Bar Rail – Function and Form


Bar RailIn theory every home bar is the same. It is a dedicated area where people entertain and serve beverages. However, every bar doesn’t have the same amount of character and detail that is ultimately the separating factor. One of the best ways to separate your home bar from every other is by installing custom bar rail to create a sense of rich and distinguished character. The custom bar rail will serve two very import purposes – function and form.

In terms of function, bar rail is important because it adds an element of comfort while also serving a purpose. In its simplest form, bar rail is an ornamental wood element that will outline your bar. By outlining the bar it is the first element that people encounter when they sit down or lean against the bar.

If you intend for your friends and family to spend time at your home bar then you want to choose a bar rail that is comfortable. The most comfortable are ones that have a quality finish that is smooth to the touch and extends far enough where you can easily rest your arms. If it has a rough texture or is lacking depth then it will be uncomfortable. Thus making your bar a less desirable place to spend time. Also, you want to ensure that the bar rail has a slight lip, which connects with the bar top. This will ensure that drinks or other items don’t in inadvertently fall off.

The other important aspect of bar rail is form. Without being properly installed, your bar will look unfinished and lack a sense of style and character. A bar without bar rail is like putting an expensive painting in an old frame you purchased at a garage sale. Without one the other looks incomplete.

Remember your custom bar rail will outline the entire bar highlighting its every aspect. With this in mind choose the type that will communicate the style and feeling you are trying to convey. If you want to make a bold statement with an old world feel choose a bar rail with a high and deep profile that’s color is rich and warm. On the other hand if you are going for a more modern look you will want to choose bar rail with cleaner lines and more subtle coloring.

What you choose can create a dramatic effect and either make or break the overall styling of the bar. Considering that the majority of rails are made out of wood it is very important to choose wood that is of the highest quality. If cost is a factor only use the higher-grade wood on the key aesthetic elements such as the bar rail and moldings. Use more commercial woods such as oak or pine for the actual structural elements of the bar that you will be able to stain or varnish. Then choose higher quality woods such as Brazilian cherry, mahogany or maple. This is will be the most cost effective way to produce your desired look without spending an exorbitant amount of money. You wouldn’t buy an expensive painting and put it into a cheap frame, so don’t do the same to your bar.