Small stools. As well as the standard 36” bar stool, which is the average height for an average bar counter, all bars from local taverns to up-market cocktail lounges have additional seating areas. Obviously, the standard size of bar stool would be inappropriate for such a bar table or lounge area. Therefore proprietors should always have a stock of smaller stools for the lounge and seated area in the public bar. Usually, in most cases, only a 20” stool would be required to meet the comfortable table height. A good rule-rule-thumb for a table stool would be to give approximately 6” between the seat and table surface.
A restaurant owner avoids crowding their dinning room, the same logic holds true for the bar area. Too much furniture crowded together can cause an uncomfortable experience for the customer. The industry standard for seating placement is 26 to 30 inches distance as measured from the center of each stool. This provides enough room for dinners to eat and socialize without feeling crowded. Using this method, a business owner can measure their allotted bar space and then determine how many bar stools they will need.
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The classic bar stool is more functional than stylish but a wide selection of wooden and metal stools are highly functional as well as stylish. Many of today's wooden bar stools and metal bar stools are stylish pieces of furniture in their own right that also fulfill the function of the classic stool. The swivel seat is an excellent feature on many stools, especially if they will be used in a tight space, but be careful as the swivels on some stools tend to break and are not as durable as getting a non-swivel stool. Seat backs are also a good feature to consider as they are more comfortable. When trying to choose a style for your bar look to the rest of the dining area for inspiration. Many manufacturers offer the same style of furniture in both a bar stool and chair version.
What all these stools have in common is that they are made of wood. Back in the times of wild west, metal was not as prevalent as it is today, and the cowboys had to make do with the materials that were more readily accessible, in particular wood. So the cowboys had to master the art of woodworking to create these stools. The other materials the cowboys had available were natural leathers, either coming from caught wild animals, but more commonly from the cows that were slaughtered for their meat. Another thing these western saddle bar or counter stools have in common is that, just like the horse saddles, they never feature a back rest, or the arm rests.
Price – The most common misconception about bar stools is that because of their large size they will be expensive, however this preconceived notion is more fiction than fact. There are plenty available that are both affordable and durable, if you know what to look for in advance. Many home furniture stores will mark up their prices on bar stools knowing that once they have you in their door they have a better chance of selling to you on the spot then you having to go through the trouble of driving to other home furniture stores to compare pricing.