Standard bench height for tables, decks, and more.
What’s the standard bench height for a table? What’s the standard bench height for a deck? How about a shower, mudroom, or work bench?
We’ve got you covered.
We’ll give you a quick answer below, and also include tips from pros about what they do.
Standard bench height for:
- Decks & tables = 18″-20″
- Workbench = 33″-36″
- Decks & tables = 16″-20″
Now obviously these heights are just averages or “standards”: they’re what others have used in their bench construction, so while they may be the average bench height used by a lot of people, ultimately the height of your bench is going to have to be determined by your goals. Here’s a summary of standards others are using in their building, for depth and height.
Remember that if all else fails, you can make measurements and simulate what the bench would be like at certain heights.
Also, it’s worth keeping in mind that this kind of “custom building”, small as it might seem, is actually pretty valuable and can be a good selling point to homeowners or clients if you’re a contractor. You don’t necessarily need to charge way more money, but it’s a nice bonus you should be sharing with them, and a high point of why to go with you over running out to Home Depot to buy a bench for half the price (but that may only last half as long too).
If you’re thinking of building a bench yourself, you may want to check out our library of FREE power tools safety courses, published by the Power Tool Institute to freshen up on some powertool safty tips to keep you safe while you’re working on your project.
*In the end, it’s down to preference, your client’s needs (and height), and what feels comfortable to them, as well as the design and look of the piece. But here are some guidelines we found from real pros:
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Standard bench height for decks and tables
Height: Standard bench height for decks and outdoor benches is typically between 18″ and 20″. Keep in mind that is assuming the table you’re building the benches for hovers around 29-30 inches, the standard height for tables.
Width (or Depth): About 12″-15″, or about three deck boards wide depending on the depth you’re hoping to achieve. You may want to go as wide as 20″ if you’re looking for a little more surface room.
Tips from pros:
- Be sure to leave room for trim!
- Build the benches to your client’s height: for shorter clients, 18″ high. For taller clients, go up to 20″ high.
- As a rough consideration, look at keeping the bench about 12 inches lower than the table.
- If you’ll be using cushions on the bench, allow for roughly an inch or so of room so that when people sit on the cushions and they compress, that inch of compressed cushion is accounted for and their knees aren’t bumping the underside of the table.
Standard bench height for a workbench
Height: standard ranges from 33″ to 36″ high depending on your height and preferences.
- the people at Woodworking Tips suggest finding the right height for your bench by measuring the distance between the floor, and where your wrists bend. (Thanks for the tip!)
- adjust as needed, to your liking.
Standard bench height for showers and mudrooms
Height: between 16″ (on the short side) and 18″ (on the high side). Of course, if everyone using the shower is very tall you may consider going higher, but as a basic point, the height of your shower bench probably won’t differ a whole lot from the height of an outdoor bench. Basically, decide whether you want the bench to be set a bit higher than a normal bench (say, the one on your deck), or if you want it to be about the same, or lower.
Depth: standard depth might run anywhere from 16″ -20″ but again, depends on the size of your shower and how much surface you want available on your bench.
- Decide if you want to be able to keep shampoo, accessories, etc. on your bench. If so, and there’s room to do so, you may want to make it a little larger to allow it to be a sort of “surface”.
- Go for functionality over comfort, unless you’re going to be sitting on it alot. Whereas with finding deck or outdoor bench heights you’re really focusing on the proper height so that people can be comfortable sitting for hours on it, chances are you’re not going to be sitting for long periods of time in the shower. If you’re just using it to sit for a moment, and you don’t have really bad joints or anything, then we recommend going for a size that saves space and won’t get in the way to much.
Did we miss anything? If you build it differently, hit us up in the comments below! If you’re a pro and you want to chat, or teach courses with us, let us know.