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How Long Should a Table Runner Be?

By: Katie Barton |

Laying down a table runner is a great way to dress up a plain dining table or prepare it for a centerpiece.

But as you’ll quickly see, they come in all shapes and sizes.

So, how long should a table runner be? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Table Runner?

Table runners are long sheets of fabric that go down the center of a table. Home decorators use them as decor pieces or to prepare a table for a centerpiece. While you’ll most often see table runners on dining tables, they are also available for coffee and end tables.

How Far Should a Table Runner Hang?

1. How Far Should a Table Runner Hang scaled

In general, your table runner should hang about six inches down on both sides of the table. (But it can hang as far as 10 inches and still look good.) So, if you have a table that is 60 inches long, you’ll want a table runner that’s 72 inches.

If your table is 80 inches, look for a table runner that is 92-100 inches long. If your table is 72 inches, look for a table runner between 84 and 92 inches long.

It’s okay if your table runner hangs a little more than six inches on each side, but you don’t want it to be so long that it’s a hazard to your guests. 

How Wide Should a Table Runner Be?

The perfect table runner is a third of the width of your table. So, if your table is 36 inches wide, you’ll want a table runner that’s 12 inches wide.

Again, your table runner choice should come down to personal preference, so you can choose something a little more narrow or wide depending on the look you’re going for.

What are the Standard Table Runner Lengths?

2. What are the Standard Table Runner Lengths scaled

The standard width for table runners is 10-14 inches, although you can find some as wide as 20 inches.

The most common table runner length is 72 inches. This is the ideal size for a rectangle dining table, 60 inches in length. You can also find table runners in 36, 54, 72, 90, 108, and 120 inches.

It’s hard to find small table runners shorter than 36 inches in length.

Can a table runner be shorter than the table?

Yes, it’s okay if a table runner is shorter than the table – just make sure it doesn’t hit the table’s edge. Ideally, you’ll want your short runner to be centered and for there to be several inches of exposed table on both sides. 

So, choose something that is significantly shorter than your table.

Can I Use a Table Runner with a Tablecloth?

You can use a table runner with a tablecloth – just make sure that the tablecloth hangs farther down than the runner.

You’ll also want to ensure the tablecloth fits appropriately. So, don’t use a round tablecloth on a square table. It will be too short on the edges, and the runner won’t position correctly over it.

Final Thoughts

Adding a table runner to your dining space is a simple way to dress up your table, decorate, or prepare an elaborate centerpiece.

In general, you want your table runner to hang 6-10 inches over the table on both sides. If you prefer shorter lengths, center your table runner and leave at least a few inches of table exposed on either side of the runner.