What Size Is a Charger Plate


What Size Is a Charger Plate?

Charger plates, also known as service plates or underplates, are decorative plates that are used as a base for other tableware during formal dining events. These plates are not meant to be used for serving food, but rather to enhance the overall presentation of a meal. Charger plates come in various sizes, styles, and materials, making it essential to choose the right size for your table setting. In this article, we will explore the dimensions of charger plates and answer some frequently asked questions.

Dimensions of Charger Plates:

Charger plates are typically larger than regular dinner plates, as their purpose is to frame the food plates and create an elegant setting. The standard size of a charger plate ranges from 11 to 14 inches in diameter. However, it is essential to note that the exact size may vary depending on the manufacturer and the style of the plate.

The most common charger plate size is 13 inches in diameter. This size provides enough space to showcase the food plates while leaving ample room for garnishes and decorative elements. However, if you have limited table space or prefer a more subtle look, you can opt for a 12-inch charger plate.

It’s worth mentioning that charger plates should be larger than the dinner plates they accompany. The general rule of thumb is that the charger plate should extend at least an inch beyond the diameter of the dinner plate. This overlap allows the charger plate to create a visible border while preventing the dinner plate from touching the tablecloth.

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Materials and Styles of Charger Plates:

Charger plates are available in various materials, including glass, porcelain, metal, and plastic. Each material offers a unique aesthetic appeal and durability. Glass charger plates are popular for their elegant and versatile look, while porcelain charger plates exude a classic and refined ambiance.

Metal charger plates, such as those made of stainless steel or silver, add a touch of luxury to any table setting. They come in various finishes, including polished, hammered, and brushed, allowing you to choose the one that best complements your tableware.

Plastic charger plates are a more budget-friendly option, making them ideal for large events, weddings, or casual gatherings. They come in a wide range of colors and designs, allowing you to experiment with different themes and styles.


Q: Can charger plates be used for serving food?
A: No, charger plates are solely decorative and should not be used for serving food directly. They are meant to be placed beneath the food plates to enhance the presentation of a meal.

Q: How many charger plates do I need?
A: The number of charger plates you need depends on the size of your dining table and the number of guests. It is customary to have one charger plate per guest, although some hosts choose to alternate between charger plates and regular dinner plates.

Q: How should I clean and store charger plates?
A: The cleaning and storage instructions for charger plates may vary depending on the material. Glass and porcelain charger plates can generally be hand washed with mild soap and water. Metal charger plates may require special care to maintain their finish, such as wiping them with a soft cloth. Plastic charger plates are usually dishwasher safe. When storing charger plates, stack them in a way that prevents scratching or chipping.

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Q: Can charger plates be used for outdoor dining?
A: Charger plates can be used for outdoor dining, but it is important to choose a material that is suitable for outdoor use. Plastic charger plates are a popular choice for outdoor events due to their durability and ease of cleaning.

In conclusion, charger plates come in various sizes, styles, and materials. The standard size ranges from 11 to 14 inches in diameter, with 13 inches being the most common. When selecting charger plates, consider the size of your table, the number of guests, and the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve. Remember, charger plates are not meant for serving food but rather to elevate the visual appeal of your table setting.