Bar Building Blog

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.

Design

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.

Stains

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.

Accents

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?

Location

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!

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