How Big Should a Rug Be Under a Dining Table? Choosing the Right Size


Are there rules for a new rug size? How big should a dining room rug be under a dining table? If the area rug is too huge, it may seem like you are attempting to hide your floor. Room rugs that are too small may appear like you are covering up a stain. Appropriate rug size isn’t a precise science. Yet it isn’t a matter of guesswork, either. When it comes to the dining room, there are some general guidelines every homeowner should follow.

Dining room rugs bring life and color to your dining space. They will make the dining area feel more special. (A nice rug, like a round rug or rectangular rug, is also a great addition to your living room.) The dining area is considered a sacred gathering space where close friends, family, and guests celebrate life while over a meal.

But before you pick out the style and color of your new rug, you need to make sure you have the right rug size for your dining table and dining room.

Guidelines to Determine Dining Table Rug Size

If the table sits on a wood floor, placing a rug under it saves the floor from scratches that are made from pulling your chairs in and out. It will also protect the floor from being damaged by spills.

Rugs are known to muffle noises made in a room. This makes conversation easier. Furthermore, a dining room rug will nicely frame a dining table. It adds to the overall style of the room. Rugs can also be placed over your carpeting to change the style of the eating area.

The rug should be placed directly under the dining room table and centered in the dining room. This creates balance in the room. Dining chairs must fully rest on the rug and contain enough room to be pulled out while still being on the rug.

Once the size is determined, experts recommend marking the area with blue painter’s tape. This will allow you to visualize the size before buying the rug.

Ensure Your Rug Is Large Enough

Space limitations and table size may dictate the size of the rug you can incorporate. When making a purchase, consider that the rug needs to be four feet larger in length and width than the dining room table. An additional 18”-24” per side is required so guests can easily slide their dining chairs without being concerned they will fall off the rug’s edge.

A small rug will result in your chairs scratching the floor, causing discomfort, embarrassment, and frustration while sliding chairs. Additionally, guests may become tangled in the edges of your rug. That’s why it’s important to find the perfect rug size.

Determining the Best Size

The first thing to do is to measure the dining room table. Add an additional 36”-48” to each measurement you take. Include extra table leaves in your measurements because the new rug should be able to accommodate the full length of the tale. For the majority of tables, an 8’ x 10’ or 9’ x 12’ rug should fit your area plus provide ample room for chairs.

Most rugs are rectangular in shape. This makes them ideal for a standard dining room table. For a small square table, you may need either an eight-foot or 10-foot square-shaped rug. This complements the style of your room – whether it’s a large room or a small room – and sets off your table. This holds true for circular tables as well.

When thinking about what options are available to you and the size of your floor space, consider china cabinets and sideboards found in the room. The rug shouldn’t extend beneath these pieces.

Rug Size for Table with Eight Chairs

Dining room table with eight chairs surrounded by decorative rug

Dining room tables that seat eight measure, on average, 3’ x 6’ or 4’ x 6’. A rug that is 9’ x 12’ or 8’ x 10’ is ideal for this size. It will allow you a minimum of 24” per side for chairs to easily move back and forth while remaining on your rug.

Rug Size for Table with Six Chairs


Tables that seat six people measure 5’ x 3’ at minimum. This would look best on an 8’ x 10’ rug leaving 30” per side for chairs to move.

Rug Size for Table with Four Chairs


Dining room tables seating four measure 3’ in diameter for a round table. For a square table, it measures 3’ x 3’. The best-size rug would be an 8’ round or square rug, depending on your table shape.

You can also float your dining room table plus your chairs at the center of a standard 5’ x 7’, 8’ x 10’, or 6’ x 9’ area rug.

Some homeowners want to use a larger rug to fill the space. If so, then consider putting the chairs and table to one side, with a console table/buffet on the other side.

Other Tips to Consider

  • For the best look overall, match the rug to the shape of the room.
  • Consider visible elements in the room, like floor material, wall color, dining furniture, window treatments, etc. Find a rug that unifies and complements these pieces.
  • Textured rugs containing a bit of a pile like plush rugs provide improved acoustics. They soften the noise of silverware clinking and plates. Ensure you can properly slide your chairs on this type of rug, otherwise things can get messy for you and your guests. 
  • Find a rug that won’t show stains. Unless it is easily washed, avoid light colors for your dining space. Rugs in darker patterns or hues can camouflage any stains and stay newer-looking longer.
  • Spills will happen. You will need a rug that is able to be vacuumed and cleaned at regular intervals. The best type of rug is one that is washable.

Final Words

When considering how big a rug should be under a dining room table, it is best if you first measure the area, leaving room for chairs. You must also consider the shape of the room in addition to the table shape. The rug should complement the furniture in the room – not compete with it – to be visually appealing and be centered as well.