When shopping for home decor accessories, size charts come in handy as a reference for what will suit your personal spaces – and that holds true for table runners as well.
Table runners are long, narrow pieces of cloth used to enhance your table’s overall look. They also complement the decor of your home well.
They help augment the centerpiece and the other linens and cutlery that adorn the table.
They differ from a standard table cloth in quite a few ways.
While shopping for table runners, I know it can sometimes be confusing to pick one as they come in different sizes, designs, and materials.
And the most common question that comes up is: how long should a table runner be?
Here’s where a table runner size chart comes in handy.
However, a size chart is helpful only when you can read it accurately and easily. If you, like most people, are unsure of how to read size charts, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I’ve detailed instructions and tips on reading a table runner size guide so that the next time you go home decor shopping, you have no problem determining what you need for your table!
How to Read a Table Runner Chart
Generally, a good table runner chart should have three main columns – the shape of the table, the size of the table, and finally, the size of the table runner that’s most suitable for that type of table.
There may be extra sub-columns that show the measurements in both metric and imperial systems.
However, sometimes you may only be provided with the measurements of the table runner.
So how exactly do you determine the perfect table runner for yourself?
Before you read the chart, you need to know the exact measurements of your table (length and width for rectangular table, length of any one side for square table, diameter for circular) to determine exactly what kind of runner would suit it best.
Once you know the accurate measurements of your table, you can look for table runners accordingly.
Take into consideration the following factors:
The width of the table runner is important to consider because a bigger size may disrupt your table setting.
You basically have to make sure that there is enough room for a plate so that it’s not placed partially on the table runner.
Generally speaking, a table runner must be 1/3rd of your table’s width.
This means if your table is 45 inches wide, the table runner you plan on buying should be around 15 inches in width.
Similarly, for a circular table with a 45-inch diameter, the runner will be 15 inches wide.
The ideal length of a table runner depends on the occasion you’re placing it for and the effect you’re aiming to achieve.
If you want to go for an overhang look, the table runner should be around 6 inches longer on both sides of the table.
That is, the runner will be around 12 inches longer than the length of your table.
So if your table is 68 inches long, you should go for a table runner that is 80 inches in length.
However, it’s not necessary to get a longer table runner. These table runners are usually used for formal occasions.
You will also find table runners that only cover the centerpiece – it all depends on your preference when choosing a runner for your home dinner table.
Knowing What Table Runner You Need
This brings me to the next point: knowing what kind of table runner you need.
Do you need one for an upcoming formal dinner party? Or a wedding lunch?
Occasions like these ask for a formal table runner with at least 6 inches of overhang on either side.
The length also depends on the location of your dining table.
Is it a formal dining room, or do you have a casual kitchen dining table setting?
A table runner with a longer overhang is more apt for the former.
Some table runners also come with tassels at the end – these are supposed to be used in an overhang style.
A shorter table runner is usually associated with a more casual look.
Some table runners are even short enough just to cover the centerpiece.
These kinds of table runners that are almost the same length as the table or slightly shorter are perfect for family get-togethers and casual lunch with your friends as it creates a more cozy vibe.
Another thing to consider is the type of table you own.
For example, if you own a drop leaf table, consider the extra space (when extended) as you measure your table.
The length of your table will differ depending on the setting you choose, so pick a table runner, keeping that in mind.
Some people (like me) use both a table cloth and a table runner.
In this case, the best practice is to keep an overhang the same length as the table cloth.
This helps give your table a more sophisticated and elegant look because of the symmetry.
If you use placemats, it is better to have a table runner that is slightly less wide than 1/3rd of the table’s width.
You don’t want the placemats to overlap with the table runner.
Although measuring one-third of your table may be enough at most times, if you feel the other placements will overlap with the runner, you can go with a measurement of one-fourth of the table instead.
This works particularly well for circular-shaped dinner tables.
Examples of How to Use a Table Runner Size Chart
Once you’ve got the measurements of the table you wish to adorn with a table runner, it’s quite simple to determine the size of the table runner you will need.
This, again, depends on your preferences – so I will show you an example to help you understand better.
Let’s say I have a rectangular table that measures 36” in width and 72” in length.
First, I’ll calculate the width of the table runner that I require by taking one-third of the table’s width. 36 divided by three is 12, and so my table runner will have to be 12” (or one foot) wide.
If I want a narrower runner, I’ll take one-fourth of my table’s width – which is 9”, and so that’s how wide my runner will be.
Next, to determine the length.
As I said before, the length of a table runner can vary based on personal preferences and what the occasion entails.
Let’s say it is a formal event, so I’m looking for an overhang look.
I will need 6 inches of the cloth hanging from either side of the length of the table, and so I’ll add 12 inches to my table’s length, which gives me 84”; that is how long my new table runner will be.
If I want a more casual and cozy feel, I’ll go for a table runner that just hangs by an inch or so from the table.
Or I could even go for a short one that ends right before the edge of the table on either side.
In that case, I’ll buy a table runner that’s equal to or less than my table’s length (i.e., 72”).
In the section below, I’ve provided a chart that details standard table sizes for three of the most commonly shaped tables – square, rectangular, and circular.
Table Runner Size Chart
The following table runner size chart considers the average overhang method of placing the runner.
If you don’t want to have an overhang, choose a runner that’s as close to your table’s length (or diameter) as possible.
|Table Shape||Number of Seats||Table Size||Table Runner Size|
|Square (length of one side)||4||36||91||12 x 48||30 x 122|
|4-6||48||122||16 x 60||41 x 152|
|4-6||60||152||20 x 72||51 x 183|
|8-10||72||183||24 x 84||61 x 188|
|10-12||96||244||32 x 108||81 x 274|
|Circular (diameter)||2-3||36||91||12 x 48||30 x 122|
|4-6||48||122||16 x 60||41 x 152|
|7-8||60||152||20 x 72||51 x 183|
|8-9||72||183||24 x 84||61 x 188|
|9-10||84||213||28 x 96||71 x 244|
|10-12||96||244||32 x 108||81 x 274|
|Rectangular (width x length)||2-4||30 x 42||76 x 107||10 x 54||25 x 137|
|4-6||36 x 60||91 x152||12 x 72||30 x 183|
|6-8||36 x 72||91 x 183||12 x 84||30 x 188|
|8-10||42 x 96||107 x 244||14 x 108||36 x 274|
|10-14||54 x 120||107 x 305||18 x 132||46 x 335|
Are Table Runners Still in Fashion?
Table runners are an evergreen home decor accessory that keeps your dining table looking chic and sophisticated.
They are also quite versatile as they can be used for other tables in your home, like a coffee table.
Table runners also help you spruce up the dining table during festive seasons, as you can pick and choose between different styles that complement the seasonal vibe.
How Long Should a Table Runner Be?
The length of a table runner depends on many factors – the measurements of your table, the occasion, and so on – but most importantly, it depends on your personal preference!
While some people like to have an overhang on either side of the table that can be anywhere between 4-10 inches, others like to keep the runner the same length as the table.
You can also opt for a short table runner that can help keep a gorgeous centerpiece in the spotlight.
Can You Use Placemats With a Table Runner?
Placemats can be used with a table runner, provided that they match the design and color of the same.
Using a table runner with your placemats adds a touch of elegance to your dining table setting.
If you, like me, love shopping for table runners, (or even making them!), make each one count by learning how to read sizing charts correctly.
And while table runners do come in pretty standard lengths and widths, knowing how to measure your table and selecting the length of the table runner based on occasion will help you create the vibe you desire.
I hope you found this article helpful!