There are a few key steps to finding your perfect dining table. After all, you want to make sure everyone can comfortably sit with enough space for eating. Before you do anything else, a vital, maybe not-as-fun step is choosing the right size for your dining space. If you want to learn how to know what size dining table to buy, you'll find it quite simple with this guide.
When choosing a table, there are a few things to consider, but it all boils down to the size of your dining room, the table shape, and your personal taste. We'll show you how to choose the appropriate dining table in this dining table guide.
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The first step to figuring out the right size dining table is measuring the space of your room. You want there to be enough room for people to pass by as well as have a table that's the right proportion to the room size. The rule of thumb is allowing at least 36 inches (at least three feet) between the table and the walls or any additional furniture in the space. That way, your guests and family members can move comfortably around the table and the room.
If you aren’t sure what type of table would work in your space, bring a photo of your dining area when you come to shop in our warehouse or contact us for a free design consultation to get advice from our team.
How Many People Do You Want to Seat?
The next step is to figure out how many guests you'll be seating. We recommend starting with the number of people you seat on a daily basis, as well as how frequently you have guests. Each diner will require roughly 2 feet of space as a general guideline, although this may vary if you have oversized chairs. Consider our extendable tables if you anticipate having additional guests or just to have the option to change the length. Some tables, like our Pathway Extendable Table, offer storage for up to 2 leaves, making it a great space-saving option. So you can enjoy the regular seating while easily extending the table when necessary.
Dining Table Size Based on Seating
To dine comfortably, each person needs approximately 24 inches wide (61cm) of seating space for a typical dining table - like a round table. Of course, this varies based on the type of chairs, but this is a rough estimate. Consider extending the seating allowance to 28–30 inches (71–76cm) for more elbow room, especially if you have chairs with armrests or wide seats.
Though standard width is considered to be 42” on a rectangular table, we recommend a 48” width for the most comfortable seating arrangement. This enables you to place food in the center of the table for easy reach. It also typically does not change the overall space your tables and chairs take up in a room. There are design considerations that may indicate the need for a 42” and space limitations that may push you narrower yet. We work with you to design the table to meet your space and aesthetic needs.
Round, rectangular, or square? Perhaps an extendable table? Well, the most important question is the shape of the room, and how many you want to seat. Let's start with round tables.
Round dining tables work well for maximizing seating in small spaces and fostering conversation over a meal. With round tables using less space, there’s less bumping around making it the perfect intimate setting. However, round tables are not the best choice if you’re looking to entertain a large number of people. But if you’d like a larger table for special occasions, our extendable round tables, like the Granby Barnwood Table, is wonderful for accommodating extra guests.
Below are our guidelines for choosing the right size table for your family.
Round Table Seating Capacity
2-4 People: 3 Feet
4-6 People: 4 Feet
6-8 People: 5 Feet
8-12 People: 6 Feet
Fortunately, a round table like our Granby has the option for leaves. So though you may only seat a few on a daily basis, the extension makes it easy to provide room for guests on those special occasions!
Square tables are similar to round tables and create a more intimate dining experience with all diners spaced evenly apart. Plus, no armchairs are necessary for square tables and there’s a bit more surface area! If you have a square dining room, a square table will be the perfect complement. It’s important to note that as your square or round table increases in size, it will be more challenging for diners to reach the center of the table. If you want the table to seat more than four people, a rectangular table may be best.
Square Table Seating Capacity
2-4 People: 3 Feet
4-6 People: 4 Feet
6-8 People: 4.5 Feet
10-12 People: 6 Feet
Our 54" x 54" Hawthorne Extendable Table can comfortably seat 6-8. (Additional leaves will extend the table up to 72" x 72" for seating 10-12.)
Rectangular dining tables are the preferred option if you need to seat more than 8, and they work perfectly in long, narrow dining spaces. The standard width for a rectangular table is 42”, but we recommend 48” for added comfort and ample space for food.
Some rectangular tables are available in different lengths.
4 people: 42 inches wide x 48 inches long
4-6 people: 42 inches wide x 60 inches long
6-8 people: 42 inches wide x 78 inches long
The Pathway reclaimed wood dining table shown above ranges from 42" x 60" to 48" x 120" with the option for leaves so you can extend it for guests! This table is also great for larger families.
Ready to Purchase a Dining Room Table?
As you can see, there are quite a few important steps you’ll want to consider before making your final decision. After getting the correct measurements, you’ll be on your way to making lovely memories throughout the years with your magnificent dining table.
Browse our selection of extendable, farmhouse-style, and other styles of dining tables. Or if you’re looking for something more specific, we’d be happy to help. Schedule a free design consultation, so we can help you create your dream dining table for your home!