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When looking to furnish a new home, most people look for a dining room table first. The dining table of any home sets the tone for the rest of the house. It is where some people (not all of us) sit down at the end of every day to catch up with roommates, family members, spouses, etc.
That is a lot of pressure, right? Well, let’s take some pressure off by helping you nail down the dimensions of this important piece.
This is probably the most important measurement to configure. With rectangular tables, this is going to be the longest measurement of the table. Circle and square tables are different stories, so we will save them for a different blog post.
When deciding on length, a lot of people don’t know where to start. Floor plans are the most helpful when it comes to this step. Design experts have acquainted us with the 3-foot rule when helping customers configure the length.
There should be a 3-foot window around the proximity of your table, so chairs can slide in and out easily and no one feels cramped. So, take whatever the length of your dining room or dining space is and subtract 6-feet (3-foot window for each end), and that will be the max length of your table!
Now, you can always go shorter if you need, but going longer is not recommended.
Table width is a bit easier since there is a pretty consistent industry standard for rectangular tables. The standard width is anywhere from 36 inches to 42 inches, but we recommend going no more narrow than 38 inches. This way there is plenty of room for decorations or family-style meals.
The 3-foot rule is still recommended when deciding on table width, but hardly any dining rooms do not allow for a table 42 inches wide. We always say, if you have the room for 42 inches, do it! No one regrets having more room for place settings or dishes.
This is the dining table measurement we don’t like to mess with. The standard table height is 30 inches, and even a one-inch adjustment will feel a little funny. Not to mention, keeping the standard height will make it easy to find the perfect dining chairs.
We only change the height measurement if the customer wants a pub table, bar, or counter height table.
When customers come in looking for a taller table, they have to buy specific dining room chairs for a more suitable dining table set. So, just keep this in mind when customizing or shopping for a table.
How Many People Can I Squeeze Around my Table?
Many people start with this question when looking to purchase a dining table. It is good to have this in mind, but remember we are trying to find a table that first fits well in your space and second accommodates seating.
The general rule with seating is that each person needs about 22 to 24 inches of space. This does not necessarily mean that a table 72 inches long can fit three people on either side. We have to take the legs of the table into account to figure out how many people your table can seat.
For four-legged tables, we need to measure the length in between the legs. So, if the legs are slanted like our Bakersfield Table in the picture below, the length will be significantly shorter between the legs than the full length of the table.
Most dining room tables are designed to fit six people around the table. To comfortably seat eight people at your dining room table, 90 inches usually does the trick. No matter how slanted the legs are, 90 inches seems to be the perfect length for eight.
But, What About Pedestal Tables?
With pedestal tables, it is a little different. Most pedestal tables can have a chair straddling each pedestal since it does not come out to the very edge of the table.
For seating accommodation, pedestal tables can be a better option. The full length of the table becomes room for seating, instead of just the length between the legs. This way even a 72-inch pedestal table can accommodate eight people.
This is also up to the customer, as we have some people who do not want any chairs to be straddled against the base. In this way, a pedestal table can be more limiting than a four-legged table for seating.