Countertop Heights and Overhangs For Seating

When considering seating in a kitchen or bar area setting there three basic countertop heights that can be used.  The most common height is level with the standard base cabinet height, approximately 36” off the floor. Another option would be bar height seating at 42” off the floor.  The final choice would be standard table height, which is approximately 30” high.With each of these heights, there are general rules as to how much knee space is required for comfortable seating. The taller the height of the countertop, the less knee space is required.

A standard dining table height requires about 18” of knee space.  If you are considering some type of lowered counter to mimic table height, make sure to allow for the additional knee space,

Dura Supreme Cabinetry Kitchen by West Chester Kitchen & Bath Designers Essence Design Studios with a kitchen table built into the kitchen island.


When you move up to counter height (36”) the ideal knee space is 15” deep.  Depending on the type of countertop material, this depth may require the use of countertop supports.When shopping for seating, a 24” high chair or stool will work the best.

A beautiful rich and warm traditional styled kitchen design with Dura Supreme Cabinetry by Bob Michels Construction, Inc.


If you opt for bar height seating at 42” off the floor, the recommend knee space is 12” and the stool height would be 30”.

A unique kitchen island / paninsula with bar stool seating featuring gray stained Dura Supreme Cabinetry.


With this countertop height, it is also a good idea to consider the ages and abilities of those that would be sitting at a higher counter.  Small children and tall stools sometimes are not the best combination.


Wendy Anderson's picture

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