If you’re wondering what size table cloth or runner you need, you’re not alone! Here are some guidelines:
IF YOU WANT YOUR RUNNER TO HANG DOWN AT THE ENDS (called the “drop”): If your table is square and seats 4 people (one on each side), you probably need a 58-60″ table runner. If your table seats 6 (2 on each side and one at each end), you need 90″. For a table that seats 8 (3 on each side and one at each end), 108″. For 10, 120″. For 12, 144″. Larger than that, you’ll either need to overlap two runners in the middle of the table and camouflage the spot with a centerpiece, or you can use a shorter runner that stops shy of the diners at the ends.
IF YOU WANT YOUR RUNNER TO SIT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TABLE AND NOT HANG DOWN AT THE ENDS: Subtract at least 16-24″ from the lengths above, to ensure the runner stops shy of the plates at the ends of the table. Your runner can be even shorter, if you like the look of a runner that just occupies the center of the table.
WHAT ABOUT A ROUND OR OVAL TABLE? A round table tends to make a table runner look odd, because it pokes out into space at the curve, so oval place mats or a table cloth are better options. A runner can look fine on an oval table if the table is wide enough to not create this poking-out look.