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How to Buy a Bar Stool

A home bar is more than a room with a bar and some bar stools, it's a place were you can "hang" out with your family and friends and play games, watch TV and movies, relax and have some drinks.  Some people have their home bar in their rec room.  Either way, they have some bar stools.   The following article discusses how to purchase the best bar stool for your needs.  This information isn't limited to the bar stools available through, instead, you can consider it as a resource when your shopping for contemporary, classic leather or vinyl or any other kind of bar stool. 

Billiards and Bar Stools
Billiards and Bar Stools just seem to go together.   If you’ve got a pool table and no bar stools, I recommend that you consider purchasing a home bar and some stools.  We'll talk about bar stools in this article.  I'll let you review other articles about home bar purchasing. 
However, there’s so many types of bar stools you can get that it can become confusing and expensive.  Following is a basic checklist of things to consider before you start that hunt for the perfect bar stool.
1) How much will the stool be used and who will be using it most frequently? 
2) Where is the bar stool going to be kept and where will it be used most often. 
3) What is the budget.
4) What type of stool do you want
5) Size (height), material (wood/metal) and seat covering
6) Painted or natural wood or bare metal
7) These days, it’s also possible to combine wood barstools with a metal frame.  This provides additional strength and also keeps a nice traditional look.
You also should consider whether you want a back to your stool and whether you want it to swivel. Barstools that swivels 360 degrees really improve their sociability.  Lastly do you want your stools to have arms or be armless. All of these options can add cost, but they also add comfort and make your billiards playing area and entertaining experience very enjoyable for both you and your friends.
Once you can answer these questions, then the selection of the right bar stool becomes very easy.  To help you answer these questions, I have provided some discussion below.
When you're looking to buy a bar stool, I strongly recommend that you know what type of stool you would like or need.   Let’s assume that you have or will be making a purchase of a home bar.   This is important because you don’t want to buy counter stools.  Rather, you want a stool that is 30” or higher Ultimately the height you choose depends on the height of your bar.   Usually the bar counter top will be about 42” high.  This is why you don’t want a counter stool.  Counter stools are typically 24” to 26” high.  This would make you look like a little kid when you sitting at your bar.  
As you can imagine, getting the optimal bar stool seat height is critical.   The seat height is the same as overall height when the bar stool has no back.  To determine the best seat height, you should measure from the floor to the bottom of the bar top.  I recommend that you subtract about 10 – 12” for leg room.  The number you come up with would be your optimal bar stool seat height.

Next you need to consider the style and finish of the bar stool you want.  Metal stools are considered to be contemporary.  Metal bar stools are typically lighter than the same type of wood bar stool.  Metal is usually more durable. Wood stools come in all types of wood including oak and maple to cherry. They will typically give your bar or rec room a cozy feeling. 
If you decide that wood is the type of stool for your room, I recommend that you consider a bar stool that is commercial quality.  The bottomline, is that you want your bar stools to last for many years.
But wait, there’s more.  Don’t forget, you also need to determine how you want the seat to be upholstered, leather or vinyl. Leather is a very durable materials and can last many years when cared for properly.  An vinyl stool can also be very durable.  The type or grade of vinyl will determine the durability and how much care is necessary to keep you bar stool looking good.  The higher the grade of vinyl, the more expensive, but also, more durable will be your stool seat.  
There’s plenty of places to look for designs.  Probably the easiest place to start your search is the internet.  You could also spend some time out of the house shopping at department stores and furniture outlets.  The benefit to shopping at brick and mortar store is that you get to touch, see, feel the bar stools.  Lastly, don’t forget that catalogues can provide a lot of information as well. If you have plenty to spend on your rec room furnishings, you might consider having your bar stools custom designed to meet your needs and comfort. Be aware that off the shelf barstools would be cheaper than the custom made stools.  Bar stools can also be ordered at the furniture outlet.  Ask at these local shopping stores for any discount offers.  Stores may desire to get rid of old pieces of furniture quickly to make room for new furniture.  They may advertise this, but ask even if they don’t. Sometimes stores offer discounts for picking these few pieces “as is.”
Regardless of where you buy, you might also have some assembly.  Be sure to ask, so you’re not surprised.
Lastly, and probably most important, ensure that whoever you buy from, check the credentials of any store or website before placing you order.  You want to enjoy your purchase, so don't forget to follow the cleaning instructions in order to maintain your bar stools.
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