Anatomy of a Bar
A. Standard bar height is 42 in. Bar
stools will be easier to find if you
stick with that height.
B. The overhang should be at least 8
in., but when it comes to knee room,
more is better.
C. Most bar stools are 30 in. tall—perfect for standard bar height.
But watch out: Some stools are several
inches taller or shorter.
D. The bar top should be 16 to 20 in.
wide, including the molding; more
than that is a waste of space.
E. Bar molding serves three critical
- It keeps spilled drinks from dribbling
off the bar and onto your lap.
- It provides a comfy armrest and
lets you properly slouch over your
- Most important, it makes your
home bar look more official.
F. The drink rail is where drinks get
poured on a traditional bar. It's a
nice feature, but not a necessity for
a home bar.
G. A drip lip—simply a thin strip of
protruding wood—keeps spills from
running off the bar top.
H. A lower counter is the perfect
place to slice lemons, set bottles or
install a bar sink. But it adds complexity
to the project and eats up a
lot of space, so home bar builders
often skip it.
J. The minimum stool spacing is 2
ft. of bar per seat. That will feel
crowded to big guys, so go to 30 in.
if you can.
K. The foot rail should be 7 to 9 in.
off the floor. Metal railing (usually
brass) is expensive ($200 for an
8-ft. run), so many home bars have
a simple ledge instead.