How To Store a Dining Table Leaf

How-To-Store-a-Dining-Table-Leaf

Dining table leaves are valuable accessories that provide additional seating and space. Instead of pulling out an entirely new, larger table, you can place the leaf in the middle. This level of convenience attracts so many individuals to choose dining tables with leaves. However, if you decide to own one, you’ll need to know how to store it properly.

A dining table leaf should be stored flat or vertically to prevent the wood from warping. The leaf storage should be clean, cool, dry, and shaded. If the area has high relative humidity, wrap the table leaf with a material impenetrable by vapor such as an old bed sheet to prevent molds from forming.

For more tips on how to store a dining table leaf, read on.

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Dining Table Leaf
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Table Leaf Basics

A dining room was not a dedicated feature of a typical home until the 1800s. Before that, people assemble and disassemble tables before and after meals. At the same time, these tables had to be small enough to accommodate more space.

During the early 15th century, hinged table leaves started to appear. While a hinged one had more advantages due to self-storing, it limited the length to which one could extend a table before it became unstable.

When leaving dining tables standing permanently in the center of a room became a norm during the 1800s, modern methods for adding a table leaf started to develop.

Contrary to the online videos showing people folding, unfolding, and extending tables, these features had already been invented even before our grandparents were born.

Proper Table Leaf Storage

If your leaf can’t self-store like the ones invented in the 1500s, one of the issues you probably have is its storage. You’re doing it wrong if you’re like most others who just take it outside and leave it upright or standing against the wall when not in use.

Let’s talk about how to store your dining table leaves appropriately. 

Keep It In A Shaded or Dark Leaf Storage

Avoid storing your dining table leaf outside or under direct sunlight. Although direct sunlight won’t probably cause severe damage, the color exposed to the harmful ultraviolet rays will gradually fade. You will notice the significant difference between the two colors the next time you install the table leaf on your dining table.

Direct sunlight will inevitably fade table leaves made from hardwood material. With that in mind, always keep your wooden leaves in a dark storage room or inside a spacious cabinet.

Always Keep the Table Leaf Flat

As much as possible, avoid storing your leaf vertically. Although many people rest their wooden leaves in an upright position because it takes less space and some may think that it’s safer, this will eventually damage the overall shape and appearance of the wood. As a result, your precious table leaf will no longer fit your table the next time you try to install it.

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Always store your wooden leaves flat in such a way that the largest flat surface or the table top is at the bottom to prevent warping. It can be inside a spacious cabinet, in a storage room, or under the dining table. As long as your storage has enough safe space to keep it flat when not in use, then you’re doing it right.

Right Table Leaf Protection

Always wrap your dining room table leaf, or at least the tabletop, in an old bed sheet or a soft thick fabric to protect it against scratches, scuffs, and other damage before putting it inside your storage. These materials allow the wood to breathe air and quickly adjust to changing temperatures.

Never use plastic materials, as these retain moisture and humidity that will eventually cause the plastic to stick, develop molds, and cause unpleasant damage to your wooden leaf.

Always Keep Your Storage Dry

While this is already a piece of common knowledge, water and wood are never the best of friends. Since wood is a porous material, it will soften and rot when water penetrates its membranes. Too much exposure to water will also invite molds to grow, leading to expensive restoration efforts.

Ensure that your leaf storage space is always dry to prevent all of these from happening. Avoid putting your dining room table leaf, especially if it’s made from wood, in a cabinet under the kitchen sink or in any place where water may reach it. 

If you have kids where water spills happen almost every day inside the house, placing it higher where they can not get it or spill on it would be better. Remember, watermarks can ruin a furniture’s appearance.

Modern Leaf Storage Bags

Not all people have a dining room table leaf in their homes and some only see it in videos. EVen if that’s the case, you’ll be surprised to know that there are many specially-designed leaf storage bags that you can easily purchase online or even from some physical stores.

These table leaf storage bags in the market are designed to protect any wooden table leaf from dust, scratches, chips, fading, direct sunlight, moisture, mildew, and more.

While purchasing a good quality storage bag may cost you money, it may also prolong its lifespan and save you from buying new ones over time.

Other Types of Dining Table Leaves And How To Store Them

When shopping for the most suitable dining table leaf, it’s essential to know the most common types to help you determine and plan your space and storage ahead of time.

Knowing these may save you from spending more money than you should in buying the wrong kind that may not match your dining room size or your planned storage.

Butterfly Leaf

Butterfly-Leaf
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If you don’t have extra space to store a table leaf, a butterfly leaf dining table is perfect for you. This table can self store its leaf under it, that’s why this is the most common choice for growing families.

A butterfly leaf has hinges in the middle and usually is around 18 inches wide. When pulling the ends of the table top out, the round table becomes oval, and the square one becomes rectangular.

Drop Leaf

Drop leaf dining tables are the most suitable choice for people with smaller spaces. It comes in different shapes – circle, square, or rectangular. It has hinged leaves on both sides that extend. There is also no storing issue for this one.

Some drop leaf dining tables have four leaves that would transform a round top into a rectangular one. You have the option to drop a single leaf or two.

Removable Leaves

The removable leaf is a type that requires you to find an appropriate place to store it. Another drawback is that this type demands more strength to install than a butterfly leaf. You must first lift the whole leaf and pull both ends to create a space in the center for the leaf.

However, if your family is big or if you regularly entertain different amounts of people, a removable leaf is the perfect choice for you since these extensions are larger and can easily be removed afterward. It is also best for creating the most space on your table.

Depending on the furniture store, removable leaves vary in size. It is advisable to plan and measure your space and consider where you will store it first before buying one.

Concentric Leaves

Concentric leaves may be the best option if you’re a fan of round tables since you can extend them while maintaining their shape instead of turning them into oval tables.

Conclusion 

Taking care of a solid wood dining table leaf is like taking care of your other expensive furniture at home. It’s a helpful accessory to your dining table, especially when hosting a large gathering or a dinner party.

For families with smaller spaces that can not accommodate a large dining table, table leaves are already part of their daily lives.

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Just like what we want for our other wood furniture pieces, we want what’s best for our leaves – to prevent them from getting scratched, warped, molded, and worn out.

A faded or worn-out leaf attached to the dining table is an eye sore for both the owners and the guests. It is aesthetically essential that the leaves and the actual tabletop have the same color or shade.

Proper maintenance and storage is the key to prolonging your precious table leaves’ lives. If you have a removable leaf, don’t just rest it upright anywhere.

The environment where it is regularly stored plays a vital role in its lifespan. These accessories can last longer than a lifetime or two if you know how to take care of them properly.


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