Asked on May 7, 2017

Kitchen counter bar heights, do they vary?

Linda Zakrison AdamsWilliamHolly Hill


4 answers
  • Judy
    on May 7, 2017

    Yes, they vary, so be careful as to which measurement you choose,
  • Holly Hill
    on May 7, 2017

    They can vary a lot. Kitchen or rec room bars are set much higher than counters. If you are looking for seating- there is a major difference between bar and counter stools. Allow 10-12 inches spacing at least for a person to fit under either.
  • William
    on May 7, 2017

    There is no single "standard". Standard counter/bar heights are 30", 36", and 42" high...called "table-height", "counter-height", and "bar-height", respectively.

    The most useful height, though, is counter-height. It gives you a large expanse of same-level workspace for large projects (baking, cooking, crafts, science fair, homework, wrapping gifts, etc.) as well as for buffets. [Total expanse depth = overhang depth + depth of counter over the cabinets on the other side, usually 25.5".]

    For young children and older people, table-height is the easiest (and safest) height, bar-height, OTOH, is often difficult for both age groups to get in to/out of. Counter-height, I think, is the best compromise b/w the two.

    What are the recommended minimum seating overhangs? Table-height (30" high): 18" overhang
    Counter-height (36" high): 15" overhang
    Bar-height (42" high): 12" overhang

    Don't try to skimp on overhang b/c the people sitting at the counter will take up the same amount of room...they'll just have to sit further back from the counter edge if you have less than the recommended overhang...thereby taking up the same amount of room but not as comfortably. A human body can be squeezed just so much to fit a small space! (If your family is tall or has long legs, you might consider increasing the overhang from the minimums.)

    One other thing...when planning seating, each seat will need 24" of linear space, regardless of counter height or overhang. This means a 48" wide breakfast bar will seat 2 people comfortably.

  • Linda Zakrison Adams
    on May 14, 2017

    There are lots of online measurements that might help you picture the options too
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