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How Many Bar Stools Do I Need? – Bar Stool Spacing Guide

A bar stool is a popular seating choice on the kitchen island or bar. If you are planning to start your restaurant and finish the decor with bar stools, or you already have bar stools in your space, then you need to learn how to space them correctly to enable easy movement in and out of the stools. Also, maximum comfort is the end goal in your restaurant, and to achieve it, you must understand how to use barstools perfectly. This article is going to tell you how much width an average bar stool should have and how many bar stools you need to get for your spaces among other things.

How Wide Is The Average Bar Stool?

With so many stool dimensions to choose from, you may wonder what is the average bar stool width, but we are going to assist you to find the right width for your bar stool.

The very common barstool widths are 15 inches, 17 inches, and 21 inches and therefore, 17 inches can be considered the average barstool width. The number of stools you can put in a bar is influenced directly by the width of each stool. Whenever you want to shop for a bar stool it is necessary to take measurements of your bar or counter and have this number in mind. The ideal inch between the centers of every stool ranges between 26 to 30 inches. 28 inches from center to center is the recommended distance to correctly allow happy drinking, eating, and socializing especially when considering men’s size. You do not want to bump elbows with strangers every time you sit on the counter. The dimension may need to be adjusted when the bar stool design is larger than the individual seated in it, such as those with armrests and swivel backs.

Another thing you need to consider is getting the right height stool. Your stool might be of the correct width but with the wrong height, you could be too low or too high on your counter. When purchasing bar stools there are three height considerations, you should take into account.

– Bar stool height

Bar tops generally have a height of about 40 to 42 inches. Bar stools ranging between 28 to 30 inches and above will fit well in this space.

– Counter stool height

The regular countertops should fall between 36 to 39 inches. Here the low height stool of 24 to 26 inches will be a perfect fit.

– Table stool height

Tabletops in your homes have a height of 28 to 30 inches and you will need stools ranging between 18 to 20 inches to fit nicely into this space.

How Much Space Between Bar Stools

The minimum space recommended between the centers of bar stools ranges between 26 to 30 inches. This will ensure that at least 6 inches of spacing is left amid each stool. This space ensures that you are happily seated without feeling crowded. It also makes sure that there is enough room for you to get up with ease without bumping elbows with the other person. Additionally, the wider stools between 19 to 22 inches should have more space between them preferably 8 to 10 inches.

How Much Space Between Bar Stools And Wall

You need enough room to get into and out of your seat comfortably without having to squeeze yourself or bothering the next person. 18 inches space between the back of your chair and the counter’s edge is enough clearance to make your move easily into and out of your seat.
Subsequently, there should be enough space between your seat and the wall. You will need to move the seat behind when you need to sit or move out. The ideal space between the seat and the wall should be 2 ft. Additionally, if you want enough space where people can walk behind a person that is seated without distracting them then you need an additional 1 foot to make it 3 feet.

How Much Space Between Bar Stool And Counter

Nothing is irritating like seating on a bar stool that is the wrong height. When a stool is too short, you feel like you are struggling to reach the counter. Similarly seating on a very tall seat, you keep knocking your knees under the countertop. For maximum comfort, you need 9 to 13 inches between the underside of the counter and the seat with 12 as the average preferred distance.

You can also pick your bar seats based on the average heights that are recommended by experts to provide comfort. A 30-inch stool is perfect for a bar-height counter, whereas very high countertops will need a stool that is 34 inches high. Still, there are those people who like to stand out from the rest and go the extra mile to create their measurements. To help you determine the right choice of stool you need first, measure the height of your counter or table

You should start taking measurements from the floor to the underneath of the counter. When you have finished measuring you can get the ideal stool height for your bar by removing 10 inches from your counter height. If you want more room, you can subtract about 12 inches. This will ensure that there is enough room from the seat top to the bottom of the counter. Additionally, to ensure that you have the best stool height, take the stool’s measurement from the floor to the top of the seat.

Better still there are adjustable stools in the market that you can include in your bar. These are perfect for tight spaces and can be stored under the countertop when they are not in use. With adjustable stools, the distance to the countertop is of less significance since they can be adjusted depending on an individual’s preference.

If you have short bar stools, you can use leg extenders to raise the height of the stools. It is very awkward and uncomfortable to sit on a low bar stool. Because you cannot change the height of your bar, you need to adjust the height of the stool with leg extenders, which can either be homemade or purchased.

How Many Bar Stools Should I get?

Having too many barstools will overcrowd the counter whereas having too few seats will leave you with bare space, which you do not need. Figuring out the number of seats you need to get is not an easy task. You need to know the width of the seat, bar stool spacing, and the size of your counter.

All these three features ensure that people are comfortably seated on your bar counters without bumping elbows with one another when drinking or eating. Besides, they should also be free to move into and out of their seats without having to ask the next person to adjust their seats or squeezing themselves in tiny spaces because the counter is overcrowded.

To ensure this, you need to measure your counter. After getting the dimensions of the counter, you should remember that each bar stool typically has a width measurement of about 16 to 21 inches. Therefore, to ensure that each person is comfortable when on the counter, your seats should be between 26 to 30 inches apart. This distance is measured from the center of one stool to the next. Additionally, the distance between the last stool on the wall should be about 14 inches. You do not want to make everyone comfortable and then forget about the last person seated next to the wall.

Say you have your counter dimension is 72 inches and your average seating space per person is 24 inches. To get the exact number of stools you need for this space you will divide your counter’s dimension by the average space per person. That is 72/24 which will give you an average of 3 seats.

Please remember that bar stools that have arms will need an additional 2 inches than those without arms. Also, if you have no walls on the ends of your counter then you will have more space for your seats.

Generally, you can use two ways to determine the number of stools you need to get for your bar.

If you know you want to have four stools in your bar, this method can come in handy.

Length of the countertop divided by the number of seats you want to have. This will give you the amount of space each stool will have to occupy.

The next thing is to determine how much of this space is for the stool and how much should be left for easy movement. The average space per person should fall between 6 and 8 inches. Subtracting this will leave you with the space you have for the stool itself.

Let us put this into practice.

For example, when we use 8 ft as our counter size

Amount of space per person = 243/4, which will give 60.75 cm. That is 2 ft per person.
You need approximately 20 cm between the stools, so to find the amount of space the stool will occupy you need to subtract 20 cm from the amount of space per stool which is 60.75 cm.

Space per person – 20 cm = space per stool

60.75 – 20 = 40.75 cm.

40.75 indicates the width of your stool, which is approximately 16 inches.

The other method that you can use to know how many stools you need is by using the width of the stool you would want to have in your bar.

– You should work out the size of your countertop and the breadth of your stool.
– To allow space for mantling and dismantling, add 20 cm to the breadth of the seat.
– Divide the size of the countertop with the new breadth (width of the stool + 20 cm).
– If your result gives you a decimal number you need to round it up since there are no half stools. You can either round it down or up depending on the decimal number. If it is below .5 it should be rounded down, alternatively if it falls above .5 round it up.

For example, take the length of your counter as 10 ft that is equivalent to 304.85 cm.

Take the width of your chair as 45 cm. Add 20cm to the width of your seat to include the spacing needed. 45 + 20 = 65 cm.

Divide the length of the counter by the new width dimension (stool + 20 cm)
304.85/65 = 4.69 since the decimal is above .5 the number is rounded up.
Therefore, for a 10 ft countertop, you will need 5 stools.

How Many Bar Stools Can You Fit At A 6ft Island?

If you have a 6-foot countertop the number of seats you can fit here is 3 regular-sized bar stools leaving 7 inches between each seat.
If you have a 6 feet kitchen island then 6 normal-sized bar seats can fit in nicely leaving 7 inches space between the seats.

How Many Bar Stools Can You Fit At An 8 Ft Island?

For an 8 ft countertop, you will need 4 average-sized bar stools while leaving 7 inches between each stool for easy and quick movement in and out of the stool.

On the other hand, for an 8 ft kitchen island, you can fit 8 average-sized bar stools while also leaving 7 inches between each seat to allow easy movement.

How Many Bar Stools Can You Fit At A 10 Ft Island?

5 regular-sized bar seats will cover a 10 ft countertop nicely while leaving 7 inches between the seats to ensure that your elbows do not bump with the next person when eating or drinking.

Alternatively, for a kitchen island, 10 normal sized bar stools will fit perfectly while still leaving the recommended 7 inches between the stools for maximum comfortability.


This article has provided an in-depth analysis of bar stools, including their width, recommended heights, and spacing between the seats. Having this knowledge will reduce the confusion you face when trying to figure out what you need for your bar. With this, you can make your bar comfortable for everyone when eating, drinking, and socializing.

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