The focal point of any home bar is the bar top. It's a gathering spot for celebrations and conversations. It should complement the overall bar design, whether it is urban, English pub, rustic, contemporary, traditional, reminiscent of a gentlemen's club or themed with favorite collectibles. The decor of a home bar is as varied as the materials available for a home bar top.
Solid Wood or Wood Veneers
Wood brings natural warmth to a room. The variety of wood stains and durability of polyurethane coatings makes wood a beautiful choice. If you are on a tight budget, 3/4-inch birch veneer over layers of rough plywood with curved moldings creates an expensive look.
Bar Top Epoxy
You might have seen this at a vacation destination or favorite gathering spot: Layers of clear, liquid epoxy are used to seal playing cards, labels, coins and other flat objects into the top of a bar. This treatment creates a conversation piece in and of itself.
When it comes to stone, granite offers many different colorations and patterns. A slab provides the most striking color combinations available. A stone-and-tile showroom will have slabs with deep swirls of greens and blue; yellow, burgundy and grey; and whites streaked with black. If you decide on a granite slab, you must choose the exact slab you want because of the variety of colorations.
Kiln-Formed Art Glass
A sheet of 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch clear (tinged with green) or low-iron (water clear) glass is melted over a form to create a rich, embossed pattern. Waves, swirls, bubbles and flowers are among hundreds of design possibilities using kiln-formed art glass.
Glass with LED Lighting
Choose glass, and pick a light option. You can light it with true white LED lights or go with RBG lights that let you change the color of your bar top whenever you like, depending upon the sophistication of the controller.
Recycled glass is an eco-friendly alternative. Discarded bottles are crushed and mixed with a resin to craft stunning bar top alternatives. You choose the colors of glass you want. Some manufacturers offer bits of mirror or bits of glass that glow in the dark as options.
Soapstone is the material you see on counters in science labs. It does not stain, which makes it a superior option. Another good advantage: Do-it-yourselfers can cut soapstone slabs without special equipment.
A minimalist, urban look or stark, contemporary deco is an ideal setting for a brushed stainless-steel-clad bar top. Some manufacturers even offer different pattern options.
Ceramic or Glass Tile
Tile has evolved to offer design solutions never before imagined: ceramic tiles that you can easily mistake for slate; glass tiles that look like onyx; and others that resemble marble. A drawback to ceramic or glass tile tops is the issue of keeping grout lines clean.
- Photo Credit cocktail image by pucci raf from Fotolia.com
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