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The LARGEST DISPLAY of KITCHEN SETS & BAR STOOLS in the PHILADELPHIA AREA

All available in your choice of colors, sizes, shapes, & heights

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Kitchen Buying Guide

Kitchen Set Buying Guide

Things you must know before you start shopping for a kitchen set:

  1. 1. The dimensions of your current table (if you plan on getting the same size) OR The dimensions of your space (make note of obstructions in the room such as cabinets, doors, other furniture, appliances, etc.)

  2. 2. The color scheme you will be working with. Acquire samples of your room’s features (cabinets, flooring, window treatments, paint swatches, etc.) whenever possible

Be Prepared! Click here for a printable SHOPPING CHECKLIST!

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Things you should consider before and during you’re shopping experience:

Things to consider

1. Table Top Durability+

Get an idea of what kind of performance you expect from your table top. How much use and abuse will it get? Are you willing to cover it with a table pad, a table cloth, and/or placemats? Do finger prints or minor dings and stains bother you? Considering these points before buying a table will prevent disappointment down the road. Make sure you let your sales person know your feelings on these issues before buying! If you shop with us, we always provide the unfiltered truth about our tables; but you may not get that from most furniture stores. Sadly, many stores just want to SELL YOU and then let their customer service department string you along if you’re disappointed. To combat this problem, we explain the most common table top materials and their pros and cons below.

Below is a list of the most common material types used for table tops and how they rate in terms of durability. Note that some surfaces outperform in some areas and fall short in others. An indestructible table top has yet to be invented!

Table Top Durability
  • Engineered Solid Surfaces (Zodiac, Silestone, Cambria, etc.)
  • Granite
  • High Pressure Laminate (i.e. Formica, Wilsonart, etc.)
  • Solid Wood
  • Glass
  • Wood Veneer

2. Chair Durability+

If "heavier than average" people will be sitting in the chair, ask your sales person for the maximum weight capacity of the chair, as specified by the manufacturer. The following list shows the most common recommended weight limits for different types of chairs. THESE ARE MERELY GUIDELINES! EACH MANUFACTURER AND CHAIR STYLE MAY HAVE HIGHER OR LOWER WEIGHT LIMITS.

  • Imported (Asian)-Made Wood Chairs – max weight capacity is usually 225 lbs or less.
  • North American & European-Made Wood Chairs – max weight capacity is usually 275 lbs.
  • Commercial-Grade North American & European-Made Wood Chairs – max weight capacity is usually 325 lbs.
  • Imported (Asian)-Manufactured Metal Chairs – max weight capacity is usually 225 lbs.
  • North American & European-Made Metal Chairs – max weight capacity is usually 325 lbs.
  • Commercial-Grade North American & European-Made Metal Chairs – max weight capacity is usually 400 lbs.

The most durable chairs on the market will tend to be made of metal. We are by no means discouraging the purchase of wood chairs. There are many wood chairs on the market that could end up lasting the rest of your life. However, on a long enough timeline, most metal outlasts wood, simply because of the inherent properties of the materials. (Think about it: they don’t build skyscrapers or automobiles out of wood for a reason!) There are exceptions to this rule, specifically when a metal frame is held together with machine screws (see below).

What to look for in a metal chair:

Welded frames, no screws in the framework

  • Good Welded Joints
  • Bad Screwed Joints

*(note: It is typical and desirable to see screws holding the seat to the frame. This will NOT compromise the durability of the chair. It will allow you replace the seats if necessary in the future.)

Ask how long the warranty lasts (Better quality metal chairs should have a 10 year warranty or longer on the welds.)

What to look for in a wood chair:

Before buying any wood chair, flip it over to see "what's under the hood." This will tell you how well the chair is built.

  • Fair
  • Good
  • Better
  • Best
  • Fair: Frame is hollowed out on the side and a machine screw holds the leg to the frame. No mortise and tenon joinery where frame meets the leg.
  • Good: Corner block is attached to the frame with wood screws. Machine screws hold the leg to the frame. Usually does not have mortise and tenon joinery where the meets the leg.
  • Better: Corner block is attached to the frame with wood screws. Leg is attached tothe frame with wood screw through the corner block and glued mortise and tenon joinery (not visible in picture).
  • Best: Corner block is attached to the frame with glued tongue-in-groove channels. Leg is attached to frame with wood screw through the corner block and glued mortise and tenon joinery(not visible in picture).

Colonial Style Chairs When looking at colonial-style chairs where the legs are pegged into the seats, domestic and European-made chairs will last the longest because each piece is precision fitted and secured with quality wood glue or epoxy. Asian imports are often prone to falling apart because of lower quality workmanship and materials. If you are looking at import colonial-style chairs, try to select one with steel braces.

3. How many people must you be able to fit around the table?+

Everyone has different tolerances for comfort, and the size of the chairs and the people sitting in them will be factors in determining how many people you can fit around a table, but the following chart provides a useful seating guideline, based on average size chairs & people:

Round Tables*
Table Size Seats Comfortably Seats Maximum
30" 2 2
36" 2-3 4
42" 4 5
45" 4 5
48" 4-5 6
54" 5-6 8
60" 6-7 8

*Note: If you have a round table with 4 legs near the edge of the table, as apposed to a center pedestal, those legs may significantly interfere with your seating arrangements. Determine the distance between each leg to determine how many chairs will actually fit around the table.

Square Tables
Table Size Seats Comfortably Seats Maximum
30" 2 4
36" 2 4
42" 4 4
45" 4 4
48" 4 6
54" 6 8
60" 8 8
Oval Tables*
Table Size Seats Comfortably Seats Maximum
Table Size Seats Comfortably Seats Maximum
30" x 48" 4 4
36" x 48" 4 6
36" x 54" 4 6
36" x 60" 4 6
36" x 72" 6 8
42" x 54" 4 6
42" x 57" 4-6 6
42" x 60" 4 6
42" x 72" 6 8
42" x 84" 8 10
42" x 96" 10 12
48" x 60" 6 8
48" x 66" 6 8
48" x 72" 8 10
48" x 84" 8 10
48" x 96" 10 12
54" x 72" 8 10

*Note: If you have an oval table with 4 legs near the edge of the table, as apposed to a center pedestal, those legs may significantly interfere with your seating arrangements. Determine the distance between each leg to determine how many chairs will actually fit around the table.

Rectangular & Boat-Shape Tables
Table Size Seats Comfortably Seats Maximum
30" x 48" 4 4
36" x 48" 4 4
36" x 54" 4 6
36" x 60" 4 6
36" x 72" 6 8
36" x 84" 8 10
42" x 60" 4 6
42" x 72" 6 8
42" x 84" 6-8 10
42" x 96" 8-10 12
48" x 60" 6 8
48" x 66" 6 8
48" x 72" 8 10+
48" x 84" 10 12
48" x 96" 10-12 14
54" x 72" 8 10

4. Do you want leaves or no leaves?+

Being able to expand your table to seat additional people has obvious benefits.

The only minor drawbacks are: 1. having a seam (or seams) in your table top to collect crumbs, etc. and 2. Having to store your leaf (or leaves) somewhere. (Note: many tables have self-storing leaves which eliminates this second drawback.)

5. Do you want a pedestal table or leg table?+

Pedestal tables

  • PRO: Allow you to seat people anywhere around the table without the interference of a leg at each corner. (This is especially true for tables with round or oval tops.)
  • PRO: Many pedestal tables enable one person to safely open and close the top for the addition/removal of leaves without the help from someone else.
  • CON: The center of gravity is in the middle of the table, which can cause some flexibility when pushing on the edge of the top
  • CON: The pedestal can take away legroom under the table.

Leg Tables

  • PRO: The center of gravity is at the corners of the table, which makes it very stable.
  • PRO: Since the legs are at the corners of the table, they do not take away legroom under the top.
  • CON: The legs can restrict seating arrangements around the table. (This is especially true for tables with round or oval tops.)
  • CON: Two people are usually required to safely open and close the top for the addition/removal of leaves.

6. What height do you want your set to be?+

Dining Heights

Dining Height (a.k.a. standard height or regular height)

  • Tables: approximately 30" high
  • Chair seats: approximately 18" high
  •  
  • PRO: Easily accessible for shorter individuals.
  • PRO: Accessible to wheelchairs.
  • CON: Extra chairs (i.e. folding chairs) are usually more readily available than extra bar stools if additional seating is needed
  • CON: Can be difficult for people with bad knees to get up and down out of chairs.

Counter Height (a.k.a. pub height or high dining)

  • Tables: approximately 36" high
  • Stool seats: approximately 24"-26" high
  •  
  • PRO: It is easier for most people with bad knees to get in and out of counter stools.
  • PRO: Provides a better seating height for parties, because seated individuals are closer to eye level with standing individuals.
  • PRO: Enables seated individuals to see over half-walls and out higher windows.
  • PRO: Most taller individuals find counter height stools to be more comfortable than dining chairs.
  • CON: Shorter individuals and small children may have difficulty climbing into counter stools.
  • CON: Not accessible to wheelchairs.
  • CON: Many homes do not have extra stools in storage for additional seating.

Bar Height (a.k.a. pub height or high dining)

  • Tables: approximately 42" high
  • Stool seats: approximately 30" high
  •  
  • PRO: Provides the best seating height for parties, because seated individuals are closest to eye level with standing individuals.
  • PRO: Enables seated individuals to see over half-walls and out higher windows.
  • CON: Shorter individuals and small children will likely have difficulty climbing into bar stools.
  • CON: Not accessible to wheelchairs.
  • CON: Many homes do not have extra stools in storage for additional seating.

7. Your Style+

Modern

Modern

Structurally characterized by sleek, clean lines. Frames and legs will often have an understated, minimalist look. Black, white and silver tones are often used, but contrasting bright colors may also be employed to counterbalance the simplicity of the furniture’s design.

Contemporary

Contemporary

Simple, clean lines are usually employed in the furniture’s design, but with less rigidity and starkness than “modern" counterparts. A range of colors are used in contemporary furniture, although black, white, silver and basic earth tones prevail. Contemporary furniture consists of both timeless classics and the latest “trendy" looks made up by today’s professional designers.

Transitional

Transitional

A very popular design style. A blend of both contemporary and traditional themes. Clean lines are often used but may be counterbalanced by curves and more intricate details. Earth tones are the most popular color schemes for this décor, but hints of color can be safely added to match other parts of your room. This theme leaves a lot of room for your own interpretations.

Traditional

Traditional

Decorative details and curvy lines characterize this design style. Traditional furniture will often portray a sense of formality with hand carved details in the wood, or it can have a casual “Old World" with intricate wrought iron framework. Darker wood and metal tones are often contrasted with lighter color fabrics in this genre.

Country

Country

This design style captures the simplicity of the American farmstead or the rustic elegance of the French countryside. Distressed finishes are currently very popular in country furniture, providing an faux-authentic antique look. American country furniture is often characterized by turned-spindle details in the legs of the stools and the use of natural woods, like oak, and sometimes distressed paint. French country is often characterized by simple but elegant, curvy details in the legs of the stools. Lighter color palettes, especially distressed whites and creams are usually preferred on the wood, which is counter-balanced by vibrant, but traditionally patterned fabrics.