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how wide for a bar/counter top?

ponytl's picture

how wide works for a bar countertop that sits above the kitchen counter (when sitting at you are looking into the kitchen)  it will sit on a framed 2x4 stub wall...  is 12" too narrow? it will i'm sure be used for some meals maybe... with a 1.5 /2" overhang to the kitchen side and 5" of wall that leaves 5" of overhang.... to little?

i want to avoid huge.... since i'll cast em out of concrete... i have a 12"  metal mold  already built...   i want em livable... but simple... prob... 2.5/3" thick... most will be around... 7.5 to 8ft long... and bar height




(post #76385, reply #1 of 10)

At 12" it'll work, but 18" would probably be more useful if you really plan on using it for meals.   A typical dinner plate is around 11", so 12" doesn't leave much room.  Ours is (3) 6" tiles plus 1x2 maple trim, so it totals out at around 20", and the kids use it every day for breakfast and dinner.


Edited 2/18/2007 10:51 am ET by BobKovacs

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(post #76385, reply #2 of 10)

thanks... yeah i've been play'n with plates & paper... i want to avoid support brackets kinda... sorta....   BUT being an ex racer and these are loft/industrial  i have this case of 12" turnbuckels that would look really cool placed in compression angled up from the stub wall like they were holding up the spoiler on a racecar...

thanks for input.... some of these being smaller  units i can see that they'd be used alot vs have'n a kitchen table



(post #76385, reply #3 of 10)

Mine is 23" wide and about 11' long and I find that we NEED all those inches to function. When you put one plate on the bar it works but when you use the bar, daily, for breakfast, lunch and dinner you always need more room than you originally planned for. Then two or more people want to eat together and read the newspaper at the same time.

The overhang is 10" because the support is what was once an 8' wide window hole in an 8" exterior block wall, furred for rock and the plumbing for the sink

Then there's all those other things that gravitate to the bar, for convenience.

You put a small TV on one end to watch the news while you eat. The other end holds the house phone, on a turntable so you can spin it around to answer while you are in the kitchen. Then you need the space for the note pads and pens and pencils you use while on the phone or when you have a quick to forget thought while passing by.

It's a multifunction work center by the time you list everthing you do or could do on a bar countertop. It's an extra prep counter for the cook(s) in the kitchen. The grandkids spread out their drawing supplies. It's a staging area for the dishes and utensils that are either coming or going to respective storage. The dirty dishes from the meal at the main dining room table, when you have those sit down guests, get conveniently stacked near the sink prior to washing and the left over food gets wrapped and packed before heading for the fridge or freezer or shared to take home.

And, nobody accidently knocks your last best set of wine glasses off into the sink when you have extra elbow room.


If you are working with a 2x4 wall, make it a thicker storage wall. make it 12" thick for under the bar cabinets. Also makes for a more stable platform for wider cast concrete countertops. You can never have too much storage. Just ask my wife.

(post #76385, reply #4 of 10)

No less than 14"



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(post #76385, reply #5 of 10)

but i have this 12" wide metal mold  that i can cast upto 10ft in... and.... i was .....

well you know the story.... and  I won't be the one live in em...  I never take that attitude... i build everything and choose every material like i'll be the one live'n with it...  was just hope'n 12" would work....

one trip to my buds 10ft sheet metal brake and i'll have a wider form i guess


(post #76385, reply #6 of 10)


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(post #76385, reply #7 of 10)

These situations are easily mocked up so we always cut out what we think with work and screw it into place.  Never has a client kept with the orignal size as drawn on paper.

12" is probably too narrow to be useful since it puts the person sitting pretty far away for knee clearance.



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(post #76385, reply #8 of 10)

Are people only standing at this bar, or will they ever sit? If they sit, knee room would be nice!

(post #76385, reply #9 of 10)

FYI. The Architectural Graphic Standards recommends a min. of 9" on the sitting side. So. 1-1/2 on the cabinet side, +/-5-1/2 for wall and 9" overhang= min. 16". 18"best.

(post #76385, reply #10 of 10)

guess i knew 12" was push'n it  :)

i wanted to use my "turnbuckle support" design anyway...  think it will look pretty cool