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How Do I Choose the Best Bar Countertop?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

When it comes to entertaining guests, a bar countertop is a great choice for creating a social atmosphere that is comfortable and fun. Choosing the best type for your home or establishment starts by determining how many people you need to accommodate at any given time, as well as whether the bar countertop will be used at home or for a business. If you will be using it for a business, you will need to research whether any laws or regulations will dictate which type of bar you choose.

Regardless of where the bar countertop will be installed, it is important that the surface is easy to clean and resistant to bacteria. Wood countertops are very common in this setting because wood tends to be naturally antibacterial, though in many commercial bars, the bar countertop will be sealed with a lacquer that is easy to clean and resistant to chipping or cracking. This is important because bar glasses can fall on the countertop, drinks will spill frequently, and other types of damage may be possible in commercial bar settings. Home bars are less susceptible to such damage simply because they will be used less frequently, so it may not be necessary to choose a heavy-duty wood countertop with thick lacquer.

Quartz countertops may be featured on wet bars.
Quartz countertops may be featured on wet bars.

At home, you may want to choose a prefabricated bar countertop or a bar unit. An independent bar unit can be moved within a room, and it is usually a one piece fixture that has a bar top, foot rests, and storage within the unit for beverages, mixers, bottles, glasses, and more. This is perhaps the most economical choice as well, though some homeowners prefer to install a custom bar countertop for aesthetic value and personalization. If this is the case, it is a good idea to consider the aesthetic of the rest of the room when choosing materials, shape, size, and design.

You can make the countertop from various types of metal, but it is important to remember that some metals are susceptible to corrosion and are therefore not suitable for use in a bar setting. If you choose to make your countertop from metal, choose stainless steel, as this is relatively attractive and resistant to water damage. You can also choose aluminum, though this tends to be less sturdy and less aesthetically pleasing than steel. You can combine wood and metal, too, to create a unique and lasting aesthetic.

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    • Quartz countertops may be featured on wet bars.
      By: Bill Wilson
      Quartz countertops may be featured on wet bars.