Check my math please

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Forum topic by natenaaron posted 07-18-2013 04:30 PM 1073 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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442 posts in 1995 days

07-18-2013 04:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am wanting to make a table that will seat 8. My wife’s family congregates at our house most holidays and our table is too small.

From my reading need 24 inches per person. With this in mind I should be able to pull this off with an 8 foot table length right? But I am confused about figuring head and foot seating. I want seating at the head and foot of the table with seating for 3 people on each side. Do each of these sitters on the end need 2 feet added? So my 8 foot measurement is now changed to a 10 foot measurement?

From my reading I should be looking at a width of 30-36 inches. Is this right?

11 replies so far

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2090 days

#1 posted 07-18-2013 05:01 PM

Math is constant and perfect. Therefore, your math should be perfect. In perfect world.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3168 days

#2 posted 07-18-2013 05:14 PM

Look at furniture stores, or furniture sites on-line.
See what length most companies call an 8 person table.
Hint: It’s not 10 ft.

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2090 days

#3 posted 07-18-2013 05:20 PM

OK, some general table size observations which you may wish to observe:

- assume 1 person at each end in every case – they will be sitting comfortably
- below guide is for non-obese adult humans from Earth
- 8’+ table = 8 people sitting generously evenly spaced along the lengths
- 7.5’ table = 8 people sitting comfortably evenly spaced along the lengths
- 7’ table = 8 people sitting cozily evenly spaced along the lengths
- 6.5’ table = 8 people sitting tightly evenly spaced along the lengths

The idea of 24” for each person sitting at each head/foot of the table is irrelevant. If you do not make your table more than 32”-33” wide, you will not have appropriate room to place food platters/pots, flowers, a candelabra, centerpiece or what-have-you in the middle of the table between plate settings. At 36” wide, 2 people sitting at an end of a table will be cozy-tight.

Hope that helps.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View natenaaron's profile


442 posts in 1995 days

#4 posted 07-18-2013 06:11 PM

So if I want to have room for the serving dishes etc., then I should be looking at like 40 inches wide?

I have looked at web sites and the the only furniture store in town does not have rectangular tables. I guess oval and square are in.

As for internet searching I have seen lengths from 88 inches to 98 inches, and widths from 36 inches to 45 inches. I realize there is no set rule but a good rule of thumb is a dandy place to start.

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2236 days

#5 posted 07-18-2013 06:22 PM

If you can get a copy from your local library, FWW did a book with a compilation of articles from their mag. I think it was “somethin somethin something Tables & Chairs.” It had a good chapter on table dimensions complete with diagrams showing height, knee-room, width, ovals, rectangles, etc. If you can’t find that, I binged it (me and google aren’t talking at the moment) and it looks like issue 177 regurgitated some of the info so you might be able to find that article.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3062 days

#6 posted 07-18-2013 06:29 PM

40 inches width, would be below the recommended minimum of 44” for 6-8 seats. I have a 40” (but its not 8 feet long, its designed for 4-6 people) and space is tight for serving dishes. 48” width would be better. 54”, ideal in my opinion. That is , for a formal dining table to accommodate holiday company and meals. (with a server,ha)

Just keep in mind, at 54” width, guests may not be able to pass dishes across without getting up from their
chairs ! So 48” is the recommended maximum width.

dining table standards

View darinS's profile


713 posts in 3065 days

#7 posted 07-18-2013 06:40 PM


To seat 6-8 people: 36”W x 78”L

or from

they suggest 44” x 84”

Hope that helps

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3011 days

#8 posted 07-18-2013 07:00 PM

24” per chair is a good rule of thumb. If you want to seat two people per side, for instance with the leaves removed, you would set the inside edge of the table legs 48” apart at minimum.

I also look at what style of table it is. A basic table with 4 legs at the corners is easy to seat one at each end. A table with a solid end assembly needs an overhang to accommodate end seating. I like to have a minimum of 12” overhang in that case.

This one has 48” between the legs. It seats 6 without the leaves, and seats 10 with the two 12” leaves installed. It uses equalizer slides and extends to 102”.

This is a fixed table that will seat 6. 6’-8” x 42”

Both of these tables have solid end assemblies, so the overhand needs to be considered.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3341 days

#9 posted 07-18-2013 07:01 PM

Hope this helps… my table has comfortable seating for six, 4 along the sides and one on either end. There is 51 inches BETWEEN THE LEGS. How else are you going to start sizing your table? Likewise, at either end there is 27 inches BETWEEN THE LEGS. The width is 40 on the top, but you must have legroom. If you are doing a trestle table, the “legs” won’t be in the way as much ( I would think). In other words, your original thinking is on track, 24 inches per person BTL, and add 3 inches per side BTL. The top can be larger or smaller, depending on the location of the legs.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2090 days

#10 posted 07-19-2013 12:11 AM

Realistic table widths to accommodate serving dishes in between plate settings:

- 32”-36” wide table – good for small home/condo size
- wider than 36” – better, and good for more spacious dining/rooms
- go even wider for big, obese people or flamboyant vampires

And yes, trestles and leg positions are key considerations also as nailbanger2 and pintodeluxe have noted admirably.

Also consider if a future wheelchair person might sit at the table – ensure width and table apron height are reasonable.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View MrRon's profile


5190 posts in 3441 days

#11 posted 07-19-2013 08:51 PM

8’ x 36” would appear to be the ideal size. The 36” width would accomodate 2 extra people in a pinch. As far as wheel chair access, I would not bother with that unless it would be in daily use by someone ambulatory. If only for a few times, like at Thanksgiving and Christmas, you would have to live the rest of the year with a table that is not entirely suitable for your use. If ambulatory use would be required, access can be built into one end of the table, while retaining a normal seating arrangement. You should also provide adequate space between the table and walls or other furniture. 36” would be adequate.

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