Size & Seating Guide

Large Conference Table
At Paul Downs, we’ve been creating custom conference room tables and furniture since 1986. We specialize in large conference table and boardroom table designs built to our client’s specifications. We also make other furniture including lecterns, credenzas, reception desks, and much more. We’re a workshop, not a factory. We make every piece from scratch, one at a time.

COVID 19 UPDATE:

In a post-Coronavirus world, conventional notions of how many people can sit at a table will change.  We’re adding new charts to give you some idea of how this affects size and seating capacity.  These are estimates, and we cannot guarantee that they provide perfect protection.  Wear masks and stay safe!  Note:  We are also including our older charts, with the traditional formulas, for reference.

3 Ways to Select the Best Conference Table Size:

Conference Table Size by Number of Seats

Conference Table Seats by Number

How much space per user?

  • FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING:  We’ve updated our charts using  42″ between seats, and a minimum table width of 60″.  This assumes that meeting participants use masks.  It is an informed guess, but has not been verified by health experts.  You should use 48″ or more if you have a table and/or room big enough.
  • The distance between users sitting next to each other is much smaller than the distance across a table.  For instance, users on opposite sides of  a 4′ wide modern conference table, in a standard office chair, have about 7 feet of space between their heads.
  • In pre-Covid days, we recommended a minimum of 30” per person for business situations.
  • Traditionally, 36” per person is comfortable and appropriate for boardroom use. This dimension is also good for round conference tables.
  • For situations where users’ needs more space (for instance, meetings where everyone has a computer and documents on the table), 42” is appropriate. For luxury situations, or Social Distancing, 48” is preferred.
  • If you are not sure, contact us and we will help you.  We can show you what sized table will fit in your room, and how many it will sit at various spacings between people.  We’ll find a solution that will work both in the near future and once this virus is under control.

Per User Conference Table Minimum Size for Common Table Shapes:

This chart includes both Social Distancing and Traditional capacities. These are guidelines, and there is flexibility to fit your room.  We make conference tables any size required. To see more detail on particular shapes, click here: Seating Capacity for Different Shapes

Chart of conference tables showing number of users for common sizes and shapes, with traditional spacing and Social Distancing spacing
# of Users
(Soc Distancing)
# of Users
(Traditional)
RectangleBoatSquareRoundU, V, or Head
(total length)
2436 x 6042 x 6042 x 424836 x 128
3-4636 x 7242 x 7248 x 607236 x 192
6848 x 9654 x 9664 x 649636 x 256
7-81048 x 14454 x 14464 x 9612036 x 320
9-101248 x 16854 x 168 96 x 9614436 x 384
11-121448 x 19254 x 19296 x 12816836 x 448
13-141654 x 21672 x 216128 x 12819236 x 512
15-161854 x 24072 x 240128 x 16021636 x 576
17-182060 x 26472 x 264160 x 16024036 x 640
18-192260 x 28884 x 288160 x 19226436 x 704
19-202460 x 31284 x 312192 x 19228836 x 768
20-212660 x 33696 x 336192 x 22431236 x 832
22-242866 x 36096 x 360224 x 22433636 x 896
24-253072 x 38496 x 390216 x 24036036 x 960

Seating Capacity for Common Shapes

Conference Table Shapes - Seating Capacity

Detailed Charts for Each Shape:

Rectangles, boats, and squares provide the most seating for their size while racetracks and rounds provide the least. Videoconference tables are efficient when all 4 sides are used, but less so when the wide end is empty. U-shaped and V-shaped conference tables come in many proportions but are very inefficient because so much of the perimeter is not used for seating. Here’s more detail for each conference table shape including oval, round, and more (click on the shape to go directly to that chart):
rectangleboatracetrackroundkeystoneu-shapedv-shapedcommitteemodular

Square and Rectangle Conference Tables

Square Conference Table - Rectangle Tables
These two shapes have the most perimeter for a given length and width. They will maximize the number of people you can fit in your room. Our rectangle charts assume one user at each end of the table.  The square tables have multiple users at the shorter ends.  In both cases, very large conference tables can be made with an open center, or as a set of modular tables.

Rectangle Table Size and Seating Chart (Social Distancing & Traditional):

# Users
(Social Distancing)
# Users
(Traditional)
Size (feet)Size (inches)Min Room Size (feet)
44 3 x 536 x 6010 x 12
4-663 x 636 x 7210 x 13
684 x 848 x 9611 x 17
8104 x 1248 x 14411 x 19
10124 x 1448 x 16811 x 21
10-12144'6" x 1654 x 19211'6" x 23
12164'6" x 1854 x 21612'6" x 26
14185 x 2060 x 24013 x 28
16205 x 2260 x 26415 x 32
16-18225 x 2460 x 28815 x 34
18245 x 2660 x 31215 x 36
18-20265 x 2860 x 33615 x 38
20285'6" x 3066 x 36015'6" x 40
22306 x 32 72 x 38416 x 42

Click here to download a PDF of this size and seating chart

Square Table Size and Seating Chart (Social Distancing & Traditional):

Note: For numbers of users not divisible by 4, the tables are not perfectly square:

# of Users
(Social Distancing)
# Users
(Traditional)
Size (feet)Size (inches)
2-343'6" x 3'6"42 x 42
465 x 560 x 60
5-685 x 560 x 60
6-8106 x 672 x 72
8128 x 896 x 96
10149 x 9108 x 108
121610 x 10120 x 120
141811 x 11132 x 132
162012 x 12144 x 144
16-182213 x 13156 x 156
182416 x 16180 x 180
202616 x 16192 x 192
2428 18 x 18216 x 216
24-263020 x 20240 x 240
Click here to download a PDF of this size and seating chart

Boat-Shaped Conference Tables

Boat Shaped Conference Table Sizes
It’s commonly believed that the curved side of a boat-shaped conference table provides more seating room. Nope! Unless the curve is extreme, the amount of perimeter is almost identical to a rectangle of the same dimensions. You will have better sight lines, and the look is more graceful.  However, the curve will put the users on the sides closer to the person on the ends, which is significant when Social Distancing.   Here’s our updated chart showing seating capacity for our most common sizes:

Boat Table Size and Seating Chart (Social Distancing & Traditional):

# Users
(Social Distancing)
# Users
(Traditional)
Size (feet)Size (inches)
2-443'6" x 542 x 60
463'6" x 642 x 72
684 x 848 x 96
810 4'6" x 1254 x 144
10124'6" x 1454 x 168
12144'6" x 1654 x 192
12-14166 x 1872 x 216
14186 x 2072 x 240
16206 x 2272 x 264
16-18226 x 2472 x 288
18247 x 2684 x 312
18-20267 x 2884 x 336
20288 x 3096 x 360
20-22308 x 32'6"96 x 390
Click here to download a PDF of this size and seating chart

Racetrack Conference Tables

Racetrack Conference Table Seating
Racetrack conference tables consist of a rectangular center capped with two half-circle ends. They have less perimeter than a rectangle of comparable length and width and end up being a bit longer to seat a given number of people. Very large sizes can be made with an open center or as a set of modular tables.

Racetrack Table Size and Seating Chart (Social Distancing & Traditional):

# Users
(Social Distancing)
# Users
(Traditional)
Size (inches)Min Room Size (feet)
4436 x 4410 x 11
4642 x 7410'6" x 13'6"
6-8848 x 10211 x 15'6"
81054 x 13011'6" x 18
101254 x 16211'6" x 20'6"
121454 x 19411'6" x 23'6"
141672 x 21614 x 26
14-161872 x 24814 x 29
162072 x 28014 x 31'6"
16-182272 x 31216 x 36
182484 x 33817 x 38'6"
18-202684 x 37017 x 41
202896 x 39418 x 43
20-243096 x 42618 x 45'6"
Click here to download a PDF of this size and seating chart

Round Conference Tables

Round Conference Table Guide
Oval or round conference tables are pretty, but inefficient. They have only 78.5% of the perimeter of a square of the same dimensions. The Social Distancing capacity calculation is very simple: perimeter/42″.  This will put user’s heads about 54″ apart from those sitting next to them, and much further going straight across.  Large round conference tables are usually made with an open center.  If your space isn’t square, we can make an oval table with the same perimeter – these will always have custom dimensions.

Round Table Size and Seating Chart (Social Distancing & Traditional):

Diameter (feet)# Users
(Social Distancing)
# Users
(Traditional)
Diameter (inches)Min Room Size (feet)
4454811 x 11
6687213 x 13
88109615 x 15
109-101212017 x 17
12111514419 x 19
14131716821 x 21
16151919224 x 24
18172221626 x 26
20182424028 x 28
222026-2726432 x 32
24222928834 x 34
26243131236 x 36
28253433638 x 38
30273636040 x 40
Click here to download a PDF of this size and seating chart

Keystone or Videoconference Conference Tables

Keystone Conference Table - Videoconference Table
The keystone shape is becoming a standard for videoconferencing. (These are also commonly called VTC tables.) The wide end of the conference table faces the cameras and screen and is not used for seating. The capacity is identical to rectangles, but with one person removed.  This chart shows the minimum recommended width at the wide end – this can be changed for better viewing angles.  Very large and wide keystones are usually built with an open center – see V-Shaped tables for examples.

Keystone & Videoconference Table Size and Seating Chart (Social Distancing & Traditional):

# Users
(Social Distancing)
# Users
(Traditional Spacing)
Size (feet) Size (inches,
width at wide end)
Min Room Size
33-54 x 548 x 6011 x 12
3-554'6" x 654 x 7211'6" x 13
55-75 x 860 x 9612 x 15
795 x 1060 x 12012 x 17
911-135 x 1460 x 16812 x 21
9-11135'6" x 1666 x 19212'6" x 23
11156 x 1872 x 21614 x 26
11-13176 x 2072 x 24014 x 28
13196 x 2272 x 26414 x 30
13-1519-216 x 2472 x 28816 x 34
15217 x 2684 x 31217 x 36
17237 x 2884 x 33617 x 38
17-19258 x 3096 x 36018 x 40
19278 x 32'6"96 x 39018 x 42'6"
Click here to download a PDF of this size and seating chart

U-Shaped, V-Shaped, and Committee (or Head) Tables

U Shaped Table - Committee Tables
All of these conference table shapes seat people along their outer edges.  Our chart shows the overall length required to seat people at three different spacings:  32″ for situations where maximum capacity is required; 36″ where some space between users is wanted; and 48″ where a lot of space is needed (like legislative and judicial tables). For Social Distancing, use the 48″ numbers. The total length shown will be the sum of the length of the outside edges.  These conference tables come in a variety of shapes.  The proportions of these tables must always be designed for the room and the use.  Call us and we’ll help you figure it out.

U, V, and Committee Table Size and Seating Chart (Social Distancing & Traditional):

# of UsersLength (Inches) at 32" per person
Traditional Tight Spacing
Length (inches) at 36" per person
Traditional normal spacing
Length (Inches) at 48" per person
Best for Social Distancing
4128144192
6192216288
8256288384
10320360480
12384432576
14448504672
16512576768
18576648864
20640720960
227047921056
247688641152
268329361248
2889610081344
3096010801440
Click here to download a PDF of this size and seating chart

Modular Conference Tables

Modular Conference Table - Seating Guide
There’s no universal rule regarding modular table size and seating capacity, but here are the most common sizes:

  • 4′ x 4′   (48″ x 48″)
  • 4.5′ x 4.5′  (54″ x 54″)
  • 5′ x 5′   (60″ x 60″)
  • 2.5′ x 5′   (30″ x 60″)
  • 3′ x 6′    (32″ x 72″)
  • 4′ x 8′   (48″ x 96″)

Seating capacity is determined by how the conference tables are assembled.  When Social Distancing is required, modular tables provide unmatched flexibility. Note:  Any table shape can be built using modular tables.  Contact us and we’ll help you work out the best size for your room.

Click here to download a PDF of this size and seating chart

We have prepared a comprehensive guide to modular tables, including sizing, shapes, and the many ways they can be built.  See it here: Guide to Modular Tables

We also have many examples of modular tables that we’ve built for clients: Click here to see more Modular Conference Tables.

 Conference Table Size from Room Dimensions

Conference Table Sizes by Room Dimensions
These guidelines will help you determine the maximum size boardroom or conference table that will fit in your conference room:

  1. You want to determine the dimensions of the free space that can hold the table, so measure the room’s length and width and subtract obstructions such as columns and other furniture. (If your room is an odd shape, it’s best for us to analyze the space for you. We can do this by viewing the floor plans via an email to us. We prefer a .pdf or .dwg file format.)
  2. The clearance, or space between the table and the closest obstruction, varies with the size of the room. We use these dimensions:
  • For spaces up to 16 feet long, minimum clearance is 42″ (3.5 feet) all around the table, and 48″ (4 feet) is recommended.
  • For spaces up to 22 feet long, minimum clearance is 48″ (4 feet) around the table, and 60″ (5 feet) is recommended.
  • For spaces over 22 feet long, minimum clearance is 60″ (5 feet) , and 72″ (6 feet) is recommended.
  1. Subtract twice the clearance from the length and width of the room to find the table’s maximum dimensions:

Sizing Your Conference Table

Credenzas:
  • Many conference rooms include a credenza. They range from 16″ to 24″ in depth. This should be subtracted from the space available. If you order a credenza from us, we’ll help you find the best size. Narrower credenzas work for smaller rooms, while larger ones provide more storage and counter space for food service.
Spacing/Placement:
  • You don’t always need to allow the same amount of space all around the table, i.e. you might be able to have smaller clearance at the sides than at the end. Placement of doors in the room will determine circulation patterns around the table and we can analyze your floor plans to see what will work.
  • Conference tables don’t always need to be placed in the center of the room, or oriented on the room’s major axes. If you are trying to seat a lot of people in a smaller room, then alternative placement should be considered. After reviewing your floor plans, we will suggest options.
Audio/Visual:
  • Audio/visual equipment often requires specific distances from the projector to the screen. If the table is used to house this equipment, then this needs to be taken into account. We will work with your IT department or AV consultant to make sure that everything works.
Assembly:
  • Don’t worry about moving the table into the space. All of our tables are designed to be shipped in pieces and engineered for easy assembly and disassembly. It is helpful for us to get the dimensions of the elevators and doors used to access the space, particularly in older buildings.

Click here for Conference and Boardroom Table Pricing