Top 5 Design Ideas About Bar Countertops

Cabaret Design Group

What are the top 5 design ideas about bar countertops? Today we’ll discuss the most popular countertops in bar design, including purchasing tipspricing and installation methods.

 

 

MORE SELECTION AND MORE DECISIONS

We live in an age where we have an abundance of choices for countertop materials. We can thank the custom home industry for this. It’s great to have many choices, but the downside to this is information overload for the consumer. Making the correct choice is more complicated than ever. This is not a complete list. However, this list constitutes the majority of countertop considerations of our clientele:

  • Granite
  • Quartz
  • Marble
  • Corian
  • Wood
  • Copper

 

There are, indeed, many choices to consider when purchasing countertops for hotels, restaurants and bars. I’m going to discuss the design features and costs you need to consider.

When talking about the top 5 design ideas about bar countertops, here’s a rundown of the most popular choices:

Cabaret Design Group
RESTAURANT BAR WITH WOOD COUNTERTOPS
Cabaret Design Group
RUM BAR WITH HAMMERED COPPER COUNTERTOPS

Granite

  1. Advantages: for pure aesthetics, granite is difficult to beat. Since it is a natural product, no two patterns are identical. Some high-end patterns are quite spectacular. Because of the random nature of most patterns, repair can often be un-noticeable. Many patterns have coordinating floor tile.
  2. Disadvantages:
    • Cost.
    • Porous surface makes it susceptible to staining.
    • Limitation to specific cleaning agents; must be periodically resealed.
  3. Has fallen from popularity in the hospitality sector.


Quartz

  1. Advantages
    • Non-porous and therefore excellent in a food environment.
    • Some patterns have a likeness to granite.
    • Certain patterns interact nicely with lighting.
  2. Disadvantages
    • Costlier than granite.
    • Doesn’t have the same sheen as granite.
    • Because it is a solid, manmade product, it can be difficult to make unnoticeable repairs.
    • For stone purists, this is not a natural product.
    • Most commercial dealers do not sell coordinating floor tile.
  3. The most popular request among hotel and restaurant owners today.


Marble

  1. Advantages
    • Similar to those of granite.
    • Standard patterns are priced similar to granite.
  2. Disadvantages
    • This material is soft and porous, which requires higher maintenance.
    • Like granite, higher-end patterns can be twice as costly as quartz.
  3. Rarely requested.


SENSITILE TERRAZZO

  1. Advantages
    • A beautiful, unique solution.
    • The surface particles are light and motion-reactive.
  2. Disadvantages: pricey.
  3. A fabulous produt that delivers “WOW FACTOR”. I highly recommend this product to those who appreciate the unique. Please read my post abut Sensitile’s products to learn more.


Wood

  1. Advantages
    • Available as green-certified.
    • Unique appearance – no two pieces are alike.
    • High lustre.
  2. Disadvantages
    • Soft and porous and absorbs odors – liquids can cause staining.
    • The periodic maintenance (sanding and refinishing) is costly, time-consuming and messy.
  3. As popular as quartz.


COPPER

  1. Advantages: aesthetics.
  2. Disadvantages
    • A bit pricey, but that’s a given.
    • The edge needs to be trimmed with a Chicago wood railing, as shown in the photo below.
Cabaret Design Group
RESTAURANT BAR WITH QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS
Cabaret Design Group
HOTEL BAR WITH SENSITILE TERRAZZO COUNTERTOPS

WHAT IS THE BEST COUNTERTOP FOR BARS?

While each material has its own merits, the most popular choices today are wood and quartz. My personal favorite is quartz. Say what you like, but to me, nothing is better for restaurant and bar design than quartz. Nowadays there are many fine quartz products. Cambria offers some very impressive patterns and is one of my favorites. According to Monica MacKay of Buffalo Granite & Marble in Buffalo, NY, quartz represents 30% of their business. It is specified most commonly by design professionals for businesses with multiple locations (such as auto dealerships). The reason? In order to maintain the consistent appearance that only a manufactured product like quartz provides.

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COUNTERTOPS?

A word of advice about quartz. If you are considering quartz for your project, the only way to adequately understand the appeal of any sample is to take a large piece (at least 12” x 12”) back to your establishment. Evaluate it under house lighting. Some quartz has a translucent nature. Therefore, judging quartz samples under studio or office lighting will not yield a correct evaluation.

There are numerous edge treatments for countertops. One of trending requests (and my personal favorite) is the laminated edge. This is where additional material is adhered to the exposed edges. This is a great, masculine look!

HOW MUCH DO COUNTERTOPS COST?

According to D’Andre Craig of Athenian Marble in Oklahoma City, OK, the current starting cost (including installation) for granite and marble is $80 per square foot, while that of quartz is $110 per square foot. Sensitile Terrazzo begins at $175 per square foot. Remodelingexpense.com reports that wood countertops begin at $70 per square foot.

WHAT ARE THE BEST TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL COUNTERTOP INSTALLATIONS?

The tenets of construction apply with countertop installation: preparation is the key success:

  • Ensure that all supporting structure is plumb, level and square and properly anchored.
  • Proper underlayment is the next most-important factor. For instance, for granite bar tops I always recommend one layer of ¾” marine grade plywood (for granite footrests I recommend ½” Durock® cement board, or equivalent).
  • Install the underlayment continuously and set-back not more than 3” from each edge of the countertop footprint. This provides 18” of support for 24” deep countertops, 24” of support for 30” deep countertops, etc.
  • For those who prefer two layers of underlayment, each layer needs to be installed cross-grained with respect to the other. Using construction adhesive, install the second layer perpendicular to the first. Finally, fasten the two layers with countersunk screws.
  • Use a belt sander and bondo on joints that aren’t level.

Oh yeah, a word to the wise. Do yourself a big favor and leave the installation of the countertops to the experts.

Need Help with your bar plans?

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