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Guide To Choosing The Right Kitchen Counter Stools

Kitchen counter stools can turn your cooking space into a worthwhile destination. Many homes have kitchen islands, but not all of them have stools due to space issues. However, if you can include kitchen counter stools with your island, they will transform your kitchen.

Kitchen Counter Stools

Now, if you don’t have a kitchen island and you’re thinking about installing one, you should include room for a few stools. Sit down with your interior designer and see what kind of kitchen stools would make sense. You want to choose stools that coordinate with your kitchen décor and design. And you’ll also want your kitchen stools to be comfortable and functional.

Kitchen island extension with glass leg

Many types of stools can be used in combination with a kitchen island. Some have classic or traditional designs, with a simple wooden frame and an upholstered seat.

Kitchen Bar Stool Height

Kitchen bar stools heightView in gallery

Counter stools, which often measure 34-39 inches in height, are used beneath worktops, while bar stools, which typically measure 42 inches in height, are used beneath bars. 

The stools are typically 24 to29 inches tall, allowing them to fit right beneath the countertop. The normal height of a barstool is 29 to 32 inches.

Stool Materials

Kitchen bar stools materialView in gallery

While wooden bar stools are available in a range of finishes, you should strive to maintain a sense of continuity across the area. If the area contains wood details, consider bar stools that complement its finish.

Powder-coated wood finishes outlast untreated wood finishes. Metal may be more convenient if you happen to have a metallic scheme in your kitchen. If your bar stool will be used in a dining area, select an easy-to-clean seat upholstery material such as vinyl or leather.

Footrest & Backrest

Footrest & backrestView in gallery

Unless your counter includes a footrest, you’ll want to choose a stool with one.  In comparison to a dining room chair, the majority of people will be unable to rest their feet on the ground while seated on a counter stool. When people’s feet hang, they tend to feel uneasy, which is why a footrest is necessary for comfort.

Backless stools do have certain advantages. They’re ideal for the minimalist aesthetic and tuck neatly beneath the counter as well. However, if comfort is a concern, you’ll want to choose a stool with a back. A backless stool is insufficient for easy lounging.

Seat size

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

There is no diplomatic way of putting this. Seats should be a good fit for bums. For the majority of adults, deeper and wider seats provide more comfort. However, there are limitations to this.

For example, if you choose a chair with a seat that’s too deep, it will make the stool extend far back compared to the edge of the countertop. Also, if the countertop overhang is shallow, your knees will bump the underside quite often if you have a deep seat.

Kitchen Counter Stools

There are many stool designs to choose from, and that’s a good thing.

Swivel stools

Swivel stoolsView in gallery

Swivel barstools include a mechanism that enables the seat to rotate 360 degrees. These are useful when entertaining because they allow you to communicate with anyone in the room.

Swivel capability enables you to easily adjust your angle without having to get out of the chair, pick it up to spin it around, and re-sit. If you have children, you should avoid swivel barstools as they will likely fall off.

Folding stools

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Folding bar stools are fantastic since they compact quickly and can be stored away when you don’t need them freeing up additional space when needed. Folding bar stools are perfect for times when you have more dinner guests than normal.

You may use your foldable bar stools to add seats to the kitchen counter and then store them when you’re finished. These stools are often backless and composed of metal. Be careful with the folding process and exercise caution as fingers can become trapped in the mechanisms. As a result, it is preferable to avoid allowing children to operate them.

Three-legged stools

Three-legged stoolsView in gallery

Kitchen bar stools supported by three legs spaced evenly apart are usually made of wood and are a popular element in pubs due to their durable construction and affordability. They often, but not have a spherical, backless seat.

Tripod barstools are stackable, making them convenient to store. Additionally, it simplifies floor cleaning because the stools can be stacked on top of one another to provide more floor space.

Four-legged stools

Four-legged stoolsView in gallery

Four-legged stools are what they sound like. These will have their legs arranged in a square pattern, with each leg attaching to one of the square’s corners. However, depending on the shape of the stool, the seat might be square or circular.

These barstools provide excellent support and stability and are available in a variety of forms, including conventional styles with four bulky wooden legs and minimalist styles with four slim metal pipe legs. Often, the four legs will be connected with a horizontal step that acts as a footrest.

Pedestal Stools

Pedestal Stools

Pedestal stools have a single supporting pole attached to the base beneath the seat. The base is typically circular but can take on any shape. To maintain a balance, the base should be the same size as the stool’s seat.

The stools are equipped with a swivel mechanism and an adjustable seat height. Because they lack legs, they do not become entangled beneath the bar, albeit the bases do take up more floor area than those with legs. Pedestal stools can be rather hefty and cumbersome to transport. Unlike some stools with legs, they cannot be stacked.

Backless Stools

Backless stoolsView in gallery

Stools that don’t have any backs are usually called flat stools. If the seat is flat, this sort of stool is excellent since it allows for use from any angle due to the lack of a front or back. 

If your stool does not swivel, this is irrelevant with a backless barstool because you can twist your body in place rather than twisting the stool. Backless barstools are a common seating choice in pubs. Certain backless barstools feature molded seats, which prevent them from being used from any angle.

Low-back Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

A low-back barstool is a compromise between a backless barstool and one with a complete back. While a backless barstool provides no support, a high-back barstool protrudes above the counter, which some people dislike.

The stool provides some back support while being discreet from the bar’s opposing side. While a low-back barstool will not allow you to recline, it will prevent anyone from accidentally falling over the back of the seat.

Open-back stools

Open-back stoolsView in gallery

An open-back barstool is a stool with a non-solid backrest. This will be a wooden stool with a backrest frame that may have vertical bars running down it or a wooden cross shape inserted.

Additionally, open-back barstools may feature carved or decorative motifs on the backrest, which is more frequent on classic barstool forms. Certain open-back barstools are constructed of metal and feature a ladder-like shape on the backrest.

Upholstered backless barstools, which include a padded backrest that is positioned toward the top and secured in place by two vertical rods on either side, providing an open space at the lower back.

Kitchen Counter Stool: Pros and Cons

There are several advantages to opting for a kitchen bar stool, such as:

  • Allow to seat multiple people behind the counter.
  • They come in a wide range of styles.
  • Have a pretty high weight capacity.
  • They can have adjustable height.
  • Some models can be stacked.

Naturally, there are also some drawbacks:

  • They are not as comfortable as other models.
  • They are not always child-friendly.

What Is the General Weight Capacity for Kitchen Bar Stools?

What Is the General Weight Capacity for Kitchen Bar Stools?View in gallery

Commercial bar stools, on average, have a better weight-bearing capacity. They can support up to 400 pounds. Even some bar stools are capable of supporting more than 400 pounds. If the bar stool is built of steel, it will last for years of continuous usage and heavy-duty applications.

Generally, wood bar stools are not as weight-bearing as steel bar stools. However, they can still support more than 325 pounds in weight. Plastic bar stools are strong enough to support considerable weight. Thus, being thin does not detract from the strength of the bar stools.

Baseball Bat Kitchen Bar Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery
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Others are quirky with legs made of baseball bats. In these cases they’re handcrafted and made to order which ensures that each piece is unique.

Custom Saddle Style Kitchen Bar Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

They can be chosen to coordinate with the countertop in which case you need to be careful when selecting the color and material. It’s possible to have them both custom made as a set.{oharainteriors}.

Kitchen Bar Stool Height

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery
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The measurements differ depending on type and the height of the kitchen counter.

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery
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These stools are available in lots of different sizes, styles, shapes and materials so you need to do your research before going shopping. First of all, it’s important to select the right height for the stools. Measure the height of the counter and calculate the height the stools should have.

Farmhouse Bar Stools 

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

The Jailhouse Back Wood swivel stool featured here would be a good option in that case. Their design makes them an ideal fit with farmhouse kitchens.

Measuring the Height of the Counter

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

Make sure you measure everything correctly. You need to measure the height of the counter from the floor to the underside. This will help you determine the proper bar stool height so it’s best to measure twice just to make sure.

Make Sure They’re Not Too High

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

If not, you risk getting bar stools that are too high for your kitchen counter. For example, although these classic Tolix stools complement this island really well, they seem a bit too high for it. This means you’d be sacrificing comfort.

How Many Bar Stools Can Fit at An Island?

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

Once you got all measurements right, you need to decide how many stools you need. Figuring out the number is easy. You need to provide adequate spacing for people to eat, drink or socialize. A distance of 26 inches to 30 inches between the centers of the bar stools should be ideal.

Swivel Stools for Kitchen Island

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

The design of this kitchen island evenly divides the space between the three Twist swivel stools. Also, the design of the stools allows them to have adjustable height and this pretty much solves both problems we’ve discussed so far.{found on corynnepless}.

Simple and Irregular Bar Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

But when the island has a unique design such, like this example, the irregular shape makes it difficult to evenly distribute the stools and to offer each one the same type of comfort. {found on refreshinteriorsdesign}.

Built-In Bar Stools 

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

Some designs make it more difficult to determine the right distance between them. It’s the case here where this small kitchen island and its two attached stools had to fit into a limited space.

Suspended Kitchen Island Bar Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

Suspended seats, like with this example, come in pairs. Because they’re built into the island, they can be put away when not in use to save space.

Choose the Style

The last element to take into consideration before purchasing counter height stools is the style. Some designs have seat back, others don’t, some have armrests as opposed to others which are simple plus other distinctions such as between swivel and non-swivel stools, upholstered and non-upholstered models, adjustable and stationery designs.

Bar stools with cork seats

Bar stools with cork seatsView in gallery

The Drifted bar stool by Lars Beller Fjetland is made from a combination of ash and cork. The ash frame has a simple structure with well-placed footrests and supports and two finish options: natural and black. The seat is made of cork with either a light or a dark finish to match the frame.

Slender wood and metal bar stool

Slender wood and metal bar stoolView in gallery

This is the Touchwood bar stool designed by Lars Beller Fjetland. It features a slender and simple frame made of powder-coated steel and a bench seat. The seat has a wavy shape with a slightly raised built-in backrest. You can get it in 12 colors and finish combinations to match your kitchen.

Classic bar stool with a round seat

Classic bar stool with a round seatView in gallery

Although very simple in shape and overall design, the Kendo bar stool by LucidiPavere has a strong presence. It has a round and comfortable seat with wool upholstery. The seat adds color and flair to the stool’s design. There are 4 exciting colors to choose from.

Rustic Industrial Bar Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

These stools, for example, have a backrest and a swivel base but they don’t have armrests. Their design offers them a rustic-industrial look which pairs well with the exposed brick.

Traditional Oversized Bar Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

This is an example of a traditional bar stool design. The leather-upholstered seats offer an elegant look.

Upholstered Kitchen Bar Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

The Marcello Stools are upholstered and have comfortable backrests but, even though the design suggests they’re equipped with armrests, they’re not a feature. Also, the height is not adjustable.

Wood and Chrome Bar Stool Ideas 

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

The Enzo stools combine wood and chrome for a modern aesthetic. They offer comfort thanks to the backrest and also feature footrests. (Dmkitchen)

Modern Kitchen Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

Combining a metal base and a wood seat, these smart and sleek stools have an all-natural design and they’re also quite versatile. Include them in rustic, modern and even industrial kitchens and their simple design (lacking a backrest and armrests) will complement the décor beautifully. {Jacksondesignandremodeling}

Bar Stools with Cast Iron Legs

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

The Arteriors wooden bar stools have thin cast iron legs and a wooden seat with hand-carved detailing. The swivel seat allows the user to adjust the height depending on the height of the counter. {M-architecture}

Kitchen Bar Stools with a Leather Seat

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

If you prefer something basic and modern, this set of two bar stools might be the best bar stools for what you need. It has a slender base with four legs and very clean and simple lines, complemented by a curved seat with a built-in backrest.

The seat is upholstered but maintains a refined and sleek look. The design as a whole is a nice blend of functionality, looks and comfort.

Simple Bar Stools with Round Seat

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

When you can find the right bar stool, go with something simple. The stools come fully assembled and are made of solid wood with a walnut, natural or black finish.

A set of four stools is also available in black. The design is simple and based on clean and straight lines complemented by a round seat without any upholstery on it. The stool has a solid construction and is versatile.

Country Style Kitchen Bar Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

There’s something appealing about these bar stools. The simple design add to their versatility. This dual barstool set is made of solid wood and is available in different finishes.

Classic Style Kitchen Bar Stools 

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

This is a classic design and more formal and elegant. The counter-height stool has a solid and durable frame made of wood. The stool has a faux leather padded seat and backrest. The back is curved for comfort and the legs are curved, adding a stylish twist. Additionally, the stool swivels 360 degrees and the swivel handle is hidden behind the seat band.

Comfortable Bar Stool Ideas 

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

If you want modern yet simple comfort, the Ogden barstool might be the answer. The defining feature is the armchair-inspired look. The wood frame is simple and features four legs with a thin footrest, connecting them on all sides.

The cushioned seat has a curved backrest with a button-tufted back and nailhead trim. A beige color contrasts the dark-stained wooden frame.

Sleek and Ultra Modern Bar Stools

Metal Counter Stool with Wood Seat and BackrestView in gallery

Metal bar stools have a strong industrial vibe. Their frames are strong and sturdy. You can add them to any kitchen and they won’t look out of place. The stool features a metal frame with a wooden seat with a distressed finish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How Many Stools Come With A Kitchen Island?

It depends on the size of your kitchen island. You can order two or four chairs, but you’ll need to determine how space efficient the stools are before you place your order.

What Is The Average Height Of Kitchen Stools?

The average counter height is 36 to 39 inches. Typically, a counter bar stool is 24 to 26 inches high. Stools should be at least 10 inches shorter than countertops to accommodate most people.

Where Can I Buy Kitchen Counter Chairs?

Most furniture stores carry kitchen stools. However, if you don’t mind buying used furniture, check online for the cheapest deals.

How Do You Fix A Squeaky Bar Stool?

WD40 will eliminate any squeaky sounds your stool makes. The reason why a bar stool makes a squeaking sound is because it is dry. WD40 will add moisture to the rusted metal swivel joints and wipe out unwanted sounds.

Are Bar Chairs Bad For Your Posture?

Bar stools that do not have back support may harm your posture. Even when you’re enjoying a morning coffee, eating at your breakfast bar, you should always sit up straight.

Kitchen Counter Stools Conclusion

Kitchen island chairs help create a unique and warm atmosphere in your home. If you’re working on a home improvement project for your kitchen, you should consider making enough room for stools to complement your island decor.

Modern kitchen islands provide opportunities for you to eat elsewhere other than your dining room table. Kitchen counters are great spaces to take advantage of, yet they’re often overlooked.