Bar Building Blog

Introducing a New Bar Rail Profile: The BR-350!

oak bar rail

In our quest to offer the products that you, our loyal customers, want to see, we’ve developed a brand new bar rail profile!

The BR-350 bar rail features a first for Hardwoods Incorporated – a fully curved profile.

Give your guests the ultimate in armrest comfort without sacrificing your custom bar’s sleek style. The curved profile appears to rise up out of your bar top.

The BR-350 comes with a notched section for easy attachment to bar tops ranging from ¾” to 3” in thickness. Just use glue and screws underneath the bar top and you’re in business!

This gorgeous vintage bar rail profile originated in the Hardwoods Incorporated family mill in 1930s Pennsylvania, crafted for a variety of bar and speakeasy clients.

In recent years, we’ve fielded a number of commercial requests for this unique bar rail profile and, as a result, felt it was time to bring it back for wider use.

Choose from a variety of lengths, including 4’, 6’, 7’, 8’, and 9’ to suit your individual bar-building project.

Each BR-350 curved bar rail is crafted from hand-selected red oak and milled here in the United States. As with all our bar rails and other bar parts, each BR-350 is carefully packed and shipped to your home to prevent damage. Longer lengths, as well as other domestic and exotic hardwoods, available upon request.

Add a professional look and feel to your home or commercial bar with the BR-350 from Hardwoods Incorporated!

Premium Hardwood Bar Rails & More

Whether you’re looking for a rounded bar rail profile or our more traditional Chicago bar rail molding, Hardwoods Incorporated has what you need to get the bar of your dreams. 

Have questions about building your bar? Check out our Bar Building Resources section, email us at, or call us at (301) 665-9505 or (240) 285-0565.

Thank you for choosing Hardwoods Incorporated.

6 Storage Solutions for Your Home Bar

Creating Bar Storage

Your home bar is supposed to be a place where you can relax and entertain your friends. You all share a few drinks, some stories, and maybe watch the game on TV.

But there’s one thing that’s standing between you and that relaxing home bar: You don’t know where to store everything.

From wine bottles to highball glasses, martini shakers to beer mugs, you’re having a difficult time putting everything in its place. 

Whether you’re battling small space issues or organizational paralysis, here are 6 great storage solutions for your home bar:

Minimalist Wine Rack

Unless you’re a big wine drinker, having a wine rack built into the underside of your bar is a big waste of valuable space.

Instead, consider adding a small wine rack to the wall. It will hold just a few bottles of your favorite wine and makes a great decoration if you arrange it so the labels face out.

Your wines will always be close at hand for quick and easy selection.

Pull-out Cabinets

Cabinets on the floor can provide a ton of space, but getting to whatever’s shoved in the back is a challenge.

Instead of keeping the stationary shelves, install some pull-out shelves for easy access to your appliances, liquors, and other items. This minimizes bending and reduces the risk that you’ll find an expired bottle of grenadine hiding in the back three years from now.

Floor-level cabinets are great for storing lesser-used or large appliances such as blenders. 

They’re still close at hand and accessible without taking up valuable space in other cabinets or on the counter.

Stylish Wall Shelves

Rather than hiding your glasses and gorgeous liquor bottles away behind cabinet doors, consider using the wall behind your bar as an open display.

Install well-made, stylish wall shelving that coordinates with your bar. Use the space to add your glasses and liquor bottles in a pleasing display for some visual interest and easy access.

Adding under-shelf lighting gives an extra level of ambiance and sparkle to your glassware, too.

Mini Fridge

It can be tempting to want to shove everything you’ll need in your home bar into a large refrigerator. But that adds an extra appliance that uses extra floor space, and refrigerators aren’t exactly attractive appliances.

Instead, pare down what you plan to store in your refrigerator at any given time and install an under-bar mini fridge. 

These small appliances are great for a few cans of beer, an open bottle of wine, and some mixers. Everything else can be stored elsewhere and the fridge can be restocked if you need it.

Open Cubes

Do you like the idea of open shelving but worry about things falling over?

Make use of open cube shelving instead!

The cubes are great for keeping like items separated while not feeling closed-off like traditional cabinets would.

You can even customize cube shelving to meet your needs, with smaller cubes for glasses and larger ones for wine or liquor bottles.

Adding some accent lighting can lighten things up a bit and give you an extra bit of glam.

Add a Cart

Who says you have to store everything right in your bar area?

If you’ve got appliances, bottles, or other items that just don’t fit in your bar area, consider storing them on a rolling cart.

The cart can be rolled in when you need it, and tucked away in a closet or spare room when you don’t.

This is a great way to add a little extra storage without adding to your bar area itself.

High-Quality Bar Rails & More

Get the custom bar look you want with high-quality bar rails, bar top kits, and more from Hardwoods Incorporated. We hand-select each piece of hardwood for the best finished product we can make, and everything’s milled in our facility in Maryland. 

Have questions about building your bar? Take a peek at our Bar Building Resources section, email us at, or call us at (301) 665-9505 or (240) 285-0565.

Thank you for choosing Hardwoods Incorporated.

4 Tips for Small-Space Bar-Building

Small Bar Building

You would love to build a bar in your home, but you’re short on space.

Whether you’re living in a condo or you’re squished in somewhere so space is at a premium, you may feel that you’re just living an impossible dream.

However, with a little creativity and some careful planning, you can have the bar of your dreams in your small space!

Here are 4 tips for building a bar in a small space:

Think up, Not out

When you’re lacking in horizontal space, you have to get creative.

That may mean that your bar and its components reach up to the ceiling, utilizing wall space and high shelving.

Rather than storing your liquors and glasses in low cabinets, add shelving or hung cabinets to handle what you need to entertain guests.

Go Inside

Why not look at a built-in bar? 

Built-ins are hot right now, and adding a little extra feature with a bar can help boost the resale value of your home in the future.

In the area where you want to build your bar, find two wall studs. You’ll remove the drywall between these two studs and build your bar in the carved-out space. 

You may want to have a contractor help you with the excavation portion of the project.

This option gives you a great bar in a small space without sacrificing any floor space.

Go Bare Bones

When you’re short on space, you can’t have it all.

That means you need to really make some decisions about what you absolutely need to have in your bar in order to use it.

Do you really need all those martini glasses at hand if you’re only serving martinis a couple times a year? If you don’t entertain much, are 12 wine glasses really necessary?

Sit down and think about your daily bar use habits. 

Maybe that means you only need a couple of wine glasses, some mixing tools, a couple liquors, and some glasses. Everything else can be stored away and brought out when you’re anticipating visitors.

Think Open

Heavy wooden cabinet doors give weight to a room, something that can be overwhelming in small spaces.

Instead of closing off all your liquors and glasses, try open shelving units or doorless cabinets.

You’ll get a little extra visual space which will prevent your bar from feeling too heavy and large, especially if you’re building it in a small room.

Premium Bar-Building Products Online

At Hardwoods Incorporated, we want to make sure you get the custom bar you’ve always wanted, no matter its size. We produce exceptional-quality hardwood bar rails, bar tops, and other bar parts to give you the bar of your dreams. 

Need some guidance designing or constructing your bar? Check out our Bar Building Resources section, email us at, or call us at (301) 665-9505 or (240) 285-0565.

Thank you for choosing Hardwoods Incorporated.

Give Your Bar a Unique Twist with Live Edge Bar Tops

Natural Edge Bar Tops

At Hardwoods Incorporated, we aim to find unique, interesting ways to help you create the bar of your dreams.

Whether you’re planning the ultimate man cave or you’re getting ready to renovate your bar at the local watering hole, you want something that’s going to stand out.

Our live edge bar top slabs give you the unique, rustic look you’re aiming for, backed by our commitment to exceptional customer service.

Each of our natural edge bar top slabs is hand-chosen from the highest-quality wood we can find and planned by our team. We ship the bar top slab to you, ready for installation and finishing in your home or commercial bar.

Because each live edge bar top uses the natural curves and character of the tree it’s cut from, you won’t find a bar top anywhere else that looks just like yours – Guaranteed!

Choose from a variety of domestic and exotic hardwoods in varying lengths. Some examples of the live edge bar top slabs in our shop include:

Live Edge Bar Top

This spalted sycamore bar top has two live edges to give you a natural finish on both sides of your bar top. It measures 2 ½” x 27” x 127” and would make a gorgeous long bar top for any basement or commercial pub.

White Oak Natural Edge Bar Top

Our white oak natural edge bar top slab measures 2 ½” x 25” x 124”. The unique shape and character of this wood is sure to gain you major compliments from anyone who sees it installed in your home or business.

Knotty Pine Natural Edge Bar Top Slab

This knotty pine bar top slab features a gently sloping live edge. That edge is perfect for the front of your bar top, giving your guests a natural place to rest their arms. It measures 2.125” x 21-27” x 127”.

We carefully pack and ship each of our natural edge bar top slabs, just as we do all our other bar parts and rails, working hard to ensure your items get to you undamaged.

Unsure how to install your live edge bar top slab? Our Bar-Building Resources section has all the information you need, or feel free to email us at, or call us at (301) 665-9505 or (240) 285-0565.

Thank you for choosing Hardwoods Incorporated.

Introducing New Crown Molding from Hardwoods Incorporated!

Crown Molding Bar Parts Hardwoods Incorporated

Your finished custom bar project is beautiful, with high-quality bar rails and a sleek bar top.

But there’s something missing: You want to find a way to finish the front of your bar, or the wall behind it, but aren’t really satisfied with the choices you see in stores.

To help you get the exact custom bar you want – or just to give a room in your home a little extra finish – we’ve developed Hardwoods Incorporated exclusive crown molding!

Available in three sizes and styles, our high-quality crown molding is created from the same hand-picked hardwoods as all our bar parts. Everything is milled in our shop right here in the  United States, and we only sell what we’d be proud to put in our own homes and businesses.

Choose from a variety of hardwood species, including:

  • Oak
  • Poplar
  • Cherry
  • Maple
  • Mahogany
  • Walnut
  • And more!

Get the look you want by choosing from our three styles, made to suit a variety of needs:

CM-258: ¾” thick x 2-⅝” wide x 8’ long

CM-278: ¾” thick x 2-⅞” wide x 8’ long

CM-325: ¾” thick x 3-¼” wide x 8’ long

Perfect for restaurants, pubs, basements, nightclubs, man caves, and more, our crown molding is available in lengths up to 16’ by request.

All crown moldings are designed to coordinate with our bar rails and other bar parts to help you create a uniform, custom look.

Make sure your custom bar project is the talk of the town! Choose our new crown molding today!

High-Quality Hardwood Bar Parts

At Hardwoods Incorporated, we pride ourselves on producing the best products for your custom bar-building projects. Whether you want to add a small station to serve drinks and watch the big game in your basement or you’re looking to create a sleek custom coffee bar for your next business venture, we have everything you need to get the bar of your dreams!

Our products are designed and created by people with years of experience building their own bars, so if you have any questions on how to install your items, we’re here to help! Check out our Bar-Building Resources section, email us at, or call us at (301) 665-9505 or (240) 285-0565.

Thank you for choosing Hardwoods Incorporated.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Hardwood Species for Your Custom Bar

Choosing the Right Wood Type for Your Bar

You’ve got your custom bar’s location all scoped and measured out, and you’ve taken the time to carefully consider the design elements you want to include.

The next major task you have to complete before you can move on to the building phase is to choose what species of wood you want your bar to be built from.

There are multiple species of hardwoods that would make a great custom bar (We carry more than a dozen species at Hardwoods Incorporated!), but finding the right one for your project is important to getting the finished look you want.

Here are 5 tips for finding the right type of hardwood for your project:

Your Space

Where your custom bar will be located is as important to choosing your hardwood species as how you want the bar to look.

If your bar will be in a light, airy space with lots of natural light, you can pretty much choose any species you want. For a brighter look, a lighter hardwood such as ash or maple is a good choice. If you’re going for that deeper, more traditional pub look, a darker hardwood such as Bubinga or walnut may suit your needs.

On the other hand, if you are going for that overall darker feel, or your bar will be in a small area, choosing a lighter wood species may help the space not feel overwhelming.


The overall theme and feel you’re going for with your custom bar space is crucial to choosing the right type of hardwood.

A sports bar designed for friends to gather and watch the big game may be served better by light, bright wood species to give the space a friendly, inviting feel.

A fancy coffee bar, on the other hand, might benefit from a deep, rich wood species that lends a note of elegance to the space.

Your bar’s design and its purpose are going to play a big role in the wood you choose to use.


Whether you plan to stain your bar, and how dark you want to stain it, will play an important role in the wood species you choose.

Darker wood species, such as walnut, will need less staining and can look fantastic with just a layer of varnish to add protection and shine.

Lighter species such as poplar and white oak can handle much more stain and will change appearance depending on how dark you decide to stain them.


Whether you want to add accents to your bar, such as fluted columns or a foot rest, can also help determine what species of wood you choose. Additionally, how you want these accents to look – whether you want them to be the same color as the rest of the bar or a contrasting color – is something to keep in mind.

If you want contrasting accent pieces and main bar construction, do you want the predominant color to be dark or light? How much of your bar do you want to be in the contrasting color? And how will all these accents fit into the overall design of the rest of the room?


Where you’re planning to house your new bar is going to play an important role in the species of wood you choose.

For indoor bars where there are no moisture concerns, you can choose any hardwood species that strikes your fancy. As long as you properly protect and seal it, keep it clean, and make any necessary repairs, your bar should hold up for years.

If your bar will be outdoors or in a basement that may see moisture or dampness, white oak and mahogany are highly recommended by the Hardwoods Incorporated team. These species are less likely to rot, so they can withstand rain, wind, and snow for longer periods of time than can other species.

Quality Hardwood Bar Parts for Your Custom Project

At Hardwoods Incorporated, we’ve spent years carefully designing and crafting all our bar parts – bar rails, bar tops, and more – to give you the beautiful custom bar you crave. From commercial coffee shops to intimate at-home cocktail bars, our products have been used across the world. Ready to get your project started? Check out our full online catalog!

What Is True Chicago Bar Rail Molding?

Chicago Bar Rail Molding Home BarChicago bar rail molding. The term has become popular in the bar-building industry in recent years, with more and more bar parts manufacturers marketing their products as “Chicago bar rail molding.”

But here at Hardwoods Incorporated, we make the original Chicago bar rail molding.

What Is True Chicago Bar Rail Molding?

The original Chicago bar rail moldings are thick and sturdy, built to withstand thousands of people bellying up to the speakeasy bar for their illicit drinks.

It has a stylized, curved apron, giving it a bold but smooth appearance.

This apron became a practical location for installing neon lighting to highlight the design elements of the bar front, or to install purse hooks for the ladies.

Hardwood Chicago Bar Rail

Real Chicago bar rail molding almost always includes radius corners to keep with the art deco tradition. You seldom see a mitered corner paired with true Chicago bar rail molding.

Chicago Bar Rail Dimension Diagram

What Else Is on the Market?

Other bar part manufacturers market their products as “Chicago bar rail,” but the designs are usually wafer-thin and lack an apron. This is to save on production costs and so they can be sold more cheaply.

You also won’t find many of these styles curved, as they’re more difficult and expensive to make.

At Hardwoods Incorporated, We Sell ONLY True Chicago Bar Rail Molding

The traditional Chicago bar rail molding design has been in constant production in our family mills since 1945. We have no intention of changing that anytime soon.

The Real Chicago Bar Rail from Hardwoods Inc

Our BR475-S Chicago bar rail moldings are available in straight and curved profiles to fit your bar’s individual needs. Choose from over a dozen domestic and exotic wood species, giving your bar the unique look you want.

We make all our bar rail moldings, including the Chicago bar rail molding, in-house from scratch, just as we’ve always done. We hand-select each piece of wood for close color and grain match, and we can assure a seamless fit for your bar top edge.

You won’t need an unsightly end cap when installing our bar rail molding; we recommend taking the time to use more professional end fitments and scribing methods that produce a clean, professional result.

Chicago Bar Rail Molding BR-475S>>Want to learn more about finishing your bar rail ends the Hardwoods Incorporated way? Check out our blog for tips!>>

To truly get the Chicago speakeasy experience in your home or commercial bar, choose the only original Chicago bar rail molding, the BR475-S from Hardwoods Incorporated. It’s in-stock in lengths up to 16’ with matching 6” and 12” radius corners.

Chicago Bar Rail Molding Hardwood Bar

We not only make everything we sell, but we also have over 40 years of experience building bars using the exact products we sell to our customers.

Have questions about building your own bar? Contact us at, or by phone at (301) 665-9505 or (240) 285-0565.

Thank you for choosing Hardwoods Incorporated!

A Guide to Beer Types

Line of Different Types of Beer in Glasses

Favorite beer types are as personal as favorite foods – Everyone has their own opinions and own reasons for choosing a certain style.

Pale ales, pilsners, lagers… There are so many to choose from, and each has its own unique characteristics and flavors.

But if you look at the draught menu at your favorite restaurant and your head spins trying to figure out which one won’t taste terrible to you, we can help.

Check out this guide to beer types to help you select the type for you:


2 Basic Types of Beer

To begin, there are two basic types of beer: lagers and ales.

The difference between ales and lagers lies mostly in the type of yeast used to brew each type.

Lager yeast, Saccharomyces Pastorianus, is more comfortable in cold temperatures. Common lagers on the market include Heineken and Budweiser.

The yeast used in ales, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, prefers warmer temperatures.

Hops are typically used in brewing ales, giving the beer a bitter taste that counterbalances the sweet malts that are used in the brewing process.


3 Types of Ales

Brown Ale

Brown ales came to prominence in the 18th century, and was used to describe the various types of porters and stouts produced at the time.

Around a century later, the drum malt roller was developed, which allowed far more types of beer to be brewed. This drum malt roller utilized black malt, and any beer that didn’t use the roller and black malt became known as a “brown ale.”

Pale Ale

Pale ale was developed around 300 years ago, and was distinguished by other ales of the time by its more bitter taste.

India Pale Ale

India pale ale is a subtype of pale ale, so it is also more bitter than brown ales.

It gets its name from its popularity among officials of the East India Trading Company.


3 Types of Lagers

Pale Lager

Developed in the mid-19th century by German brewers who applied pale ale brewing techniques to the lagering methods in use at the time, pale lagers are the most popular type of beer in the world by sales.

These beers sometimes are called “pilsners,” but they differ from true pilsners in that they tend to be more dry and have a more pronounced hoppy aroma.


Pilsners were developed around the same time as pale lagers, only in the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic.

This beer type is more highly carbonated and has a more full, hoppier aroma than pale lagers.

Dark Lager

Dark lagers are visually often mistaken for stouts or porters, but the comparison ends there.

These beers are lighter in body with hops coming to the front and leaving what’s described as a pleasantly bitter taste.


Other Beer Types

German Bock

German Bock is a type of lager that is stronger and more smooth than other lagers. It has a more intense flavor that is the result of a longer brewing process.


The distinct roasted flavor of porters sets them apart from stouts, for which they’re often confused.

Porters also have a higher alcohol content than do stouts.


Stouts are believed to have started as a subtype of porters, being more full-bodied than their predecessor. Over the years, stouts have developed into their own type, even if there is a bit of confusion at where the line between porters and stouts is drawn.

Belgian Ale

During World War II, Belgian brewers were looking for alternatives to German beers such as pilsners and developed the Belgian ales.

These beers are often less bitter than other pale ales, and have sweet malty overtones and rich, thick heads. They also are more spicy than other pale ales.

Wheat Beer

These beers are typically light, making them perfect for spring and summer enjoyment. They may exhibit fruity characteristics and are typically cloudy with thick heads.

In Germany, there are laws stating exactly how much wheat must go into a beer that calls itself “wheat beer.”

Wild & Sour Ales

These two types of beer have grown out of the American craft brewing movement and are brewed with the Brettanomyces yeast strain.

All sour ales are considered wild, but to be considered a “sour ale” bacteria such as Lactobacillus or Pediococcus is used.


Hand-Selected Hardwood Bar Parts

Do you need a custom bar to show off your new beer knowledge to all your friends? At Hardwoods Incorporated, we create only the highest-quality bar rails, bar tops, and other bar parts for your home or commercial bar.

We use only the best hand-selected wood, backed by our exceptional customer service. Not sure what you’re looking for? Email us at or call (301) 665-9505 or (240) 285-0565 for help from one of our skilled bar building professionals!

Home bar top by Hardwoods Incorporated.

We recently completed a custom home bar bar top for a local client using solid poplar hardwood. The project involved several offsets and notches to fit around a column and on top of irregular shaped cabinets. Pictured is the layout, measurement and design stage of the bar top project.


Next we have the rough cut out and glue up stage where we over size the bar top blank for cutting later.



Here we show the bar top blank cut to the size and shape and installed over the plywood sub top. Notice that the sub top extends past the main bar top (1-9/16″) on the long front and short edges where the Chicago bar rail will be installed.


Pictured below is the finished bar top trimmed with our BR475 Chicago bar rail molding. The top is sanded and ready for delivery to the client who will stain and top coat the bar top to match their cabinets.


If you are interested in having a custom bar top built, or if you are a “Do-it-yourselfer” looking for quality bar rails, bar top kits or bar front parts, contact the team at Hardwoods Incorporated.

Thank you for considering Hardwoods Incorporated.

6 Great Reasons to Choose Hardwoods Incorporated for Your Next Project

Custom Home Hardwood Bar

When building your custom bar for your home or business, we know you’ve got a lot of choices.

Size, style, materials, decor. … It can seem as if your options are never-ending before you even get started on your project.

When you choose Hardwoods Incorporated, you get exceptional quality, a wide range of options to find the look you want, and our unparalleled commitment to customer support.

Here are a few (of many!) reasons to choose Hardwoods, Incorporated for your next bar-building project:

Bar Rails & Bar Parts Are All We Do

Because we’re completely committed to providing our customers with the best-quality bar rails and bar parts in the business, we’ve chosen to focus solely on doing just that. We put everything we have into our bar rails and bar parts – All our skills, our innovation, and our efforts. This helps us provide you with the high-quality products you deserve.

Multiple Size, Style, & Species Options

All of our bar rails and bar parts come ready-to-ship in any of our eight main wood types. And our bar rails – all seven styles! – are available in varying lengths so you get exactly what you want.

Don’t see what you want in our ready-to-ship species or sizes? We can custom-make any of our bar rails and bar parts from any type of wood you’d like, even exotic hardwoods. Just ask!

We Make What We Sell

You won’t find mass-manufactured bar rails or pieces shipped from overseas pre-milled at Hardwoods, Incorporated. We get in truckloads of raw lumber and hand-select each piece before creating our high-quality bar rails, bar top kits, and other bar parts.

Then, we send that hand-selected wood through our specialized machinery right in our shop. After each piece comes out, we check it over to ensure that it’s of the quality we expect and that you deserve. We’re not a reseller; we only sell what we make ourselves.

Complete Bar-Building Options

Whether you’re looking to build out a bar top in one species of wood or need to fully outfit your bar front, we’ve got everything you need to make that happen!

Select your favorites from our bar top kits, glass rail, drip edge, and bar rail moldings to get that cohesive bar top you’ve always wanted for a professional look. Everything is specially designed to fit together easily so you won’t need see gaps or flaws you might find when choosing piecemeal from other vendors. And top it all off with high-quality fluted columns, bar front trim kits, and bar front planks cut to length.

Prompt & Careful Shipping

We know you’re excited to get started on that bar-building project, so we make sure to ship your items as quickly as we can while still handling your product carefully. Each piece is wrapped thoroughly in plastic, then rolled in cardboard and placed inside a specially designed shipping box. This helps your items arrive undamaged and ready for installation.

And if your items do arrive damaged? Give us a call and we’ll help you out!

Expert Advice for Your Project

From the beginning planning stage to choosing the right parts, from cutting the pieces to finishing your final product, the team at Hardwoods Incorporated is here to help you get the most out of your bar-building experience.

We offer a full library of bar-building resources to answer almost any question you may have. And if you can’t find the answer to your question there, give us a call and one of our experienced team members can help you. We’ve built bars ourselves, so we can help you troubleshoot your project for the best results.

Everything You Need for Building a Home Bar – Under One Roof!

Here at Hardwoods Incorporated, we’re pleased you’ve chosen us to help you get the bar of your dreams. Whether you’re looking for a great place to entertain your friends, want to renovate your commercial bar, or just want a great place to enjoy your favorite coffee, we’ve got everything you need to make your bar-building dreams come true! Check out our online shop today!

Thank you for considering Hardwoods Incorporated.