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How to Find the Perfect Dining Table

When searching for or ordering a dining table, size is one of the most important things to consider, both for the functionality and the aesthetics of the table. 

Consider the height and width, but also seating capacity and the dimensions of your room in order to find your ideal table size.

Seating Capacity

It is important to remember how dining table shape affects how easy it is to seat and accommodate diners. Also keep in mind whether you intend to use the table for Formal or Family style dining. A rule of thumb is to provide 30" of dining space per guest for Formal dining, and 24" of dining space per guest for Family dining.

This seating capacity diagram is really helpful when trying to determine the best size table for your needs.


Rectangular tables are believed to be the most efficient at seating diners for their size, particularly at larger dimensions. They allow for maximum use of tabletop space while allowing room for table service in the middle.


Square seating is a great option for smaller spaces, and tends to look best in square-shaped rooms. Be sure when measuring to account for table legs.


Round dining tables are also a great option for smaller rooms and smaller groups, as they do tend to take up less space and are easy to move around. A rather large table is needed, however, to accommodate larger groups and can ultimately make table service a bit trickier.

Table Height

Most tables tend to come in standard, counter or bar height, depending on the use and setting.


Standard height tables are about 28" – 30" high and are meant to be used with chairs that have seat heights of 18" – 23". This height is more formal and works well for families.


Counter-height tables are about 34" – 36" high and are meant to be used with chairs that have seat heights of 24" – 26". Tables of this height offer a more casual look and feel and the open looks makes them great for smaller spaces.


Bar-height tables are 41" – 43" high and are meant to be used with bar stools that are 28" – 33" high. A great option for your in-home bar!

Measuring for Your Space

Once you have decided on your seating capacity and table height, you are ready to make a decision on your table length and width. 


Table width is measured along the "head" of the table and directly correlates to how how easy food is passed and how many serving pieces and platters can be fit in the center. To easily pass food across the table, it is recommended that the width of your table not be more than 48". Also consider a nearby buffet or sideboard if you are looking to have a more narrow table.


For guests to eat comfortably (and avoid bumping elbows), each guest should have 24" – 26" of horizontal space. To steer clear of dings and scratches, keep 6" between chairs. If you are buying chairs separately, knowing the table's length will also help you know how many chairs can fit at your table. Just remember that the legs of the table may take away a few inches on each side.

Dining Room Measurements

Knowing the dimensions of your dining room will be helpful in measuring for your table, as the width and length of your room will affect how you move around the space. It is recommended that you leave at least 36" - 48" of space between the table and the wall to allow for easy movement, as well as at least 48" between the table and any doorways.

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