Counters & Countertops – Types, Variants, Sourcing & Styles

The concept of a counter or a countertop clad with marble, expensive wood, high quality stainless steel & in some cases even thick glass is a concept and trend that can find it’s early traces in Britain’s Pubs.

Along with United Kingdom’s increasing influence of cultures to the west & a growing migration to the United States, Canada & Australia, the idea & the trend also caught on in these countries. In fact, these trends also manifested themselves in several other ways.

For instance, in the US, the idea of home counters took off alongside the concept of an open kitchen and much more. In fact, today almost all decently priced apartments in the US have a detachable countertop that resembles the one at the bar. Even in 2019, this demand did not fizzle out but grew by 4.19% in the US alone.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this trend was re-exported back to all the western countries and today, several mid-tier and luxury homes have counters that are clad with expensive materials which possibly cost several thousands of dollars.

Most of these homes strive to imitate restaurant counters at pubs and bars, although they do come with an undermount sinks as well. In this post, we will try our best to share some of the top tricks of designs and our personal insights to sourcing the perfect pub-style bar counter for your home. We begin with the types of such bar-counters.

  1. Single bar: Most commonly used bar counter for homes, depending on the length & size that you would need it in, these counters (for a standard home size) built with decent quality materials will set you back about $1,800 from your local supplier. This price range comes replete with a keg dispenser, shelving, wood working & so on.
  2. U-shaped counter: These are typically used in restaurants, but larger sized homes that aren’t shy of displaying their liquor collection in a conspicuous manner are regular customers of this kind of a counter. These are tricky to make as they require a high degree of craftsmanship. Be prepared to shell out anywhere between $2,000 – $2,500
  3. L-shaped: These can be the best option for a homeowner to ensure an enclosed counter and are mainly used by folks who have a separate, private bar-room and who generally like to keep things discreet. You can remember this style from the movie scene in “Django Unchained”. These also happen to be great for storing several disposables. These cost about $1,500 for a decently sized home.

These are just a few of the variants, covering all of them in detail would require a separate article. So we will quickly run through the remaining important pointers.

Why are they so expensive & what are the available options?

Although bar counters have been around since a long time, they have always been taken care of by contractors themselves and occasionally the countertops were changed by a few suppliers. However, in recent times furniture manufacturers have dabbled into making large & heavy counters with a high degree of success.

This means two things, for one, it means that the counters, although heavy, will be easily transportable. Secondly, it also means that homeowners would not have to rely on a local contractor in order to get their hands-on a bar counter and more importantly, they will also save a whole lot of money.

This is because, local businesses generally tend to cost more. They simply cannot operate on economies of scale which is bad news for the local business but it is good news for the consumers who can now get their counter at an affordable price.

Several manufacturers of restaurant bar counters in third world countries also do work custom counters for luxury homeowners and they are able to realize significant cost savings [As much as 2/3rd!] by doing this.

As for styles, these manufacturers also do endless customizations, as they would have to do with their hospitality clients. You can choose from Solid Wood, Bent Metal, Marble and so on. We have even covered an entire post quartz benchtops for homes/kitchens

A few styles that they do for home bar counters are as follows.

  1. Industrial style bar counter: These are exposed wood and metal designs that are made-to-order so as give your home-bar a more rugged, exposed look
  2. Distressed style: Some customers love counters that reflect an old-world charm. To them a worn-out piece of furniture symbolizes wisdom and strength. Some furniture manufacturing companies have rode this trend and they offer to artificially sand the furniture so as ton give them this look.
  3. Modern style: Think of the kind of counter that you can get at a classic Scandinavian restaurant. Modern commercial counters bear a striking resemblance to them.

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