I have had hours of meetings throughout the years about the right height for countertops, tables, pendant lights and more. Some heights are standard, while others may be specific to a client’s request. Here I’ll talk about some of the more common heights and how they might affect your design decisions. Use this as a guide but remember there will always be exceptions. Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor or designer for examples or even a mock-up to help you visualize your space.
Kitchen counters. Kitchen counters are typically set at around 36 inches finished, including the countertop material, although I have set them at 37 or 38 inches for tall clients. The height for a bar or dual-level island is typically 42 to 43 inches.
Counter and bar stools. Counter stools are standard at 24 inches. Bar stools are typically 30 inches. These two dimensions refer to the top of the seat to the floor. Counter and bar stools can be backless or have a seat back. Swivels are also available. If you opt for a counter or bar stool with arms, make sure the arm fits underneath the counter and clears any cabinet details, like corbels.
Dining tables. Dining tables and even casual eating tables are standard at 30 inches. Some older, vintage tables are 29 to 29½ inches. I think 30 inches is best, even for tall people. Dining chair seat height is typically 17 to 19 inches. If you would like armchairs, make sure you check any apron details on the table to ensure the chairs fit comfortably under the table.
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