How to Make a Bar Top

So you've got a bar but no top.

Building the Bar Top

It's a strange problem to have--after all, can it really be called a bar without a top?--but one that's easily solved. This article will help you build a first-class top for that bar of yours with minimal time, effort, skill and money.

The nice thing about having a bar with no top is you're pretty much free to decide the size and shape of the top you want to make. You should start by getting the proper dimensions for your bar top. To do that, start by taking a good look at your topless bar. What shape is it? How much overhang do you want? And what kind of aesthetic impact do you want the bar to have on your patrons or guests when it is finished? You also need to be aware of how much space do you have to work with? Once you've come to some conclusions on these considerations, you can begin the process of putting your bar top together.

Take your two sheets of wood. Two sheets of plywood are good if you're planning on covering the bar top with something else like tile or metal. Using the Liquid Nails (or some other wood adhesive) glue the two sheets of paneling together. Attach your clamps at various strategic locations and wait for the boards to properly adhere. Once the two pieces of paneling are strongly bonded, you'll want to drive 3/4-inch wood screws through at least one side of the paneling. This will help hold the two boards together for durability.

Once your two sheets of plywood are firmly attached, it's time to make your design. For best results use a tape measure, a straight edge and a chalk line. This will ensure that the lines of your bar are at the dimensions you wanted. Now you need to cut your lines. You can take your bar top and affix it to the bar with a couple of screws. This makes it easier to cut the entire pattern. Once you have the top up off the ground, you can cut your lines.

Now it's time to place the top on the bar. Once you have it in place, affix it to the outer edge of your bar with 1-1/2-inch wood screws. Check to make sure the top is secure. You now have a top on your bar, the only things to decide are how you're going to make it pretty. Find some attractive trim for the sides; maybe use black screws and washers to hold the rail on the bar top. You can tile it, laminate it, or paint it. There are a millions different ways to take the bar top you've created and make it special. Good luck and happy hobnobbing.

Things You Will Need

  • Materials:
  • (2) Plywood (4 by 8 by 1/2 feet); if you want to have the wood be the top of the bar, it's recommended you that your top sheet be something other than plywood.
  • Box of 3/4-inch wood screws
  • Box of 1-1/2-inch wood screws
  • Liquid Nails
  • Tools:
  • Marker or chalk line
  • Straight edge
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Clamps

About the Author

Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.