Published at Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 - 02:42:02 AM. Bar Stools. By Blanch Prieur.
You can buy a bar stool for as little as $9. Typically bar stools less than $100 are ”RTA” or ”Ready to Assemble”. This means that the bar stool must be bolted together by the customer. Using as many as FIFTY (yes, I once sold a stool that required 50 bolts) bolts, legs must be attached, seats must be attached, arms, back, seat frame, etc. Every bolt used to assemble a bar stool is a potential problem. Everyday use will loosen bolts over time resulting in a potentially dangerous situation if you do not periodically check the tightness of all the bolts. Even worse, many RTA stools use thin-walled metal with no additional support for the bolt’s threads to grasp. I have seen hundreds of these lower quality stools that will easily strip threads simply by being assembled. Additionally, lower priced stools are typically sold one way: one color, one fabric, no options.
This is a good question. If you ask 10 retailers, you’ll get 10 responses. In my opinion, wood bar stools are prone to problems not encountered with welded metal bar stools. Due to the soft nature of wood (when compared to steel), screws and joints tend to come loose over time- especially wood with arms. The constant outward stress on the arms can loosen the attachment points resulting in a loose feel. Legs and stretchers (horizontal support bars) can also become loose over time resulting in an unstable and potentially dangerous bar stool. Still, there are decorating situations in which only wood will work.
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