Paul Downs Blog : Sizing Up Your Space

We hear this phrase quite often:

I have a ______’ X ______’ conference room and I need to seat as many people as possible.

large boat shaped table

To help our clients determine the best possible size and shape table for their room, we’ve put together a set of preliminary sizing guidelines.  These suggestions typically help us begin to figure out the best custom conference table for your space.

  • Measure the room’s length and width. Subtract obstructions such as columns and other furniture. You want to determine the dimensions of the free space that can hold the table.  Odd shaped rooms may need some additional planning and design considerations. We are happy to help, just give us a call 484.680.7102.
  • 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′) is recommended.
    • For spaces over 22 feet long, minimum clearance is 60″ (5 feet), and 72″ (6 feet) is recommended.
  • Subtract twice the clearance from the length and width of the room to find the table’s maximum dimensions.

Confused? Here’s an easy diagram to follow.

Sizing Your Conference Table

Got a good idea of the sizing you need? GREAT!  

When you call or email to discuss your project, we may ask you some additional questions to go the extra step in designing the best furniture for your space.

  • Will you be including a credenza?
    • Many conference rooms include a credenza. They typically range from 16″ to 24″ in depth and 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.
  • Where are the doors and windows?
    • 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. We can analyze your floor plans to see what will work.
  • Are you going to be video conferencing, taking phone calls, or doing presentations?
    • 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’ll work with your IT department or AV consultant to make sure that everything works.
  • Does the table need to be movable or reconfigured?
    • We have options that include modular tables that can be moved and stored or reconfigured depending on the size and scope of the meetings being held.  All you have to do is call us and we are happy to determine the best size and shape and adaptability for the table you desire.

We’re thrilled to provide information to help you get an idea of the table sizing needed for your custom office project. Give us a call or shoot us an email! We’d love to continue the design process with you.  Custom is what we do!


If you haven’t already, please look through our gallery of custom conference tables. You can choose any of these designs as a starting point for your project, or you can submit your own designs. For help designing your custom conference project, contact us today at 484-680-7102 or info@pauldowns.com.