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Information on Choosing Dining Tables

August 05, 2019 3 min read

When furnishing your dining room or kitchen with tables there are a number of factors to consider. First, define your dining style. What type of mood do you want to create? Do you lean toward a formal or more informal approach to gatherings? How many people will you consistently entertain? And, last but not least, will the table coordinate with the design and décor established in the home?

We suggest featuring the table as the room's center attraction and accessorizing around it keeping in mind that the main objective is to make guests comfortable and focused on the food and conversation. A bit of pre-planning and the following guidelines and definitions should help.

Dining Table Types

Bar Table:

A bar table is usually about 39" to 42" high and requires the use of bar stools. Bar stools are 29" to 31" high at the seat. You may also see a bar table referred to as a Tall Pub Table, but we stick with "bar table" for consistency.

Counter Height Table :

A counter height table is 34" to 36" high and required the use of counter height stools. Counter stools are 25" to 26" high at the seat. Different manufacturers may use bistro or pub interchangeably, but it means the same thing.

Café Table:

A small table 28" to 30" high that uses regular or cafe dining chairs. The diameter top is 30" to about 36". Sometimes called a "cafe pub table" but the height of the table probably qualifies it as a standard cafe.

Dining Table:

A dining table is a larger table 28" to 30" high that uses regular or cafe dining chairs. The diameter top for round and square are usually 36" to 50". And in an oval or rectangle the length can range from 60" to as large as 80"

Let's review those dimensions at a glance.

Type Table Height Length Width/Depth
Bar Table 40"-42" 24"-42" 24"-42"
Bistro Table 34"-36" 24"-42" 24"-42"
Café Table 28"-30" 36"-48" 32"-48"
Dining Table 28"-30" 36"-72" 36"-72"
Dining Table, Rectangular 28"-30" 60"-80" 36"-42"

We're often asked to expand upon the seating standards per table…how many chairs really fit around a square dining table or how much room do people require during a formal dinner? Remember that the goal is creature comfort regardless of table size or time of day. Take a look at the chart and design guidelines below as a primer:

No of People Rectangular Square Round
2 22"-28" x 28"-32" 24"-30" 24"-30"
4 28"-36" x 44"-52" 32"-42" 32"-48"
6 34"-42" x 60"-72" 48"-52" 48"-54"
8 34"-42" x 72"-90" 52"-54" 60"-72"
10 42"-48" x 96"-108" 56"-62" 72"-84"

Design Guidelines

  • Don't seat too many people at the table.
  • Allow 28 to 32" of space per person, 24 to 28" for each chair and 4-6" between chairs.
  • Allow at least 24-26" from the edge of the table to the wall or buffet for space behind each chair when someone's seated in it.
  • Allow 12-14" of depth below the table for leg room
  • if the table is being used primarily for drinking or just socializing you can get away with a little less space per person.
  • If using arm chairs be sure that the arms of the chairs are low enough to slide beneath the table without bumping into it and allow about 2" more room per seat.
  • Allow 30-36" beyond a dining room table for chairs to be pulled in and out easily.

We'd be remiss if we didn't say that our wrought iron tables range from the elaborate and elegant to the simple and sturdy, and come in all shapes and sizes to suit your space. Topped with marble, glass or wood our table bases have the fashionable characteristics you fancy and the quality craftsmanship you demand. Whatever the occasion!

View our entire selection of bar tables, counter height tables & dining tables as well as our tabletops category. One stop shopping awaits you!