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JT Smiles

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You need bar stools for your new home bar or business but there sure are a bunch of styles and shapes to choose from! What is right for you? What is important to consider in the endeavor? After all, this is not a purchase you will make every day, so you want it to be a great choice.

The typical bar stool years ago was simple. It was defined as a round seat at the top of a central post. Are you kidding? Today there are many fashion statements you can make and aesthetics can add just the right amount of atmosphere to your new space or your remodel.

Let's break this down into steps:

STEP ONE - Take a minute and eliminate "form" and "beauty" out of your mind! Just for now...we'll get there. :)

The main mistake often made when choosing a bar stool is, above all, it must be FUNCTIONAL in your space. You must understand your height range and requirements for your specific area. How tall is the counter, or table, the bar stool must fit under? What is the depth of the chair you need? Do you know the primary user of the stool or it going to be used for wide range of different height people?

The guidelines in the industry are to give yourself 9 to 12 inches from the top of the chair to the bottom of the table top. That will give your patrons and guests enough room to sit normally and usually cross their legs if desired. If you expect your bar stool to have arms on it then understand you need to know if you expect the chair to fit under the table top. Now it gets a little trickier in that you want the arms to go under but you don't want to drop the seat height too far under the table top or the guests will be seated lower than they might want to be.

Do some measuring and a drawing before heading to a bar supply store to get your seats.

1) floor to bottom AND the top of the counte

2) width and length of the counter top

3) depth from the edge of the counter top to the wall of the counter (how far under the shelf do you have)

4) how much space from the wall to the edge of the counter. (You need enough room to get in and out)

Go into the store knowing "I need a stool that is between X and Y high and about Z depth." It will go much faster if you do.

STEP TWO - Time to go shopping and find your flair!

You may need a stool that is table-height or basically one that will fit your kitchen table. Typically those stools measure 18-19 inches to the seat height and your table will likely be in the 28 to 30 inch range.

The latest stools I purchased needed to fit under and around a standard-sized counter height of 36 inches. I found chairs in the 24-26 inch seat height range that had short arms. They worked well and looked great.

Bar stools are what you would generally see at a sports bar or other pub. The tables sit higher at 41 to 43 inches and the chairs are 29-31 inches from the floor.

Now just find a great style that fits your space, your eye, and your budget. Have a blast!

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JTSmiles simply enjoys social bartending and wants to help others share in their passion for establishing their own home or business bar. He offers a wide array of bar supplies at
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MLA Style Citation:
Smiles, JT "You Need Bar Stools! How Do You Choose the Right Ones For YOU?." You Need Bar Stools! How Do You Choose the Right Ones For YOU?. 05 Jan. 2017 28 Mar. 2017 <>.
APA Style Citation:
Smiles, JT (2017, January 05). You Need Bar Stools! How Do You Choose the Right Ones For YOU?. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from
Chicago Style Citation:
Smiles, JT "You Need Bar Stools! How Do You Choose the Right Ones For YOU?." You Need Bar Stools! How Do You Choose the Right Ones For YOU?
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