How many people fit in my table?

Dining Table Seating

A common question we get asked at MORUXO is how many people can be seated in 6,7,8,9 or 10-foot table. We have done a bit of research and combined our experience when writing this article. Hope this helps.

Here are a few questions to consider before purchasing at table. How big is your dining room area? Are you a frequent entertainer? If so, how many people do you typically entertain? Do you want to place chairs at the end of the table? Will you be using a bench? Can you fit a wide table or will need to be narrow? 

Without further ado let’s get started!

Basic Table Placement Guidelines

Choosing a dining table depends on how it will be used both daily and on an occasional basis. Regardless of table size, shape, or occasion, there are some basic guidelines that should be followed.

  • Placement of table: You should leave 36″ between the edge of your table and the wall or furniture closest to it.
  • Table accessibility: Provide your guests with sufficient space to sit down and rise from the table.
  • Chair spacing: A comfortable seating distance should be between 24 and 30 inches.

Table Usage – Formal vs. Informal

Formal dining environments are appropriate for very special occasions (think of White House dinner hosted by the President). For most people, formal usage of the dining table is not the case. Usually dining tables are used in family gatherings that are more relaxed such as a casual dinner party with friends or a quiet evening dinner with immediate family. In either case there are some recommendations for chair spacing for formal vs informal dining table usage.

  • Seating at formal dining tables: Each chair should be about 30” apart from the other
  • Seating for informal (family style) and everyday dining: Each chair should be about 24” apart from the other

Once you know how to space your guests, you can easily switch from everyday informal to formal dining for special occasions. 

Table space for children and adults

For both formal and family style occasions, it’s appropriate to seat children closer together since they take up less space than adults. It is here where a bench is a good option. You can sit many more children in a bench as opposed to having each child taking up a chair. Children can be separated by 18″-24″ when they are seated on a bench.

Table shape and seating capacity

The shape of the table really impacts the ease in which diners can eat, sit, and move around the dining area. In general, tables with rectangular shapes have the greatest seating capacity which are followed by rounds then squares. The next section provides seating capacities for different table sizes and shapes.

Seating capacity of rectangle tables

For rectangular shaped dining tables assuming a 19″ dining chair width, the following seating capacities provide formal and informal style seating recommendations.

Formal Dining – 30″ chair spacing (rectangular tables)

  • Up to 4 adults can sit at a 54″ long rectangular table
  • Up to 6 adults can fit around a rectangular table 60″ to 72″ long
  • Up to 8 adults can sit at a rectangular table that is 84″ to 96″ long
  • Up to 10 adults can sit at a rectangular table that is 108″ to 120″ long

Informal Dining (family dining) – 24″ chair spacing (rectangular tables)

  • Up to 6 adults can sit at a 54″ – 66” long rectangular table
  • Up to 10 adults can be seated at a rectangular table that is 72″ to 84″ (depending on the width of the table where 2 people can sit on each side)
  • Up to 12 adults can be seated at a rectangular table that is 96″ to 108″ (depending on the width of the table where 2 people can sit on each side)
  • Up to 14 adults can be seated at a rectangular table that 120″ (depending on the width of the table where 2 people can sit on each side)

Seating Capacity of round tables

Round tables are perfect for smaller groups, but they are impractical for larger ones. As a rule of thumb, an increase in diameter of 12″ results in an increase of two diners. Based on 19″ dining chair widths, the following seating capacities outline both formal and informal (family style) recommendations for round dining tables.

Formal Dining – 30″ chair spacing (round tables)

  • Up to 4 adults can be seated at a 42″ to 48″ round table
  • Up to 5 adults can sit at a 54″ round table
  • Up to 6 adults can be seated around a 60″ circular table
  • Up to 8 adults can sit at a 72″ round table

Informal Dining (family dining) – 24″ chair spacing (round tables)

  • Up to 5 adults can sit at a 42″ round table
  • Up to 6 adults can sit at a round table 48″ to 54″ in diameter
  • Up to 8 adults can sit around a 60″ round table
  • Up to 10 adults can sit at a 72″ round table

Capacity of a square table

Small dining areas are best suited to square seating. This table can’t be used to seat a lot of people nor can it maximize space because of its shape. Based on a 19″ dining chair width, the following table provides recommended seating capacities for square dining tables.

  • Two adults can sit at a 24″ square table
  • Up to four adults can sit at a 30″ to 42″ square table
  • It is possible to seat 8 people at a 48″ or 54″ square table

Rectangular Table Seating Capacity (assuming 19″ dining chair width)

Six foot dining table

Seven Foot Dining Table

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