One of the most fundamental yet often overlooked elements of a successful home theater installation is the seating. A comfortable place to relax and watch your favorite movies is important, but it isn’t just about picking seats that offer comfort. You need to be able to install them in a way that does not hinder the viewing experience, but enhances it instead. Without taking care during the placement of the seats for your home theater, you could end up with some spots where it is difficult to hear the audio or even to see the screen.
What should you keep in mind when approaching the layout of your seating? Remembering the following tips as you plan and execute your home theater design will enable you to enjoy your space to the fullest once all is said and done.
Start with Comfortable Seating
You can’t make any decisions about layout if you don’t know the dimensions of the seats you’ll have to work with during this phase of your project. Knowing that; it’s best to take your time. Don’t rush to select the first option that seems like it might be okay. Instead, take this opportunity to look for the best home theater seating that matches your budget. Some of the things to keep in mind include:
- Whether or not you’d like the seats to recline
- How much arm space you’d like, and whether shared arms between seats are a deal-breaker
- Deciding on other accessories, such as cupholders and trays
Once you’ve gone through the decision-making process for the seats themselves, you can take your measurements and begin making plans for what to do next.
Over-designing a seating layout is one of the most common mistakes people can make here. When creating a home theater or media room, it is tempting to want to plan for the maximum capacity possible. What if you want to fit the whole extended family into the room for some Christmas movie viewing around the holidays? While it might seem sensible, this is often a recipe for a lackluster layout. Why?
Simple: you won’t use the room at full capacity very often, if ever. Instead, you should lay out your seating to provide the best sights and sounds for those who will spend the most time there. Secondary seating should still be able to enjoy a quality experience, but you should place more focus on placement for the primary seats.
Make Sure You Have a Clear Viewing Angle from Every Seat
“Viewing angle” is just what it sounds like — the angle at which you see the screen. Be careful to avoid placing seats too far in a lateral direction from the screen. On some TVs, those who are off to the side will not see the image as intended, but will instead experience distorted colors and images. Instead, the typical viewing angle “rule of thumb” is to keep things between 36 and 50 degrees. Go outside of these parameters, and it becomes uncomfortable to view the screen for long periods.
Don’t forget to ensure that those sitting behind the first row can still see the screen clearly, too. No one should have to look over the top of your head to see the full screen. Use riser platforms and some simple steps to give the back seats that elevated view necessary for an authentic theater-like experience.
Balance Seating so Everyone Has a Similar Sound Experience
You don’t need to spend much time looking at theater seating for sale while worrying about your choice’s effect on sound quality. The sound system you choose, and the way you set it up, will do more to enhance the experience than anything you can do with placement. However, there are some rules to remember. Keep seats at least four feet away from the back wall of the theater room, and similarly leave a four-foot gap between viewers and surround sound speakers. If you move seats closer than that, sound quality will degrade. Ensuring that everyone can enjoy a deep, rumbly bass is a task best left to professional installers, such as those at Starpower. This step practically requires an acoustic analysis of your room — so don’t forget to consult with us before you bolt anything to the floor.
While developing a robust layout that allows everyone to enjoy good sound and reliable sightlines to the projector screen or TV monitor, there is one other element that you should be careful not to forget. What is it? Aisle space, of course. The world’s most comfortable chairs and the most optimized layout possible don’t mean much if you or your guests must struggle to get in and out of their seats.
Ensure that you leave enough space for small rows between seats, and give enough clearance on either side of each seat to allow for freedom of movement. If you opt for reclining seats, don’t make the critical error of spacing your chairs too closely together. Otherwise, you’ll be in for a whole lot of extra labor and frustration as you move everything again to allow for a full recline!
At Starpower, we’re the best at providing for the savvy homeowner in areas far beyond basic home media. When you want a home cinema chair that offers the most comfortable viewing experience while blending in perfectly to your media room, we have everything you need to make that idea into a reality. With twenty different seating styles and a hundred different colored leathers across six quality grades, the theater seating we offer for sale is second to none. Add to that our ability to provide installation alongside supply, and you can enjoy a one-stop-shop for everything you need to set up a home theater.
Contact us today to discuss home theater seating ideas that can work within the space you have, or to learn how to place an order now.