nicole. Bar Stools. January 24th , 2018.
7. Where to Shop You can purchase stools just about anywhere at any price. Many of the major Big Box stores offer different styles and heights at very competitive prices. They typically are ready to assemble and have few, if any options. Many full service furniture stores will offer bar stools that match popular furniture groups however may not sell them apart from high-top dining groups. If they do not offer stools by themselves, you should consider looking for a specialty store. Specialty stores carry higher end stools with virtually countless options in frame styles, fabrics, finishes, heights and other options. Specializing in customization, these are the types of stores you will want to find if you desire a designer look and higher quality than the mass produced items offered elsewhere. Because specialty stores specialize in custom stools, expect to pay more than mass produced furniture. Your bar stool will be made to order in the fabric, finish, height and other options you select. Typical turn around time is anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks and may be even longer during the winter holiday season. Let your retailer know if time is a factor in your decision so they may direct you to manufacturers with quicker lead times.
Metal Patio Bar Stools Metal bar stools are generally constructed of iron, stainless steel, or aluminum. Avoid other metals because they may not be as durable, waterproof, or stain resistant as these three. Metal stools can often be left out year round, except in very wet climates. In most cases, the stools will be more comfortable if you add removable cushions. Cushions should be removed in the fall or during heavy summer storms, and stored in a dry place. Wood Stools If you choose wood stools, look for cedar, teak, or pressure-treated pine. All three offer long-term durability and are often waterproof. Theyre also quite attractive. If you have Adirondack patio chairs or other wooden patio chairs, then wooden stools would complement the total look of your yard. In most climates, wood bar stools can be left outside during the summer and part of the fall. You may want to bring them in for very heavy summer storms. You should store them somewhere dry during the wet, cold months to prevent splintering and excess wear. Plastic Stools Molded plastic stools are affordable and weatherproof, but are less durable than other options and are often unattractive. If you live in a very hot region, the stools may not last more than one or two seasons because heat and light quickly degrade plastic. Plastic stools should also be stored in winter to prevent damage from extreme cold. Whichever type of bar stools you choose, make sure they match your home, your yard, and your lifestyle. Although its tempting to buy cheap stools, youll get more enjoyment and use out of stools designed for durability.
Metal bar stools which are welded at all joints are far less prone to these problems. In addition, many companies have dozens of finishes, fabrics, and options available for a given style. For example, you may like a stool that is shown on our retail floor as a stationary (non swivel) stool with arms. In many cases you can custom order the same style as a swivel armless, swivel with arms, stationary without arms, or even a backless. 5. Price...What Should I Expect To Pay? You can buy a bar stool for as little as $9. Typically bar stools less than $100 are RTA or Ready to Assemble. This means that the bar stool must be bolted together by the customer. Using as many as FIFTY (yes, I once sold a stool that required 50 bolts) bolts, legs must be attached, seats must be attached, arms, back, seat frame, etc. Every bolt used to assemble a bar stool is a potential problem. Everyday use will loosen bolts over time resulting in a potentially dangerous situation if you do not periodically check the tightness of all the bolts. Even worse, many RTA stools use thin-walled metal with no additional support for the bolts threads to grasp. I have seen hundreds of these lower quality stools that will easily strip threads simply by being assembled. Additionally, lower priced stools are typically sold one way: one color, one fabric, no options.
Even if you plan to purchase a bar stool that is pre-assembled, ask the salesperson if it is an RTA bar stool. Many retailers will pre-assemble the bar stool and sell it at a perceived UNBELIEVABLE PRICE. Look for bolts holding legs and other parts together. Avoid these bar stools if they are going to be used on a continuing basis. Nicer metal bar stools typically have all-welded frames. The only bolts you may see hold the seat to the swivel mechanism and there may be a few screws holding the seat pad to the metal frame. This type of construction is far more sturdy than RTA stools.
3. How Many Do I Need? Most newer homes and apartments with a raised counter are built to accommodate 3 bar stools. As a general rule of thumb, allow 24 from the center of one seat to the center of the next seat. A 6 foot long counter can generally accommodate 3 stools. An 8 foot counter, 4 bar stools. This obviously depends on the measurements of the particular stool in which you are interested. You can always buy an extra and use it for additional guests. 4. Metal or Wood? This is a good question. If you ask 10 retailers, youll get 10 responses. In my opinion, wood bar stools are prone to problems not encountered with welded metal bar stools. Due to the soft nature of wood (when compared to steel), screws and joints tend to come loose over time- especially wood with arms. The constant outward stress on the arms can loosen the attachment points resulting in a loose feel. Legs and stretchers (horizontal support bars) can also become loose over time resulting in an unstable and potentially dangerous bar stool. Still, there are decorating situations in which only wood will work.
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