Table runners can add a touch of elegance to your table setting. Table runners are a terrific way to “dress up” a kitchen or dining room table. Instead of covering the entire table, a table runner covers only the middle section of the table, “running” the length of the table. They come in a variety of sizes designed for different length tables, and also have many patterns from which to choose. Some people use table runners on the bare table, just to provide some extra color in the center of their table. They might purchase coordinating place mats that can create protection of the table at each place setting. Alternately, smaller runners may make the perfect tablecloth for coffee tables of a certain length. Before buying table runners, you should first measure your table. As a general rule, a table runner should hang down about 6 inches (15.3 centimeters) on each end of a table.
Therefore, you should purchase table runners that are roughly 1 foot (30.5 centimeters) longer than the length of your table. If you will be using a tablecloth as well, however, keep in mind that table runners are generally not meant to hang lower than the edges of table cloths. Easy-to-wash, stain-resistant table runners are recommended, since there is always a possibility that food will get spilled on them. If you will be setting warm or hot pans on your table runner, you should also purchase one that is made from heat-resistant material.