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How to Choose The Right Dining Table Size for Your Room

How to Choose The Right Dining Table Size for Your Room
February 15, 2015 Peter Hemerlein
rectangle dining table

As the central piece of the room, choosing the right size and style for your dining table is an important decision. There is nothing worse than having buyer’s remorse once one of the most pivotal pieces of furniture in your home has been delivered. Using the below guidelines we feel you can successfully answer the important questions about the right dining table size for your room and have a pleasurable furniture shopping experience.

Shape and Size

Before jumping ahead to the most popular question of “How many people can I seat?”, we need to determine the best shape and maximum size table your dining room can comfortably hold. Grab your measuring tape and let’s get ready to do a little bit of math! Start by measuring your dining space. Measure from wall to wall if there is no other furniture in the room. If you do have pieces in the room already, measure the space from the edge of the furniture to determine your maximum dining table and chair space. If you do not currently have and sideboards or other pieces in the room but plan to in the future, allow about 24″ for each piece.
Now that you have that measurement (for example 15′ x 12′) subtract 6′ from both numbers. In our example that would bring us down to 9′ x 6′. The reason for doing this is to give an allowance of 3 feet on each side of the table for pulling chairs in and out and walking past while someone is seated. This number will determine the maximum size your table can be. Is your number a square number or more of an oblong rectangular number? A more square number lends itself to having a round table while a more rectangular number benefits most from a rectangle or oval table.

Number of People You Can Seat

For normal seating we recommend 24″ of table length for comfortable seating. Below are some examples of table sizes and the number of people you can seat for both rectangle and round table shapes. During large gatherings and holidays it is acceptable to squeeze more people in around the table than the recommended numbers below.

Rectangle Table

rectangle dining table

Rectangular tables usually provide more seating per square foot than round.

  • 6 feet long = 6-8 people
  • 7 feet long = 8 people
  • 8 feet long = 8-10 people
  • 9 feet long = 10 people
  • 10 feet long = 10-12 people

Round Dining Table

choose the right size dining table

Round provides a more intimate dining experience.

  • 4 foot diameter = 4 people
  • 5 foot diameter = 6 people
  • 6 foot diameter = 8 people
  • 7 foot diameter = 10 people

The Forgotten Dimension, Table Height

Many people forget to check the table height and more importantly the distance from the floor to the bottom of the table or apron to ensure the table is the appropriate height for their chairs. The average height of a dining table is 29-31″. We recommend a measurement of at least 24″ from the floor to the bottom of the table/apron unless your chairs have a shorter than 18″ seat height. Also, if having your arm chairs slide all the way under the table is important to you, be sure to check the arm height versus the table height. Most tables are not high enough to allow arm chairs to slide all the way underneath, as traditionally they would have been kept simply pulled up to the table.

How to Visualize the Table in Your Room

In order to visualize how a table is going to look in your space we recommend putting down tape, cardboard, or folded bed sheets in the size and shape you are interested in to see if you are comfortable with the scale of the top in the room. This will give you a chance to walk all the way around and make sure you have plenty of clearance for chairs and other pieces.