Restaurant furniture can be a large investment, taking proper care of wood stools can significantly expand their life, be sure to read the manufacturer's care instructions. Clean spills immediately, this can be difficult in a busy bar environment but an upholstered bar stool can quickly become ruined if liquor or other items stain the seat area. The faster the spill is cleaned up, the less time the spill has to soak into the fabric. Try and avoid positioning bar stools too close to walls as they will rub on the wall and damage both the wall and the stool. Try and encourage customers to not lean back on two legs, not only can this lead to an injury claim if the customer falls, it also puts a large strain on the back legs and the back of the seat which can cause either area to fracture under the tension. Wooden stools shouldn't be placed in a setting where they are exposed to extreme dry or humid conditions. Wooden bar stools will dispel or attract moisture depending on the environment conditions. As the wood furniture absorbs moisture from the air around it in a humid environment it will swell just as it will contract when exposed to an extremely dry environment. There is a natural cycle for all wood furniture but when taken to extremes it can cause the wood to crack, weaken, or split over time.
Cocktail stools. For those of you interested in the more up-market approach, a stainless steel or aluminum stool, with a circular ringed footrest, is a must for all cocktail bar lovers. These bar stools blend into almost any surroundings. With a young clientele, as the main customer base, this environment can be fast paced and the seating arrangements can change over the space of a night. In such situations, when bartenders often need to alter the pub arrangements in order to facilitate customer requirements, it is essential to have both a light-weight and durable stool. The aluminum bar stool is ideal for such a task, as is lightweight stainless steel. These stools are not only remarkably light and therefore easy to maneuver, in compact environments, but they are also exceptionally durable, easy to clean and can be found at very reasonable prices.
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If, like many people, your kitchen is eclectic with no particular theme, there is still a bar stool that will look great. You can really let your creativity show with hand painted stools that depict many items from flowers, to fruit to ocean scenes. One word of caution when choosing a bar stool – you must be sure to get the right height for your counter or table. Normally bar stool seats range from 17” to 31” in so there is a good chance you will be able to buy the stool you love in the size you need. To figure out what that size is, you should measure the distance from the bottom of the table or counter to the floor. An ideal fit would be to leave between 10 and 13 inches of space from the bottom of the table to the top of the seat of the stool, so if your table was 35” from the floor, you would want to get a 24” bar stool. This is rather important as buying a stool that does not properly fit your table or counter will result in uncomfortable seating.
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.
Cafe stools. For a cafe it is always best to have metal stools or chairs as opposed to plastic. Plastic has a cheap look and feel to it whereas metal lends to both modern and traditional eating environments. They come in many different styles and designs and can produce a real European flavour to any dining area. In addition metal stools or chairs can be used both inside and in an outside seated area. I have been in expensive coffee houses where the exterior eating area has mirrored the inside and this allows you to enjoy the feel of the inside environment while enjoying the sun.