Round Dining Table Dimensions

A conversation about choosing the size for a dining table meant to seat 8 people. September 3, 2011

I need to design and price a round table for eight people. They want it full round with a round turntable in the center. How big should it be? Is there hardware for the turntable?

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor J:
Figure 22" per person. So a circumference of 172", or diameter of 56" should do. Have fun.

From contributor K:
Pricing? More than $50, less than $50,000. Maybe. You don't have nearly enough information for a question like that to be asked or answered. One example: Is the table to be made out of oak, mahogany, will the top be wood or laminate, or any of the dozens of other possibilities? An oak table will be inherently less much less expensive to make than one out of, say, mahogany.

Typically, an allowance of 24-28 inches per seat position is advised. 24" translates to a diameter of 5'. 26 " translates to about 6'. Then there is the issue of the size of the revolving turntable. There has to be sufficient distance between the outer edge of the turntable and the outer edge of the table to comfortably accommodate plates, glasses, silverware, etc. An overly large turntable would dictate how much larger than normal the tabletop would need to be. You are 17, or maybe 23, steps away from establishing a price.

From the original questioner:
I said I need to design and price this table. I didn't ask you to do it for me. I know I'm not far enough to price it. The turn table if I made that 40D, then the table would be 72D. Is that a good working space? How about hardware for the turntable?

From contributor Z:
I'd say you are on the right track at 72"d. 40" for the turntable would be too large in my opinion, only leaving 16" for your place settings and drinkware etc. I think 32-36" sounds better. This hardware should work for you. Is the turn table flush or surface mount like the dim sum restaurants?

From contributor O:
Start to compute diameter with the chairs - at 22" is very narrow. Dining tables are typically figured at 36" per chair as generous (upholstered arm chairs on casters), 30" as normal, and 24" as tight.

The catch with round tables is when the chairs are pushed up to the table, the front apron of the chair defines the functional diameter. If the front apron of 36" width is under the table edge 12", then your radius will be much larger - like 60". I think you will find that it is difficult to generously seat eight at a round table, since the center will not be accessible by normal humans, turntable or not. Don't forget to compute the size of the room - avoids that embarrassment when the chairs can't actually be pulled out from the table without hitting the wall.

From contributor W:
While staying within the bounds of the norms, design the table to fit the chairs that the customer will be using. That will be a significant factor in the needed diameter. Also, the seat height of the chairs will determine the height of the table; a 1" difference can make people sitting at the table feel like the top is up to their chin. Or down at their knees.

From contributor W:
For eight people, a 60" round will provide minimal seating, a 66" round will provide ok seating, a 72" round will be very comfortable. 36" Lazy Susan will work, 30" will also work. Pricing depends on what you intend to make.

From the original questioner:
This is good. Let me run this by you. If I make the table 80" diameter I should have 34" plus for each chair , along the edge. Now I make the turntable 40"d. That gives 20" at each clearance at each chair. That means the center of the table is 3' 6" from the edge (people should know this. ) Also the room needs to be 14' x 14' - that allows the 80" table, 24" for chairs and 24" walk space. The height of the table is not set yet. Am I figuring correctly?

From contributor K:
A diameter of 80" creates a circumference of approx. 250". Divide that by the eight places and you come up with about 31.5" each. Going the other way, with each place at 34" wide, you will need a circumference of 272" (34" x 8). That translates to a diameter of almost 87". A 66" diameter top will give you a per-seating width of slightly over 28". All the above is not theory, it's immutable math.

Theory and experience applies in deciding how much space and distance a diner should have in order to have a comfortable dining experience (not counting the food). Decide on your tabletop dimensions and draw a circle using that diameter on something. Then put the dinner plates, etc. in the normal places for dining. From that you will be able to determine what diameter the turntable should be for best effect.

From the original questioner:
How about a chair? This was their third order. Their bath is first, the kitchen second, and the chairs third.

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From contributor U:
It looks like 80 inch would work.

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From contributor B:
Donít forget to take other furniture that may be in the room into consideration. A table and chairs usually aren't the only things people want in a room. Nobody wants their hutch scratched up by a chair.

From contributor S:
Here's an 84" diameter table for eight I did a while back. I think the Lazy Susan was 30". You need a good sized room for something this big, especially with arm chairs.

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I am currently building leaves for a 60" diameter table that will be 4 quadrants 12" wide to make the table 2' bigger in diameter. I have never seen anything like this before the customer showed me his table that was missing the leaves. This has been my biggest challenge yet. The table has pull out slats to support the leaves, 12 of them. The leaves clamp together when in place.

From contributor Z:
On the post suggesting banquet table seating recommendations, I have sat at many banquet tables and the seating is ridiculously uncomfortable. The chairs are very narrow, as they have to be to fit under the table. Also, with 8 people at a 60" table, all feet are essentially touching when people are seated.

Here are my thoughts:

1. The table should be of a scale that is appropriate to the room and the chairs.

2. Go with the client to a furniture store and try some tables.

3. Chairs are key to the decision. Does the client want the chairs to slide fully under the table? My wife has been shopping for "Parson" style arm chairs which seem to be popular around my area. They are 25-26" wide outside to outside. When they are slid under a table, the front of each chair defines a new diameter. If each chair seat is say 16" deep, and you have a 60" diameter table, then the inner circle defined by the front of each seat is only 24" in diameter. This will clearly not accommodate eight chairs all slid under the table.

4. I am a bigger guy and I can live with 24" but 28" would be comfortable for my place setting.

From the original questioner:
I want to thank everyone. I ended up laying out five table sizes on cardboard, from 60", 66", 72", 78", and 84" with chairs and plates. For them the 66" was good with a 30" turntable.