In this article, we’ll cut-to-the chase and give you the information you need to choose the best counter or bar stool type to suit your home and your family. At Nashville Billiard & Patio, we’ll help you find the perfect stools for just about any setting.

First, we’ll tackle the issue of getting the right fit. Measure your counter height and take this guide with you when you shop for bar stools and/or counter stools.

Counter Stools vs. Bar Stools – what’s the difference?

Do you know the difference between counter height and bar height?

·         The countertops around the sink in your kitchen usually measure 36 inches. Counter stools generally measure 24 or 26 inches from the floor; this is what we call “counter height”.

·         Bars and countertops that are 40 to 42 inches tall are “bar height” and require stools that have a seat height of 30 inches.

·         There is also another height of bar stools we call “spectator height”. These are for bars and counters that range from 44 to 46 inches high. Spectator height bar stools are 34 inches high.

But not all construction is standard, or even within these ranges. So it’s vitally important that you measure the distance from the floor to the underside of the counter, bar or table top.

Choose the right height for counter and bar stools

In order to move around comfortably while seated at a table, bar or counter, you need sufficient leg room. When ordering kitchen and bar stools, be sure to measure the heights first to make sure you have enough clearance!

You’ll want to be able to slide on and off the stool without squeezing and ‘catching’ your clothing – the undersurface of the counter or bar may be rough, not fine-finished.

So, again, here’s the key: measure the distance between the top of your bar or counter and the floor. Now subtract the distance from the floor to the top of the stool’s seat.  You should have 10-12 inches left. That’s the distance between the top of the seat and the top of the counter or bar.

If you buy a standard size stool, the top of your counter or bar should be:

·         Counter stool: 26” + 10” = 36” minimum

·         Bar stool: 30” + 10” = 40” minimum

·         Spectator Stool: 34” + 10” = 44” minimum

How many stools can you fit side-by-side?

It’s important to consider each person’s circle of comfort – their ‘personal space’. For stools with arms as well as swivel stools, it’s recommended that you leave at least 4 inches of space between your stools. Smaller backless stools may be put closer, as they are easier to move.

What styles or design elements do you prefer?

Are you interested in making a bold statement with design, construction materials, or colors? Or would you prefer a more understated look? Do you want your barstools to blend in or stand out?

If your stools are in a busy or narrow corridor, or you don’t want a look that overwhelms your space, consider choosing backless seating that can be easily tucked underneath. But if you love to entertain and want something more comfortable, choose a broad-backed stool with deep seating.

Style choices are virtually endless. So start by looking at your space and answering some of these questions:

·         Do you want metal or wood frames?

·         Do you want fabric or leather cushions?

·         Do you want a stool with or without arms?

·         Do you want a stationary or swivel base?

·         Do you want your stools to have a back, or not?

Practical considerations for your choice in stools

Do you need a material that can be easily cleaned, or wiped clean with a soft cloth? If so, try leather, vinyl, or microfiber seats. How long will you be sitting in the stools? For a cup of coffee or while cooking and eating dinner? The longer you sit, the more important comfort becomes; stools with arms offer more comfort for extended sitting periods. It is easier to get in and out of stools that swivel and for spectator height stools we recommend adding arms.

Kitchen and bar stools are good furniture that can serve you for years and years if you look for brand names offering quality construction and good warranty service.

Nashville Billiard & Patio is proud to offer counter, bar and spectator stools by these manufacturers of fine furniture:

·         Amisco

·         Darafeev

·         Legacy Billiards

·         Steve Silver

·         DFI

·         Furniture Classics

Bar Stool Clearance

Call or come in to Nashville Billiard & Patio to see our evergreen selection of clearance bar stools!

And as always, WE WON’T BE UNDERSOLD!

About the Author:

Cliff Gilchrist is co-owner of Nashville Billiard and Patio, Nashville, Tennessee. He is passionate about high quality pool tables as well as kitchen and bar stools, and has worked with (and around) them since he was just a child. One of Cliff’s greatest delights is to visit with customers years after delivery, and hear the stories of how their pool table with accessories and game room furniture – especially seating and stools – has brought the family together for rollicking good times – year after year. Just like they do for his own family. You can call Cliff at the store 615-254-7882 or email him:

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