If you have a general idea of the look and type of bar stools you are looking to purchase, it is best to search for an online furniture retailer where the pricing is much more competitive and therefor will often be priced much lower than physical retail stores. If you are buying your bar stools in bulk, often times you will be eligible for a volume discount, helping you save even more money than if you were to purchase your stools one at a time. There are also cheaper upholstery options that can help save you money as well, for example look for a vinyl or leather look-alike material if you want a leather bar stool. If you are less particular to the level of comfort your stool will provide and are more concerned with the appearance opt for an ABS plastic stool. ABS plastic, although sounds cheap and flimsy, is resistant to heat, chemicals and impact making it a viable option for bar stool seating.
Kitchen stools. Whether its a modern breakfast bar you have or a traditional pine table, kitchen stools can be ideal for your seating requirements. Traditional chairs or bar stools like those pictured below can give that warm feeling that you had whenever you where in your mama's kitchen. Alternatively a metal, chrome or aluminum look can add sleek and sophistication to any modern kitchen. As with the pub stools the height of the counter should be considered prior to purchasing any stools or chairs. The standard breakfast bar is usually 36” which would suggest that you use a 30” stool. When considering a breakfast bar the rule-of-thumb is to have a 6-10” gap between the counter and the seat to derive maximum comfort. However, if you have traditional seating arrangements around a table leave a 6” gap.
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Upholstery – There are a number of upholstery options and styles available for bar stools with the main choices being wood, plastic/acrylic, fabric, leather, and vinyl. When trying to figure out which upholstery will work best for your home the best place to start looking is your kitchen or bar area to determine which will go best. If your kitchen or bar area already has a pre-existing modern vibe opt for something a little more edgy such as modern plastic/acrylic stools that are often available in a variety of fun modern colors to choose from. If you take pride in your kitchen's wood workmanship you can easily accentuate this with wood bar stools that come in a number of different finishes to match your cabinets or counters. We all love kids, but know that they are prone to spills and stains on our furniture. If you have kids in your house stick with a material that can be easily cleaned such as vinyl. If you are opting more for comfort and will be using your stools for extended seating fabric upholstery is always a safe bet for a comfortable sitting experience.
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.
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.