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Home Theater Seating Layout

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/8/2010

If you're setting up a home theater, you need to consider your home theater seating layout. Why, you may ask? Well, you need to ensure comfort for both you and your guests!

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    Using the Available Space for Your Home Theater Room

    Setting up your home theater can be time-consuming, but it’s something that you also need to give careful thought to. Besides the obvious things (type of HDTV to buy, placement of your TV, where you want your theater located, type of home theater lighting to use, etc.), you also need to consider your home theater seating layout.

    Why is home theater seating layout important? Well, you want to be comfortable in your home theater. While how comfortable your seating is does affect this, viewing angle, the space between seats and the ability to recline your seats also affect comfort.

    Generally, before you go out and buy your home theater seats, take a look around the space that you have. Is it really big enough to fit home theater seats with risers (risers allow you to create rows that are higher than the one in front of it like real movie theaters)? Or, is just big enough to fit a couch? Your budget will also affect these decisions.

    You also need to consider optimal viewing range. If you have a HD television, your seats should be as far back as three times the width of your screen. This way, you and your guests won’t be straining their neck or eye sight to watch the television.

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    Home Theater Seating Layout

    Now, let’s go back to home theater seating considerations. If you just plan on having a couch in your home theater room, get a curved sectional. Since the optimal viewing in a movie theater is the center seat, a curved sectional will simulate that effect for everyone viewing your television.

    If you do plan on having actual movie theater seats, you need to allow for aisle and arm space, which can range from 20 inches to 2 feet apart. Your aisle should be approximately two to three feet wide on either side and behind each row so that people can easily access the seats. You don’t need to have a huge aisle behind the back row.

    Source: http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Brown-Leather-3-seat-Recliner-Home-Theater-Seating/1540495/product.html?cid=123620&fp=F&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=1139090 Also, you should have about three to four inches between seats to accommodate arm rests and beverage holders. If you plan on having recliner seats, you need to allow at least three inches on the last row so that people can still recline their seats and not hit their heads. If you just plan on having a single row of seats up against the wall, you still need to allow three inches or more if you’re going to have recliner seats.

    When laying out your home theater seating, think about the size of your room. The size of your room will determine how many theater seats that you can accommodate. About two feet per seat is the normal. So, look at your room before purchasing your home theater seats.

    Whatever seating that you decide to use, it’s important to sketch out a layout of your home theater room to see what you can realistically accommodate as far as seats go in the room. You don’t want to be cramped. It will make for a rather uncomfortable home theater viewing experience.

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    To learn more about home theater seating, read Home Theater Seating Tips and Ideas.