Don Pedro Brooklyn is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More

How Long Should A Table Runner Be?

By: Nishtha Sadana

Table runners can magically transform the vibe and theme of your table decor. This decorative statement can ideally make your table appear more balanced, streamlined, and enhanced – but also with a major functional and practical use. Yes, it’s an essential decor element to add a sense of character to the table while brightening up the dining area. So, whether you have spring season coming up or Thanksgiving dinner – a table runner can beautifully make a notable statement.

However, the major challenge arises when picking the appropriate size for the runner. What is the size of your dining table? Is it square, circular, or rectangular? Do you want the runner to be longer than the table or simply end at the edges? What are the standard table runner sizes? Yes, don’t worry! Let’s have a look at this guideline to determine the optimum size of a table runner.

What is a Table Runner?

Many homeowners confuse the idea of table runners and table cloth. Ideally, a table runner is an elongated and narrow cloth that runs along the center length of the table. It’s wide enough to cover the one-third region of the table where you generally place the hot serving dishes, jugs, lanterns, and candles. This table runner is the jewel of your tablescape since it majorly exhibits the theme of your decor. Farmhouse? Choose buffalo plaids! Summers? Choose florals! Halloween? Choose pumpkins! Yes – that’s how a table runner can infuse a character to the table and enhance the overall panorama.

Secondly, apart from aesthetics, this table runner is also responsible for protecting the surface of the table against food spills and damage from candle wax. They’re further complemented with placemats to add a decorated effect to the table. On the other hand, a tablecloth is a covering spread all around the table before the tableware is laid.

What is the Standard Size of a Table Runner?

Generally, table runners can vary from 36 inches to 108 inches in length and 10 to 15 inches in width. However, the actual size that you choose depends majorly on the shape and size of your dining table. On the other hand, for a round dining table, you can either have a runner running across the center of the table or form an ‘X’ pattern per se. You can also choose a square tablecloth to cover the entire surface of your round dining table.

How to Select the Size of your Table Runner?

From a wide array of table runner sizes – which one is the best suited for your space? Well, here’s a little mathematical calculation that you must perform. To work out the right runner dimension for your table, it’s ideal to calculate the width and length of your dining table. So, to determine the width of the table runner, calculate the width of the dining table and then divide by 3. For instance, if the width of your dining table is 48”, then the width of your table runner must be 16”.

For the length of your table runner, all depends upon your style and how decorative you want the tablescape to be. So, if you want the runner to overhang on both sides, it should be at least 6 inches longer from both sides of the table. Simultaneously, note that it shouldn’t extend the tablecloth! For instance, if the size of your tablecloth is 60”, then the overall size of your runner shouldn’t be more than 72”. This includes the 6 inches drop on both the edges of the table.

Should a Table Runner be Longer than the Table?

 Should A Table Runner Be Longer Than The Table_  Scaled

Yes, why not? You can absolutely have a table runner that runs longer than the table. However, it all boils down to the kind of vibe, ambiance, and the interior design style. Generally, it’s ideal to choose no more than 6” on either side of the table – and especially for formal setups like special family dinners and weddings – this is something to look forward to. The overhang table runners give a professional touch to the tablescape and add a sense of sophistication and elegance to the room. Hence, if possible, never hold back from this drop!

On the other hand, for an informal gathering, you can even consider the size of the table runner to be exactly the same or shorter as the table. Remember, there’s no hard and fast rule! But the only point to consider is that the size of your runner must match the size of your tablecloth. Neither of them should be too small or too large!

Should a Table Runner be the Same Size as the Table?

 Should A Table Runner Be The Same Size As The Table

This option is only doable if you don’t have a tablecloth! In such a case, your table runner could be the same size as the table or even shorter. For laid-back and informal gatherings, you can consider a shorter table runner to play a fun-loving and welcoming role on the table. This way, the runner also breaks the attention of the viewer from the edges to a focal point – somewhere in the middle of the table.

Secondly, a small runner can also create an illusion of a smaller table – hence, bringing the guests together for a perfect intimate setup.

Standard Table Runner Dimensions

Are you confused about how long a table runner should be? Well, it’s time to discuss some standard table sizes and how to measure the optimum size of the runner for your dining table.

6 Feet Table (Rectangular)

If you have a rectangular table that measures 6 feet x 3 feet – it’s quite simple to determine the size of the runner. Since the length must have a drop of 6 inches from both edges, the overall length must be 72 inches + 6 inches + 6 inches which equal 84 inches. However, for the width, it’s clear that you divide the overall width of the table by 3, which gives 1 foot. Hence, the size of a table runner for a 6 x 3 feet table must be 84 inches by 12 inches.

4 Feet Table (Square)

For a table measuring 4 feet by 4 feet, the runners can either run along the centerline or form a criss-cross pattern. Considering the drop of 6 inches from both edges, the overall length of the runner must be 48” + 6” + 6” which equals 60” length. On the other hand, to determine the width of the table runner, divide by 3 which equals about 16 inches. So, the overall size of your table runner for a 4 feet x 4 feet table would be 60 inches by 16 inches.

4 Feet Diameter Table (Round)

Just like you measure the runner sizes for a rectangular or a square table should you measure for a round table. The elongated and narrow table runner will be calculated based on the size of the diameter of the table. So, for instance, if the diameter of a round table is 48 inches, then the overall length of the runner will be 48 + 6 + 6 = 60 inches. And similarly, the width of the table must be divided by 3 to determine the width of the runner. In this case, it will be 16 inches!

Best Table Runners

Now that you have come across the various do’s and don’ts, whereabouts and how bouts of styling a table runner, let’s have a look at these best table runners options to incorporate.

Striped 100% Cotton Table Runner

Perfect for a boho and coastal tablescape backdrop, this 100% cotton table runner has a timeless look that makes your table feel more airy and calm. It can easily complement the glass, metal, or even wooden table frame while at the same time, protecting it against spills and scratches.

Furthermore, this table runner can be easily cleaned and maintained at home – with just a machine cold wash.

Buffalo Table Runner

It’s time to add that perfect farmhouse and chic statement to your table decor! This buffalo plaid pattern is classic and can easily create a vibrant and vivid appeal. Available in a variety of colors, this runner is definitely a great way to infuse color and pattern at the same time!

Especially for the festivities around the year such as Christmas and Halloween, this table runner would totally prove flawless.

Natural Woven Table Runner

Want a natural and organic touch on your dining table? Well, why not commence with the woven table runner itself. This rustic runner is a great fit for bohemian, vintage, modern farmhouse, as well as Japandi backdrops.

Made from 100% water hyacinth, this runner is also quite durable, strong, and easy to maintain and take care of!


Do you know the best part about having table runners on the dining table? Well, you can always refresh and update them any time you feel like. Yes, every summer, fall, or any festival that’s coming up! So, are you looking to start sprucing up your table decor? Well, do let me know your thoughts or donuts in the comments below!