Struggling with What Size Table Runner You Need? Get Clear Answers Here

Selecting the right size table runner for your dining table can be tricky. Should you go for an overhang or not? How much width do you really need? We’re here to eliminate the struggle and provide clear, foolproof guidelines to help you choose the perfect table runner size every time.

You’ll also get targeted advice for formal events, casual meals, round tables, and more. Plus helpful size pairings, visuals, and answers to frequently asked questions. Let’s dive in!

How Are Table Runners Sized?

Table runner sizes aren’t random. They’re based on the size and shape of your table as well as how formal your occasion is. Here’s a quick overview of the main sizing guidelines:

  • The width of your runner should be about 1/3 the width of your table. This leaves room on either side for place settings.
  • The length depends on whether you want an elegant overhang or just need to cover the centerpiece area. Formal events need more overhang.

For easy reference, most table runner sizes are grouped into standard size charts by shape and dimensions. We’ll explore exact measurements more below.

Measure Your Table Correctly

Before determining what size table runner you need, carefully measure your table. Consider the shape – round, rectangular, oval and record the precise length, width, and diameter.

If your table has unique features like leaves to extend it or an irregular shape, be sure to account for these when taking measurements too. Precision here makes getting the right runner size much simpler down the road.

Formal Dinners & Event Table Runners

For formal weddings, holiday meals, and dinner parties, table runners should have an elegant overhang. The standard is around 6 inches of overhang on both ends.

what size table runner do i need

To calculate the size you need:

  • Measure the length of your table
  • Add at least 12 inches total for the overhang (6 inches on each side)

So if your rectangular table is 72 inches long, you’d need a 72 + 12 = 84 inch table runner. For very wide banquet tables, go even wider on your runner to make a dramatic statement.

Casual Family Meal Table Runners

During simpler occasions like casual family dinners, you typically only need your table runner to cover the centerpiece or focal area. An overhang isn’t necessary.

For these meals, opt for a runner about 2/3 the width of your table. This leaves room for dinnerware while still protecting and decorating the center section.

Sizing a Table Runner for Round Tables

The rules are a bit different when dealing with round tables. Here diameter and circumference come into play more.

A good formula for round tables is to allow 15 inches of table runner width for every 45 inches of table diameter. This gives you full coverage with a balanced overhang.

So if your circular table is 48 inches diameter, look for a 60 inch round table runner. (48 diameter / 45 x 15 = 60 inches).

Outdoor Table Considerations

When sizing a table runner for outdoor tables, functionality becomes more critical. Focus first on protecting the center area from spills and stains.

Also consider weather-resistant outdoor fabric that can handle some moisture and sun exposure. Measure the width across the center point to determine how wide your outdoor runner should be.

Ordering & Using Your Perfectly Sized Runner

After going through the measuring process and size calculations, double check your numbers before actually ordering your table runner.

When it arrives, check details like spill protection and follow any special washing instructions to keep your runner looking fabulous every time you set the table.

Common Table & Runner Size Pairings

While we’ve covered the measuring process comprehensively, sometimes a simple size reference can help too. Here are some of the most common pairings:

  • 60 inch runner – 48 inch round table
  • 108 inch runner – 8 foot banquet table

Photos of properly sized table runners on various table shapes can also provide helpful visual examples of what an ideal length and width looks like.

Frequently Asked Sizing Questions

We get lots of common questions on determining the right size, so here are some quick answers to save you time:

What size should I buy for an 8 foot banquet table?

For formal events, choose a 108 inch runner to allow for a foot of elegant overhang on each end.

How can I tell if my existing table runner actually fits properly or not?

Lay it out on your set table and ensure it overhangs at least 6 inches on both ends for formal events. For casual meals, it should fully cover your centerpiece with room on either side for dinnerware.

Getting the precise size table runner you need isn’t nearly as tricky as it first seems. Arm yourself with a tape measure, refer back to the simple math formulas, and consult our size charts as needed.

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