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How to Shop for Dining Chairs

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Dining Chairs are an essential element to the most important room in the house: the dining room. The centerpiece of this room is the dining set. To properly enjoy a meal with friends or family, you must make sure that you have the proper dining chairs.

The first step to successfully purchasing a dining chair is to make sure that it fits properly in your space. If you do not purchase a prepackaged dining room set, you will need to make sure that the chairs match the height of the table. Measure your table and then choose whether you need "short" chairs for a standard height dining table (28 to 30 inches), a counter height dining chair (for tables 31 to 36 inches), or bar height chairs (for tables 37 inches and greater). Another important factor to consider when calculating spacing is whether the chair has arms or is armless. Many diners enjoy sliding their chair completely under the table, so make sure to factor arm height as well.

After this has been determined, it is necessary to calculate how much space you have in the room. You want to make sure that there will be around 4 feet from the table to wall and 2 feet between each chair. Once this has been calculated, you will determine the number of chairs that you will need to order.

How many dining chairs do I need?

This depends on the size of your table and the amount of people you wish to seat. The chairs need to fit comfortably around the table so you have enough room to sit all of your family members or guests. Decide how much space you need between chairs so diners do not feel cramped or crowded. If your table has leaves that can be added or removed, do you need extra chairs to put at your table when it is at full capacity?

Should I get chairs with arms or without arms?

Arms are a personal decision that has more to do with your personal comfort than anything. In traditional settings, the chairs at the head and the foot of the table have arms, but this is not a hard and fast rule.

Arms sit above the seat, so they may interfere if your table has leaves that hang down. Some chairs with arms are also wider, so you may not be able to fit as many around your table.

Should dining chairs be upholstered?

Upholstered dining chairs may be more comfortable for you and your guests, but they can be a challenge to keep clean. If you have young children or messy eaters, you may want to go with unupholstered chairs or get a material that is easily cleanable and resistant to stains.

What fabrics are best for dining chairs?

Cotton and polyester will be the easiest to clean and offer the greatest durability. Leather is perhaps the most durable option for upholstered chairs and its look softens and improves over time, but it can be more expensive.

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