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How long does it take to assemble a dining room table?

It can be pretty exciting when a new dining table is carried into your dining room, except when it’s in a massive flat box. I know that once you’ve dragged this giant box into the room, you’re going to have to rip up the box and find 100s of pieces inside and a small manual that’s ready for you. You know you’re going to end up flipping this manual back and forth dozens of times trying to figure out how to tell the difference between the dozens of screw groups you have in your hand.

Once you’ve figured it all out and by the end of the project, you’re exhausted. You look at your watch and realize, wow, it took you that long?

The general answer to the question is that once the unopened box is placed in the appropriate room and ready for opening, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to fully assemble the dining table. That includes everything from opening the box, sorting out all the materials, scanning through the instructions manual, and constructing and joining the individual pieces of the table.

While the truth of the matter is that everyone works at a different pace. People can certainly work faster than others. And there are people who like to take their time and spread out the work throughout the day or even days. One thing’s for certain, is that whether you’re experienced in this or not, it really depends on how eager you are to see it as a finished product.

Poll: How long did it take you to assemble a dining table?

I’ve created a poll amongst a group of several hundreds of individuals. These are individuals who are a part of a group of families with a general interest in decor and modeling their home. In the group, you can find everyone from experienced home decor and designers to amateur first-time homeowners.

Below you will find the poll results of that topic.

Poll_ How long does it take to assemble a dining table
Poll: How long does it take to assemble a dining table

The general consensus however is basically true across the board. There were a total of 66 participants in this poll. The majority of comments that came with this post explained that it took them on average 30 minutes to 1 hour to set up and assemble a dining table from their local or online furniture store.

Of this list there were a majority of females, approximately 64% actually. The rest were male. I didn’t find any difference in the length of time comparing male to female, however.

I did suspect though that the actual time to assemble a dining table came out to be approximately 45 minutes since there was a question about opening the box and sorting out all the pieces.

Why are dining tables not assembled when shipped?

When a dining table is delivered or brought to your home, it’s in pieces. That’s right, companies will rarely, if ever, ship a fully assembled dining table to your home.

You got to think about the cost of shipping such a large box if it were fully assembled. When you consider the shape of a table, you’ll realize that underneath the typical dining table are the legs on all 4 corners, but within the center of that, there’s usually just empty space.

Disassembling the legs and placing them neatly in lego or Tetris like fashion into a regular-sized flat box can save the company a ton of money in shipping fees.

This also benefits the delivery service because now they can fit other things into their truck.

Fitting them into a compact box also provides protection. Keeping all the parts close together and cushioned will provide safe delivery. During the transport of packages, if you have a lot of pieces sticking out, like the 4 legs of a table, you’ll likely crack or bend them if they bump into a wall. Let’s face, it the delivery men can only do so much. Their job is to make sure the items get sent to the right address.

Why does it take so long to assemble a dining table?

There are multiple pieces to building a dining table. Depending on how complicated the table is, you might be spending more time putting things together and tightening those bolts.

Assembling a dining table shouldn’t be rushed. I know we can sometimes become impatient, but trust me when I tell you this. Read through the steps and make sure you fully understand the instructions and what pieces and tools you’ll need.

Generally speaking, the time it takes to assemble a dining table, in fact, any type of furniture really, really depends on a few factors.

One of the most important and perhaps the main factor is the number of pieces that this box set comes with. Sure you’ll find several dozens of nuts and screws along with all the main parts of the table. And depending on how elaborate the table is or even how large the table is, you’ll find yourself having to look for those parts with every step in the instructions manual.

What are the various parts of a table?

To get down to how complicated a table may be to assemble and how much time you might need to set for this project, let’s talk about all the parts of a traditional dining table.

Tables come in innumerable variations, types, and styles. Nonetheless, most tables have these very basic parts. Knowing what they are will be extremely helpful in getting started and even speeding up the time of assembly.

Tabletop

This is essentially the flat surface of the table. It’s the part you put things on top of. It serves as the most essential part of the table.

Leg

This is the vertical piece of the table that gives the table its appropriate height for the setting. Generally, there will be 4 of these legs attached vertically on all 4 corners of a rectangular tabletop or spread equally apart on a round table.

Apron, skirt, or frieze

This is basically a board that connects adjacent legs together and is also attached directly under the tabletop. It supports the table and adds to its leg stability.

Foot

This is the piece attached to and under the legs that touch the floor. While it’s not necessary, it is important to have it in order to protect your legs and the floor.

Stretcher

This is a bar of wood that connects the legs together for stability and strength. It can be designed in any configuration including but not limited to the H, X, and a box shape. This is used in tables with multiple legs.

How many pieces are there in a dining table box assembly?

This number can increasingly vary depending on the way the table was built and how it was designed and manufactured. I’ll give you two different extremes.

Nails and screws v2 - Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels
Nails and screws – Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

The first version is the easy types. These can version generally can have less than 15 individual pieces (including screws, nuts, legs, and top for example). It could leave out the apron and stretchers that are not even be designed into the table. This table could be very bare and minimalist. A table like this would probably have on average less than 10 steps.

These are the ones that would take a person 30 minutes to less than an hour to assemble.

A second version might be part of a more difficult category. It could have over 100 pieces and include everything a general table would have including aprons and stretchers and even feet. These often come as much more expensive tables and the average number of instructions would be closer to approximately 20 steps.

This version of assembly may take a person over an hour to assemble.