dlosinger

Counter-height or bar-height kitchen seating?

daybreak08
5 years ago
Getting a new kitchen and pondering the pros and cons...
Counter
Bar

Comments (37)

  • PRO
    Circle Goods Reclaimed
    5 years ago
    i think bar height is a little more casual and fun. But that is just my personal preference.
  • PRO
    Sublime Design
    5 years ago
    Hi,
    Depends if you have decent counter space for prepping food. If so, then yes bar height! If not, then countertop height so it does not cut into your prep space. Have fun and good luck!
  • Related Discussions

    Open kitchen counter - kitchen height or bar height?

    Q

    Comments (10)
    Not sure what is really being asked here. You are asking what height the counters should be at? Open counters are great, but part of your message seems to suggest open kitchen layout. Which are you asking about? Maybe you want to put in an island? Would love to help, but the wording and the image of your layout loses me a little. If you are wanting to open the kitchen up where the stove is and not make that a full height wall, I'd agree with Kaplan above on the hood. However, depending on your situation, you could get a really nice, retractable down draft. If the fan pulls enough CFM and the duct work is leak free, you could make it work. Is the question about the counter height away from the stove...should it be bar height or typical counter height? That is personal preference. I have strong opinions because I'm very tall. Also, I like bar height because that puts me almost at eye level with the person on the other side.
    ...See More

    Kitchen Counter with bar or counter height?

    Q

    Comments (2)
    In my experience, a kitchen will look bigger with countertops at one level. When we built our house 17 years ago, we went with the two level countertops that were popular then. About 7 years ago, I had the raised portion removed and extended the countertop at one level. Even with all my experience, I was surprised at how much more open and spacious the kitchen appeared. Whenever I hear someone say that they don't want to lower their raised countertop because people will see the mess in their kitchen, I think that they must be entertaining very short guests. The trend is definitely toward one level countertops, with a few that include a 30" high dropped portion to serve as a breakfast area. I prefer all one level with a separate breakfast area if there is space. Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
    ...See More

    Adjustable Height Stools, BUT: Dining-to Counter, NOT counter-to-bar

    Q

    Comments (2)
    The Bombo stool from Magis has 2 different height adjustable stools, the shorter one goes from 19" to #0 " and would work. They should be available in NY no problem but these are not traditional , am not sure you will find too many like what you are looking for.
    ...See More

    Bar Height or Counter Height peninsula

    Q

    Comments (23)
    Advira, stools are not an option, there is just not enough room even with a round table. Angel, I have about a month before I have to make a final decision. Still on the fence. If the sink was not where it is, I would definitely do flat counter. Moving plumbing is not an option. Anyone know how much space is adequate behind faucet to avoid a mess on the other side?
    ...See More
  • PRO
    DaVill Blinds
    5 years ago
    Counter get my vote! Bars tools are too high and uncomfortable especially for shorter people. Just my opinion of course.
  • adivra
    5 years ago
    Went from bar to counter and couldn't be happier. For the above stated reasons.
  • PiperMc
    5 years ago
    If you are going for a stunning countertop, it's really nicer to not break up that solid surface into levels. Especially if you are going for stone with a lot of movement.
  • PRO
    Swanx Fine Cabinetry and Interiors
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago
    If you have a sink in the island, a raised bar can provide a barrier to the mess and things that seem to accumulate around a sink .. soap dispensers, scrubbers and what not. But ultimately I prefer a one level island as the kitchen does not have the visual impression of stopping as a raised bar can imply, and it gives you more elbow room as you are moving around the kitchen. I also enjoy the " spread out factor "a one level island gives you for projects, reading, eating, along with multiple sides to access a task, and as stated above, the seats are that bit more comfy and accessible at counter height.
  • Darzy
    5 years ago
    Hands down...counter height. No contest. :)
  • Pwrshopper 21
    5 years ago
    Bar height to hide the mess.
  • Lynne Mysliwiec
    5 years ago
    Several reasons for not liking bar-height:
    1. Multi level islands and peninsulas are almost impossible to implement in a graceful way -- the bolted on, propped- or corbelled-up bar tops are tall enough to see the mechanics underneath (Aside from actual wet bars where the surface is all at bar-height).
    2. Bar-height stools are uncomfortable -- who really wants their legs dangling like a three year old's?
    3. I don't want items from the bar height area falling down into my sink or cooktop, or onto the granite counter -- I'm fond of my crockery and don't want it to break and I sure as heck don't want a falling salt shaker to dent my sink.
  • daybreak08
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    thank you so much for your input!! :) very helpful
  • nancys101
    5 years ago
    I understand counter height is trendy right now, but I prefer bar height for sure - it allows you to keep a clean surface above the lower "messy" work area. Also if you entertain a lot like I do, it allows people a comfortable place to lean and Hang-out". PS: If you purchase the right bar stool your legs won't dangle and it can be comfortable.
  • minervasolutions
    5 years ago
    I agree with how nice it is to stand around the bar height area with guests. It's also nice for reading the paper while standing up. And, if you have dogs, they can't counter-surf it! We have stools from Shaker Workshops that work great with our bar height peninsula.
  • fran158
    5 years ago
    I have counter height in current kitchen, raising to bar height in new home under construction. I am short, older and arthritic; it is much easier to get down from a tall seat than up from a low one.
  • PiperMc
    5 years ago
    I had an extra-large, extra-deep stainless sink installed. Our kitchen is now open-concept, so I just hide all the messy stuff that is used for prep in there. It works surprisingly well. Our counter height island doesn't have a sink or cooktop or anything really installed in it, except for a pop-up electrical outlet. I think that might make things a bit different for us because we do use it for prep, blending and mixing, but we don't have anything else going on there. In the old house, we had a bar-height and a lower work area. Now, I find we work on our laptops and eat at the kitchen counter a lot more. Also, I used to be afraid of accidentally pushing something off the bar-height counter. I think having a deeper bar-height counter would have helped that, though.
  • Lynne Mysliwiec
    5 years ago
    ...and I will point out that counter height is beating bar height by a nearly 4:1 margin
  • craigscraigs
    5 years ago
    Bar height for sure! Bar height seating is far more comfortable, fun (dangling legs remind me of being a kid again!), and it hides the cooking mess from the living room if you have an open floor plan. I hate looking into the kitchen and seeing a mess. If you have bar height counters you can't see what's going on with the countertops behind the bar while seated in the living room. It's a nice visual separation from the two rooms. Bar height chairs are also easier to get in and out of since you don't have to struggle to stand up again, just step right out.
  • dclostboy
    5 years ago
    Counter height is easier to get into and out of
  • n247080
    5 years ago
    Counter height is easier for all ages and capabilities and weights.
  • jenny
    5 years ago
    bar height almost never looks good. only go with it if you have a really good design.
  • keekee9
    5 years ago
    With my 5 & 7 year old(plus another on the way)grandkids in mind, I'm planning on counter-height for our new build.
  • PRO
    River Valley Cabinet Works
    5 years ago
    I'd go bar height if you want to hide the sink.
  • haneyphx
    5 years ago
    Bar height fan here! I am getting ready to put in the 3rd one out of 3 houses. Replaced counter level and never regretted it. I love the separation that it gives you (THAT is kitchen, THIS is other area) and that the person sitting is more level with the person standing (on the kitchen side).

    I will agree that the all-one-level granite is more stunning. If you have a very wide space for the island, I can see that counter level would be a more pretty look.
  • Kelleen
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Did counter height or bar height win? Check out my dilemma in my kitchen. From the posts I am viewing it looks like counter height wins in updating my kitchen too? I am upgrading and getting granite but need to decide...extend counter height out a bit or add a bar height level... HELP

  • haneyphx
    4 years ago

    Kelleen, I am sure counter height won! But I am not going to give up my bar height. For your area, I would want a bar height to both block the kitchen "mess" and allow someone to sit in front of the sink. I don't like to be eye level with the faucet, myself, so I'd like a bar level there. Hey, I know the odds are against me here! :)


  • ectheboss24
    4 years ago
    Counter height for sure. I hate getting up and down on those bar stools!
  • PRO
    7 Sisters Interiors
    4 years ago

    Counter height is favored by most homeowners. Plus if you have 8" ceiling bar height makes them appears even lower.

  • 19661963
    4 years ago

    does anyone ever do all bar height for island? I want to put oven and new micro with drop down door on the island but I don't want to bend. Is is to much to have the entire island at bar height? HELP

  • mlj44
    4 years ago

    I have the same dilemma, as I have to choose btwn keeping a two-tiered island with a bar or go all counter height. I think counter height makes sense if the island is small and definitely if you don't have a sink or stove in it. But, I have a gargantuan island that houses our stove. There's plenty of space both on the counter side as well as the bar side. The island is the distinction between the living room in front and the kitchen table to the side and the kitchen has 10 foot ceilings.... I flip flop each day, but today I am leaning toward keeping the bar. It also hides the pots/pans and food prep during meal prep. Thoughts on a larger island with a stove going counter height or keeping the bar? Stressful..

  • 19661963
    4 years ago

    My island is also 10' and ceiling starts at 9' going up to 12'. I'm taking down a half wall dividing kitchen and dining room and the island will replace wall and cabinetry. It is very open and having a bar height for the single oven and micro keeps from bending which is important since I have bad knees. Oven at one end on counter side 30" wide and Micro at other end 30" wide, both at bar height with bar height seating to connect. That leaves 60" on counter side at counter height ( 2 - 30" base cabinets). KD said it wouldn't look good. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Only alternative for me I would do all counter Height.

  • haneyphx
    4 years ago

    I have gone with two tiered islands in my last 3 houses. In two of these, I removed the counter height level and replaced it with two-tiered tops. Never regretted this. Just remodeled and put in the two tier in the third house.

    In particular, I don't like sitting at the island with the sink or stove directly in front of me.

    I also LOVE the ability of the bar height to hide some of the mess :). This is particularly important if the island face out to a living area.

    andrew121, not sure why your KD does not like the look you described. Can you post a sketch? Sounds like a 10' island is big enough to contain 5' of bar height and 5' of counter height... The issue may be the depth of the top, but I think you would like to have that extra counter high area in your kitchen.

  • mlj44
    4 years ago

    haneyphx: Thanks so much for your comments. I love my island the way it is (7 deep and 9.5 wide), and the bar section gets 2 feet allocated to it all the way across. I'm just changing the counter material and cabinet colors. I also like the separation of space, while someone is cooking - you can hang out in front and visit without being in their space. It also hides the mess from the living room, directly in front of it. My kids are small, but will grow, so I'm not worried about them climbing on tall chairs for long either. I was just worried that if I don't change it now...will the trend continue and I missed my chance to update this part of the kitchen? We are def in the minority on preferring an island with a bar!

    Andrew121 - I'm not sure I understand your plan. Like haneyphx said, if you have a sketch, it would be helpful. I'll be happy to add my two cents of unprofessional advice. :)

  • 19661963
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    This is a rough sketch, the shaded area would be bar height and the two center base cabinets on counter side would be the only counter height cabinets.


  • 19661963
    4 years ago

    This is the KD idea as an all counter height island with seating at one end. If anyone has an opinion on which is preferred I could so use your advice? Just like daybreak08 pondering the pros and cons.

  • haneyphx
    4 years ago

    Hi Andrews121: I liked the other option better (#1). I don't like the island with all counter height (most recent option you posted -#2). Here's why.

    1. You wanted the oven and micro @ bar height - right? So #2 does not meet your design.

    2. If you go with all bar height, you don't have a good area to stage food for the oven or micro. #1 gives you a place, between the oven and micro, to have a food prep area at counter height. Bar height is too high for food prep. Also, think about how you will pull stuff out of the oven. You will want to have a place to put that cookie sheet or __ and you don't want that to be bar height. That height is too high for anyone to lift up a sheet or pan. Same for the micro.

    3. It is a lot nicer to have the stools on the "long" side as in #1. The stools on the end in #2 look way too cramped - 3 stools with leg room? I don't see it working that well. You don't want someone to be seated on the work side of the island. I don't even want the stool there - just gets in the way.

    4. I know your KD did not like #1. I agree that it is a little different. But, there's no way to get the oven and micro to the height you want and not have to use a little "different" option ;).

    5. One input: I suggest you swap the freezer and refrigerator. I am basing that on an assumption that you use the refrigerator more than the freezer. As it looks now, you don't have a convenient landing zone for the refrigerator: no place to put something you pulled out. You want to be able to open that refrig door, pull out __, put it down on a counter, and close the door. So, have that next to the counter and put the door hinge on the right side. The freezer's not as critical.

    OK, that is my humble opinion! Best wishes on this.

  • Lisa Williams
    4 years ago

    Andrew -- What did you decide? Bar height is an inconvenient height for a work surface. Why not put your oven and microwave in a wall cabinet, as pictured below? This would place your appliances at a height that alleviates bending. And then you could have your island all at one counter height.

    I think your option #1 is going to look like there's a "hole" at the lower height. I've seen 2-tiers with the bar height running along 1 side or 2, forming an L, but never 3 sides.


    Woodecor Custom Painted Farmhouse Kitchen · More Info

    Boston Architects: Eck | MacNeely Architects inc. · More Info

    I stand corrected in searching for 2-tiered islands...this one is raised on 3 sides!


    Reaume Construction & Design · More Info
    Thought I find this more appealing...if not all one height...


    Westwood Kitchen · More Info

  • PRO
    Mega Builders
    4 years ago

    Both look honestly