Choosing the Size: Do You Need a Large Conference Table?
What to Know Before You Buy
When designing your conference table, there are several factors to consider.
How many chairs will there be?
With a Rectangular or similar table, the placement of the pedestals will influence the seating on the long side of the top. We like to allow at least 30″ per chair (28″ minimum), and when possible we place pedestals in between seats. For instance on a 10′ table we would place pedestals 60″ apart for seating four people on the long sides. With 1 chair on each end, the 10′ table would seat 10 comfortably. At 12.5′ we would use 2 pedestals placed 87-90″ apart, depending on whether the top is a Rectangle or Boat shape top, and place 5 chairs on each side.
How large is the conference room?
A large conference table placed in a small conference room will feel cramped. On the other hand, a small conference table in a very large room will appear lost, and may make meeting attendees feel uncomfortable. We recommend a minimum of 42″ around the conference table on all sides. This leaves room for chairs and to move around the room. 48″ of space is preferred for a spacious feel. If space is at a premium, 36″ around the table is the bare minimum. 36″ will work better with a round table, as the tightest point will be at the edge of the circle, not the entire length of a rectangular table.
How will the table be used?
For an executive conference table, 36″ per person spacing allows larger chairs and a more spacious feel. Training tables might use as tight as 27″ spacing with appropriately sized chairs.
Will the top be in one piece or multiple pieces?
10′ is the maximum size top (116″ for shaped Glass) that Stoneline can fabricate and ship in one piece. If planning for a top that size, it is important to prepare. Check access into the building, elevator size, stairwell layout, etc. and make sure the table top will fit before proceeding.
When the top is divided into multiple sections, we also plan the break between tops to fall between chairs. For example, we would divide a 10′ top into 2- 5′ sections so that the break occurs between the 2 center chairs. A large 12.5′ conference table would typically seat 5 on each long side, so dividing the top in 2 is not advised. We would instead make a 12.5′ top in 3 pieces: the center section 87-90″ long to seat 3, and breaks over each pedestal. Two 30″ – 31.5″ sections on the ends of the table each seat 1, for a total of 5 on the long sides. We use this same principle for dividing larger tops as well. With careful planning a conference table can be designed so that no chair is placed in front of a pedestal or break in the top, even up to 30′ long.