Guidelines for selecting a stool

Furnishing a space can be a delight. If you are remodeling a dining space to include an island, bar, or high-top dining area, we’ve pulled together a few pointers to help you select a stool that will seamlessly match your style and space.


Edo stools at kitchen island timber frame space

Finding the Right Stool by the Measurements



Measure the entire height of your counter or table from the floor to the top. Once measured, subtract 10″ -12″ from that height to give you a general idea of the stool height you’ll need. This allows you plenty of room to sit comfortably with or without crossing your legs. Our standard stool seat heights of 25″ or  27″ generally work well with counters about 36″ high; 27″ stools go with 38″ surfaces, and 31″ stools are used for 42″ counters. All our stools are offered in these three standard seat heights.

In addition, we offer three of our most popular stools, the Hallowell, Bowback, and High Stool, in an 18″ seat height. Another thing to consider is if you want the stool to be tucked underneath the counter fully or somewhat exposed; this ties into our next point, the footprint.


Top down and studio of wooden stoolsFrom left to right: High Stool, Eastward Stool, Bowback Stool, and Aria Stool.


Footprint and Spacing


What do we mean when we say footprint? The overall footprint includes width, depth, and height. The base footprint is measured by the stool’s width and depth from the two outside legs. Keep in mind; the base footprint may not always be the widest area of the stool. For instance, the widest area of our 25″ Eastward Stool is at the crest, not the legs. It’s important to get the stool’s overall footprint dimensions to gauge if it will fit underneath a table or remain slightly visible from a side view of the counter.


A collection of wooden stool seats is on the left and three diagrams showing how to measure a stool are to the right

When deciding how many stools will fit the space, you’ll generally want to allow anywhere from 2 ½ – 3ft from the center of each barstool to the next center to allow your guests to have enough arm room and feel comfortable sitting next to each other without feeling crowded. It’s important to consider if the stools are cutting into any walking paths or doorways to know how far they are going to jut out – if the traffic pattern around your bar is tight, you will want to look for a stool that has a narrower depth like our Crescent or Island stool.

Find the right stool by the measurements

The stool’s seat height is measured from floor to top of the seat or pommel. For stools with backrests, the seat height is still measured to the top of the seat, not the backrest.

To find out how many stools will fit in the space comfortably, measure 28″ from the center of each stool and 10″ – 14″ from the end. By allowing 14″ inward from the end of the counter, you can achieve a lighter look that is not overly crowded.

The overall footprint is measured from the widest points, often at the legs. In some instances, the widest point of the stool may be at the crest of the backrest.

When deciding which height to choose, measure your counter’s height from floor to countertop and subtract 10″ -12″. This will give you a general idea of a stool height.

aria stools at kitchen counter and top down view of aria seat



A few of our stools, Aria and Harpswell, offer upholstered cushions for added comfort. The fabric selections range from fine leather, like our full-grain Riverside, ideal for heavy to medium use, and some of our most durable fabrics, like Knoll and Brentano. Great upholstery retains its style and appeal year after year. When choosing an upholstered stool, consider how it will match the rest of your kitchen or space. Do you have wooden cabinets, granite countertops, a tiled backsplash, or hardwood flooring? Do you want the upholstery on the stool to complement the current color scheme or be an accent piece?


Interior Kitchen Shot. There are four wooden stools at a kitchen island. The floor is polished cement and there is a green tile backsplash. Floor to ceiling windows line the far right wall and look out on a white pine forest in spring.



This can be as important as any decision when selecting the perfect stool. If you are using the stool in a kitchen area, selecting one without a backrest can give you a cleaner look as it will take up less visual space, which can work well in smaller areas. Whereas one with a backrest can create the perfect companion to the counter space, especially if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen entertaining or have children who will be using the area frequently for eating, crafting, or doing homework.

When choosing a stool with a backrest, measure the height from the floor to the top of the seat, then consider the overall size. A stool with a lower profile backrest, like our Bowback or Edo stool, will allow for clearance under the counter when tucked in.

A trio of stools on a wooden floor. The stool on the left is the aria stool in cherry, The center is the Harpswell Stool in cherry with black leather upholstery, and the right stool is the Edo in cherry.From left to right: Auburn Stool, Harpswell Stool, and Edo Stool.


Do you still have questions? Call us.


When you begin to think about adding the perfect Thos. Moser stool to your space, remember these basic guidelines; height, overall footprint, backrests, and upholstery. Know your style and know your space. With these guidelines in your back pocket and our team of knowledgeable salespeople willing to help you, the most challenging part will be deciding which one to choose.

Island Stool in Walnut

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