What Is a Butterfly Leaf Table

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Having a small dining space problem needs a smart solution. A Butterfly leaf table can be quite handy for this solution. The first question that comes to our mind is what actually is a butterfly leaf table. This is a complete guide about these tables and it would help answer the questions about this cool, space-saving product.

butterfly leaf table
butterfly leaf
adjustable table

Butterfly Leaf Table

You might be wondering why this table is named the butterfly leaf table. But the answer to this question is very simple as it indicates actual butterflies. Like butterflies, their wings open and close because when they have closed wings they look very compact and acquire less space. Open wings make them look a bit bigger and they acquire more space.

The same is for these butterfly leaf tables. They are a perfect match for a small space. These are also known as extendable tables. They have extendable table lengths, and because of that, you can make them larger or smaller according to your space and personal requirement. 

When was the butterfly leaf invented?

It is an American invention that dates back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Small village craftsmen were more involved in such kinds of tables. 

Why butterfly leaf table?

Traditional dining tables need a bigger area and large room. As a result, this could not be a suitable option for every house. Small spaces need this type of table, which can be extended and folded back subject to the requirements. This table comes in different sizes and shapes. So, you can choose your required size. 

How does a butterfly leaf table work?

Being convenient and versatile, these tables are easy to work with. Also, butterfly leaf tables have a section where you can easily put a leaf or remove one. Some of these tables have storage space underneath for extra leaves. Where you can put the leaf which is not in use. 

How do you open a butterfly leaf table?

Pulling on one side of the table widens the mid-gap where that extra leaf can be easily slid into the place to extend the table. Upon pulling the leaf out and then up, it fits into the place. When it is on the right spot, slide the end of the table back to its position so that no gap is left inside it and you get a full-length larger tablespace. 

How to fold a butterfly leaf?

Watch these videos if you have any confusion regarding how to fold the butterfly leaf table or how to open and close the leaf. For example, the first video is for rectangular-shaped tables, and the second is for round butterfly-leaf tables. You can see why these are also called extendable tables.

What are these tables made of?

Coming to our next question, you may be thinking about the material which is used to make these butterfly leaves or extendable tables. Usually, they are made up of solid hardwood. Glass cannot be used for them because it would be a bit risky to open and close them. For extension, some of the tables are made using metal ball-bearing extension glides.


You will have to follow the proper procedure to store the leave of this table. Because the wrong position and placement can cause damage to the leaf, leaving it wrapped or bowed. Always try to keep it in its own storage space, but If you want to keep the leaf outside its storage space, then that place must be a flat one.  Therefore try not to put scratches over it by putting sharp items on top of it or placing it in a rough place. 


The convenience of butterfly leaf tables has attracted so many people to choose them over large space-occupying tables. If you are one of them and have bought one, then before placing it at any place in your home, you need to keep these things in mind.

If you have a detachable leaf and you store that leaf then doesn’t place it under direct sunlight as it might result in the gradual fading of its color. Putting your leaf or table in sunlight can cause a prominent color variance between the two.

Don’t put it standing right next to a wall as it causes additional pressure on it and may result in bending or warping. For that reason, as already mentioned above, place it on a flat surface.

It will be a good practice if you keep the leaf, covered in some cloth which should prevent humidity, plastic bubble wrap can also be used for this purpose. Because this would help prevent any scratches or roughness of the leaf. 

How do I choose the right size?

These tables come in different sizes and seating capacities. You have to consider your family members and regular visitors to your home. They start from smaller sizes that can seat up to four persons at a time and with the leaf they can seat up to 6 persons. While the larger expanded leaf tables can accommodate up to twelve people. 

The availability of your space and its dimensions are also important for you to keep in mind while choosing the right size for you. Usually, a single leaf is about 18 inches and can seat up to two persons. So you can save an extra 18-inch space whenever the leaf is not in use. 

How to Fix a Butterfly Leaf Table That Won’t Open or close?

If there is a problem with the opening or closing of your leaf table or it’s not operating smoothly then you should follow these instructions. The runners, sliders, center bar, and hinges are the main parts involved in the opening or closing of the leaf. 

In case of any issue, you should first look up these. Make sure nothing is stuck or blocking any part of the table to ensure it’s smooth running. Look for any loose or extra tight screws, and adjust them accordingly. 

Try lubricating all the metal parts of the table, especially the moving table parts. This is because these parts might get rusted with time which affects their smooth working. Try lubricating hinges, sliders, bars, and every metal moveable part involved. 

The leaf slides on wooden runners, look for some blockage there. If that’s the problem, it can be removed by applying wood wax to it. This can solve the issue. Sandpaper can also be used if you see any wooden part blockage. 

How to shop for butterfly leaf tables?

If you are planning to buy the table online. We will provide you with the links at the end where you can visit and see different options. You can easily find various shapes, sizes, and designs. Just type in the name, butterfly leaf table on amazon, Wayfair, or Houzz search bar. Or simply click on the links given at the end of this article. But you won’t find these tables on IKEA by the butterfly leaf tables. Search for expandable tables and you will find similar items there. Look for your best choice.

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Wajahat Badar

I am an enthusiastic and passionate gardener who is interested in both traditional and modern methods of plantation and improving home living. Living green is the revolutionary lifestyle that all nature lovers require.

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