Skip to Content

Bar Shelf Height: How High Should Bar Shelves Be? (Answered)

Building a nice bar shelf needs your thorough consideration. It is one of the most distinctive centerpieces in a bar, so you will definitely need to pay special attention to it.

There are many factors associated with determining the right bar shelf height. In this article, we will discuss how high should bar shelves be. We will also discuss the factors that you should consider.

Bar shelf height: How high should bar shelves be?

There are several essential factors that you will need to consider before deciding on the height of a bar shelf. But in general, a standard bar shelf stands between 50 to 65 inches above the floor. That is, these shelves stand just below our eye levels.

Bar shelves are considered a focal point in the room. It is a centerpiece, and you will need to choose it very carefully. There are several factors associated with choosing the right bar shelf for your bar.

Back bar shelf:

A back bar shelf should be a little shorter than the usual shelves. Make sure that the back bar shelf is at least large enough to fit a sink. But it should not reach the back.

The typical height for a back bar shelf is 18 inches. But it can be as tall as 20 to 24 inches if you want to opt for a bit more space. This will allow you to install a larger sink and fixtures. 

Wet bar shelf:

A wet bar shelf should not be too high. Make sure that a wet bar shelf is between 18 to 24 inches.

Floating bar shelf:

A floating bar shelf is hung from the wall or ceiling. Place the floating bar shelf about 4 to 5 feet above the ground. You can also place the shelf at eye level.

However, the measurement will be different if you are installing the floating bar shelf above a sofa. Make sure that the floating bar shelf is 10 inches from the top in that case. 

Restaurant bar shelf:

A restaurant bar shelf is a commercial one. It will need a thorough inspection and speculation of the area before you decide on the height. But the average height of a restaurant bar shelf is between 42 to 45 inches.

Home bar shelf:

A home bar shelf should be placed just under the eye level. Generally, home bar shelves tend to be about 50 to 65 inches high. 

What is the standard height of a bar shelf?

Bar shelves are given high priority while designing the interior of a room. Bar shelves tend to be a little higher than the usual shelves.

The height is meant to enhance the visual prominence of the room. Make sure that the bar shelves right under eye level. The ideal height of a bar shelf would be between 50 to 65 inches.

However, the standard size of a bar shelf depends on the placement of the particular bar shelf. Whether you are installing the bar shelf at home or in a restaurant will also influence the height of the bar shelf.

How high should liquor shelves be?

Liquor shelves should be between 50 to 65 inches above the ground. These shelves are supposed to be placed at a spot that has visual prominence. Considering that, you should place liquor shelves right under eye level.

The opening of the liquor shelf should be about 18 inches in height. This height is good enough to accommodate the glasses in a single stack.

In addition, you can keep a shelf of 14 inches height in order to accommodate additional liquor bottles. Note that an average wine bottle is about 12 inches tall. 

And the drink ledge should be between 32 to 42 inches high. The exact size will depend on the purpose of your establishment.

Such should be the measurement for a liquor shelf. You can definitely customize these sizes as per your need.

The bar shelves in the restaurants and commercial space tend to be larger and taller than those at home and residential areas. So you will also need to keep this factor in mind.

2 reasons why bar shelves need to be at a certain height

Bar shelves need to be a certain height. It is one of the most crucial elements for a bar. You will need to make sure that the bar has the right height and space in order to ensure its performance.

There are several reasons why bar shelves need to be at a certain height. In the following section, we will discuss some of the most significant reasons why you should ensure the right height in a bar.

Helps bartenders:

Having the right height in bar shelves is essential because it will help the bartenders work efficiently. They will not need to fight with their surroundings in order to get the job done.

A bar that is efficient ergonomically will help the bartender get the job done fast. It will, therefore, increase the profit of the bar.

Enough space:

Having the right height is essential to allow enough space for all the equipments that are necessary for a bar. You will need to place several equipments such as the ice bin, sink, speed rail, garnish station, glassware, and more.

In order to place them comfortably in the bar, you will need to have the right height. This is another reason why bar shelves need to be at a certain height.

What things to consider while determining bar shelf height?

There are several factors that you will need to consider while determining bar shelf height.

These factors are essential for you to consider because they will help you cater the bar shelf to your particular needs. In the following section, we will take a look at some of the most important factors:


One of the most important factor of consideration is the location of the bar. Whether you are placing the bar at home or at a commercial place plays a significant role in determining the right height of the shelf.

For a home bar, the shelf does not necessarily have to be tall or spacious. But for a commercial bar shelf, you will need to make sure that the bar has enough space to help the bartender place all the bottles and equipments comfortably.

Type of the shelf:

The type of shelf also acts as a very significant thing to consider while determining bar shelf height.

You will need to consider the type of shelf that you’re trying to install, whether it will be hanging, floating, back bar, or placed at an eye-level from the ground. This will help you decide on the height of the bar shelf.

How to determine bar shelf height?

Here’s how you can determine the bar shelf height:

Determine the bar type:

Different bar shelf types have different measurement requirements. A standard bar height should be between 42 to 45 inches. However, not all bar shelves maintain this size.

You will need to consider the type of bar that you are measuring the height of, and follow its particular standards.

Determine the height of the bar top:

First of all, you should determine the height of the bar top. It should be between 30 to 36 inches.

The inside edge of the top of the bar should be overhung by 12 inches. This will be an ideal bar top, considering it is a typical commercial bar shelf.

In addition, you should keep about 18 inches to 24 inches for patrons to sit in the bar. This space should be outside the edge of the top of the bar.

Determine the height underneath the shelf:

Now you should determine how much height should be there under the shelf. It is ideal to keep about 18 inches in height underneath the bar shelf.

Determine standing space:

Now you should determine the standing space on a bar shelf. Make sure that you keep about 18 inches of standing room in front of the drink rail.

This is important if you’re trying to ensure convenience in the bar. In addition, keep 24 inches of height space if you plan on using a stool there.

Final Thoughts

A typical bar should be between 50 to 65 inches high. But there are several factors that you will need to consider in order to tailor a bar that meets your particular needs. Consider the type of the bar, its location, the number of people that you plan on catering to, and so on.