There are a lot of things to consider when you are choosing the right dining room set for your home. One of the things that people often fail to allow for is mobility challenged diners. Even if no one in your home needs a cane, walker, or wheelchair, you should consider making at least one seat at your table handicap accessible. If you ever have dinner guests that need such accommodations, they will be very grateful.
Here are some tips for choosing the best dining set for all diners.
Table size vs room size
Don’t underestimate the amount of space you need to leave around your dining table. It is generally recommended that you have at least 36 inches between the wall and your dining chair pushed into the table. This gives most people enough room to pull out their chair and sit comfortably.
On the other hand, a diner in a wheelchair isn’t going to have enough room to maneuver themselves into a comfortable dining position with that limited space. The more space you can give them, the better.
The ADA requires that small businesses allow 48 inches between the table and the wall, and that disabled diners have table space of at least 30 inches. These are good guidelines for your own home as well.
Chair height and type
When you sit in a dining chair, your feet should be able to rest comfortably on the floor while your knees and hips are even with each other. This is the ideal position from which to stand, and it promotes good posture overall. Chair height is even more important for those who need a cane or walker, because having the hips and knees at an appropriate height is necessary to rise without assistance.
Meanwhile, you should consider that everyone will have different needs, and if you plan to have dinner parties of any kind now or in the future you should make sure that you can meet them all. Look for affordable dining room sets with chairs that have arms that can be raised and lowered as needed. Adjustable height dining chairs are also a good feature.
Your dining table also needs to be at an appropriate height. Most wheelchair seats are 18 to 20 inches high, compared to 17 to 19 inches for the average dining chair seat. It is generally recommended that you leave an additional 10 to 12 inches of space between the seat and the bottom edge of the table.
When wishing to accommodate diners regardless of disability, you should also allow extra room for blankets, pillows, medical devices, etc. As such, your dining table should be at least 36 inches high. These tables are available with matching dining chairs of the right height for average diners so that it will be comfortable for everyone.
Unobtrusive table base
Check the dimensions of the base of the table carefully, and look closely at the design before making a decision. If the table base is bulky, large, or otherwise intrusive on guests sitting around the table, it could interfere with mobility devices or the individual being able to sit comfortably. If one particular area of the table is most ideal for handicapped dining, careful placement and design layout could solve the issue.