How to Create the Best Home Theater Seating Layout

Exciting as it may be, building a home theater room is hardly easy. One main consideration is how to lay out the home theater chairs so that you will relax and entertain your friends in comfort, without causing traffic problems. For that, you need much more than shopping around for the right seats. You actually need to hone your math skills, put extra thoughts in this phase of the project, consider all odds, make wise choices, or simply find a home theater designer.

Main considerations with home theater seats?

theater seatsThe key to a successful home theater construction is planning well from the start with focus on every little detail. It’s no wonder! One bad decision now will take its toll tomorrow. As far as the seating arrangement at your home movie theater is concerned, there’s fear that you may choose products too big for the space. Or small enough to provide the expected comfort.

You see not all home theater rooms are the same in terms of many things, size included. And so, some questions are raised and must be considered at the very beginning.

•   Is there sufficient space for home theater loveseats, chairs, sofas?

•   Have you considered any home theater columns in space?

•   Did you take into account the distance between the screen and the first row of seats?

•   Will those sitting at the rear row be able to watch the screen unobstructed?

•   Is there enough room for traffic?

How to lay out the home theater chairs to leave traffic room

The seats are the focal point of the home theater décor. They must be beautiful but most importantly, comfortable and practical. While comfort regards you – the viewer, and it’s very important, the practical bit regards another crucial parameter you must consider. Did you consider the traffic lanes?

It is actually the width of the room that will allow you to understand whether you can invest in large home theater sofas or settle for smaller chairs; whether you can create one or two lanes of seats. The space between the rows of seats or between the rows of seats and the wall must be sufficient for people, wheelchairs, or rolling trays to pass through.

Once this is considered, you need to think about the length of the room. Will your recliners nearly touch the screen without leaving space for people to walk through? And then, there must be sufficient distance from the seat to the screen.

Let’s do some math.

If the home theater room is about 35′ long and you have an approx. 70” screen, the first row of seats must be at least 12′ away, while the last row shouldn’t be farther than 30′.

Your math skills will be also be useful when it comes to the angle of viewing. That’s usually a big consideration with large rooms. As a home movie theater builder would most likely tell you, the viewing angle should be around 30 degrees. So, with larger rooms with greater widths and thus chairs occupying most of space, it’s best to have a bigger screen.

How to choose the best home theater room chairs

media-lounge-sofa-chateauWhen it comes to choosing the type of home theater seating, you may go with any style – chairs, loveseats, etc. What’s important is to be sure the width of each chair and the sum of all chairs you get fit in the room based on its dimension. You need to calculate how many chairs you will need in each row and how many rows you can fit in the room, without forgetting that you will most likely need riser platforms too.

Also, add some extra inches (usually 20”) for the space between chairs and don’t forget that some chairs – recliners, for example, occupy more space once they recline. Make sure there’s space and they don’t overlap. Then, (truly) sit back and take a breath.