Our Response to COVID-19: ACo Health & Sanitation Policy
Our Response to COVID-19: ACo Health & Sanitation Policy

Bar or Counter? Selecting an Island Height

Bar or Counter? Selecting an Island Height

When designing a kitchen, there are many facets to consider: layout, finish, style, countertop, hardware, design, etc. While these elements will influence the overall aesthetics of your kitchen, you can’t forget the need for functionality. Kitchens have many areas where function should be considered, but determining the height of your island is quintessential to creating a kitchen that suites your lifestyle. To help you decide, we’ve included our top three considerations:

Eat or Entertain

If you are looking to wine and dine your friends and family, consider making your island bar height (42”) which will provide more flexibility for guest interaction. Bar height seating can easily be used for a quick bite for a on-the-go lifestyle. The elevated space can be an ideal serving area for meals or appetizers. The island backsplash created from adding bar height seating can be a great spot for extra electrical outlets as well. If you envision your family and friends sitting down for a meal, then a counter height island (36”) might better suite your needs. Counter height is a little more family friendly, as it allows kids to get up and down easily and it feels more like a home rather than a restaurant/bar.

Left Image: ACo

Right Image: CR – Home Design

Prep Space

If you like to think you are a regular Rachel Ray or Bobby Flay when it comes to creating a meal, then you should determine where you’d like to prep your food. If your surround provides adequate prep space, you might consider forgoing and making your island bar height. Enjoy hosting a wine tasting and chatting with guests as you chop your veggies? Then you would ideally want to have some additional prep space in your island. Chef’s prep tables are generally 36” – why wouldn’t your inner chef want the same? If you are interested in hiding your mess, bar height allows a clean surface up top while having a messy work area below.

Promontory Project @ Studio McGee


In addition to a continuous workspace, a counter height island allows a stunning solid surface counter to make a statement. A large slab highlights the unique quality of the surface, while breaking the slab into two pieces can diminish the overall affect a solid surface yields. If you do decide to split your slab, keep in mind you’ll need corbels or support to prop up the elevated surface. Is this a design feature that entices you?  If you prefer to create a sense of separation from your dining room to kitchen, a bar height island provides this effect.

Left Image: Teddy Edwards @ The Centsational Girl

Right Image: ACo

If a kitchen island renovation or addition is in your future, check out our guide to kitchen remodels or contact us for a free in-home design consultation.

By: Christina Greive with Polish Interior and Art Design




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