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Conference Room Table Size & Seating Calculator
Most often, the planning cycle for the purchase of a conference room table starts with determining the right size. By 'size', most people mean the conference table physical size to either support a number of chairs or fit into a physical space.
Number of Chairs
There are some general rules of thumb that provide a close approximation. But in order to calculate an accurate seating count, several factors must be considered.
- The width of the chair (22-23 inches for guest chairs; 26-28 inches for executive chairs)
- The Side-to-Side clearance - distance between each chair (4 inches minimum)
- The under-table portion of a chair when it is occupied (applies to racetrack and round tables; approximately 30% of seating depth or between 4 to 6 inches)
Chair width is by far, the most significant factor and the reason for most table seating calculation errors. When determining chair width, measure the maximum width. In most cases, the maximum width is the arm-rest to arm-rest outside dimension. However, in some cases, the maximum chair width is a five-star base diameter.
Use this special seating calculator to determine the exact number of chairs that will fit around three different conference room table shapes.
Rectangular & Boat Shaped Tables
The general rule of thumb for rectangular or boat shaped tables is one chair for each foot of table length. This rule assumes that a chair is about 26 inches wide (very close to 2 feet - 24 inches). Since chairs are put on each side of the table plus one at either end, the one chair for each foot of table length works well.
But as the table gets longer, this rule starts to overstate the number of chairs. The proper method to determine the number of chairs is by formula. For an exact value, use the special seating calculator above.
Racetrack Shaped Tables
Racetrack table shapes are more difficult to size because of the rounded ends. Chairs may be placed in one of 3 patterns or zones.
- 4 zone patterns assume that chairs must fit within each side and each rounded end. Extra space that may be available in each zone is not combined to accommodate additional chairs.
- 2 zone patters assume that chairs fit on either side of the center-line of the table and take full advantage of straight and curved portions. This pattern also works when a chair is placed on either end.
- None (no pattern) uses the entire table edge.In this pattern, chairs are not placed in any pattern or symmetry. In some circumstances, this seating arrangement accommodates one more chair than the 2 zone pattern.
In addition to different patterns or zones, the rounded ends require a more complex calculation. The formula must consider the side-to-side clearance (Chair Space) when seats are pushed in and under the table (Chair Under). The Racetrack Shaped calculator (above) takes this measurement as well as different zone patterns into consideration.
Round tables are well suited to smaller conference rooms. The influence of the under-table dimension plays heavily on the number of chairs that may fit. If 6 inches is considered, then the circumference of a table is reduced by about 38 inches. That's more than enough for another chair. There is no general rule of thumb for the number of chairs for round tables. It is best to use the above Circular Shaped Seating Calculator.
Now that the number of chairs and table size have been determined, visit the Conference Room Space Planning guidelines to check your conference room size.