Dining Tables: What Size Should They Be?

Updated on June 19, 2013
My Dining room has a 48 inch diameter table which sits four with ease, and six when necessary.
My Dining room has a 48 inch diameter table which sits four with ease, and six when necessary. | Source

Dining Tables for Entertaining

If you’ve made the decision that you want to entertain, you’ll most likely need a dining table. Few of us have space for a banquet, so the usual advice is to choose a table large enough to seat the family, plus two. For families with children, that usually means a table for 6-8. If there’s just two of you, a table for 4-6 will do perfectly.

How Big a Table Do I Need for 4-6 People?

Tables for 4-6 people

Round - between 44 and 54 inches in diameter - that's 3’8” to 4’6”
Oval - 36 inches wide by 56 inches long (that's 3’ by 4’8”)
Rectangular 36 by 60 (that's 3’ by 5’)
Square Table 3’ - 4’ square to seats 4 people. Get one that extends for maximum versatility.

How Big a Table Do I Need to Seat 8 or More?

Tables Sizes for 6-8 people

Round - 54 - 72” Diameter (4’6” to 6’)
Oval 36” by 72” (3’ by 6’)
Rectangular 36” by 78” (thats 3’ by 6’6”)

When the family expands you’ll need something larger if you plan to entertain your children and their families. To seat 8-10 you’ll need something which takes up a lot of space. You might like to start out with a 3’ diameter round table which expands - a table 3’ by 7’ will seat 8-10.

How Much Space Do I Need for the Chairs?

But the size of the table isn’t the end of the story. You need space for chairs and to sit and move around the table comfortably.

As a general rule you need about 36 inches (3’) of space for a chair. It won’t take up that much space when drawn up to the table, but you need to be able to push the chair back to get up.

Hence a 48 inch diameter round table actually needs a space 10’ square.

When You Don't Have Enough Space

So, what do you do if you don’t have room for the size of table you need? Well, that depends on the type of entertaining you do.

  • Buy a table that fits in your room, but can be expanded if necessary.
  • Look for other spaces in your home where you could put a large table on a temporary basis, and buy a folding table you can store in the garage until you need it. You may find you can push a sofa against the wall and bring out a table for a special occasion
  • Do most of your celebrating outside on the deck or in the garden.
  • Be a little crowded now and then. I have 48 inch table which is ideal for four, but a little cramped for six. I could buy a larger table, but it would not fit my dining room so well, so when I want to seat six people I have them sit a little closer than might be ideal. A 48 inch table has a circumference of 150 inches, which provides 24 inches for each guest.

Where There's a Will There's a Way

My first home had three rooms, two bedrooms and a living room which was just large enough for a sofa and a 3’ diameter round table. It was ideal. When we moved into our first house we had more rooms, but not single large space and no dining room. There was nowhere for the table. How could we entertain? Rather than sit down for our meals we ate buffet style. The food was set out on the kitchen counter, guests helped themselves, stood, chatted or sat in our living room. When it was warm enough we ate at a large table beneath a pergola in our tiny garden, and after a couple of years we added a sunroom which became our dining area. Over many years and at many, moves, I’ve learned that there is always a way to entertain, so never let lack of space discourage you from spending time with old friends and making new ones.

Questions & Answers

  • I bought a 48 inch round dining table that expands to a 60 inch. I found chairs I love but are they are each 21.5 wide. I want to buy 4 are they two wide?

    I think they'll be fine. Your chairs, put together touching will make a square of 21.5 in on the side, equivalent to a circle with radius 10.75 inches. Your table at 48 inches has a radius of 24 inches and at 60, 30 inches.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)