Bench to table distance

BakergirlApril 13, 2012


We are getting a built-in banquette in our kitchen. I am trying to figure out what size table to get. Do the edges of the table typically overap the end of the seats by a certain amount? I believe the contractor said there will be a 5" back and 18" seat (because most bench cushions are 18" deep). The banquette will be three-sided, and we don't plan to do more than get a "just in case" backless bench to slide under the 4th side (one of the longer sides)--not sticking out except in the rare instances that someone would be sitting there.

Is there any kind of standard distance from the end of the bench seat to the table (or a standard amount of overlap)? I'm trying to balance the ability to get in and out with the concern that the table top not start in a place that is too far from the seat (particularly given that I have two younger kids that will be eating there). I have about 60" (62" from wall, 60" from edge of window sill) from the back wall to where the pantry starts on the side wall. So, I don't want the table to be wide enough to get in the way of that. I *think* a 36" wide table will be ok (60-23=37). It will be even more ok if the table would typically overlap the bench end a little. Thoughts?

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Typically a table in a banquette will overhang the edge of the bench seats by 4-5". Fine Homebuilding had a nice article on banquette design and construction back in the fall of 2007 - maybe it will be helpful. We're in the initial stages of building one ourselves.

Here is a link that might be useful: Breakfast Booth Basics - Fine Homebuilding

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:12AM
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DH works for a restaurant design and supply company. One of the designers drew this banquette schematic. I've read that a table overhang of 4-5" is common, despite her listing it as 3".

Getting in and out of a three sided booth will be a little troublesome no matter. 24" is the standard bench width for restaurant booths to allow for the proper slope. The slope of the back rest is what makes a booth comfortable....or not.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:21AM
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JH Carr is a major restaurant booth manufacturer. I'll link their website with booth styles and dimensions. They changed their website recently so it's visually more modern, but they left off their great drawings with dimensions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Booth maker

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:25AM
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The critical distance for me isn't so much the overhang, as 4-6" will work fine in most cases, but the distance from the table edge to back of the seat. I run into this a lot at small restaurants that have smooshed tables together a bit too much to increase capacity. You end up being too close to the table edge, and in my case, that means that the table meets my mid section and "the girls" end up hanging over. That is a recipe for a stained shirt every time, much less very awkward dining if you aren't very friendly with the person seated across from you, since your chest takes up half the room of where your plate should go. The seats themselves need to be at least 20"-24" deep (plus the room for the back slope), and you can have throw pillows to prop up the smaller ones that need back support closer. Do the seats as storage, and the pillows can be stored there when not needed.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Thanks for all the responses. Wow-- I'm suprised on the seat depth recommendation. I was actually starting to worry that 18" was overkill (after later going back and measuring a few old chairs around the house to see that their seats are 16-17").

A three sided wasn't been my first choice, largely because of the getting in-out factor. But if we had done two sides (facing each other), there would have been little bowling alleys on either side. If we had done a corner booth, which WAS my first choice, It would have landed very awkwardly with respect to a window. Then we went to a restaurant and happened to be seated in a 3-sided booth and it was actually perfect. If only I could find a place to order the restaurant tables, I'd be all set. Sadly, I need ONE, not 10+!

And yes-- all three sides will have storage; the long side will have a flip-up lid, and the shorter sides will have drawers.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:49PM
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