Bar stools – A Complete Guide
When furnishing or designing a bar, hotel, restaurant or café, it’s likely you’ll need a range of bar stools to provide ample seating (and to complement your interior). At UHS Group, a leading provider of furniture for the hospitality sector, we recognise that choosing a bar stool presents many decisions. This guide provides the advice you need on comfort, design, height, and details the number of bar stools recommended per foot of floor space.
Are bar stools comfortable?
Choosing the wrong bar stool for your establishment can lead to uncomfortable customers and not-so-fond memories of your venue. However, we believe that bar stools can be comfortable – despite their reputation – if they exhibit some of the following:
• Padded backs and seats – support your customers with padded backs and seats if comfort is your priority. A number of designs will offer this in a range of materials.
• Width – provide your customers with room to manoeuvre. That squashed feeling isn’t what your customers are hoping for when sipping on a cocktail or beer.
• Arms – arms provide additional support and allow your clientele to sit back and relax.
• A bar (foot rest) – shorter customers in particular will benefit from a bar to rest their feet upon. Feet left dangling certainly isn’t the height of comfort.
• Stability – this goes without saying. The bar stools should absolutely not be at risk of collapsing, feel “rickety”, or pose a health and safety risk.
Finally, we’re often asked “are backless bar stools comfortable?” Although we have all experienced the discomfort of a badly designed stool, if other comfort features are present – such as adequate width, a footrest, a padded seat and stability – it is entirely possible for backless bar stools to be comfortable.
How tall should bar stools be?
To determine the perfect bar stool height, you will need to measure the height of the bar top or counter first. Once you have this figure, subtract 10 inches – this will reveal the approximate height that you should be looking for (or designing to) when acquiring or designing bar stools. Sticking to this rule will provide customers with enough room without the gap being too large.
How many bar stools should be used per foot of table space?
Another common question! Interior design experts often recommend allowing between 26 and 30 inches per table space. Therefore, if your bar is 12 feet long (144 inches), no more than 5 bar stools would be recommended. 14 to 15 inches from the middle of the end stool to the edge of the counter should also be factored in.
Popular bar stool styles
There’s a lot of choice, ranging from classics to more modern styles. Some of our favourites on offer at UHS Group include:
• Bar stool with winged back and swivel mechanism (The Memphis bar stool) – if you’re looking for comfort, this is the one – with adequate padding, a foot rest and swivel mechanism, The Memphis can be upholstered in any fabric or leather.
• Simple wooden bar stool (Pub bar stool) – sometimes, simple is best. The Pub Stool is made out of solid beech and can be finished in any stain or colour – perfect!
• Industrial bar stool (Johnson stool) – using engineering factories as our inspiration, we created the Johnson Stool. This look is perfect for industrial and vintage themes.
• Pouffs – strictly speaking, pouffs aren’t bar stools. However, they offer a stylish alternative for lower table tops and counters (or for areas without a table). The Sonata Pouff is an excellent option for lounge area seating.
• Lab/school style stool – school chair style provides a quirky option for bars and restaurants with a laid back vibe (think burger restaurants and alchemy inspired cocktail bars). The Zilo bar stool has a ply back and seat with a classic metal tubular frame.
• Comfortable spin/swivel bar stools – swivel style stools have been a staple in bars and pubs for decades. Our stylish take on the Spin Stool offers a steel framework that can be powder coated in any standard RAL colour.
Designing your own bar stool with UHS Group’s product configurator
At UHS Group, we source and design bar stools for pubs, cocktail bars, restaurants and many other venues. When designing furniture, we’re able to subject furniture to a range of tests specifically designed for the hospitality sector too. If you’d like to customise our bar stools, our product configurator allows you to customise up to 7 different parts of a stool in a choice of:
• 420 fabrics
• 20 wood finishes
• 20 RAL colours
When your customisation is complete, you’re able to save your image (and request a price).
The perfect bar stool
Does such a thing exist? We believe the perfect bar stool should meet a number of factors:
• Practicality – make sure your furniture can withstand your energetic bar or bustling coffee shop. Replacing furniture regularly because of damage or staining is costly (not to mention inconvenient).
• Style – there’s absolutely no need to compromise on style for the sake of practicality. Practical and stylish contract furniture does exist.
• Comfort – as mentioned earlier on in the guide, comfort is of paramount importance. Consider the factors mentioned above during design.
• Affordability – cheap furniture may not last – but it’s also important that your furniture is affordable to purchase at scale (and replace should any accidents happen!).
We hope that you found the bar stool guide useful and have gathered some valuable inspiration and insights for your hospitality project. Please get in touch with any questions or share your thoughts, ideas and design projects with us – we would love to see your creations!
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