12" would be very wide. This would be more like a table as the stool would fit almost entirely under it. Closer to 4" would be more "normal". Larger than 6" is rare, at least in my experience.
Head out to a few bars and look at what they have. See what you like about theirs and improve on what you don't. Take a camera and notes. MANY people I know who have built bars regretted some aspect of it that would be too expensive to fix after.
You won't build a perfect bar the first time, but research can get you close.
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Overhang is 10 on mine. You want to be able to sit on a stool put your feet on the foot rail and place you elbows comfortably on the bar top without having to lean way forward.
IMHO 4 may be OK for a stand at bar but wouldn't be a comfortable bar to sit at.
My bar is 42 inches high and my overhang is 10 inches. I wanted 12 but it could not work out with the materials I had ordered.
A small overhang like 4 inches will make sitting uncomfortable. Your knees will be against the bar and your upper body will be hunched over to reach the bar and your drink.
I also have cabinets around the front of the bar with a granite countertop. The cabinets are the standard 36" height. In front of the cabinets is a 42" half wall. I've gone to a few bars and the most common measurement for the top width is bar rail plus 15". I'd like to have a front overhang of 10", but then I have an awkward situation where the back of the top hangs over the countertop something like 5" and the countertop space under the top isn't that useful. The solution is to either push the top farther towards the front of the bar or reduce the width of the top.
Thanks for all the replies so far. This is very helpful and I would appreciate any further comments.
When I first started reading this I thought you were going to say you sized it to hold the party dancers.
I haven't built mine yet but I'm planning an at least 18" of bartop only. I will not have a drip tray but I will have 3" of overhang in the back. Take away the 5 1/2" for the 2 x 6 kneewall and that will leave me with 9 1/2" of just bartop overhang. After I add the rail I should be around 15" of total overhang.
Hi, my wife and I are building out our basement and your bar is similar to what we were wanting. Could you tell me what company you used to install the cabinets and bar surface? Could you send or post pictures of the other side of the bar?
to be honest, I've never really sat at it, it was never intended to be a place to sit and eat/drink, it's a place to prepare food/drinks and then leave.
for my use, it's good. more of an overhang would just waste space(i don't have a lot to begin with).
if your custom building though, i would get the foot rail installed, pull up a chair and figure out what's comfortable, then grab a piece of wood/cardboard to be the top and slide it back and forth until you've found the overhang you like best. i'm sure the distance your foot rail extends will also greatly affect how much overhang you want. you don't want the top to be touching your stomach while your feet don't reach the foot rail
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