In the Know | Stool Height Guide - Bar vs Counter
Choosing a stool that meets all your requirements is a simple process. That is, if you know your poseur bar stools from your counter stools, and your low stools from your ottomans. Read on to discover all the information you need about industry standard stool heights and the optimum spacing between stools and tables, as well as our different stool categories and their applications.
First things first – where are your stools being positioned and what are they being used for? It might sound obvious but this is a major consideration and will help to immediately narrow down your search. If you’re furnishing a bar or restaurant and want to maximise space by encouraging customers to use the bar area to enjoy food and drinks, you need to make sure your stools can handle the height, which means looking at our poseur bar stool range. If you’re looking for elevated seating in your café or workspace, you should think about counter stools, which are ideal for informal dining. For casual drinks around coffee height tables, you’ll need low stools, or one of our other versatile seating options, such as ottomans or foot stools – perfect for smaller spaces.
Next, you’ll need to think about how many stools you can comfortably fit along a bar, countertop, or around a casual dining table. Whether you’re choosing poseur bar stools or counter stools, the same rules apply: you should allow for 15cm between the stools for dining, and 5–10cm space between each for drinking areas.
As a rule of thumb, the optimum space between a seat and the table surface is 250mm. This allows for plenty of legroom, as well as the perfect configuration for easy access to drinks and bar nibbles! Customers won’t necessarily notice these measurements and adjustments but it’s this attention to detail and comfort that makes all the difference to the customer experience. Many of our bar stools have the option of being either bar height or counter height, so you can quickly and easily adjust them to suit different spaces and uses. Customer comfort is a key factor if you want people to linger in your space and – ideally – return. However, you might need more counter seating during the day but want to switch over to poseur stool height in the evening, or for certain events, in which case, adjustable stool height will be high on your list of priorities.
Ideal height: 750–810mm
The average height of a commercial bar is 1000–1100mm. As we discussed previously, the ideal gap between a seat and table surface is 250mm, in order to leave sufficient space for customers’ knees to rest comfortably. Taking this into account, we can calculate that your bar stools should be between 750–810mm in height, depending on the height of the bar.
Countertops used in cafes and in some workspaces are generally a different height to those found in commercial bars. These countertops are usually 900mm high and so a specific counter-height stool will be necessary to ensure the comfort of customers and/or staff. Taking this into account, we can calculate that your counter stools should be between 650–700mm in height. Don’t forget to factor in any dropped edges on tables or desks.
You will find lots of different stool types on the product stool section of our website ... and for good reason! There are so many different applications for these products: stools to sit on, stools to rest your feet on, and multifunctional stools that can be used as additional seating when space is at a premium at tables and in the bar area. These stools are versatile pieces that finish off collections or provide an alternative visual element to a seating area, drawing the eye in different directions around the space. For these stools, there are no hard and fast rules regarding height; it will depend on usage. If the stool is going to be used for dining seating, an ideal height would be 450–510mm, whereas a footstool should be no shorter than 50mm below the seat height of your sofa or lounge chair.
The decisions don’t end with the height and material of your stools – there are plenty more options to consider. Back rests are a great option for stools that are going to be used in workspaces. However, these also work well in cafes and at bar counters, depending on the layout and any space considerations. Foot rests add extra comfort and versatility in any hospitality or work setting, while swivel stools are definitely worth considering for bar counters, so people can mingle without having to physically lift and reposition stools.
Comfort ... style ... practicality? These are all questions that you’ll be asking before you make a final decision on your poseur, counter or low stools. In terms of comfort, it’s worth considering whether you choose stools with padded seats, or select other materials. The obvious benefit of a padded bar stool is that customers will have a more comfortable eating and drinking experience; the consideration is any extra upkeep that might be needed. You should choose the finish of your bar stools at the same time as you think about their position and usage, so you can tailor individual designs to specific locations within your establishment. Again, we have many options for different height poseur and counter stools in both padded and non-padded designs.
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