Types of Dining Table Slides: Which Is Right for You?

Dining table slides are an easily overlooked feature when choosing the perfect table. These handy furniture pieces allow you to easily change the size of a dining table without the need to add extra pieces or buy a larger table. A table with slides can be compact and take up minimal space most of the time, while having the ability to transform into a much larger piece to accommodate gatherings as needed. There are different types of dining table slides to choose from, depending on your needs and wants.

1. Wooden Slides

Wooden Slides are the most traditional and time-tested type of dining table slides, and you’ll commonly see them used in solid wood Amish furniture. They have a simple construction with very few moving parts, making them sturdy and reliable.

Pros

  • They have a simple, no-nonsense wooden aesthetic that looks great on any solid wood dining table.
  • They’re incredibly study, allowing for decades of use without much wear and tear.
  • They require very little maintenance due to their low number of moving parts.
  • Classic, elegant, timeless look that can’t be matched by metal counterparts

Cons

  • Wooden slides typically offer the least smooth sliding movement, making them slightly more difficult to operate.
  • The table’s legs need to be lifted off the ground to operate, meaning two people are usually needed.
  • Wooden slides are bulky, limiting the configuration options for a table’s legs.

2. Ball Bearing Slides

Ball bearing slides are the most popular design among dining room furniture. This type of slide has ball bearings attached to a metal tube, which allows it to move freely. This type of element allows for smooth and even movement, and it’s easy to operate.

Pros

  • They are usually very easy to maintain.
  • They can be operated quickly.
  • They are designed to operate smoothly and easily, eliminating frustration and difficulty.
  • Ball bearing slides are made of metal, so they are sturdy and can accommodate a lot of weight.
  • They have a very nice design that, while being simple and straightforward, allows your furniture to be an elegant addition to your décor.

Cons

  • Ball bearing slides are often bulkier than other types of non-wooden slides, which can hurt the aesthetic of a minimalist style design.
  • They take up a lot of space under the table, which can limit table leg configuration options.
  • Ball bearings also cause a lot of noise when being operated.

3. Geared slides

Geared slides have a similar mechanism as ball bearing slides, with the difference being that a small screw is included in the same metal tube that contains the ball bearings. This screw has a threaded end and is used to attach a small gear to it. As a result, when the screw is turned, it allows the sliding element to turn smoothly.

Pros

  • They do not make any noise when they are operated.
  • Their design is often very elegant.
  • They are lighter than ball bearing slides, so they are easier to move around and operate.

Cons

  • Geared slides are often stiffer than ball bearing slides, so they may not be ideal for people who tend to rearrange a lot
  • They are more expensive than their ball bearing counterparts.
  • May require two people to operate.

3. Teflon Slides

Teflon slides are the most modern type of dining room furniture slides, despite being quite simple and straightforward. They are equipped with a Teflon block that is attached to a metal tube via metal straps. Teflon is a type of plastic that does not get damaged easily, and it is known for its extreme durability.

Pros

1. Teflon slides have no parts that can break or rust easily.
2. They are easy to clean and maintain, as they can simply be wiped off with a damp cloth or disinfected with either hot soapy water or cleaning tablets such as alcohol wipes.
3. They are very light and can be moved around easily, which allows the user to put them in any position they want.

Cons

1. They are not as sturdy, but that does not mean that using them in a regular manner will damage the furniture.
2. They can be very noisy when going up or down.

Which Is Right for You?

While there are many dining room furniture slides to choose from, these four types are the most common. While wooden options can create a sense of elegance, metal and Teflon options can work well based on your needs as well.

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