
dining table size

4 seater
dining table size

6 seater
dining table size

8 seater
dining table size

10 seater
dining table size

12 seater
dining table size

Round dining table sizes
Min: 2’6″

Ideal: 3ft

3ft (92cm)

4ft (122cm)

4’6″ (137cm)

5ft (152cm)

5ft (152cm)

6ft (183cm)

7ft (213cm)

8ft (244cm)

8ft (244cm)

9ft (274cm)

Rectangle/Oval dining table sizes
2×2’6″ (61x76cm) 4x3ft (122x91cm) 6x3ft (183x91cm) 8×3’6″ (244x110cm) 10x4ft (305x120cm) 12×4’6″ (366x135cm
Square dining table sizes
2’6″ (76cm) 3–5ft (92cm) 4–6ft (122cm) 6ft (183cm) 7ft (213cm) 8ft (244cm)

What dining table size should I buy?

Before deciding how many people you want to seat, you will need to see what size dining table will actually fit into the space you have, taking into account walls, walkways and other furniture.

To ensure you have adequate room around a dining table, you need a minimum of 30–36 inches (76cm) for clearance space, measured from the nearest obstruction, whether it be a wall, door, window or furniture. Although, a 30-inch space around your dining table size can still create a tight fit if people need to get up during the meal.

For a more comfortable space around your dining table size, opt for up to 42–48 inches (122cm), which also creates an elegantly proportioned room.

To ensure you don’t choose a dining table size that is too small for your room, don’t leave more than 6ft (183cm) from the edge of the room, at least on one side.

Best dining table size

When deciding on your ideal dining table size, consider that ‘less is more’ if you’re looking for a comfortable, spacious room. Taking into account these measures, you might find switching from a 10-seater to an 8-seater dining table size creates a better fit, for example, or from a rectangle to a round dining table size. Another option is to choose a table with fold-out leaves – ideal if you only host large groups occasionally – provided it still fits when expanded.

When deciding between a square, rectangle or round dining table size, your choice should be proportional to the shape of the room but also the amount you want to seat. For example, conversation can become difficult with tables measuring more than 7 feet wide (2m, similar to the distance that applies to the conversation area in a living room), which is what you would need if you’re considering a round or square table to seat more than eight. The bigger the table, the more dining parties are restricted to conversations with the person next to them, rather than across the table. In some cases, it can be better to consider an alternate shape, for example, a rectangle dining table size.

If you want to visualize the space your table will take, a tip is to place a sheet on the ground or create an outline with masking tape.

To give an example, in a room measuring 10 x 12 feet (3 x 3.6m), it would be possible to fit a rectangle table size of 36–42 inches wide (91–107cm) and up to 60–70 inches long (152 x 178cm), or a square or round table size of around 48 inches in diameter (122cm), allowing for additional furniture along one wall.

Dining table size compared to rug size

If you’re matching a table with a rug, you will need to make sure the rug is at least 30 inches longer than your dining table size on each side where there will be chairs.

If you use a rug 30-inches longer than your table – thus occupying the recommended space for free movement – then you should try to allow for at least 48 inches from your table to the wall to create visual balance.

Carpet rug size dining tableDining table height

Even though dining table designs vary considerably, the standard dining table height is usually pretty consistent. You need to ensure there is enough space for people to fit – and cross – their legs, without being too high that it becomes uncomfortable to eat. In general, you should leave at least 12 inches (30cm) between your chair seat and the tabletop.

Standard dining table heights range from 28 to 30 inches (71–76cm), which should be matched with a chair height of 18 to 23 inches (46–58cm, from floor to seat top), benches or stools. The shape of your table, however, can influence your chair and dining table height. Some tables have a support on the under side, which increase the distance required for legs.

If you’re considering a counter-height table, where people might stand or sit on high wooden stools, the standard dining table height is 34–36 inches (86–91cm) and should be used with chairs measuring 24–26 inches (61–66cm) from floor to seat.

If you opt for a bar table, standard table heights range up to 40–42 inches (102–117cm), with stools ranging from 28–30 inches (71–76cm). You can find more detail in our article about how to calculate your table and chair height, or how to calculate your bar and counter stool height.

what size dining table

Dining table size based on seating

Each person needs a minimum of around 24 inches (61cm) to eat comfortably, although some tables and chair designs (such as wooden benches) can allow more people to squeeze in when required. However, for a comfortable table surface, consider up to 28–30 inches (71–76cm) for more elbow room, especially if you have chairs with armrests or wide seats. In rectangular tables, you also need to calculate an extra 12 inches (30cm) for each end if you want to place seating at the head and foot of the table.

You will also need to consider the minimum depth required for a dining setting, plus some space for a shared area to place food, condiments or candles. To fit a basic plate setting allow for a minimum of 15 inches (38cm) deep, plus a minimum of around 5 inches (13 cm) for shared space (per person, or double for full table calculations).

To allow more room for your guests, as well as enough space for a full dining setting (including a bread plate and two glasses), then consider a table space of 30 inches wide (76cm) and 18 inches deep (46 cm), with a shared space of up to 9 inches (23cm) per person.

You be careful not to create too much distance, though; large round tables, for example, can make it difficult to reach food, while rectangular shapes can work better for seating large groups.  If you do opt for a round table wide than 60 inches in diameter (152cm), you might consider adding a lazy susan to your table design.

Using the above dimensions, a rectangular dining table size for six would be calculated at around 78 x 40 inches (203 x 102cm), or 96 x 54 inches (244 x 137cm) for a more comfortable setting.

If you don’t plan to put food or decorations on the table – for example you have a side console table – or don’t mind moving glasses around, then there’s no need for calculating in shared space. If you sacrifice shared space, it’s possible to create a dining table size as narrow as 36 inches (91cm), which is still enough space to put a bottle of wine and some candles, while a sideboard can be used to serve food. In a restaurant, for example, you will often find tables around 36 inches wide (91cm) with very little sharing space.

Standard dining table size plate settingBefore calculating what size dining table you need, you need decide if you want to fit in extra seating at the head and end of the table.

What size dining table?

Dining table sizes vary depending on the furniture design. You may be able to fit more people by considering an alternate arrangement, for example, switching from a square to a round dining table.

Below you can see size requirements based on square, rectangle and round dining table sizes, and tips to help you choose which shape would work best based on the seating you want.

2 seater dining table size

The measurements for a two-seater square table need to account for shared space, putting the minimum dining table size at 31 inches (79cm), while a rectangle table for two would need at least 42 x 31 inches (110 x 70cm). If you opted for a 36-inch (3ft; 91cm) round table, however, you could comfortably sit up to three people.

4 seater dining table size

Round Dining Table Size

Round dining table size for four

The standard dining table size for four averages 36 to 40 inches (3–4ft; 91–102cm), although a 4-foot round table (102cm) can also squeeze six seats when needed.

While the minimum round dining table size for four starts at 36 inches, a pedestal base works best to allow more room. To allow more room for chairs and leg space, especially if there are table legs, the ideal round dining table size for four is 48–50 inches (4ft; 122cm–127cm).

Square dining table size for four

The ideal four-seater square dining table size is around 43 inches (3ft; 107cm). Similar to a round table, the minimum dining table size can be as low as 36 inches (3ft; 91cm), although you should allow more room – up to 50 inches (4ft; 122cm) – for a better fit and if you have wide table legs. Going up to 60 inches (5ft; 152cm) will allow you to choose between four to six seats.

Rectangle dining table size for four

The comfortable average to seat four is around 60 x 31 inches (152 x 79cm), although this rectangle dining table size could also squeeze six with the right table and chair designs.

To fit four diners on two opposite sides (ie. excluding head and table settings), the minimum area would be 48 inches long by 36 inches wide (122 x 76cm). To sit one diner at each end, the minimum space required would be 48 x 36 inches (122 x 91cm), or 60 x 55 inches (152 x 137cm) for the ideal, comfortable fit.

6 seater dining table size

Round dining table size for six

You will need at least 48 to 60 inches in diameter (4–5ft; 122–152cm) to seat six at a round table, working best with a pedestal base. It is possible to create a tight 6-seater round dining table with a diameter of 44–54 inches, but aiming for 54–­60 inches is a more comfortable fit and may even squeeze in eight.

The minimum round dining table size for six calculates to around 55 inches (140cm), although an ideal size would be 72 inches (6ft; 183cm). From about 60 inches (5ft; 152cm), you can start to squeeze in around seven to eight people, and with a minimal table design a 6-foot table could squeeze up to eight or nine when required.

Square dining table size for six

You will need at least 48 to 60 inches in diameter (4–5ft; 122–152cm) to squeeze in six at a square table (see table measurements for four and eight-seater tables).

Rectangle dining table size for six

It is possible to squeeze six people around a table measuring from 60–72 inches long (5–6ft) and 31–36 inches wide (152cm–183cm x 79–91cm).

To fit six without any diners at either end, the minimum dining table size for six would be 72 x 31 inches  (6ft x 2’6″; 183 x 76cm). To calculate enough space for diners at the head and foot of the table, the minimum size 79 x 36 inches (6’6″ x 3ft; 198cm x 91cm), although to avoid any overlap in dining settings you would need at least 96 x 55 inches (8ft x 4’6″;  244 x 137cm).

6 seater dining table size

8 seater dining table size 

Round dining table size for eight

The average round dining table size for eight is 72 inches in diameter (6ft; 183cm), although anywhere from 54–60 inches (5ft; 137–152cm) can fit six to eight people. Depending on the design, it is possible to squeeze seven to nine seats on round tables measuring anywhere from 5–7 ft.

The minimum required size is around 5ft (152cm), working best with a pedestal base or simple legs, otherwise the ideal size to allow a full plate setting would be around 7ft (213cm).

Square dining table size for eight

The minimum square, eight-seater dining table size is around 6ft (183cm), although 7ft (214cm) is the ideal size; both sizes, however, can squeeze up to 10 seats.

You could also squeeze up to 12 people around a 7ft table; for a larger square dining table size, you might a rectangular dining table so guests aren’t so far from each other.

Rectangle dining table size for eight

Dining table sizes for eight can range from 72 to 96 inches long by 36 to 43 inches wide (6–8ft x 3ft–3’6″; 183–244cm x 91–110cm), with the lower measurements also a comfortable fit for six seats and the higher measurements suitable to squeeze 10 people. The general standard you’ll come across, though, will be around 78 inches long by 36 inches wide for a eight-seater rectangle dining table size.

With a table of 96 x 29 inches (8ft x 2’6″; 244cm x 76cm), four diners can fit along each side, although you would need at least 103 x 36 inches (8’6″ x 3ft; 259 x 91cm) if you wanted to sit three side-by-side and two diners at each end. The ideal size for the latter arrangement, however, would be 127 x  55 inches (10’6″ x 4’6″; 323 x 140cm).

Dining table size 6 8 10 seater

A round dining table size can work well for six to eight people, as pictured above, but can get too large for conversation if you add space for 10 to 12 people.

10 seater dining table size 

Round dining table size for 10

From around 84 inches (7ft; 213cm), you very can fit nine to 11 people, while a 96-inch table (8ft; 244cm) could squeeze from 10 up to 12.

If calculating by plate setting space, the minimum requirement is 7ft (or from around 183cm), while a comfortable size calculates to around 8ft (244cm).

Square dining table size for 10

With the right table and chair design, you could squeeze 10 people onto a square table measuring from 6–8 foot in diameter. Although larger than 7ft and distances start to get a little far for reaching dishes, although a lazy susan can be added in.

Rectangle dining table size for 10

It is possible to fit 10 seats on a rectangle table size of 8–10 feet x 3’6″–4’6″ (244–305cm x 110–140cm).

To seat 10, five side-by-side, you should aim for a minimum length of 10 feet and width of 2 feet 6 inches (305 x 76cm). If you want to include a head and foot setting, aim for 10’6″ x 3 feet (323 x 91cm), or ideally 11′ 6″ x 4’6″ (354 x 140cm) for generous seating space.

8 seater dining table sizeWhen calculating if you can fit an 8 or 10 seater dining table size, you need to add extra space for the legs.

12 seater dining table size 

Round dining table size for 12

With a diameter of 8 feet (244cm) you can comfortably fit 10 people, or squeeze in 12 with slightly less elbow space, while you would need around 9 feet in diameter (274cm) to spaciously sit 12 people. With a 9-foot table, you could comfortably fit a range of 11–14 settings, while a 10-foot table (305cm) could sit 12 to 15.

However, with diameters larger than 7 foot (or around 200cm), conversation and reaching for food can start to get difficult, so you might consider a rectangular arrangement.

Square dining table size for 12

A table of 84 inches (7ft; 214cm) could fit 12, although a more comfortable fit would be up to 96 inches in diameter (8ft; 244cm), which can sit anywhere from 8–12 people comfortably. You might find the distance of an 8-foot table, however, interferes with conversation. It is sometimes recommended to consider a rectangular arrangement if you require longer than 7 feet.

Rectangle dining table size for 12

The smallest rectangle dining table size needed to fit 12 seats would be around 120 x 55 inches (10ft x 4’6”; 305 x 140cm), which would also comfortably sit 10.

To seat six side-by-side, the minimum space required would 144 x 31 inches (12ft x 2’6″; 366cm x 76cm). You can create a shorter table by seating two on each end, although would need a minimum size of 127 x 48 inches (10’6″ x 4ft; 320 x 122cm) or ideally 139 x 60 inches (11’6″ x 5ft; 350 x 152cm).

If you need help calculating your dining table size, send an email to PAROTAS and we’ll be happy to help.



PAROTAS brings together carpenters, designers and architects to make custom parota wood furniture of even the most ambitious modern designs. The parota tree can be sustainably sourced in its native regions in Mexico and Central America, where it thrives in humid zones. Read more on the sustainability of parota (guanacaste) and the qualities of parota wood or contact PAROTAS to ask about your custom design. You can see the unique colour and grain of parota on our page on live edge wood.

Read more:

A Guide To Standard Table & Chair Heights

Infographic: What Is the Most Sustainable Material for Building, Furniture or Design?


about parota wood

Why Parota Wood? FAQs and Qualities of Parota Wood

Parota wood is commonly known as guanacaste and scientifically known as Enterolobium Cyclocarpum. You may also hear parota referred to as rain tree, caro caro, or elephant ear tree–which refers to its seedpod shape–depending on where you are.

Parota wood

Parota Wood Profile

The parota tree grows primarily in Mexico and Central America and is commonly used in wooden furniture design and projects for its:

  • hard-to-find large dimensions
  • neutral golden-brown colouring
  • distinct grain patterns
  • affordable cost.


In particular, Parota wood is used to create unique furniture pieces. The heartwood is streaked with honey, reddish and dark brown colours alongside clearly distinct, creamy sapwood. It is also possible to produce parota furniture without any white sapwood for a modern look. Contact us to ask how we can customize your ideal design.

Parota wood information

Unique Parota Wood

Parota is particularly desired for its bold, striking wood grain, which resembles Acacia or Koa wood in appearance but with more texture and consistent colouring. However, as the parota tree is a much faster growing species, the density is lighter, comparable to a redwood or mahogany. This makes it ideal for large furniture or projects.

Parota also has a moderately natural lustre, which we naturally highlight with oils. This allows us to protect the wood and bring out parota’s intricate grains in a much less damaging way than glossy varnishes.

Parota wood unique

Parota Wood Growth

Parota is a fast-growing tree that can reach enormous heights (20–30m) and widths (1.5–2.5m) in an incredibly short time. This makes it an ideal tree for reforestation and sourcing long wood slabs in an environmentally responsible way. Read what makes the Guanacaste tree the ideal role model for sustainable wood design.

Parota is also notably lighter and less dense than most exotic hardwoods, making it possible to get much larger slabs of natural wood at lower weights than other imported hardwoods.

Parota wood

FAQs About Parota Wood

  • Names: Parota, Guanacaste, Enterolobium cyclocarpum
  • Location: Parota wood is primarily found in Central America and Mexico, as well as some parts of northern South America.
  • Colour: Parota heartwood is typically light to medium brown, occasionally with a reddish hue or darker streaks of amber brown. Parota’s outer sapwood is a pale yellow and is unique is its clear demarcation from parota’s heartwood.
  • Appearance: Parota wood is known for its bold, striking wood grain, similar to Acacia or Koa wood. But it grows much faster, so its texture is in between redwood and mahogany.
  • Durability: Parota wood is rated as a very durable wood, with mixed insect resistance. This makes it more sustainable than some other hardwoods, for example, red oak, which is a non-durable wood with poor insect resistance and stains when in contact with water.
  • Growth: Parota is a fast-growing tree that is known to reach enormous heights and widths, with large parota wood slabs commonly found.
  • Parota tree size: The parota tree can reach average heights of around 65–100ft (20–30m) tall, with trunk diameters growing to approximately 5–8ft (1.5–2.5m) wide. This makes it easier to find large slabs of natural-edge pieces compared to some other woods, for example, cedar reaches a maximum width of 1.2m.
  • Average dried weight: Parota is a relatively light exotic hardwood (27 lbs/ft3 or 440 kg/m3), almost half the weight of red and white oak (44–47 lbs/ft3, 700–755 kg/m3)
  • Grain and texture: Parota wood usually has a slightly interlocked grain with a textured surface. Parota wood has a moderate natural lustre.
  • End-grain: Parota’s diffuse-porous grain–common in tropical trees–creates an even distribution of pores throughout the wood. Parota’s grain is also distinguished by solitary and radial multiples, with narrow to medium rays with side spacing.
  • Pricing/availability: Due to parota’s large trunk size, it is easier to sustainably source large parota wood slabs, including live-edge cuts. Due to the lighter size of parota wood, importing or exporting parota slabs or parota furniture can sometimes be cheaper.
  • Sustainability: Parota is a relatively resistant tree, making it common in reforestation projects. Parota is ranked as a highly sustainable resource, and one of the few imported hard words not listed on the CITES Appendices nor on the IUCN list of threatened species.


About parota wood

Sustainable Parota Wood

From its fast-growing properties Parota is a highly sustainable harvested species and not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN list of threatened species. Read more about parota’s sustainability profile.

As Hawaiian Koa becomes harder to find in almost any dimension, Parota wood is an ideal alternative. Parota wood is also typically easier to work and more consistent in grain and colour than other Acacia-like species, such as Suar or Monkey species in south-east Asia.



PAROTAS is a company offering custom wood furniture and parota wood slabs for hotel, office, restaurant and home design projects, exclusively working with the striking parota wood from Mexico.

We hand pick each parota wood cut to ensure top quality, and work with specialized architects, carpenters, artists and designers to create modern wooden furniture collections. In this way, PAROTAS aims to create a new style of Mexican wood furniture.

All Parota wood used in our wooden furniture pieces is fully certified, and solely sourced from Mexican regions where environmental practices are strictly enforced through environmental co-operations.

Contact PAROTAS to enquire about sizes, prices, custom designs and parota wood slabs for sale. PAROTAS also arranges international delivery and exports, providing a door-to-door service.

Parota wood profile


Photo credits: Avancari via Wikimedia Commons (guanacaste tree); jayeshpatel912 (Enterolobium Cyclocarpum flower).

standard table chair heights

A Guide To Calculating Your Standard Table & Chair Heights

Standard table and chair heights vary between countries and companies, so it’s important to check supplied dimensions before buying furniture online, or take your own measurements. You can also contact your contractor to take measurements of your space and offer recommendations on the best dining table height and size for your design.

Matching your table and chair height is important for guests to feel natural and have space to move their elbows and cross their legs. Below we list the general standard table and counter heights for dining, kitchens, living rooms, offices, bathrooms and more. You can also read how to calculate the best table size for your room.

Standard Dining Table Height

What Is Standard Table Height?

There is no exact industry standard for table height, although many companies produce furniture in line with average table and chair heights sold in their country.

In any case, doing your own measurements and calculations are important, especially if you’re trying to match table and chairs from different suppliers. If you’re opting for custom furniture, below we explain in detail how to calculate table and chair height are below.

Average Table
Height Range
Standard Table
Height (inches)
Standard Table
Height (cm)
Standard dining table height 28–30 inches30 inches76cm
Standard kitchen table height 28–30 inches30 inches76cm
Standard counter height 34–39 inches36 inches91.5cm
Standard bar table height 40–43 inches42 inches106.5cm
Standard coffee table height 18–20 inches20 inches51cm
Standard side table height 22–30 inches25 inches63.5cm
Standard console table height 24–42 inches30 inches76cm
Standard nightstand height 24–28 inches25 inches63.5cm
Standard office desk height 28–30 inches29 inches73.5cm
Standard bathroom counter height30–36 inches32 inches81cm

What Is Standard Chair Height?

Similar to table height, there is no definite industry standard for chair heights.

Chair heights generally range up to 17–19 inches (43–48cm) from the chair leg to the top of the seat, while stool heights can range from 16–23 inches (40–58cm) due to their minimalism. These chair heights are standard to fit under tables from 28–30 inches (71–76cm). You should also account for any apron (support beam) under the table.

For comfortable seating, it is recommended to allow at least 9–13 inches (23–33cm) between your table or counter and the chair seat, with 12 inches (30.5cm) being a spacious allowance.  This allows guests to comfortably cross their legs under the table.

Average Chair
Height Range
Standard Chair
Height (inches)
Standard Chair
Height (cm)
Dining table chair heights 17–19 inches 18'45–50 cm
Kitchen table chair heights 17–19 inches18'45–50 cm
Desk chair heights 17–19 inches 18'45–50 cm
Counter chair heights 24–26 inches 24' 61cm
Bar chair heights 28–32 inches 30' 76cm

Calculating Standard Table & Chair Heights

Below are some examples of comfortable chair heights to match certain standard dining heights. For more space, consider stools or benches as a seating choice.

Standard Dining
Table Heights
28 inches29 inches30 inches32 inches36 inches40 inches42 inches
Standard Chair Heights15–19' 16–20' 17–21' 19–23' 23–27' 27–31' 29–33'

How to Measure Table Height

Standard table height measurements are taken from the floor to the top of the table or counter. This means you need to consider a lower chair height if you have a thick table top or overhanging counter.

How to Measure Chair Height

Standard chair heights are measured from the chair legs to the top of the seat surface. You do not include the height of the chair back or armrests in your measurements, unless you plan to slide chairs fully under the table or counter.

If you are choosing chairs with armrests, allow around 7 inches (18cm) between the armrest and the underside of your table or apron.

Bench seating is measured in the same way. The ADA sets a standard bench seat height of 17–19 inches (43–48cm) above the floor.

Table chair height how to measure

Standard Dining Table Height

The standard dining room table height is around 28–30 inches (71–76cm) from the ground to table top surface.

Formal dining tables tend to be closer to 30 inches, while informal dining table heights average around 29 inches tall. Older tables also tend to be lower, around 28–29 inches.

Varying the height of a standard dining height can feel unnatural, however slight. This is sometimes caused by placing a very thick table top onto a standard base height, so considering these aspects is especially important when deciding measurements for custom furniture.

Low Dining Table Height

If you opt for lounge-style or low seating – with seat heights below 16 inches (40cm) – you may be able to fit a lower dining table height of around 26 inches (66cm).

Standard Kitchen Table Height, Islands and Counters

Kitchen table heights are the same as dining table heights, around 30 inches (76cm).

However, if you want seating for a kitchen island or counter, you should consider a taller height. Counter table heights are usually set at 34–39 inches (86–99cm), with 36 inches (91.5cm) being a standard size. Read more on how to calculate the ideal bar or counter stool height.

Standard Kitchen Table Height

Standard Console Table Height

Console tables are often pushed against a wall or behind a sofa, so these aspects influence the standard console table heights. In general, a console table should be not taller than the sofa back height, and can be up to 1 inch (2.5cm) below.

For entry console tables and buffet consoles, aim for around 33 inches (84cm). Otherwise, console tables are typically the same height as dining tables (28–30 inches).

TV consoles are typically higher. For optimal TV viewing height, measure around 42 inches (107cm) from the floor to the TV’s centre and calculate your ideal console height. This allows for a sofa seat height of 18 inches, plus 24 inches which is the general eye-level of an adult in a relaxed seating position.

Standard Coffee Table Height

Coffee tables are usually set at around 18–20 inches (45–50cm) high, to create a comfortable balance between standard sofa and chair heights.

Otherwise, the standard coffee table height is usually the same height as the cushions on your soft, or within 1–2 inches (2.5–5cm) lower.

Other design rules include leaving a walkway space of 12–18 inches (30–45cm) between your coffee table and sofa, plus choosing a coffee table that is around two-thirds the length of your sofa.

Standard Coffee Table Height

Standard Nightstand Height

There is no standard nightstand height as it is typically tied to the height of the mattress. However, the most common bed height is around 25 inches (63.5cm), and most nightstands range between 24–28 inches (61–71cm). Tables don’t have to be identical heights, but should be within 2 inches (5cm) of each to create visual balance.

From a laying position, it is more comfortable to raise your arm than lower it. For this reason, the average nightstand height is measured to line up with the top of your mattress or up to 2–6 inches (5–15cm) higher.

Standard Side Table Height

Standard Side Table HeightSide tables are functional furniture pieces used for lounge seating or hallways, so measurements change depending on surrounding furniture and the function, for example, setting down a drink or placing a lamp.

Standard side table heights are usually designed to be equal to or just below the height of sofa armrests, which are around 25 inches (63.5cm), although this varies widely so exact measurements are important. Most side tables are between 22–30 inches (56–76cm).

A general rule is keep your side table height to within 2 inches of the sofa armrest height; for example, if a sofa arm is 24 inches high, an appropriate side table height would be 22–26 inches. although if you can’t find an appropriate side table height for your sofa, aim for shorter rather taller, to make it easy to set a drink or book down.

If you plan to use the side table for a lamp, choose a side table height so that the base of the lampshade isn’t higher than eye level when seated next to it. If the lamp won’t be at an eye-level, consider a side table height that works with surrounding furniture, lamp size or ceiling height.

There are exceptions where taller side tables can work, for example, if there is a set of side tables where at least one is below the armrest height, or the side table serves another function in a high-ceiled room or hallway.

If your sofa has no armrests, calculate the standard side table height in line to where the arms would be, or choose a table at the same height as the seat height.

Standard Bathroom Counter Height

If you’re installing a bathroom counter, the standard height is around 34–35 inches (86–89cm). If you plan to install a built-in vanity, you may consider lowering it to the standard 30 inches, for chairs with a seat height of 17–19 inches.

Bathroom vanity cabinets are usually a standard height of 32 inches (80cm), although range from 30–36 inches. Newer, modern vanities are sometimes higher, starting at 36 inches (91cm), referred to as ‘comfort’ vanities because you don’t need to bend to wash your hands.

The Americans with Disabilities Acts sets the minimum and maximum standard vanity heights at 29–34 inches (with built-in sinks).

Standard Bar Table Height

Bar tables range in height from 40–43 inches (102–109cm), although 42 (107cm) is a typical standard bar table height. You can comfortably customize a bar table height up to 44–47 inches (112–119cm) for an modern look, although consider a higher bar stool height as well. We provide a table of standard bar stool heights.

Standard Office Desk Height

Most work desk heights are between 28 and 30 inches, which is really only a suitable height for people from 5 ft 8 inches to 5 ft 10 inches (173–178cm) with a conventional desk chair. Standard desk chair heights range from 16–21 inches (40–53cm).

This is obviously not an ergonomic option for everybody. If you are taller or shorter, consider a different desk height, rather than choosing a different chair. Adjustable desks, for example, allow a range of 22–33 inches (56–84cm).

The Proper Office Desk for Your Height

If you spend long hours sitting, the right office desk height is important for comfort and posture.

Your desk and chair height should be matched so that in a seating position, your arms rest at a comfortable 90 degree on the desk. To find the right position, the chair should be adjusted so the seat top sits just below your knee cap. When you sit at the table, your knees should also be at a 90 degree angle, with your feet flat on the floor.

Standard Standing Desk Height

The same rule applies for determining the ideal standing desk height; your arms should rest at a perfect 90 degree angle on the table when standing beside it.

Custom Table and Chair Heights

If you’re having trouble matching table and chair heights from standard furniture collections, consider custom furniture as a solution. Custom wooden furniture, for example, can be easily adapted to fit with modern chair designs, or vice versa.



PAROTAS is a team of carpenters, designers and architects who focus on producing sustainable wooden furniture. We use certified parota wood sustainably sourced from Mexico. Contact PAROTAS to ask about custom wooden furniture or design project.

Read more:

How To Calculate The Best Dining Table Size For Your Room

What Is the Most Sustainable Material – for Building, Furniture and Design Projects?

standard counter bar stool heights

How To Choose The Ideal Counter & Bar Stool Height For Your Design

Choosing the right counter and bar stool height – and being aware of the difference – is not only important for creating visual balance, but also for seating guests comfortably without hitting glasses, elbows or knees.

Open kitchen plans, home bars and modern design have all pushed the stool into the spotlight as a trendy seating solution. Today, stools are a staple seating choice for bar tables, kitchen countertops, breakfast bars and small spaces.

There are no industry standards for counter and bar stool heights, so taking your own measurements is important.Choosing the ideal counter or bar stool height also relies on space limitations, style and comfort. For this reason, it’s helpful to ask your contractoror designer for recommendations or examples to visualize your design.

Otherwise, below we explain the essential design rules to calculate the ideal counter or bar stool height for your table.

Standard Bar & Counter Stool Heights

Chair heights are typically divided into categories, although there are no industry standard measurements for any category:

  • Standard chair height (kitchen and dining table heights)
  • Counter height
  • Bar height
  • Tall


Many companies produce similar average heights, but it is still important to check dimensions or take your own measurements as height standards are never guaranteed.

Bar Stool Height Versus Counter Stool Height

It’s important to be aware of the distinction between bar stool and counter stool heights.

Standard counter stool heights are typically lower, around 24 inches, designed to fit under kitchen counters. Standard bar stools average around 30 inches for sitting at a taller bar table or counter.

It’s important not to mistakenly buy a bar stool (30 inches height) for a counter height table (36 inches); it will only allow around 6 inches of clearance between the stool and the counter, which is half the recommended space for fitting legs and knees.

Standard Bar Stool Height

Calculating the Ideal Counter & Bar Stool Height

The ideal counter and bar stool height is calculated in the same way as standard dining chair heights. For a comfortable fit – allowing people to also cross their legs – you need to subtract around 9–13 inches from your table or counter height, with 12 being a very spacious allowance. If you have a large overhanging bar or structure, however, opt for a slightly lower stool height.

For example:

  • 24-inch bar stools: ideal for a 36″ counter, which is typically smaller than a bar table.
  • 25-inch bar stool:suitable to fit under a 36″ or 37″ bar or table.
    26-inch bar Stools: perfect height for a 38″ bar or counter.
  • 30-inch Bar Stool:suited for a standard 42″ bar/counter top, or for the garage, and usually the size the stools you see in a pub.


How to measure the ideal chair height

  1. Measure the height of your table, counter or bar. You should take your measurements from the floor to the top of your table or counter.
  2. Calculate the ideal chair height. A general rule is to subtract 10–12 inches from your table, counter or bar height, which is a comfortable space to sit with legs crossed. If your counter top is thick, allow extra space into your calculations.
  3. Stool height measurements are taken from the feet of the seat to the top of the chair or stool. You do not measure the height of the back of the stool when determining seat height.
  4. Take a measuring tape when shopping or check provided dimensions. Although most heights are ‘average’, you should still measure exact height.


Standard Bar Stool Height

Average Stool Heights

Standard dining chair heights generally range 17–19 inches from floor to the top of the seat, however, standard stool heights can be as low as 16 inches up to 23 inches due to their minimalism and flexible design.

This allows a comfortable seating space under a dining or kitchen table measuring 28–30 inches high. However, you need to allow more space if your table has an apron, which is the underhanging support of a table.

Eighteen-inch stools are useful additions to any design, even as a single piece, being small, cost-effective and multi-functional, for example, to play music or use as a step-ladder. They are not as suitable for sitting at a kitchen counter, dining area or bar, in which cases you should consider a taller counter or bar stool.

Average Counter Height

The standard counter height is around 36 inches, including countertop material. Taller people may consider a higher setting up to 37 or 38 inches.

What is the Average Counter Stool Height?

Average counter height stools range between 23–29 inches to fit under kitchen counters ranging 34–39 inches height.

The standard counter stool height, however, is typically 24–26 inches to fit tables and counters ranging 36–39 inches high.

Average Bar Height

The average bar table height is 42 inches, although it’s no uncommon to see bar tables ranging from 40–47 inches.

What Is the Average Bar Stool Height?

Average bar stool heights range from 30–36 inches to fit under bar tables from 40–46 inches.

However, you’ll commonly find standard bar stool heights at around 28–32 inches, for bar counters set at 40–43 inches hight.

Tall Bar Stool Height

Adding a taller bar tables adds elegance to a design.

If you opt for a taller bar – from 44–47 inches – consider a bar stool height of around 33–36 inches high.

Standard Counter Stool Height

How Many Bar or Counter Stools Can I Fit?

Once you measure the length of your counter or bar table, you want to make sure there is enough space between stools for people to comfortably eat and drink without hitting elbows.

When calculating adjacent space, you should leave around 26–30 inches between the centre of one stool to the centre of another. For any end bar stools, allow 14 inches from the centre of the stool to the wall or end of the counter. This will allow enough room for someone to enter or exist comfortably.

If calculating from the edges of a stool, allow around 6–10 inches of space to feel relaxed rather than crowded.

For more accurate measurements, you should consider the width of the seat, taking measurements from the widest part of the seat; general sizes re around 15, 17 and 21 inches wide.

Breaking this down:

  • For stools 16–18 inches wide, allow 21–22 inches between the centers of two stools, or around 6 inches between the stool edges.
  • For stools 19–22 inches wide, allow 24–25 inches between the centers of each stool, or around 8–10 inches from each edge.
  • For swivel stools or those with armrests, you’ll need to allow some extra space, starting from 8–10 inches.

Bar Stool Size GuideWhich Stool Design Can I Fit?

The design of a counter or bar stool can also contribute to how much space you need.

Stools with broad backs, armrests, deep seating and cushions are ideal choices if you plan to sit for long periods of time or have daily meals – but these feature also add to the space requirements.

For a casual or modern look, backless stools make a great option and are ideal for small spaces, as they can fully slide under the table. Backless stools are also idea for busy or narrow corridors, or if you don’t want to detract or overwhelm your counter design. However, comfort can become an issue over a long time period.

Swivel stools with backs can add extra comfort. Adjustable stools are also ideal for allowing multi-heights, which can be great if you have children, although are typically more expensive. If you plan to serve food around the stools, low-maintenance materials, such as leather, wood or metal, are easier to clean, or opt for attachable cushions, which can give you a slight advantage over getting more space.



most sustainable materials

Infographic: What Is the Most Sustainable Material for Building, Furniture or Design?

Which are the most sustainable materials to use? Designers are increasingly considering environmental aspects in their projects, finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint and make better choices when choosing sustainable materials. Today there are certifications and eco-labels to help both designers and consumers identify sustainable materials in the market. However, as eco-labels are still far from being the norm, how can you intrinsically know what is a sustainable material? Below you can find out the environmental impacts of different building, furniture and design materials.

Sustainable materials

PAROTAS has created the infographic below looking at the environmental impact of different materials commonly used in building, furniture and design projects, including plastic, concrete, metal and wood design. The answer to which is the most sustainable material may surprise you!

Most Sustainable Materials


However, the real picture of each sustainable material is much more complex, and some companies instead find ways to offset their carbon footprint in contrast to finding alternative production materials.

The energy used and pollution output can also vary depending on the material type (for example, there is a wide variety of plastics) and whether it is made from recycled or reused resources, as is common with steel, aluminium and plastic, which decreases the energy required and boosts their position as a sustainable material.

In all cases, your environmental impact can be reduced by reusing or reclaiming resources, being of the most sustainable options in design. If required to use new furniture or materials, then high quality products are the most sustainable materials, particular if you can reuse or recycle them in future.

Feel free to share our infographic, provided you include a link to the CC-licence, original post and to



PAROTAS brings together carpenters, designers and architects to find sustainable ways to produce wooden furniture. Our carpenters employ specialised techniques to reduce wood waste during production, as well as re-use all offcuts and by-products. All wood is certified. You can contact PAROTAS to ask about your custom wooden furniture or design project.

buy wood furniture

How To Buy Good Quality Wood Furniture, Like An Expert

The best quality wooden furniture can last a lifetime, so it is important to understand how to choose top quality and what to consider before you buy anything. If cared for properly, wooden furniture can even improve with age. It is also an environmental friendly, renewable resource, with organic warmth and appeal.

It is easy to be swayed by cheap wooden furniture or wooden composites, but you won’t get the same longevity as you would from choosing a well-crafted or solid wood furniture piece. But a high price tag isn’t necessarily an indicator – poorly prepared wood or low-quality cuts can undermine your good efforts. The trick is knowing how to tell good quality wooden furniture from bad quality, no matter the price.

Price is not always an indicator of quality when buying wood furniture, and there are other mistakes people make during the buying process.

1. Hardwoods Vs Softwoods

‘Hard’ and ‘soft’ do not reference the durability of a wood, but rather the source. Some hardwoods, like aspen or poplar, are softer than softwoods.

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees–trees that seasonally lose and grow their leaves–such as parota, oak, birch, maple, teak and mahogany. The grain is typically tighter, hence the wood is stronger and denser and ideal for carving and fine details.

Softwoods come from cone-bearing or needle-bearing trees–conifers that stay green in the winter–which include pine, cedar, cypress, and redwood trees. In appearance, the grain is more open and are easy to work with. But the wood tends to be lower quality and has a soft surface, making it susceptible to marks and dents, which reduces the lifetime of your furniture.

HIGH QUALITY: Hardwoods typically make better quality solid wood furniture, and are ideal for outdoor use.

LOW QUALITY: Softwoods tend to be cheaper and don’t last as long.

2. Understanding The ‘Lingo’ Of Wood Types

  • Solid wood: completely made of wood, or a solid natural cut.
  • All-wood construction: visible parts of the furniture are made with wood.
  • Veneer or wood-cladding: a natural, thin cut of wood is bonded to plywood or particleboard. Make sure you ask if it is a real wood veneer or a faux veneer, which tend to be reproductions.
  • Combination: more than one type of wood is used to make the exposed parts of the furniture.
  • Engineered wood: is generally divided into two groups; plywood is made from glued-together slices of lumber, while particleboard or fiberboard is made from waste products such as chips and fibers.
  • Artificial laminate wood: made from plastic, paper or foil and printed with a fake wood grain pattern, generally glued to particleboard.


HIGH QUALITY: Solid wood

LOW QUALITY: Artificial wood laminate

3. How To Discern Wood Quality

Choice generally comes down to preference of wood appearance and budget, but you should be aware of certain factors if wood quality is important to you:

–Avoid particleboard, pressed wood or fiberboard. If you choose plywood, it should be at least nine layers thick. The downside to these cheap wood composites is that their production requires toxic products, such as heavy glues.

–These days, veneers are used even in expensive furniture, which is where a thin piece of premium wood is placed over a lower-quality wood. Although veneer is common and a cheaper way to get real wood in your house, the downside is the limit on the number of times it can be refinished and the possibility of the veneer coming off with time. It also won’t last a lifetime. There are ways to buy higher quality veneer, for example, choosing a thicker wood cladding than the standard. When purchasing veneer furniture, you should inquire about the base material. Check the underside of tables, pull out drawers or slide out shelves to check areas that are not covered by the veneer. If the base wood is inferior, such as particleboard or a softwood, the furniture may warp or split over time. You should also look out for gaps and loose spots between the veneer and base material by running your fingernail along the edge; if the veneer is not tight, it will pop off eventually.

–Avoid knottier woods, such as pine, which are considered less desirable. Some experts say to avoid knots altogether, as they are susceptible to cracks, but today many professional craftsmen are able to expertly incorporate knots into designs and control the spread so they evolve as natural artworks over time.

–You want a surface that is relatively scratch resistant, which can be testes by drawing a thin line with your fingernail on the furniture. If it leaves a visible dent, this is not good quality.

–If the wooden furniture is upholstered, look for quality in the springs, the type of stuffing, and the structure of the support base.

HIGH QUALITY: solid wood

LOW QUALITY: thin plywood (less than 9 layers), particle board, fiberboard, pressboard, and soft-wood surfaces that dent easily.

4. How To Check Quality Of Construction

Furniture caters to every possible taste but quality is what really sets furniture apart. Quality also determines how long your furniture will last–from a couple of years to a lifetime– and how well it will retain its looks through daily use. Quality is also an indicator of comfort, which is not something you want to skimp on.

Join construction is one of the most important determinants of quality in the furniture industry. When buying wooden furniture, look at the joints to see if there is visible glue, staples or nails – these are all signs of poor quality.

Dowels–wooden pegs fitted into opposing holes–and screws indicate better quality. but the best joints to look for are dovetail– interlocking squares – and mortise and tenon–one piece is cut to insert into a hole in another piece.

The corners of table legs or chair legs should have a triangular reinforcing block attached at an angle, unless some other design feature is used. This is because butted and mitered joints tend to be weaker and cannot bear heavy wear unless reinforced, besides stabilizing the furniture and keeping the joints square.

You should also check for sturdiness and alignment – make sure a table doesn’t rock, or that draws open and shut easily. You can double check stability by applying pressure at the diagonals.

GOOD QUALITY: dovetail, mortise and tenon, reinforcing corner blocks,

MEDIUM QUALITY: dowels, screws

LOW QUALITY: staples, nails, visible glue.

5. How To Take The Proper Measurements

It is surprising how many people still guess measurements by eye – and end up with colossal furniture that becomes the literal ‘elephant in the room’. There is no set industry standard for furniture dimensions, so you can’t rely on that either.

Other mistakes include not accounting for enough space to move around the furniture, and not taking measurements from the proper place.

For example, if you are measuring the ideal dining table size for your room, you should allow for a space of at least30–36 inches (76cm) to exit and enter the table. You should measure from the edge of any obstruction, such as a door, window or other furniture – not always the wall. Read more on how to measure the dining table you need.

Similar mistakes are made when matching table and stool heights – amazing chairs are no good if you can’t squeeze your legs under the table. You usually need a minimum of 9 inches but if you want to cross your legs, too, then you’ll want at least 12–13 inches of space. We go into detail in our guide to calculating the right table and chair heights.

And then there’s the issue of making sure the delivery company can fit it in your house once it arrives. If you can’t fit furniture through a stairwell, door, window or balcony, you should consider ready to assemble (RTA) furniture.

6. Choosing Certified Wood & Green Furniture

Contrary to some beliefs, wood is one of the most sustainable materials for buying furniture; this interesting article shows the environmental footprint of each furniture type, or check out this infographic comparing the sustainability of materials. Wood is renewable and naturally decomposes in a short time, unlike any other resources, although new alternatives are constantly being developed.

But the sustainable benefits of wood are negated without the right environmental practices in place. This means it is important to only buy from companies that use certified wood, which means that it has been cut according to local environmental controls and laws.

Additionally, with increased awareness of health and environmental issues comes increased responsibility. Substances used in certain wood products, such as toxic glues and varnishes, have an impact on air quality in your home – and the environment. Thus ‘buying green’ seems even more important today, besides the fact that natural materials give a nicer warmth and organic feel than other furniture types, and are easier to maintain. For example, PAROTAS uses a blend of oils to finish our wooden furniture pieces and preserve its natural beauty. See some examples of our wooden furniture here.



PAROTAS combines a team of carpenters, designers and architects to produce high quality and sustainable wooden furniture. We use certified wood sourced from Mexico and abroad. Contact PAROTAS to ask about your custom furniture or design project.

unique wood table ideas

Unique Wood Table Ideas for Modern Designs

There are many ways to fit wood table ideas into modern and contemporary designs. Wooden tables are timeless pieces making them one of the most sustainable furniture choices, especially simple and minimalist table designs that stay in style for generations.

To narrow down your wood table ideas, consider how to create visual balance in your room. You will need to account for the room size, seating capacity you want, seating space per person, and other variables, such as other furniture in the room or mat size. We explain below how to calculate the space needed for visual design, to help you choose the best wooden table for your space.

Quality is also an important factor: solid wood tables last much longer than low-quality wood composites, and are more environmental as composites usually contain harmful products, like glue and synthetic materials. Some question whether the extra cost of solid wood is worth it, especially with today’s market flooded with cheaper, low-end alternatives, such as veneer, metal or plastic furniture. Solid wood furniture, however, is the only material that ensures longevity, due to easy maintenance. Signs of wear and tear or damage to a wooden table can be easily sanded out, and maintenance is as simple as reapplications of oil. It is also the most sustainable furniture choice when compared to plastic or metal furniture.

Below are some tips for narrowing down your wood table ideas, plus images showing wooden table ideas incorporating modern design. You can also read how to calculate the right dining table size for your room, standard table and chair heights, or counter and bar stool heights for a modern look.

Wood Table Ideas & Images

Wood table idea

Wooden tables can be made with natural wood slabs or panels of solid wood (see image below), and modernized with a range of sleek wooden bases or metal structures.

When calculating your ideal wood table size, you should allow a minimum size of 32–36 inches (80–90cm) between your table and the wall or any obstructions. This is also a comfortable size needed for someone to push back their chair. If you have furniture along the wall, start your measurements from the edge of the furniture instead. Other obstructions to consider are door frames, fireplaces and windows.

The ideal distance for an elegant look, however, is estimated at around 42 to 48 inches (107–122cm) from the wall or furniture. It is advised not to exceed a maximum of 70 inches (180cm) between the wall – instead choose a larger table to fill the space for better visual balance.

In terms of seating space per person, the minimum space required is around 24 inches (60cm), although up to 30 inches (80cm) per person allows more elbow room. If you choose a rectangular table, you also need to add a minimum of 12 inches (30cm) up to 24–30 inches (60–80cm) at either end, to allow enough leg room for two extra spaces.

You will need a minimum space of at least 24 inches (60cm) behind a chair when it is pushed in, which is the minimum amount needed for someone to pass.

Your total table size should also account extra space for table leg width. If you have a smaller room, opt for wooden table ideas that have thin legs or a central pedestal base.

Wood Furniture Ideas

Solid Wood Table Top Ideas

Natural cuts made from solid wood create truly one-of-a-kind wooden table ideas, relying on the unique patterns and live edge borders that only Mother Nature can provide. Solid wood tables are sometimes associated with rustic-style furniture, however, PAROTAS uses a variety of design bases to modernize wooden table top slabs.

When calculating the ideal height for your base structure, allow room for at least the standard chair height, typically around 18 inches (45cm) – from floor to chair seat – plus lap room. A comfortable fit between the chair seat a wooden table top is calculated at around 12 inches (30cm).

If you’re choosing between a round or rectangular natural wood table, you should consider the room size and the desired seating amount.

Rectangular table tops work better in long narrow rooms to create visual space. If you need to save space, you can add a wooden bench on at least one side, or both, which can be pushed under the table to allow more walking room.

Circular tables are ideal for small spaces for allowing better flow around the table, plus more people can fit without corners, especially if the table has a pedestal base.

Some people prefer oval or rectangular tables for seating large groups, as wide circular tables can make it difficult to reach food in the middle – although a built-in lazy susan can resolve this.

In a square room, a round or square table creates the best visual balance, as well as allowing a more intimate dining atmosphere as everyone is the same distance apart and facing each other. Similar to circular tables, however, large square tables can make it difficult to reach for food.

Solid Wood Coffee Table Ideas

Wood Table Top Ideas

Modern Wood Dining Table Ideas

If you’re specifically looking at dining table ideas, you should first calculate the amount of people you want to seat and the kind of plate setting.

The minimum depth to fit a dining plate and cutlery is around 15 inches (38cm; without glass space), or 18 inches (45cm) for a full cutlery and plate setting with glasses. You should ideally add an additional 10–12 inches (25–30cm) to fit serving dishes, although 6 inches (15cm) is the minimum and sufficient if you move glasses. This puts the ideal table width at around 41 inches (105cm), with 47 inches (120cm) being a more comfortable width.

A walkway of 36 to 42 inches (91–107 centimeters) around the entire table is the most comfortable space needed when chairs are occupied and people want to pass. However, if your table will be in an open plan room with circulation routes, then leaving from 48 to 60 inches (122–152cm) beyond the edge of a table is suitable for this type of layout.

If space is an issue, using chairs without arms or swivel seats will be more comfortable for guests. Another tip to make a small area seem more spacious is to use transparent, acrylic chairs.

Round tables are also one of the best choices for small space. With no sharp corners to bump into, round tables can fit into tight spaces and typically squeeze in more people. Round tables also create the most intimate atmosphere, as everyone can interact without having to lean over anybody. But for entertaining big crowds, large round tables are not as ideal as sound doesn’t travel as well as across a huge diameter, in which case rectangle tables can be ideal.

Wood Dining Table Ideas

Wood Coffee Table Ideas

The same basic spacing principles for dining tables applies to wooden coffee tables, making sure you leave enough space for people to pass and that there is enough space between your coffee table and the closest obstruction, such as a sofa.

The easiest design rule is to keep the proportions similar between your table and the room. Long, narrow rooms work best with rectangular tables while round and square tables fit best with a square rooms.

If you have a very large room, try to also allow a more generous clearance space, even up to 48–54 inches (122–137cm).

Wood Coffee Table Ideas

Glass Wood Coffee Table Ideas

Wooden Table Leg Ideas

Solid wood tables generally require sufficient support to withhold the weight, although minimalist base designs are still possible. Choosing a lighter wood – for example, parota is almost half the dried weight of oak – can provide more flexibility in designing table legs.

You also need to account for the ‘apron’ – the panel hanging underneath the table top. If you have a low apron, guests might not be able to cross their legs, or you would need to choose lower chairs. Aprons, however, can be beautifully incorporated into your table design idea. At PARTOAS, we custom design table aprons so they add to overall modern design idea.

The position and size of your metal or wooden table legs also influences the space you need. Larger or obstructive table legs naturally limit the seating space. If space is an issue, pedestal bases in the center are an idea choice for offering the most legroom, and you might be able to squeeze in an extra seat.

Wooden furniture ideas

Wood Table Leg Ideas

Custom Wooden Table Ideas

Every space is different. Custom wood furniture is the ideal solution for achieving perfect visual balance in a room, allowing you to match natural wood cuts to fit unique spaces in your design. For custom home furniture and contract projects, PAROTAS’ team of carpenters, architects and designers bring together their expertise to turn custom wooden ideas into reality, offering advice on the best solutions for your space and viability of your design. If you have a wooden table idea or design project, contact us for a quote.



PAROTAS brings together carpenters, designers and architects to find sustainable ways to produce custom wooden furniture. Our carpenters employ specialied techniques to reduce wood waste during production. All wood is certified. Contact PAROTAS to ask about your custom wooden furniture or design project.

Read more:

How To Calculate The Best Dining Table Size For Your Room

Choosing The Ideal Counter & Bar Stool Height For Your Design

A Guide To Standard Table & Chair Heights


best sustainable furniture

What Is The Best Sustainable Furniture You Can Buy?

Today’s shoppers are more environmentally conscious but what is the most sustainable furniture you can buy? Sustainability isn’t limited to the material your furniture is made from, but also incorporates aspects such as social impact, the gases it releases into your home environment as it wears down or if it can be reused.

‘Sustainable furniture’ labels can be attached to everything from bio-degradable and natural resources to recycled materials, commonly plastic and wood. Many resources are promoted as environmentally viable, but how true are their claims when taking in the full process?

Here we compares the sustainability of plastic, wood and metal furniture, taking into account the whole process – from manufacturing to releasing gases in your home environment. Perhaps surprisingly, when taking in the full process of production, transport, manufacturing and air pollution, few resources have as simple and low impact as wooden furniture. However, wood is just one product among many that can be chosen for sustainable furniture, depending on which sustainable factors are most important to you.

What is sustainable furniture?

To determine if your furniture is sustainable, PAROTAS has put together the below list. Sustainable furniture should check off as many factors as possible below:

  • Low energy required to produce
  • Little to no waste or hazardous by-products
  • Low greenhouse gas emissions
  • Low air pollution contribution
  • High reusability
  • Made from natural materials or fibres.


Sustainability has also traditionally incorporated elements of social equity, economic demand as well as environmental responsibility, for example, choosing certified wood over illegally sourced materials. Your furniture may be cheaper but the detriment to both social and environmental aspects reduces its sustainability.

When choosing sustainable furniture, it is also important to consider the quality of products and how well they are constructed to withstand generations of use: Reusability is the most sustainable way to reduce any further environmental impact.

Below we take a look at the environmental impact of producing wood, metal and plastic furniture – and which ranks the best as the most sustainable furniture.

Sustainable furniture: Wood, metal or plastic?

Wooden Headboards

Sustainable Factor #1: Production and transport pollution

The conversion of raw materials into a usable product is typically the largest contribution to your furniture’s carbon footprint, representing the most pollution in a product’s entire life cycle. Transport also contributes to air pollution, although producers can implement environmental practices to offset their carbon footprint; if a company does it, it will typically be shown via a sustainable label or award.

When weighing up production, the processing of metal is by far the least sustainable due to the reliance on fossil fuels, such as oil and natural gas, and chemicals for turning it into a usable product. In contrast, wood and plastic furniture typically rank as being the most sustainable materials, with respect to having the lowest environmental impact to produce and transport, as shown below:

  • Metals require the most manufacturing to convert into usable materials, contributing many harmful substances that contribute to greenhouse gases. Metals are also heavy and logistics is typically a complex, machine-based process, all adding to the carbon footprint of metal furniture.
  • On the opposite end of the scale sits plastic, which is relatively easy to create. However, the sustainability of plastic is reduced by its reliance on petrol-based chemicals, although it is possible to purchase bioplastics (made from natural resources, such as vegetable oils) or recycled plastic. Plastics are also typically light and easy to transport, contributing the lowest to transport pollution.
  • Compared to resources such as metals or plastics, timber requires only minor processing, which at its simplest form can involve a saw or an axe. Processing must include drying, however this can be done naturally (air dried) or using a kiln. The maintenance and drying process of kilns are generally chemical free, unlike the other two furniture materials. Wood shavings and dust generated from sawing can be used to power certain kilns, such as boiler kilns, meaning by-products are not wasted.


WINNER: Wood is the most sustainable choice with regards to contributing the least pollution during production – but is heavy to transport. In terms of transport pollution, plastic furniture has the lowest environmental impact.

Sustainable Factor #2: Renewability and reusability

In isolation, production and transport does not solely determine a furniture’s sustainability. High-energy production, such as required for metal, can be partly offset by a material’s ability to be reused over and over again.

However metals are extracted from the earth’s crust and renewed on geological timelines, so renewability is evidently low, taking thousands of years and specific conditions to replace resources. This might be justified by the high reusability and long life-span of metal furniture, although sustainability is reduced somewhat if the metal must be broken down and re-manufactured into another shape.

Comparing reusability, in contrast, the sustainability of plastic is reduced because of its easy wear and consequent low reuse of plastic furniture, despite being easy to produce or ‘renew’. Additionally, its reliance on petrol-based chemicals, a relatively non-renewable resource, drains the sustainability points of plastic’s renewability. However, there is an increased use of recycle, biodegradable and eco-friendly plastics, which have a lesser environmental impact.

Wood, on the other hand, manages to strike a balance between the two; its renewability is considered short – trees can regrow in 10–30 years – and its reusability is relatively high, with wooden furniture often lasting several generations. Although, it should be noted that the sustainability of wooden furniture is reduced in low-quality products, for example, plywood furniture, as opposed to good-quality, natural slabs of wood.

WINNER: Wood is the clear leader for its balance on both ends of the spectrum, with a relatively short renewability period and a relatively long life-span.

Sustainable Factor #3: By-products and bio-degradability

In contrast to common furniture materials such as plastic, glass, aluminium and steel, wood can often be reused without breakdown or complete remanufacture. Additionally, out of all the furniture materials, wood is the only material where all by-products can be used (in this case, of the tree) and completely degraded by natural ecosystems in several years.

Bio-degradable plastic, as the name implies, can also be decomposed – and in relatively short times, too, up to six months for small items. Its synthetic counterpart, however, can take several hundred years to disappear, so the type of plastic furniture you choose has an astronomical effect on its sustainability value.

A negative markdown, though, is the problem of plastic pollution as it decomposes, which has shown to kill wildlife, clutter waterways and pollute cities. This is in contrast to composting wood, which can become a resource for natural environments.

Additionally, wood by-products from processing include woodchips and sawdust, which are both usable, while an economic use can be found for almost all parts of a tree in proper sustainable practices; for example, parota tree seeds are a high-protein food source and the bark contains tannins for leather tanning. Shavings and sawdust can be used in boilers, garden mulch or as a raw material for other industrial uses. Unsuitable logs, chips and waste cuts can also be converted into reconstituted wood panel products (particleboard, medium density fibreboard or MDF, hardboard and blackboard), or paper and cardboard. Intact wood pieces can also typically be reused in other applications, such as doors, windows, skirting boards, frames, flooring, landscaping, fuel.

WINNER: Besides being the only natural and degradable resource, wood is also noted for its complete usability of by-products. Bio-degradable plastic, however, should be noted for its quick decomposition, although plastic pollution is known to be harmful.

Sustainable Factor #4: Impact on air quality

Besides the air pollution produced during production, discussed in point one, certain materials can also release harmful gases as they ‘break down’ with daily use. Synthetic plastic furniture in particular can release harmful gaseous substances that contribute to air pollution as they wear down.

As a natural product, wood doesn’t contribute to poor indoor air quality, however, toxic coatings, such a varnish, can be harmful. This can be reduced by using natural treatments, for example, PAROTAS uses a unique blend of natural oils on their wooden furniture.

Additionally, while neither metal or plastic can claim any points for improving air quality, wood furniture goes as far as to store the carbon dioxide that was absorbed when growing as a tree. Trees are widely known for their air cleaning properties, taking in carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen. The carbon dioxide stored in the wood is not released even when a tree has been harvested and processed into timber products – but it is released when burnt, meaning reused wood will always be the most sustainable furniture choice, or buying new wood furniture with the intention to keep it for a long time.

Interestingly, trees can store up to 48 pounds (22kg) of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester up to 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time they are 40 years old. However, their air cleaning abilities reduce somewhat as they age and growth slows. This provides an argument for the sustainable practices of reforestation, where forests can be used as a pollution solution and, when no longer efficient cleaning vehicles, as an economic source, with furniture being one of the best ways to not release the carbon dioxide back into the air.

WINNER: Wood is the only material that improves air quality, although, toxic coatings can contribute to air pollution in your home, so choosing natural treatments is more sustainable.

Sustainable Furniture

What is the most sustainable furniture?

While bio-degradable plastic presents a strong argument for being a highly sustainable furniture choice, overall wood furniture wins more categories to become the most sustainable furniture. However, this is provided it is high quality wood (that can be reused) and treated with natural oils, as well as coming from a certified source.



PAROTAS combines carpenters, designers and architects to provide custom parota wood furniture of even the most ambitious modern designs. The parota tree can be sustainably sourced in its native regions in Mexico and Central America, where it thrives in humid zones and all parts of the tree can be used. Read more on the sustainability of parota (guanacaste) and the qualities of parota wood or contact PAROTAS to ask about your custom design. You can see the unique colour and grain of parota on our page on live edge wood.