How to Convert Standard Height Tables to Cafe Height

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill

  • Bolt-type replacement legs

  • T-bolts

  • Miter saw

  • Paint or stain

  • Paintbrush

Standard tables can be converted to bar-height cafe tables.

Cafe tables are a common sight these days, from coffee shops to restaurants to home kitchens and dining spaces. New tables are quite expensive, and recycling your old wooden table to get the cafe height is one way to keep a piece you love and get the new feel you want. A standard table is typically 28-to-30 inches high from the floor to the table top. Cafe, or bar-height tables are between 40 and 42 inches high, so you will need to extend your table legs by between 12 and 14 inches. Choose a table with straight legs, as angled legs are not safe to extend.


Step 1

Choose bolt-in prefab table legs in a style that matches your table. These legs are designed to thread into a threaded pocket in the bottom of a table to replace damaged legs. Make sure your legs are at least 12 inches long. Select T-bolts with the same thread as your table leg bolts.

Step 2

Paint or stain your legs to match the table. Use a fine bristle brush to apply two coats of semigloss latex paint, or all-in-one stain and finish. Work in long straight strokes with the grain. Spread the finish as evenly as possible to prevent runs and drips. Allow the label-recommended drying time between coats and allow the legs to dry completely before installing them.


Step 3

Turn your table upside down. Remove the nylon glides, or metal nails in the foot of the legs with a chisel and hammer. Tap the chisel under the edge of the nail and pry it up to remove it.

Step 4

Drill a 5/16-inch hole in the center of each table leg, keeping your drill in line with the angle of the table leg to a depth of 1 inch. Blow the dust from the hole. Drive a T-bolt into each hole. Tap the T-bolt in, then anchor it by twisting clockwise with a large, flat-blade screwdriver.

Step 5

Measure and cut your legs to length, cutting off the bottom end to the desired height on a miter saw. Thread the bolt of a leg into each T-bolt and tighten them by hand.


Mark Morris

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.