Kitchen Island Counter Height vs Bar Height

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  #1  
Old 12-21-2019, 07:22 AM
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Default Kitchen Island Counter Height vs Bar Height

The new modern look The Villages is going for in kitchen islands is counter height. Seems bar height is a thing of the past. I found this article about kitchen island counter height vs bar height .....

Counter Height vs. Bar Height: The Pros & Cons of Kitchen Island Seating Styles | Dura Supreme Cabinetry

These are my thoughts.........

1) The article says "bar height is tricky for small children." I say this is the only con to bar height that has merit. However, households with no small children do not have to worry about this. If you have grandchildren who visit then yes this may be a concern.

2) The article says there is "more clean up with two separate counters". I say that is really not the case because the actual amount of counter top is the same. This is a ridiculous "pro" for a single tier counter.

3) The article says the two tier counter can "become a drop spot for items such as mail and keys, etc". I say the same can happen with a one tier island counter. Another silly "pro" for the single tier counter.

4) The article says "one tier is better to set up for a buffet." I say the two tier is a better way to set up a buffet, for me anyway. In my kitchen the two tier is a perfect way to separate the drinks/wine station from the food. I place the food on the top tier and set up the drinks/wine with wine glasses, cups and ice bucket on the bottom tier. It is a really great set up and works perfectly.

All my friends have two tier islands in their kitchens and all use the space like I do and separate the drink station from the food. I honestly think one tier would make a bit of chaos for the buffet once everyone starts helping themselves to drinks/wine and food.

As for the pros of a two tier counter top as stated in the article......

1) The two tier counter makes for a room divider in a open concept floor plan (I do like the look of "separation" in the open floor plan.)

2) It can conceal any clutter or dirty dishes from view (that's really BIG for me, especially when entertaining in the dining room)

3) The raised top separates the prep area from seating area when people are sitting at the bar and the cook is preparing food (I really like this too)

The pro for single tier island is it makes the open floor plan space appear larger. I do agree with this but functionality is more important to me than appearance!!!

One thing not mentioned in the article is the outlets that are available on the two tier counter. I have four outlets and they can be used all the time and not create a safety hazard. I see one outlet on the side of the island in a one tier counter top. I certainly would not keep a small appliance plugged in all the time with the wire hanging over the side of the counter. With a two tier counter and the "riser" section with the outlets, there is no safety hazard.
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Last edited by coffeebean; 12-21-2019 at 08:34 AM.
  #2  
Old 12-21-2019, 09:23 AM
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We have a Lilly, looks like we are going with quartz’s. We have the step down counter, just looked at a house the counter is one level. Not sure if it’s just odd to see a Lshape in that kitchen all one level, or I am not a fan.

We will have to think about keeping the same, or going to one level.
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2019, 09:47 AM
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Wow, this controversy of one-level counter tops versus the old two-level counters is really adding some excitement to our busy lives.
  #4  
Old 12-21-2019, 09:51 AM
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My wife and I have discussed this many times. She likes the appearance of the single level but agrees with me that is it not nearly as functional and will be messy all the time. I do have a drop off point on the lower portion of our two level but the few things I place there cannot be seen unless you are actually in the kitchen. The single looks nice in the models but once lived in it's another story. We'll stick with the two level, our grandkids are not little anymore and most of them are taller than we are.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:19 AM
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I just had my 2 level tier changed to a one level quartz counter top. I am so happy with my one level. I think the difference is my main function in the kitchen is cooking and baking. It is so nice to be able to put cookie sheets and your ingredients close at hand. I can spread out. I agree that if you entertain often the 2 tier level might be more practical. Also it was very nice having the electrical outlets within close reach but they have been moved close enough that I do not find it inconvenient.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:25 AM
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To me whether the one level counter is best depends on the house model. I have a one level but it faces the nook and it is very functional as it is. I have a semi open kitchen which is my preference. The fully open kitchens in several models make the house look like a one room (large) cottage. I know we don’t have the servants preparing food out of sight these days, but still a little privacy is nice. It is nice to be able to talk with your guests while preparing food but the mess should be out of sight as much as possible. There is a certain drama and anticipation when the lights are turned low and the chef (me) comes out of the kitchen with a beautiful flambé preparation to bring to the dining room table.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:59 AM
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I have the one level counter and one of the biggest benefits, to me, is that we bought a dinning room table of the same height.

We have six stools. Normally, we have four at the dinning room table and two at the counter which is where we eat most of our meals. When we have company, we put the leaf in the dinning room table and move the two counter stools to the dinning room table.

We have a cottage home so everything it kind of close and that works out very well for us.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2019, 01:16 AM
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After reading all the comments, I have another take on these countertops.
It is beyond my thinking why these bar tops are built when the dining table is probably 5 feet away from the kitchen.
How many different places do Villagers need to sit at to eat when the bar and dining table are in such close proximity to one another.

If it's a question of having a bar top vs. counter height, I'd opt for the counter height.
But given the choice, I'd take chopping that extension off altogether and have a little more floor space which will give you a cleaner, uncluttered and more open look.
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asianthree View Post
We have a Lilly, looks like we are going with quartz’s. We have the step down counter, just looked at a house the counter is one level. Not sure if it’s just odd to see a Lshape in that kitchen all one level, or I am not a fan.

We will have to think about keeping the same, or going to one level.
Quartz is a great counter top. No maintenance needed which is what I like, unlike granite.
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
To me whether the one level counter is best depends on the house model. I have a one level but it faces the nook and it is very functional as it is. I have a semi open kitchen which is my preference. The fully open kitchens in several models make the house look like a one room (large) cottage. I know we don’t have the servants preparing food out of sight these days, but still a little privacy is nice. It is nice to be able to talk with your guests while preparing food but the mess should be out of sight as much as possible. There is a certain drama and anticipation when the lights are turned low and the chef (me) comes out of the kitchen with a beautiful flambé preparation to bring to the dining room table.
That sounds absolutely devine. Would burning candles on a birthday cake do? That's my speed. LOL.
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosebud2020 View Post
.......given the choice, I'd take chopping that extension off altogether and have a little more floor space which will give you a cleaner, uncluttered and more open look.
We entertain at our bar so I'm thankful to have this option. I've never had a bar in any of our homes with the exception of our patio villa which we owned in The Villages before purchasing our designer home. (I see a trend here, LOL!!!)

Besides setting up a buffet on the bar for gatherings, I also use the bar as a bar (literally). I serve our guests cocktails while they sit at the bar. I have my space for the bar set up on the lower tier with the liquors and everything else that is needed for mixing cocktails. I'm the bartender in our family.

It is so much fun to entertain this way. I have a counter height foldable bar stool that I sit on so I can face our guests and I sit on the other side of the bar. I store that collapsible bar stool in the laundry room.
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Last edited by coffeebean; 12-22-2019 at 10:27 AM.
  #12  
Old 12-22-2019, 07:04 AM
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As far as practicality and functionality, The 2-tier countertops work better, imo. If your kitchen is just for show, then the single “big island” can look very sleek. Your mileage may vary.
  #13  
Old 12-22-2019, 08:42 AM
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Default Countertop

I just renovated my kitchen, removing a 2 tier granite countertop to put in a one level Quartz top. The one level makes a more open space, and it is beautiful! The light quartz really brightened up my kitchen.
The one difference that hasn't been mentioned is..as someone who loves to cook, I have a LOT of prep space now. When I make bread or a big meal, the one level counter gives me a great space for my mixer, and for all prep. Considering very few people in the Villages actually cook...I guess this is why they don't have any idea why the single tier would be so much better!
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:05 AM
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Who did your kitchen remodel?
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:53 AM
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Another negative for one level counters is when the sink is on the island, there's no back splash to contain the water, so it spreads on the back of the counter, which can be an issue for people sitting there. However, if you have a cooktop on the island, and have plenty of space on the back of it where people sit, this wouldn't be a problem. But I haven't seen any models with this layout (haven't seen any newer models lately anyway!). While I like the look of one level (pretty much the only plus), the two level still has plenty of room to cook and entertain, and looks great also.
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