Visit a bar—any bar—and sit down for a drink right in front of the bartender. There’s a better than good chance that you’re going to be resting your elbows on a wooden bar top, and that’s no surprise, since the old staple and continued tradition for bar composition is wood!
When you’re crafting a bar in your basement or somewhere else in your home, it stands to reason that you’re going to try and emulate the real-life bar feel, which means having an iconic bar top of your own for friends and family to pony up to for drinks. All of this is to say that if you’re seeking to create an authentic, original, custom bar top in Houston, the only answer for what material you’re going to use is wood.
But crafting that ideal bar top is about more than just picking out some random wood and a neat-looking stain—it’s about picking out a choice of wood that’s beautiful, alluring, sustainable, resilient and exotic, so that your bar can truly come to life with you behind it. How do you go about getting this done? Take a look at some things to consider when you’re in the market for the right wood:
- Any custom bar top in Houston is going to take a beating over time—whether it’s due to spills and standing liquid or something more innocuous, like a stray swipe of your paring knife or a dent from a falling glass. Knowing how to initially protect the wood you’re using is going to make all the difference.
- You’re absolutely going to want a softer wood when crafting a bar top, which narrows the possibilities down to some fan favorites. Depending on your budget and the style of your bar, you’re most likely going to invest in something like teak, cherry, walnut or even oak.
- Over time, no matter which wood variation you choose, your bar top is going to need to be refinished and resealed to prevent permanent damage. Remember, you get out of your bar top what you put into it—wood has the highest upkeep of any bar top material, but can also be the most iconic and beautiful.
With these things in mind, it’s also very important to consider some of the more intricate facets of a wood top bar and what needs to be carefully thought out before the project comes together:
- Serve space and prep space are two different areas of your bar… unless they aren’t. Know that wood bar tops don’t always offer the best quality for prep space, since the prospect of damage is higher, so it might be in your best interest to designate a prep space in another material.
- When working with wood, cuts and builds need to be precise to accommodate the fact that wood is a living material. For example, your wood will swell and shrink with humidity changes, making it important to acclimate the wood to the bar area before getting to work.
With all of this information about wood bar tops in mind, you can consider yourself better equipped to understand exactly what you’re getting out of your investment if you so choose to create a custom wood bar top in Houston.