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Dining Table Sizing
The dining room table where family and friends get together is always a precious addition to any home. It’s one of the few pieces of furniture where memories are born, kept, and shared as well as traditions, old and newly created can come to pass.
If you are building a new home or have decided to redecorate to accommodate a change in your life, just how big of a dining room table you need might be a daunting question. You’ll want to seat everyone in your home without having to squeeze uncomfortably between walls, people or chairs. You need enough room for you and others to walk around the entire length of the table with absolute ease and have enough room for place settings and food.
How do you calculate what’s needed while balancing space, design, the room, and your needs all together?
Break out the Tape Measure
If this is a new room for your dining room table or even redesigned, it’s always good to know the size of the space you’re going to be working with.
- Decide where you will generally be placing the table. Measure the space around the room, then measure the table-to-wall clearance. This allows diners to sit down and get up easily from their chairs. On average, leave roughly 42-48 inches between your table and walls.
- If you have other furniture in the dining room beside the table, instead of starting from the walls—start from the end of said furniture (such as china cabinets, for example) and measure from the furniture to the approximate area the table will be.
You can test out the general size of your prospective new table by grabbing a bed sheet or two and place it on the floor in the general area and size the table will be to help visualize where to measure.
Tip: If the dining room table you are considering has leaves to expand its size, don’t forget to include that in your measurements as well!
Averages and Minimums
The average space you’ll need for clearance around the table is roughly 42-48 inches, which will also help you create an elegantly proportioned room.
To prevent the accidental purchase of a table that might turn out too small for the space you have, don’t leave more than 6 feet from the edge of the room, at least on one side of the dining room table.
The consensus in design is to give everyone seated at your table at least a minimum of 24 inches to eat comfortably. Then you will need to consider how much table space you will want to have dedicated to sharing the area with food, condiments, candles, and décor.
It’s important to have enough table height as well for guests and yourself to be able to have your legs comfortably under the table during meals. Your dining room chairs should be at least 9-13 inches from the chair surface to the table height.
- 42-48 inches in clearance all around the table.
- No more than 6 feet from the edge of a room on one side of the dining table at least
- 24 inches of table space for each seated at the table, at the minimum
- At least 9-13 inches from chair seat to the top of the table for leg room.
Sizing with Rugs or Carpets
If you’ve already got a rug in your dining room and wish to pair table size with it, or are thinking about matching the two, the recommended advice for table size is purchasing a dining room table at least 30 inches shorter than the rug on each side where you will be placing chairs.
How many people will be eating there daily and on special occasions?
If you find yourself entertaining guests often, or holding large family and friends dinners, traditions and celebrations, you should try and calculate the regular amount of people you might be seating during those times.
- 2-seater dining room table size averages about 30 inches wide.
- A 4-seater dining room table averages 35-36 inches wide, like our Small Victorian Dining table.
- The average size of a 6-seater dining room table is roughly 52-60 inches wide. A good example of a dining table that size would be a Chippendale Round Table.
- To seat 8 people comfortably, you’ll want to have a dining room table that measures at least 80-90 inches wide. A rectangular table of that size might look a lot like our 8-Person Colonial Dining Table.
- A good average size to seat 10 people comfortably should roughly be 95 to 110 inches wide. A great visual example of a 10-person table would be our Regency Extension Dining Table with Leaf.
Round, square, or rectangle? Which one should you choose?
Figuring out the shape you wish to go with should be influenced by the proportions of the room, the décor you’ve chosen and the number of people you would like to be able to seat at your table.
Round Dining Tables: Round dining tables are fantastic for smaller spaces. Round tables can fit into tighter spots lacking any sharp corners to accidentally bump into, you can usually fit more than one around it, and a pedestal round table can accommodate more guests than usual, offer more legroom and are very easy to place chairs under.
Rectangular Dining Tables: Rectangle dining room tables are the choice to go to for long, narrow rooms or spaces. This will leave you more room for traffic flow, as the longer the table usually the wider it is, giving you more real estate for dishes, candles and table decorations.
Square Dining Table: Square dining room tables, like the round tables, make for a lovely, intimate dining experience. Everyone seated at a square table is likely an equal distance apart, and if your room is square the table will visually complement the room itself.
Armed with this knowledge you are now on your way to choosing the absolutely perfect dining room table for any of your needs—everyday meals and precious family gatherings. You’re ready to create unforgettable experiences around the table for lifetimes to come.
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