Size of kitchen table

jmurphOctober 10, 2012


I am remodeling my kitchen, and I'm curious if a 36 inch circlular table is too small? This would be for a family of four. We will have a larger dining room table in the dining room, but for most meals we will eat at the 36 inch table.

We have room for a rectangular table which could be 35 x 50.


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jmurph-our round table is 47" and I wouldn't want it any smaller (family of four also). We generally eat all meals there except for quick snacks for the kids served at the kitchen peninsula. I guess it could if you didn't put the food on the table - served in the kitchen and just had plates?

We are pretty casual and put the pots/casserole dishes, condiments in the center of the table and serve right there. That is my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 7:47PM
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I would use the larger rectangular table. The 36" table is good for cereal bowls or ice cream, but not much more.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 11:39PM
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thanks for the reply both. THe problem with going much bigger is that the table then begins to dominate the space. We had a cabinet issue, so we needed the extra space for cabinets.

I'm thinking if we did just plates, it might work. It does look tight though, i just saw a 36 inch table...tiny!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 3:24PM
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Also depends on the size/age of the kids. Teenage boys tend to take up a lot of room!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:39AM
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a rectangular table might work better

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Do you sit down as a family of four and eat every night? If so, have you considered just moving that tradition to the formal dining room? It doesn't have to be all salt cellars and pinkies in the air just because you moved to a different room. And you would use that room every day rather than every so often. Because then there won't be such high expectations of the kitchen table, whether round or rectangular. It could then be used mainly for the kids' snacks or for when one or two of you miss dinner.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:24PM
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What is the actual size of the space? We just moved into our smaller home, and I bought a 48" round table off of craigslist because our rectangle table just seemed like it would dominate the space. The 48" round is a perfect size for our family of four, and really doesn't take up all that much room. We are using the formal dining area for an office space, so the only eating spaces we have are that table and a couple of barstools at the kitchen counter. Table is located just on the other side of the barstools. So far, it seems fine. I was just thinking that maybe you could actually fit a 48" round in the space you're thinking of?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 9:03PM
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a 36" table will have just over 9 feet of perimeter, or a bit over 2' per place setting. But a round table has "pie piece" allotments of space. So while you might not be bumping elbows, you will find precious little room for beverages and serving dishes.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 6:00PM
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I think you know that the 36 inch will be too small for four of you. I am wondering if you could get the rectangle and put bench seating along one side. When not in use, the bench can slide under and the table can be pushed sloser to the wall.
We have four chairs around our table. However, the chair near the wall can only be used when we pull out the table. So, when there were four of us, that is what we did. Then I woud push it back when we were finished for more floor space.
I agree with the idea of using your dining room. I love eating in my kitchen so I understand why you are trying to make this work, but your dining room might be the best solution.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 7:34PM
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We have a 48" round table, and it is perfect for our family of four. Our details:

I keep a 12" (12"?) lazy susan in the middle, on which I keep salt and pepper, etc.
When it's just us, we tend to serve our plates at the stove, so we don't have serving dishes on the table.
If the kids have a friend over, it's easy enough to squeeze 1-2 more around this table, but if we have adults over or if it's more than 2 guests, we go to the larger dining room table.

I think you'll grow tired of the 36" in a hurry.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:58AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Just measured our table. LOL, I've had it for over 30yrs and didn't know that it was 44" in diameter. It's never been used without at least one leaf--usually two leaves, for our family of five (when the kids were growing up). 36" seems very small--how do you feel about a table with extra leaves? Of course, then you need to store them, when they're not being used.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 6:21PM
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Once you put chairs around a 36" table, it's going to take up at least 40" of space, if not more.

It's a small table for 4 people on a daily basis. I live alone and have a 36" table in my kitchen. For two people, it's fine. More than that, and we all move to the dining room.

Even eating alone, with my plate and salad bowl and glass and flatware, salt & pepper, maybe a butter dish or bottle of salad dressing, a candle for a centerpiece and a book or a magazine to read, I can easily take up more than half the table.

Eating in the dining room all the time isn't a bad idea. Maybe the kitchen for breakfast and the dining room for other meals. Most of the houses I grew up in didn't have any eating area in the kitchen at all, and we ate all our meals in the dining room. Not fancy at all, except on Sundays when Mom would put a good tablecloth on the table for Sunday Dinner.

Another option would be a drop-leaf table, where you could put the leaves down when you are not eating. I would find putting the leaves up and down several times a day a hassle, but it might be worth it if you really need eating space for 4 in the kitchen.

But I think the rectangular table would be the better bet.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:51PM
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The only table we had for over 25 years with 2 kids was 41". It was fine when it was just the four of us, but when we had company, it was difficult and we served plates from the stove then.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 4:27PM
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