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What is the Optimal Bar Top Height?

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Row of assorted drinks in a bar Henrik Sorensen/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Question: What is the Optimal Bar Top Height?
Answer: The most common height for a bar top, whether it is a kitchen breakfast bar, a basement wet bar, or your commercial bar down at the corner pub is 42-inches.

Standard conventions support the 42-inch bar height. Most premade back splashes are 4 to 6-inches tall. When that is added to the standard counter top height it allows the back splash to slip underneath the overhang of the finished bar top for a smooth transition.

42-inches is the optimal and most ergonomic height for a top that services both the seated and standing user. With a bar stool of the proper height it is comfortable to sit at a 42-inch bar. It is also a comfortable height for most people to lean against. Additionally the bar top is in easy reach of a standing person so they can set their food and drink down without leaning over.

A bar top is typically to high to serve as a good work surface and is mainly useful for leisure activities.

The main benefits for a bar top come from one person working standing up on one side and another sitting on the other. The bartender has a comfortable height to prepare drinks on his feet and you have a comfortable height to drink them while on a seat or standing.

The other benefit of a bar top is it's aesthetic appeal. A kitchen bar top can divide the space up nicely by serving as a transition area.

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