How to choose a Dining Table: What Shape, Size and More


When choosing a dining table, you should pay attention to its shape, size and material first of all. In this article, you will find useful recommendations on selecting an appropriate table for your dining room.

When choosing a dining table, you should keep in mind two primary criteria. First: will you feel comfortable while eating at it? Second: how will this table fit your dining room and will it become a good match to the other elements of its ambiance? Below, you will find handy recommendations on selecting a beautiful, durable and convenient table of an optimum shape, size and material.



In most furniture shops, customers can choose between these four shapes:

  • Rectangular. This is the most traditional and frequently used one. If your dining room is large enough, you can divide it into several zones with the help of a rectangular table.
  • Square. If compared to the previous one, this looks cozier and more intimate. Also, it might contribute to creating a vintage atmosphere.
  • Round. This is a life-saver for owners of small dining rooms. This shape allows you to use every centimeter of space with maximum efficiency.
  • Oval. This shape can be regarded as a hybrid between round and rectangular. It looks traditional and at the same time saves the space in the room thanks to the lack of corners.

If your family is not too big yet you organize large friendly gatherings a couple of times per year, consider an extendable table with a removable or folding leaf.

Those attracted to creative shapes should rather purchase a non-standard coffee table than a dinner one. The surface on which you place the plates and glasses needs to be convenient first of all. Tables whose silhouettes resemble a flower or a piece of a puzzle are ideal for putting just a cup of tea and a smartphone on them.

Size and Distance

The average height of a dining table is 30″ and that of a chair — from 17″ to 19″. When buying non-standard furniture, please check that the distance between the top of the chair seat and the tabletop is at least 12″.

When measuring the free space between the table edge and the wall of another piece of furniture, make sure it is no less than 42″. One should be able to pull out a chair without hindrance, sit comfortably and move freely around the table.

To calculate how many people will fit at the table, apply this formula: each individual requires at least 12″ of width and 24″ of length. So if a table measures 3′ (width) and 4′ (length), two persons would be able to sit on each side of it. To sit one more person at the foot of the table and one more at its head, you would need extra 12″ of length at each end.

The above-said referred to rectangular and square tables. Those who prefer round ones can resort to a useful lifehack: discard tables with legs and opt for one with a pedestal. If a 5′ round table is equipped with legs, only four persons would be able to dine at it simultaneously. But if we replace legs with a pedestal, up to six people would feel comfortable when dining. Alternatively, you might consider a table with a non-standard shape of legs, as in the Room Service 360 catalog.

Mind that all the above-mentioned measurements are minimal. So if you have a chance to buy a slightly larger table, do it. First, it is always nice to have a few extra inches at your disposal. Second, a spacious room would look cold and lonely if you place a too compact table there.


Here are the most popular materials for dinner tables today:

  • Solid wood. The most conventional option that never goes out of fashion. It looks warm and welcoming and fits any interior style, be it loft, Provence or empire. One can select between diverse colors and finishes, being sure that the table would look unique thanks to its one-of-a-kind grain patterns. Taking care of solid wood is genuinely easy: add a few drops of vinegar to the water, moisten a cloth and wipe the table with it.
  • Reclaimed wood. If compared to its solid counterpart, this has more character. It is well-worn, marked and can boast of a highly picturesque surface. To clean it, you might want to use a brush, in addition to soft cloth. Reclaimed wood is gaining increasing popularity because it is remarkably eco-friendly.
  • Laminate. This is the most budget-friendly option. Laminate is not too durable — so to make sure it would last long, opt for the costlier end of the product range. The best thing about this material is its impressive variety of styles and colors.
  • Stone. Marble and granite are very heavy. If you order a large table made of either of them, you will not be able to move this piece of furniture too often. Also, such a surface would be prone to scratches. Yet stone looks exceptionally elegant and can be considered as a timeless value.
  • Glass. Modern glass is neither fragile nor does it get stained with fingerprints too easily. A special spray and a soft damp cloth would be enough to keep it clean. A glass table is a must-have for small dining rooms since it makes them look more spacious.
  • Metal. It is a versatile material that matches any style — especially given that you would be able to choose between diverse shades of iron, brass, gold and silver. Metal is remarkably durable and does not absorb dirt. Just clean it with a damp cloth, and it will shine as if you purchased the table just yesterday.

All the above-listed options are suitable for indoor usage. If you are planning to put the dinner table on an outdoor terrace, opt for stone since it is the most weather-resistant.


Relying on this information, you should be able to select a nice and comfortable dining table for your apartment or private house. Many modern tables are equally suitable for meals and work, so you can freely put your notebook on them. This would be a highly important investment in your home interior.