Too small or too big and the home theater room won’t provide the expected acoustic and visual satisfaction. And so, yes, the size of the room matters. Of course, if you don’t build the home theater movie room from scratch, you have to go with what you have. Still, it’s good to know the right dimensions and the best sizes for such rooms. Naturally, if you have choices between empty rooms in the house or can reconstruct, build from scratch, or add a room to make it your cave for movie watching, it’s good to know a few details about the dimensions. Ready?
Getting the home theater room dimensions right is vital
Although there’s an abundance of equipment available for home theater rooms, from speakers and projectors to TVs and receivers, there’s a golden rule about the distances from the monitor to the front seat – but also to the last row of home theater chairs. Like there’s a rule of thumb when it comes to riser platforms for multiple rows of seats – this would have to do with the room’s height mostly.
The objective is to have the ideal – as close to that as possible, distances at all aspects – from the TV to the home theater sofas, between the seating rows, among speakers and viewers, et cetera. It’s all about having the optimal visual and acoustical experience. Because if you don’t, why build a home theater room?
Which are the best sizes for home theater rooms?
• Home theater builders say that the most common size is about 12’X10′. That’s an average size of a room in a home that will allow you to have sufficient distance from the TV without feeling overwhelmed by the monitor or the sound. In such a room size, you can have 2 or even three rows of chairs, without incliners.
• The best size for a home theater movie room would be 20’X15′. Since even the small side of this room is big enough, you can have a large screen. It also helps that the long side of the room allows you to make various seating arrangements and have multiple rows of seats, if you wish, or just home theater loveseats and sofas. When there’s enough space, you can keep the ideal distance from the screen to all chairs and still play with the seating arrangement. Don’t forget that the size of the screen depends on the size of the room and also tells you where to put the first row of seats. Another benefit of this size is that you can utilize risers and even if you have several rows of seats, you can still have a bar.
• A theater room shouldn’t be smaller than 6’X9′. An 8’X10′ room is still considered very small but could work just fine with the right size TV and the right sound system. But if we are talking about a smaller room, you need to settle for a smaller TV and talk to your home theater builder about the best choice of a sound system. It will still be okay although not ideal.
The golden ratio of home theater movie rooms
When it comes to space, there’s relativity. In the case of a home theater room, you care about sound and vision. As we said, the visual experience depends on the distances from all angles. As for the sound, the size of the room will define how the sound will travel and reach your ears. And so, the length, the width, and the height of the room all matter – not only for the viewing experience – hence, distances, but also for the optimal sound transference. In this context, the golden ratios developed by L.W. Sepmeyer took the height as a constant (1) and recommended that when the width is 1.14, the length should be 1.39, if the width is 1.28, the length should be 1.54, and if the width is 1.6 the length should be 2.33.
These are considered some of the golden ratios since they allow the sound waves to travel better and carry low frequencies better and so the viewer’s acoustical experience is excellent. For this exact reason, square rooms are not a good choice for theater rooms. The sound waves will bounce off of all surfaces and so the acoustics will be bad.
Does this mean that if you have a square or small room, you shouldn’t build a home theater? No, not at all. These are just the ideal ratios, sizes, and dimensions. Besides home theater designers know a few tricks to reshape rooms, which are not ideal – with wall paneling and soft materials, for example. So, don’t give up. If you want to build a home theater cave, go for it.