How to buy bar stools
A bar stool buying guide
Bar stool furniture is an option to consider for use in the dining and kitchen areas. It provides an alternative option to standard chairs and offers additional seating. In order to choose the best bar stools that are suited for your needs, you'll need to consider a number of factors, such as the size required and the area where you'll use them.
>> Determine bar stool size
When determining how to buy bar stools, you'll find that there are many bar stool sizes available. Important considerations include height, elbow room and legroom since the stools can be used at both bars and counters.
First, you will want to make sure that your bar stools are the appropriate height in order to ensure a comfortable sitting experience. Measure your counter or bar, and then choose a bar stool style that is about 10"-13" shorter than that measurement. For example, if your kitchen counter or bar is 42" high, 30" bar stools would be an appropriate choice. This would provide just enough legroom for you to feel comfortable and to avoid any crowding. In addition to leg space, you will want to provide ample elbow room. You need to ensure that there is enough room between stools; 25"-30" of space from the center of each bar stool is adequate. Accordingly, the amount of space that you have available will determine the number of bar stools that you can accommodate comfortably.
>> Determine where you will use your bar stools
Because bar stools can be a comfortable alternative to chairs or benches, they are used in various places of business and entertainment, as well as in the home. Most bar stools in the home can be found near the kitchen counter or dining area and sometimes replace chairs or are used for additional seating during meals. As you consider how to buy bar stools, you'll want to determine where you plan to use them in your home.
Bar stool designs will vary, and figuring out how to buy bar stools that fit your needs and situation will depend on whether your stools will be used at home, at a place of business or outdoors.
Bar stools that will be used in the home for dining or entertainment need to be comfortable yet durable. A bar stool with padded seating adds extra comfort. However, if you'll use the stools during meals, you'll want a material that can easily be cleaned in the case of food or beverage spills. You may even want to consider a non-padded bar stool style for easy cleanups.
Bar stools chosen for businesses should be durable and portable so that you can easily rearrange them as needed for ultimate customer satisfaction. They should be comfortable and coordinated to the established decor of the business.
Bar stools can also be convenient for backyard entertainment. If you plan on using them outside, you'll want to choose a bar stool design that can endure extreme weather conditions like heat, rain or snow. In addition to being weather resistant, you'll want your bar stools to be sturdy and comfortable, whether you plan on lounging by the pool or entertaining guests at a barbecue.
>> Consider bar stool designs
Another important consideration is bar stool design. Bar stools are manufactured in a variety of colors, materials and heights and are sometimes equipped with arms, backs and footrests. When you shop for bar stools, you'll want to explore these options in order to decide which bar stool design is most desirable to you.
Metal bar stools can be used for a contemporary style, while wooden bar stools will fit nicely in a rustic decorating scheme. Iron bar stools are a popular option for outdoor use due to their weather-resistant finish, and steel bar stools are sturdy and easy to clean and may be a good choice if you have children.
Another design consideration is seat shape. The two common designs are round and square bar stools. These can come bare or with seats that are upholstered with leather, vinyl, suede or stain-resistant fabrics. Not only does this provide a level of comfort but some of these fabrics are also easy to clean in the event of spillage.
The ability to move and adjust your bar stool is also important. You may prefer swivel bar stools rather than stationary varieties so that you can easily turn in any direction. Additionally, hydraulic bar stools can be lowered or raised depending on your height preference. This would prove useful in an environment where adults and children will be using the same stools and will require varying heights.
A final design consideration is the bar stool's base. Bar stools are often assembled with a four-legged base, which is easily portable. An alternative base is the centered column, which is a common base for a swivel style.
>> Consider how many stools you need
Now that you know how to buy bar stools, you'll want to decide exactly how many bar stools you'll need. Bar stool sets of three or two are available, but individual stools can be purchased as well. As previously mentioned, it is important that you leave enough space between each bar stool to allow for adequate movement. You'll need enough room to get on and off without bumping the people next to you.