What Should I Look for in a Wooden Dining Chair?

Dan Cavallari

Durability and comfort are the two most important considerations when you are looking to purchase a wooden dining chair, though aesthetics are certainly high on the list of priorities as well. In most cases, you will not be buying just one wooden dining chair, but an entire set instead; be sure to choose a set that fits with the dining room table as well as with the overall aesthetic of the room. If you are buying just one wooden dining chair, be sure to choose one that fits well with the look of the other chairs at the table.

Durability, comfort and aesthetics are all things that should be considered when choosing dining room furniture.
Durability, comfort and aesthetics are all things that should be considered when choosing dining room furniture.

The array of styles to choose from may seem overwhelming at first, but you can narrow your search down for a wooden dining chair fairly easily by first deciding if you want your chair to be bare wood or upholstered. An upholstered chair can enhance the comfort of the chair, but it will also change the aesthetic of the chair drastically, for better or worse. Choose upholstery made from high-quality materials, and if possible, choose fabrics that are stain-resistant. Diners are likely to spill food and drink on the chair at some point throughout its use, so choosing fabrics that are treated with stain-resistant chemicals can make cleaning the upholstery much easier.

Be sure to check the construction of the chair. Sit in the chair and shift your weight; note whether the chair shifts with you or if it stays solidly in place. If it shifts, the joints of the chair may be loose, meaning they are not secured properly. Listen for creaks when you lean back in the chair; this is another indication of shoddy construction that will cause problems later on. Take note of how the chair is constructed; joints may be only glued together, which may not be strong enough for regular use. If they are screwed together, make sure the screws are adequately covered for aesthetics. If the chair is built with special mortise and tenon joints or something similar, make sure the joints are made correctly and they appear smooth and tight.

Choosing the right wood can have an impact on the aesthetic appeal of your wooden dining chair. Choose a chair made from high quality woods — hardwoods are best for durability — that are finished with a stain that complements the wood's grain and natural color. This will enhance the beauty of the chair and complement the rest of the dining room aesthetic.

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