How to Measure for a Dining Table

The dining room table is where friends and family come together over a bountiful meal to share stories, trade jokes and catch up. Choosing the right dining room table is crucial to decorating and completing your look. But before you run out and buy the first thing you fall in love with, you’ll need to consider a few factors first.

Here are some quick tips on choosing the right table size for your room or space. There are two main points to consider when determining the right size: the size of the space and how many people you would like to sit. In addition, you should also take note of what you want to accomplish in the space; will you be hosting large parties for dinner or do you more often have small dinner parties and prefer a more intimate setting?



Generally, you will want to have approximately 36 inches from the edge of the table to the wall, or obstacle behind it, in order to allow for guests to push the chair back and get up or allow other guests to walk around while someone is seated at the table. If you have the room, 42-48 inches would be even better to enable room for people to walk behind while others are seated although that much room is not necessary.

To quickly measure your seating capacity, take the length of your room and subtract 72″ or 36″ for each end. Repeat the same process for the width of your table and you have the maximum size your dining space can accommodate. For example, if you have a 13′ of room wall to wall and 9′ 4″ from wall to walkway, you have a maximum table size of 7’x40″. 


The most important decision for your table for seating capacity and cost is going to be the total length. If you have plenty of your room and want your priority to be your seating capacity, you can pick your table size based on each person’s spacial needs. 

Each person sitting at the table should have about 24 inches of space to sit comfortably but a little extra room per person allows for more elbow room and space. If your goal is to have seating for 8 people, you would have 4 people per side, with 2′ per person or a total length of 8′. If you wanted to have seating on the ends, add an additional 6-12″ at each end to allow space for the guests in the corners and end their own space. 

In this example we would need at least a 9′ table to fit 4 people on each side plus your additional seat on each end for a total capacity of 10 people.

78"x32" white oak table with 1.5" profile and Chocolate Rubio Monocoat finish - Angled Luna Base


A standard dining table width can be as narrow as 30 inches or as wide as 48 inches. A narrow table has the advantage of being more intimate; people do not sit as far away from those across and this can allow for a more easy conversation. If your household is a big fan of games or puzzles, a narrower table is a great option for easier playing in smaller groups. 

Wider tables do have an advantage for the generous surface space. If you like to put food platters in the middle of the table, or even flowers and table decoration, then wide tables can create more space for a feast-like setting.

There are also a few wildcard factors to consider. Different chairs obviously take up different amounts of space; armchairs versus side chairs, wide upholstered chairs, narrow back chairs, etc. Keep your chair style in mind when thinking about space at a table.



There are no real difference in size requirements when measuring for a round dining table versus a rectangular table. When measuring your room, use the same 36″ rule from wall to table edge to find your table diameter. Same as before, if you have a 10’x10′ room, with 36″ of room on every side, your dining room has a maximum round diameter of 48″. 

If you do have a smaller space, round tables tend to be more advantageous because the lack of corners allowing for easier maneuverability in a smaller space as well as offering quite a bit of seating in a small footprint. 



Determining your seating capacity for a round is similar to finding it for a rectangular, it just takes a little bit of math. In order to find our max capacity, we need our the total table circumference, in order to find that we’re going to use our table diameter and multiply it by our favorite constant, pi. In our example from above, we have a 48″ diameter table times 3.14(and so on) and we’ll get about 150 inches. If you remember from before we need 24 inches per person so we’ll divide that 150 by 24 and get a total table capacity of 6.3 people. but we’re not chopping bodies here so we’ll round down to 6.

60" round white ash table with 1.5" trim and Natural Rubio Monocoat finish - square cross base


A good table height is about 30 inches. Chair seating should be around 18 inches off the ground so double check to make sure you do not have an unusual chair height.

The dining room is the heart of your home, where you serve up food and laughter with family and friends. Choose dining furniture that fits your needs and makes the room an even more comfortable place to spend time. We hope this Grain table guide will help you think about how to express your flair for interior design while you furnish your dining room with functionality and style.

Watch our blog for more information on how to spice up your dining room! You can view table styles in our “build” section at our furniture and mercantile store to touch and feel various samples, styles, and offerings for tables and more. 

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