Bar stools must be tall enough for a person to sit comfortably with their feet on the floor and their knees at a 90-degree angle. However, they should not be too tall so as not to fit under your tabletops when not in use. Making your bar stools taller can give that extra height that allows everyone to sit comfortably.
To make bar stools taller, add stool raisers, place a pillow or cushion on top of the seats, or raise the base with wooden or metal blocks. These simple fixes can be achieved without replacing your existing stools, provided you make the correct measurements.
In this article, I’ll be discussing everything you need to know about how to make your bar stools taller. I’ll also take you through the process of determining the ideal bar stool height for your counters. Let’s get started!
1. Use Leg Raisers
Using leg raisers (extenders) is a great way to make your bar stools taller without replacing them. They fit over the existing legs of the stool and can be added or removed as needed.
The success of leg raisers in elongating bar stools is based on:
- Size: You want leg extenders to raise your stools to the required height. However, getting overly long extenders will be a waste of money and could make your stools unstable.
- Material: The material should be strong enough to support the weight of whoever sits on the stool. Moreover, it should be durable to withstand regular use. Metal and wood are the best materials in this case. While wood is preferred for wooden floors, metal extenders are more suitable for concrete floors.
- Ease of installation and removal: You don’t want leg raisers that are difficult to put on or take off. The process should be quick and easy, especially if you’ll be adding and removing them frequently.
- Shape: The shape of the extenders should be such that they fit snugly over the legs of your bar stools. They should also be wide enough to provide stability.
Now that you know what to consider when going for bar stool leg extenders let’s go through the installation process.
What you’ll need:
- Bar stool leg extenders
- Tape measure
- Determine the height you want your stools to be using a tape measure. Add at least two inches to allow some wiggle room.
- Mark the desired height on the extenders using a pencil. This will be your guide when cutting the extenders to size.
- Cut the extenders to the desired height using a saw. If you’re uncomfortable using a saw, you can have someone do it for you.
- Place the extenders over the legs of your bar stools and screw them in place using a screwdriver. Make sure they’re screwed in tightly to avoid them coming loose.
The video below provides more detail about fixing leg extenders:
And that’s it! You’ve successfully made your bar stools taller using leg raisers.
Although leg extenders are a common and easy way to make bar stools taller, they do have a few drawbacks you must be aware of:
- They can be unstable and may wobble if not installed correctly. You must screw them for a snug fit to avoid this.
- They could potentially damage your floor if they’re made of metal and you have a wooden floor. Be sure to get the suitable material for your flooring type.
- They can be unsightly and take away from the aesthetic of your stool. Therefore, you should get a color that blends with your stools.
It’s worth mentioning that if you’ll be adding and removing them frequently, make sure they’re easy to install and remove. Instead of screwing them on, you could use Velcro or another type of fastener that can be removed quickly.
2. Use a Pillow or Cushion
If you don’t want to go the route of leg raisers, you can make your bar stools taller by adding a pillow or cushion to the seat. This is especially beneficial if you don’t want to change your stools permanently.
Pillows and cushions come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. You can find them at most home goods stores or online.
Be sure to get ones that are:
- The right size: You don’t want pillows or cushions that are too big or too small. They should be just the right size, so they don’t look out of place.
- The right shape: Pillows and cushions come in a variety of shapes. You’ll want to get ones that fit the shape of your stool and provide adequate support. A rule of thumb is to buy the ones that match the shape of your stool; circular pillows will work well with circular stools.
- The right color: You should choose a color that portrays what you want your home decor to stand for.
- The suitable material: You’ll want a material that is comfortable and easy to clean. Cotton is a popular choice because it’s soft and breathable. However, you can go for leather or vinyl if you want something more durable.
Once you have the pillows or cushions, simply place them on the seat of your bar stools, and voilà! You’ve successfully made your bar stools taller.
Keep in mind that this method is not ideal for everyone. For example, this may not be the best option for you if you have back problems, as it could exacerbate your condition.
3. Raise the Base With Wooden or Metal Blocks
This method is similar to the leg raisers method, but you’ll be raising the base instead of attaching extensions to the legs.
- Wooden or metal blocks (depending on your preference)
- Tape measure
- Saw (if you’re using wooden blocks)
- Screwdriver (if you’re using metal blocks)
- Measure the height of your bar stools. You’ll need this information to know how tall to make the blocks.
- Cut the wooden blocks to size (if you’re using them). You can skip this step if you’re using metal blocks.
- Attach the blocks to the base of your bar stools. You can do this by screwing them in (if you’re using metal blocks) or nailing them in (if you’re using wooden blocks).
4. Use an Ottoman
An ottoman is a type of furniture with multiple uses. It can be used as a footrest, a seat, or a table.
An ottoman can also be used to make bar stools taller. All you have to do is place it under the stool’s seat.
Although using an ottoman seems this simple, you must be aware of the following:
- The height of the ottoman: You’ll want to get an ottoman slightly shorter than the stool. This will ensure that the stool is stable and won’t tip over.
- The weight of the ottoman: The ottoman should be heavy enough, so it doesn’t move around when you’re sitting on the stool. However, it shouldn’t be too heavy as this could make moving difficult.
- The material of the ottoman: The material should be comfortable and easy to clean. Leather and vinyl are good choices because they’re durable and easy to wipe down.
5. Use a Stackable Stool
Stackable stools make for an easy way to elongate your bar stools. All you have to do is stack them on top of each other to increase the overall height. These stools are ideal for bars as you may want more space to entertain your guests.
Suitable stackable stools are determined by:
- Sturdy material: Stacking and unstacking stools involve constant friction that can damage flimsy materials. Therefore, you’ll want to get stools made of durable materials such as resin.
- Non-slip feet: Non-slip feet are essential as they prevent the stool from slipping and falling over when stacked. They also protect your floor from scratches.
- Sturdy construction: The stool’s structure should support the weight of another stool on top. This prevents the stool from collapsing and injuring someone.
- Fitting size: The stools must fit into each other snugly. Otherwise, they will wobble and become unstable.
6. Use a Yoga Ball
A yoga ball is a type of exercise equipment often used in physical therapy. However, it can also be used to make your bar stools taller.
- A yoga ball
- A pump
- Inflate the yoga ball to the desired size. The size will depend on how tall you want your stool to be. The more you inflate, the taller the ball becomes. You should not over-inflate it as this will make sitting a challenge.
- Place the yoga ball on the stool’s seat. Ensure it’s secure and won’t move around when sitting on it. It’s even better if you can remove the stool’s seat and use the ball in its place.
7. Use a Step Stool
A step stool is a type of furniture designed to be stepped on. It has multiple uses, including reaching high shelves or getting into hard-to-reach places. A step stool can also be used to make your bar stools taller.
When using a step stool to make your bar stool taller, you must be aware of the following:
- Height: The stool should be high enough so that your feet are comfortable on the rungs. It shouldn’t be too high, as this will make it difficult to get on and off the stool.
- Weight: The stool should be heavy enough, so it doesn’t tip over when sitting on it. However, it shouldn’t be too heavy as this will make it challenging to move around.
- Material: Material is essential as it determines the stool’s durability and comfort. Wood is a good choice as it’s durable and has a natural look. However, it can be challenging to clean if it gets dirty.
- Folding: A folding step stool is a good option if you need to save space. It’s also easy to store away when not in use.
The Right Height for Your Bar Stools
Now that you know how to make bar stools taller, it’s time to choose the right height for your needs. The most crucial factor to consider is the height difference between your counter and the stool. You’ll also want to take into account the average height of whoever will be sitting there.
If you have a counter that’s 36 inches tall, you’ll want a stool that’s 24 inches tall. This will allow for a comfortable 12-inch height difference between the counter and the stool’s seat.
On the other hand, if you are taller, you may want to choose a stool that’s 18 inches tall. This will provide a more comfortable 18-inch height difference, suitable for tall people.
If you’ve bought stools that don’t meet these specifications, don’t panic. You can increase their heights by following the tips in this article. That way, you can ensure that your guests are comfortable and have enough legroom.
Features That Make a Good Bar Stool
Sitting at the bar side-by-side with friends is one of life’s great pleasures. However, not all bar stools are created equal when it comes to comfort. The following bar stool features will make your guests comfortable or win over more customers.
- Height: The stools should have enough legroom for your customers. A legroom between 23 to 28 cm (0.75 to 0.91 ft) is more comfortable as it allows free movement without being trapped.
- Sufficient cushioning: Customers enjoy the stay more when their behinds are comfortable. A well-cushioned bar stool will make your guests want to linger longer.
- Contoured Seats: Customers appreciate contoured seats as they provide support in all the right places. These seats are also easier on the back, so your guests won’t be as sore after sitting for a while.
- Footrests: A footrest is a must-have for any bar stool. It allows your guests to rest their feet and prevents them from getting tired. Footrests also help keep your customers’ clothes clean as they won’t drag them on the floor.
- High stability: An unstable stool in a drinking room is a ticking time bomb. You don’t want your customers to fall and hurt themselves, or worse, sue you. Look for stools with a wide base and low center of gravity to avoid tipping.
Making your bar stools taller is an excellent way to add legroom for your guests. It’s also a great way to ensure everyone is comfortable, regardless of height. However, you shouldn’t make the stools too tall as this makes them difficult to get on and off.
You should consider the height difference between your counter and the stool when choosing the right height for your bar stools.