Choosing the Best Dining Table Size and Shape
When looking for a new kitchen/dining table, you need to consider the shape and size that will best suit your room. After all, your table will be the main focus of the room. Its size, shape, and overall look will set the mood for all your gatherings. Which one do you pick? What will work best for your purpose(s)? Do you have a small apartment or a large dining room? These are questions you need to ask yourself.
Below are tips for choosing the best dining table size and shape for your kitchen or dining room.
First: consider the shape of your dining table
There are three standard table shapes: square, rectangle, and circle. Each shape has its pros and cons, and options for different sizes. They are outlined below.
I love a square table, because of the flexibility it offers. Most seat four people (one on each side), but there are larger ones that seat eight (two per side).
- Provides intimacy to talk to each other and is easy to see one another.
- Easy to push one side against a wall to minimize space in a small room.
- No head of the table to focus on.
- There is a limit to how long a square table can extend. Adding two leaves will add four more people to your table (two people per leaf). So, the most you can fit comfortably around the table is eight.
- Larger square tables typically don’t come with extension leaves.
This is the most common table shape because your typical dining room is rectangular. It will usually seat six to ten people comfortably.
- Fits well in most kitchen and dining rooms.
- Can easily push one side against a wall to minimize space in a small room.
- You can use benches instead of chairs to save space.
- Can’t see people on the same side as you, that are further down the table.
- Able to only talk to those next to, or directly across, from you.
- There is a head of the table.
The standard table shape at event venues, and less commonly chosen for a dining room.
- It is easy for people to see each other.
- Can fit more people around it than a square or rectangular table.
- Can put more food on the table, as there is more space in the center. A Lazy Susan is great on a circular table.
- No head of the table to focus on.
- Can’t easily place against a wall.
- Tends to take up the most space in a room.
- Can be hard to hear the people across from you, as a circular table is wider than a square or rectangular table.
Second: choosing the best dining table size
Once you determine the shape of your table, you need to consider the size. You don’t want to get a table that is too small or too large for your room. In addition to the size and shape of it, be aware of how much space you will need to walk around the table. The general rule is to leave 36 inches from the end of the table to the wall, or other furniture. This allows enough space to back up a chair or walk behind someone seated.
Reference for standard dining table sizes and how many each seats…
- 4 people sit comfortably = 3 to 4 feet (36in to 48in)
- 6 people sit comfortably = 5 feet (60in)
- 8 people sit comfortably = 6 feet (72in)
- 6 people sit comfortably = 6 feet (72in)
- 8 people sit comfortably = 8 feet (96in)
- 10 people sit comfortably = 10 feet (120in)
In addition to the table size, consider a table with leaves that will extend the length of the table. They will enable you to comfortably seat more guests. A typical 12” leaf will allow for two more guests. Make sure your dining room can accommodate the extended table size.
Good luck choosing the best size and shape dining table for your room. And have fun shopping for your new dining table!
*Once you have your dining table, check out Choosing the Correct Tablecloth Size. It will help answer your questions on the correct tablecloth size for your new table.