When choosing a dining table size, there are two main points to consider: the size of your room and the number of diners you'd like to accommodate. It's best to first look at the size of your room to determine the largest table you can fit. Then, you can always size down. It's good to use the shape of your room as a rule of thumb for choosing your table shape. (For instance, a rectangular or oval table in a rectangular space.) Then, use our guidelines below to help you choose a table that is comfortable for both the room and your lifestyle. If you plan to frequently host large parties, you'll probably opt for the largest table option for your room. On the other hand, if you prefer more intimate gatherings and smaller family dinners, a smaller table may be a better fit.
If you don't need a large table now, but would occasionally like one for special events or anticipate your needs may grow in the future, choose a dining table with a removable leaf (provided it will still fit in your space when fully expanded!).
To allow enough room for a person to comfortably rise and push her chair back from the table, you will need a minimum of 36 inches between the table edge and the wall (or buffet, etc.), but more (42-48 inches) is better.
In informal spaces, such as breakfast nooks, you can squeeze a couple extra people at the table, but be cognizant of the table's surroundings and if this may feel crowded.
Allow each guest a minimum of 24 inches of table surface. Even better, allow up to 30 inches for extra elbow room. For rectangular tables, be sure to add an extra 12 inches at each end for those seated at the head and food of the table.
Tables with pedestal bases allow for more room because table legs won't get in the way of chairs.
Typical Table Sizes
Most dining tables average 36 inches wide and vary from 30 inches to 48 inches.
A 72 inch long rectangular table will comfortably seat six.
A 96 inch long rectangular table will comfortably seat eight.
A 120 inch long rectangular table will comfortably seat ten.
A 36-48 inch round (diameter) table will comfortably seat four.
A 60 inch round (diameter) table will comfortably seat six
A 72 inch round (diameter) table will comfortably seat eight.
Most dining tables are about 30 inches high. Chair height is generally 18 inches (from the floor to the seat). This allows for comfortable lap and leg room. A general rule of thumb is to allow 12 inches between the seat of your chair and your tabletop.
Rectangular guidelines generally work for oval tables, as well. Round guidelines can be used for square tables.