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How Tall Should Your Dining Table Be?

When it comes to ordering a custom dining table, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is determining its height. This seemingly simple choice can significantly impact the overall aesthetics and functionality of your dining space. Customization allows you the freedom to tailor your table to your specific preferences, but it’s crucial to make an informed decision. Consulting with a furniture designer can prove invaluable in ensuring your chosen height aligns with your vision and practical needs. In this article, we will explore the standard height options for dining tables and delve into the considerations that should influence your decision.

Dining Table is usually 28" to 32" in height

Standard Table Height Options

Dining tables are typically available in three standard height ranges, each catering to different preferences and use cases:

1. Standard/Dining-Height Tables (28 to 32 inches)

Standard-height tables are the most common choice for dining rooms.  It falls within the range of 28 to 32 inches, with the most common dining table being around 30 inches tall.  These tables offer a comfortable seating arrangement for traditional dining chairs. This height is well-suited for a casual dining experience and is versatile enough to accommodate various chair designs.

2. Counter-height tables (34 to 40 inches)

Counter-height tables, ranging from 34 to 40 inches, with the most common being 36 inches tall, provide a more elevated surface. This height is popular in kitchens and casual dining spaces, creating a more relaxed and social atmosphere. Counter-height tables are an excellent choice for those who prefer a less formal setting and want the option of using stools or taller chairs.

3. Bar-Height Tables (40 to 43 inches)

Bar-height tables, standing at 40 to 43 inches, are commonly found in bar areas and pub-style settings. While less common for dining rooms, they can add a unique touch to larger spaces or open-concept layouts. Bar-height tables pair well with bar stools, fostering a more casual and communal dining experience.

Why Choose One Table Height Over Another?

The choice of table height goes beyond mere aesthetics; it also influences the functionality and vibe of your dining space. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

1. Room Proportions and Design Style

Consider the overall design style of your room and its proportions. A standard-height table is typically suitable for most traditional dining rooms, while counter-height and bar-height tables may complement contemporary or open-concept spaces.

2. Intended Use

Think about how you plan to use the dining table. If you envision casual family meals, a standard-height table may be the ideal choice. For more relaxed and social gatherings, counter-height or bar-height options may create a more inviting atmosphere.

3. Visual Appeal

The visual impact of your chosen table height is crucial. A table that harmonizes with the surrounding elements and maintains a balanced aesthetic will enhance the overall look and feel of your dining area.

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Selecting Chairs for Your Table Height

Once you’ve decided on the table height, choosing the right chairs is equally important. Consider the following factors:

1. General Rule of Thumb

When selecting a chair, most people find a comfortable distance between the top of the table to the top of the chair seat to be between 10″ and 12″.  So an 18″ chair would be paired best with a 28″ to 30″ tall dining table.  However, when ordering custom furniture for yourself, you can have your furniture designer take into consideration how tall you are and how much knee clearance you need.  This can all be balanced by adjusting the chair height, table height, and width of the apron to find the perfect harmony between the three.

1. Knee Clearance

Ensure that there is sufficient knee clearance between the seat of the chair and the bottom of the table. This ensures comfort and ease of movement while sitting.

2. Width of Table Apron

Take into account the width of the table apron and the horizontal panel beneath the table surface. Opt for chairs that fit comfortably under the table without interference from the apron and knee clearance, promoting a seamless and functional dining experience.

The height of your dining table is a critical aspect of creating a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing dining space. When in doubt, consult with a furniture designer who can guide you through the design process and address any specific concerns or considerations you may have. By understanding the standard height options, considering your room’s design and purpose, and selecting chairs with care, you can create a dining area that perfectly suits your style and needs.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.