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Height Options and Definitions for Table Legs

Posted by Gary Lederman on

Knowing the correct table leg height for your application is half the battle when confronted with the task of purchasing and/or building tables and desks for the office or for residential applications,  You can easily be overwhelmed by the number of available table leg options, making it difficult to decipher whether to purchase desk, counter, or bar height table legs for your table project. With any table leg, where height is a consideration, don't forget to include the thickness of your table top in the overall height of the table or desk. Here is a brief description, to the standard table leg height designations and for which type of table application they are commonly used:

  • Desk height table legs: The standard individual desk height leg is probably shorter than you think, if you’ve never actually measured them before. Normally somewhere between 26” and 29” tall, desk height table legs paired with a 1″ or 1-1/2″ thick top should put your finished tabletop surface between 27″ and 30″ tall. These legs are ideal for any desk or table where the user is seated in a standard chair.

  • Counter height table legs: Counter height table legs typically measure somewhere between 32” and 34” in height, leaving you with a finished table height of approximately 33″ to 36″. These legs are ideal for countertops in kitchens, garages, and workshops where the user is standing or sitting on a low stool. Their elevated height avoids having to lean over to complete an activity, which could cause undue and prolonged strain on your back.

  • Bar height table legs: Bar height table legs will measure between 39” and 42” tall, giving you a finished work surface of 40″ to 44″ in height. These are most commonly used, not surprisingly, for bar areas where users are either standing or seated on a high stool. Bar height may be too tall for some users to stand and complete tasks, so if stools are not provided it is best to stay on the lower side of the recommended height range.

  • Height adjustable table legs: Height adjustable legs use larger leveling devices, either at the foot near the floor or at the mounting plate underneath the table top, to drastically change your table leg height. So instead of just desk height or just counter height, you would be able to adjust the height of one desk from desk height to counter height, or even counter height up to bar height. Good websites will have a description of the table leg’s height range, either in the page title or the product details. These are great for hot desking applications or multi-user workstations.

  • Custom height table legs: Custom height legs allow you to select whatever height you have deemed appropriate for your table and are ideal for extreme conditions such as very short or very tall users. If a company offers custom height desk legs, be ready to wait a bit longer for them than you would other table legs, as they are most likely being made from scratch. The trade-off however, is a desk perfectly suited to your needs.

  • Most of these legs will come with a 1″ leveler at the bottom to help adjust for uneven floors. You should also be able to find table and desk pedestal bases with the same height options, if individual table legs take away too much leg or chair room from your table project.

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