From the Forest, For the Forest since 1995

Seating Capacity

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What are your recommendations for a few smaller tables that seat 4 and 6….tables and chairs?

Chairs always need more space than bench seating.

If you want to use as little space as possible, then you want to go with benches for most arrangements. A 5 ft picnic table with attached benches easily sits 6 large adults (see second photo below).

If you want chairs in as little space as possible, we can fit 4 adults comfortably around a 3 1/2 ft square table with 4 chairs as shown below or a square version. Chairs are not as compatible with the flairing leg design of the picnic tables because the legs will collide. You want to go to a straight leg design like that of our patio tables:

Here is an example of a 3 1/2 ft square table with 4 chairs if you want to sit 4 using chairs:

Square Patio Table

To go to 6 persons in a small space, you can go to a 5 ft picnic table like this one:

Forever Picnic Table (Attached Benches)

If you have someone older that is not comfortable sitting on a bench of a shorter picnic table (because they do not have the same 18 inches corner seating capability because they are too short), you can have a few armchairs sitting around that you can scoot up to the ends of any length picnic table. These armchairs you can keep as flex seating to be used when needed. The 4 1/2 to 6 ft long picnic tables only have 12 inch seats outside the legs on the 4 corners. The 8 ft tables have 18 inch seats.

Here is one example of adding an armchair on the end that is popular with our patio tables. The armrests glide under the apron and stop at the patio table leg which is 5 3/4″ recessed under the tabletop (plenty of room to eat comfortably):

San Francisco Patio Table

We can also do a round table with 4 chairs or with benches. The possibilities are endless. Just keep in mind that bench seating will always get you more bodies per square foot but also a bit less comfortably. That is the trade off.

Also with chairs you need larger round tables than square tables to make it work. Below, as a last visual, I am sending a picture of a 3 1/2′ round patio table. It has 2 chairs and a bench on one side. It is the same size as the square table above that fits 4 chairs just fine. You can see that a 3 1/2 ft round table will be hard pressed to sit 4 in chairs comfortably like the square table obviously does. But, you can make a picnic table version of this table with 4 attached benches that will work fine for 6 adults (having some on 2 benches and some on 1)…

So, to sit 4 with chairs, I’d go with a 3 1/2 ft square patio table like the one shown above (no cushions needed). And for 6 persons, the best option is either a round 3 1/2 ft with benches (do not have any photos of this size) or a 5 ft rectangular picnic table with benches (as shown above).

Round Patio Table

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