How Far Should a Bar Stool Be From The Counter?

BY |

You always hope to relax and unwind after a long, hard day whenever you visit your local bar. This can only be made possible if you get a good drink, great company, and even better-sitting arrangements.

Sitting on a bar stool that’s too far back from the counter is uncomfortable and a tad awkward. This begs the question, how far should a bar stool be from the counter? 

Depending on the counter height, bar stools should be at least 10-11 inches from the top of the counter. A standard counter is about 36 inches tall, whether in a home bar or a commercial bar premise. Leave about 24 inches between the counter and the edge of the stool.

The bar stool height also depends on the design of your bar counter. Having a minibar in your home is a perfect way to upgrade your home. Even then, it is good to have a bar stool at the right height so as not to make your bar area disproportionate.

Here is everything you need to know about purchasing a suitable bar stool and how far they need to be from the counter. 

How to Choose the Perfect Bar Stool For Your Counter


Your bar area will only look classy, elegant, and welcoming if your furniture match. Getting a good barstool need not be a daunting task. Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect stools for your bar. 

Always get the correct height measurements

The bar stool you pick should fit well under your counter. It should not go over the counter or be the same height as the counter. A good bar stool should be tall enough to give ample legroom. A stool that’s too tall will look disorganized on the counter. You will have to bend to lean on the counter. 

The seat height is always key when purchasing these stools. Ideally, the seat should be approximately 11 inches from the bottom of your bar countertop. If you get a stool with measurements higher or lower than this, your bar area will look unbalanced. 

These measurements are also ideal for stools for your pub table or wet bar. Such counters are usually 42 inches tall, and the standard bar stools fit just as well. Be careful not to assume that your bar counter is the traditional height and width. Always take measurements for confirmation since some may be outside the normal range. 


You need to place your stools strategically to be able to achieve a well-put-together bar area. For this reason, ensure you buy just the right number of stools. Too many stools will cramp up your space, while too few will make your bar look empty.

To determine the correct number of stools to buy, measure your counter width, then relate that with the size of stools. 

Ensure you leave enough space between stools to help people sit comfortably. It is advisable to leave a minimum of 6 inches between stools. Leave more space (10 inches) if you have fancy stools with arms or ones that swivel.

Purpose of the stools

You have to factor in how your stools are going to be used. This is in relation to the number of people you host and how often you host. For instance, if you host frequently, consider backless stools to give room for more seats, therefore, more guests. Backless stools may be good to seat many people but are not ideal for long periods of seating. 

If you are hosting people and plan to remain seated for long, consider stools with backs for comfortable sitting. You don’t want our guests leaving your home with aching backs because of the poor choice of bar stools. 

Consider adjustable stools if you plan to use them for different people. Children will need additional height to reach the counters, while tall loved ones will have to adjust their stools’ height. Luckily, most stools are adjustable for up to 10 inches up and 6 inches down.

While buying adjustable stools, consider the space around your counter for adequate legroom. You may buy additional footrests for taller non-adjustable stools to avoid dangling feet. 

Shape and size of the stool

Note that bar stools come in various shapes and sizes. You have the option of choosing whatever design you fancy, depending on your taste and preference. You can choose ones with cushioning or those without.

If you pick those with cushioning, ensure you leave extra space to provide an allowance for the cushioning. Cushioned stools are comfortable to sit in and look classy. 

Don’t be hesitant to buy narrow saddled seats since they are comfortable sitting on and fitting snuggly under your counter despite their looks. If you are a family of tall people, consider deep-seated stools as they have more length from the front to the backrest for adequate leg support. 

Shorter people will find shallow seats more comfortable since they have a narrow space between the front edge and the seatback. Wide seated stools are comfortable for everyone. 

How To Correctly Space Your Bar Stools

Your bar area will only look elegant if you place your stools strategically. The number of stools you buy depends on your space. Crucial tips to consider when designing and organizing your bar area include: 

  • Space available
  • Stool spacing
  • Width of the bar stools
  • Size of your countertop

When it comes to spacing, place your stools approximately 8 inches apart from each other. If you have more oversized stools with backs or armrests, consider spacing them 10-12 inches apart. This gives room for easy and free movement.

This is the minimum spacing. Depending on your style, and the number of people in your household, you can put them closer to each other or further apart. Whatever you choose, ensure you leave enough space for people to quickly get in and out of the stool. 

The number of stools to purchase depends on the space available and the length of your counter. To get accurate measurements, divide the length of the counter by the number of stools you intend to get.

The figure you get will give you the amount of space for each stool and therefore help you determine how many stools can fit well in your bar area.

Note that you will also need to give room for mounting and dismounting from the stool. Allocate each person at least 8 inches for mounting and dismounting. This is for the average weighted person.

Here is a simple step by step guide to help you correctly space your stools: 

  1. Measure the length of your countertop and the width of all the bar stools
  2. Add about 8-10 inches to the measurements you get. This will give you enough allowance for mounting and dismounting
  3. Divide the measured length of the countertop by the stool width plus 8-10 inches. 
  4. Round off the answer. You get to the nearest whole number. This is now the number of stools you can fit in your bar area.

If your bar area has an island design, the measurements may vary slightly since this design comes with more space. For instance, a 6-foot island can fit about three standard-sized bar stools with adequate space between them.

Your bar space needs to be exquisite. This can only be made possible if you pay more attention to the measurements.

A cramped space has no elegance, while too much free space calls for more furniture.

Leave a Comment