54 inch or 60 inch table

annettacmApril 1, 2012

I'm looking at getting a round pedestal table, and I think 60" would fit (giving people eating room at the table), but I KNOW 54" would fit better (giving a little more walking room around the table.). Does anyone have experience on how many could fit about a 54" vs. a 60"? I have armless chairs already to go around the table and there are 5 in my family. We rarely, if ever, have a sit down formal meal other than just us and maybe one other person, and I think 6 will fit fine at 54", but I wasn't sure if someone had experience wishing they would have bought a bigger table.

I know much of this is in the abstract, having no pictures or layout to show, etc.... the table I'm thinking of is the one in the link.

It's only a $100 difference between the 54 and 60, and I can't figure out which way I'd kick myself more, whichever one I choose.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tuscan Pedestal Table

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How old are your children? Might you have more than 5 or 6 for a birthday party? Do grandparents ever visit? If your children are young, it is possible that they might have friends over when they're older who could stay for dinner occasionally.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 9:38PM
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For banquet seating, guidelines are 4-6 people at a 48" round and 8-10 people at a 60" round. I prefer the smaller of these numbers.

How large is your dining room? I would err on the bigger table if the clearances are sufficient. Seating for 6 with a family of 5 is very tight. Are your kids young? When the get older, they have friends over and you can easily run short.

I gotta ask. You really rarely have anyone eat with you? Not parents? Another couple? Aunts, uncles, etc?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 9:54PM
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LOL... no, not really... maybe my mother in law. But when we do have people over, it's always way more than one or two (cousins, brothers, nieces and nephews) and it's always buffet style... or eating pizza off the counter. We have seating at our island, too. Sit down dinners are rare, even with just us, with our crazy sports schedules. (kids are 14, 11, 9). So yes, we do entertain, but no, we don't sit around the table with a roast turkey and dressing in the middle of it. :)

We do use our current table to play games. I also worry that a 60" might be too big to reach the board or toss cards in the middle, etc. I know, I'm putting way too much thought into this.

This is in my kitchen eating area, not a separate measurable room, and right now we have a 36 x 60 table in there. It works well whether I have it longways along the slider door or the perpendicular to the slider, so 60" could work, but I've always thought going 60" in both directions would seem huge.

Also, we don't have a formal dining room.... we took that over (no table) and put three desks for the kids to do homework and a computer desk. It's not "Better Homes and Gardens" but works. Would rather spend my money on a nice kitchen table than a dining room table. I'll see if I can't do pictures tomorrow. I always like posts better with pictures. :)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 10:12PM
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We have a 48" dia. round table outside that easily seats 4, even 6 is still comfortable and our chairs have arms. The 54" should be perfectly comfortable for six people. I love round tables, so nice for everyone seated to have the same conversation.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:00AM
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We plays games around a 42" d table and also on one end of a 42" x 60" oval DR table. Larger than 42" would be a problem.

I have a 54" extender that can sit on the 42" round table. It's been a while since I've used it, but my memory says that there wasn't much space for serving dishes in the center, and 6 could be seated around it but 7 or 8 was crowded, mostly because of lack of space for plates, silverware, knees, etc. Also, I have relatively small chairs; larger ones would be a problem, I think.

We live with my grandparents who had, I think, a 60" round table. 7 of us were seated comfortably, and we would sometimes have an 8th or 9th person. Plenty of room for serving dishes.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:25AM
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The NKBA used to state 24" "linear" space per person at table-height; now they say 30" (with 19" of leg room for each person, meaning minimum of 38" deep rectangular/oval table...but yours will be a round table so the leg room will not be an issue for you.)

So, the circumference of a circle = 2(pi)r
pi = 3.14
2r = diameter = 54" or 60"

54" table circumference = 169.56"
Divided by 24" = 7.065
Divided by 30" = 5.652

60" table circumference = 188.4
Divided by 24" = 7.85
Divided by 30" = 6.28

Because of the curve on a round table, I think the 24" number would be fine to use for spacing.

As to your children - do NOT base any decisions on the current sizes/ages of your children - they grow very, very quickly and anything you do based on their current sizes/ages will be obsolete just as quickly! Plan for them at adult size - they will be that by their early teens!

Here's some information I found about seating:

Common Seating Capacities Per Table
Round Tables
36" Seats 4 People
42" Seats 5 People
48" Seats 5 People
54" Seats 6 People
60" Seats 8 People
72" Seats 10 People

Seating & Space Information:
Round Tables
36" - Seats 2-4
48" - Seats 4-6
60" - Seats 6-8
72" - Seats 8-10

BTW...Do not base your seating on your experiences at weddings or other events you go to. In many cases they squeeze as many people to a table as possible, knowing it is temporary seating and that most people will only be seated for a short time while they eat...at least a few people from each table will be up and about and that will give the others more room.

But, what will the aisles be like around the table? You say the space is "not a separate measurable room" and that you currently have a "36 x 60 table...[that]...works well whether I have it longways along the slider door or the perpendicular to the slider".

Based on how you plan to use it, I think you would be better off with a rectangular or oval table 42" deep with, possibly, several leaves to customize its size. We have a 42" deep table and its just deep enough to allow basic serving dishes for every-day meals.

We also use our table for games and find that with a board game it's barely deep enough and no one has trouble reaching the board or the center of the table...another 18" would be fine...it's only adding 9" to the reach to each person (9" more from a 42" deep table). In your case, 60" is only adding another 6" to the overall depth and only 3" to the reach (to the center) for each person.

If you must go with a round table, I personally would recommend the 60" table.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:07PM
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I'm not comfortable at 60". It can get awkward being so far away from the people across the way. I would like the 54" better. Especially since you don't use it often and when you do have company it won't fit the bill at either size with a crowd. I'd rather have the extra walk space in the room for the 90% of the time it's not in use.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:55PM
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We had a 60" table - because that seemed the best size for our eating area - I even had a 60" glass top cut for it (I like to use tablecloths with a glass top over them - It didn't last more than a year...was impractical to try to pass dishes across - had to stand up too often to reach things in the middle - had a hard time finding tablecloths with a reasonable drop. Try cutting a 60" circle and putting it on top of a card table to get an idea.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Our dining table is 40 x 60. When playing a game, I don't like sitting on the 40 inch side because it's too much of a stretch for the board. I have to stand for certain card games that move quickly. I wish we had a smaller table for games.

We have a 60 inch round table outside. Seats 8 comfortably and 10 more closely. I would not want to play a board game on it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 7:43PM
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