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As with most other pieces of furniture, dining room tables come in standard sizes. But what size dining table is perfect for your space?
Well, it largely depends on your needs and the number of people you’d like to seat. For more formal dining or dinner parties you might look for a 6 or 8-person dining set. But if you’re just looking for something for you and your partner to share an evening meal a four-seater or smaller circular table should give plenty of room.
To help you find the right dining table for your dining room size, we spoke to some experts to get to grips with the standard dining table sizes.
Meet the Experts
To create this dining room table size guide we consulted with interior design experts, including:
Alexandra Davin, Co-Founder at Clairrow and Interior Decorator at Davin Interiors
Wilfredo Emanuel, WE Designs and HGTV's Table Wars
Dining Table Dimensions: Everything You Need to Know
Standard Rectangular Table Measurements
Of all the dining table shapes on the market, rectangular tables are probably the most common. And it’s easy to see why, as they offer several benefits. For one, while they take up the most space, rectangular dining tables are ideal if you tend to host large gatherings.
In addition, rectangular dining tables are often the most suitable choice for long, narrow dining rooms. Some rectanugular dining tables are also extendable, offering added flexibility, so you can alter their length based on your needs.
According to dining table expert, Wilfredo Emanuel, these are the standard dimensions for rectangular dining tables:
To seat up to four people, the table should be 36 inches to 40 inches wide (to ensure enough room for place settings on both sides of the table) and 48 inches long.
To seat four to six people, the table should be 36 inches to 40 inches wide and 60 inches long.
To seat six to eight people, the table should be 36 inches to 40 inches wide and 78 inches long.
Standard Round Table Measurements
Round dining tables are a good option when you want a table that creates a cozy atmosphere, as they allow you to speak to everyone sitting around the table whilst keeping enough space for everyone to eat dinner comfortably. Keep in mind, though, that the bigger a round dining table gets, the more difficult it becomes to talk to others around the table due to the distance between people across the table.
According to Wilfredo Emanuel, these are the standard dimensions for round dining tables:
To seat four people, the table’s diameter should be between 36 inches and 40 inches.
To seat four to six people, the table’s diameter should be between 40 inches and 60 inches.
To seat six to eight people, the table’s diameter should be about 72 inches.
Standard Square Table Measurements
Like round tables, square tables can also create the same cozy and intimate atmosphere and can work well in small spaces. However, they also have some disadvantages, as conversing can become quite challenging with large square dining tables. Also, because of their shape, they’re not ideal for narrow dining rooms. For these reasons, you should not opt for a square table if you plan on seating more than four people often.
According to Wilfredo Emanuel, these are the standard dimensions for square dining tables:
To seat four people, the table should be 36 inches to 40 inches on all four sides.
To seat four to six people, the table should be 48 inches to 60 inches on all four sides.
To seat six to eight people, the table should be 60 inches to 84 inches on all four sides.
Standard Oval Dining Table Measurements
Many people prefer the shape of oval dining tables. Apart from their looks, oval dining tables might also be ideal if you regularly seat many people at your dining room table. In addition, these tables are also suitable for smaller dining rooms because, unlike rectangular dining tables, they don’t have extruding corners.
According to dining table expert, Wilfredo Emanuel, the width of oval dining tables tend to vary between 36 inches and 44 inches. According to him, these are the standard lengths of oval dining tables:
To seat four people, the table should be 48 inches long.
To seat four to six people, the table should be 60 inches long.
To seat six to eight people, the table should be 96 inches long.
What’s the Standard Height for a Dining Room Table?
Now that we’ve looked at the standard dimensions for dining tables, the question is: What’s the standard height of a dining table? Here, the standard tabletop height of a dining table is between 28 and 32 inches. The reason for this is that this height allowed for the most comfortable sitting position and, as such, enables most people to sit most ergonomically.
What About Counter-Height and Bar-Height Tables?
Apart from the standard dining table height mentioned above, you can also get counter height dining tables and bar height dining tables. Counter height dining tables are slightly taller than standard tables, with heights of about 34 inches and 36 inches — often in line with your kitchen countertops.
Counter height tables are ideal if you want to create a more casual dining environment and, because of the amount of space under the table, they’re great at making smaller spaces appear larger.
In contrast, bar height tables are even higher, with average heights between 40 inches and 42 inches. Because these tables create a standing environment, they’re great for larger, more social gatherings. But not really what you’ll want for dinner parties and more formal get togethers.
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How to Decide What Size Dining Table You Need
When deciding what dining table to buy, there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, you’ll want to consider the space you have available. As Stacy Lewis, Interior Designer at Eternity Modern says, “To determine what size your dining table needs to be, measure your space. You don’t want a cramped dining area.”
Also, according to Wifredo, when measuring, you should measure the length and width of your dining space. You should then take away 6 feet from the length and the width of the space to allow a 3 feet space on all sides to help the accessibility of your table.
Once you’ve measured your space, you’ll also need to consider what you’ll be using the table for and how many people you’ll seat. This will give you a great indication of what size table you need. And if you’re looking for flexibility, Stacy says that extendable dining tables are a good option for those who often invite guests over, as it offers easy adjustment to accommodate more people when necessary.
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How Much Space Should You Leave Around Your Table
As far as considering the ideal table size for your room goes, you’ll also need to consider the space you’ll have available around the table.
As Alexandra Davin puts it, “Start with a space plan that allows for ample walking paths. You want to make sure that your guests have enough room to move around the space. Ideally, aim for 36” around the table and dining chairs to ensure your guests aren't bumping into anything.”
But don’t worry if you don’t have this space available. According to Alexandra, “If you’re tight on space, you can get away with at least 24” between your dining table and any other furniture or walls. From there, you can lay out the rest of the room, as long as you maintain those guidelines.”
So, now the question: How much space should you leave between chairs around the table? As a rule of thumb Wifredo says, “It depends very much on the table’s base, but I would say About 9”-12” depth and 9”-12” in between table seats.”
The Perfect Table is Out There
As you’ve now seen, buying a dining table is not as simple as going out and picking up the first best one. There are several things you need to consider, from the standard dimensions of dining tables to the space you have available and what you’ll be using the table for.
Ash is the founder of Living Cozy. He's been featured by publishers like MyDomaine, Realtor, Real Homes, Architectural Digest, The Spruce, Homes and Gardens, and more. As a writer his work has appeared in publications like FastCompany, TNW, and Entrepreneur.
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