Bar Stool Glossary

Shopping for a bar stool can be confusing if you don’t know the terminology used to describe bar stools. This brief glossary will review many of the major terms.


Bar Stool Parts

Each bar stool is made of several parts, some of which may not be included on all bar stools.

A wood or metal “skirt” that extends from beneath the seat. It’s typically a decorative item that hides the leg joints.

Bun Feet
Rounded or balled feet on the bottoms of the legs.

A metal or wooden bar that attaches to or wraps around the legs so your feet have a place to rest.

Seat Height
A traditional bar stool is 28-30” tall. Modern stools may be as tall as 34”. Counter stools are usually 24-26” tall.

Bars placed between the legs provide additional stability and often double as footrests.

Many stools have the ability to turn in a complete or partial circle. The seat will be higher or have two parts if it swivels.


Bar Stool Styles

Bar stools come in a variety of styles and have several purely decorative elements.

A traditional stool has a no arms or back supports. The seat can be square or round.

Cabrole Legs
The legs curve outward and then inward to create an elegant look.

Captain’s Style
This bar stool has a low back and curved arm rests. It may or may not swivel.

Ladder Back
Two or three horizontal bars stretch between two upright pieces of wood or metal to support the back.

Lattice Back
The back support has a large cross hatch detail. It’s usually found on iron bar stools.

Round Top
The top of the seat is round rather than square or rectangular.

Rather than being purely round or square, the sides of the stool curve up like a saddle.

Tapered Leg
The legs are wider at the top than they are at the bottom, but still provide even and stable support.


Bar Stool Materials

Bar stools are primarily made of metal or wood. The seats can be metal, wood, or upholstered in almost any fabric or be left metal or wood.

A dull silver metal that is lightweight and easy to clean. Usually used for legs, but not for seats or backrests.

A hollow hard wood shaped into decorative legs.

The wood is softened with steam, and then bent into shape before it hardens again.

A shiny gold metal usually used for footrests and decorative accents.

Iron is a popular choice for modern stools. The entire chair can be made of this black metal.

Unlike most stains, a natural stain maintains the original color of the wood while also providing an easy-to-maintain surface.

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