Counter Stools vs Bar Stools

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Counter Stools vs Bar Stools

kitchen island seating

The kitchen is often viewed as a favorite room of the home. New recipes are created, families enjoy meals together, and memories are made. Many homeowners and designers have begun incorporating new and different methods of seating and dining in kitchens and dining areas, and an increasingly popular design includes a bar or kitchen island.

Instead of traditional dining room chairs, bar stools or counter stools are more appropriate choices for this type of layout, but it’s important to choose the right kind for an optimal dining experience. After all, it can be extremely annoying to have to sit in a stool that’s the wrong height, faced with either knee knocking against the counter or feeling like you have to actually jump up and down to be seated.

There isn’t a major difference to distinguish counter stools and bar stools, so it’s important to understand the more minute differences which will help make sure they’re the appropriate style for your needs. However, both options come in a wide range of different styles to fit any kitchen or dining area. The big difference between the two is often their height.

Counters are generally lower to the ground than a bar, and the corresponding stools naturally follow these patterns. However, the difference is not that distinguishable. A standard counter is typically between 34 and 39 inches high, and a counter stool should fall approximately ten inches (between 24 and 29 inches) below the counter it will be seated beside. This general rule allows a person of average height to still have plenty of legroom, but not be so low they feel like they’re reaching up constantly.

Compare this to the standard bar and bar stool height. A standard bar is typically around 40 to 46 inches high, so the shortest standard bar is still slightly taller than the tallest countertop. Similar to the rule for counter stools, a bar stool should also fall around ten inches below the bar’s height, around 30 to 36 inches high.

Because the standard height for both counters and bars does have a wide range, the best way to make sure you’re picking a stool that is the optimal height is to take customized measurements of the height of the bar or counter in your home.

Make sure to measure the height both from the floor to the bottom of the counter and from the floor to the top of the bar. Then, subtract ten inches from the counter height to make sure there is plenty of room between the counter and the seated person’s legs. Make sure to measure from the floor to the seat of the stool to get the most accurate stool height, as opposed to any backing or added fixtures the stool may have.

Some stools also come with possible adjustable options which can be great additions both for guests who may be taller or shorter than average and for families with children who will grow over the years. Another thing to keep in mind is the width of the stools, and how many will fit within the eating space in your kitchen.

Make sure to measure from the center of the stool, keeping approximately 26-30 inches from the center of one stool to the next stool, and around 12-15 inches between the last stool and the wall. Keeping these things in mind will help you pick the best counter or bar stools for your space.