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  • Outdoor Bar Question

    Good afternoon - I'm looking to build an outdoor bar on top of my pine deck, and have two questions for the experts:
    1) Anybody know of any good plans/books for bars? It'll be pretty simple, but just curious about the dimensions.
    2) More importantly, anyone have a good idea of what to make the top out of? I'm hesitant to use wood, as here in Cleveland I'm afraid the freeze thaw would warp/split it. Then I thought about just ceramic tile, but am wondering if the grout will crumble in the freeze/thaw. Granite/corian is too expensive. Other ideas?

    Thanks in advance,
    Brian

  • #2
    How about a poured concrete top, or wrapping a wood top with a sheet of copper and doing some decorative hammering on it. I think you would be ok with the tile if you do some research on the different thin sets and grouts. The guys over at the john bridge tile forum are a helpful bunch also. As far as ideas I'd probably head to my nearest Barnes & Noble and thumb thru a few books. Was thinking about the height question, you might measure what would be a comfortable work (aka mixing drinks) height for you and a good leaning height.
    Just my .02 cents

    [ 07-13-2004, 02:40 PM: Message edited by: JJC ]

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    • #3
      I believe all solid porcelain tile is frost-proof as well as some fo the better clay tile. I'd be sure to install it over a cement tile backer such as hardibacker or wonder board.

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      • #4
        ipe is a very weather resistant wood that does'nt require any finish outdoors, It can be pricy but a search on www.woodfinder.com will come up with a supplier in your area bill

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        • #5
          Ipe' is good stuff. Teak would be a nice wood as well. Both are marine grade. As far as finishes go its your choice; they can be left alone (which usually grey's due to UV) or oiled every now and then to keep a pretty shine.

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          • #6
            Re: Outdoor Bar Question

            Client wants an outdoor bar permanently installed onto his deck. I have some beautiful ipe I plan on using. How would you suggest I seal it. He does not want the "beautiful grey patina", but more of a traditional bar look (shiny, sealed, dark wood).

            Will ipe take polyurethane? Should I just oil it with some amberwood oil, or cabot's australian timber oil? Any help would be appreciated.

            Thanks,

            J

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            • #7
              Re: Outdoor Bar Question

              I don't think poly will work well on ipe. Cabot's will work, but it will have to be renewed, as will any oil.

              Ipe works best when it's left unfinished, but it will weather to a silver-gray patina. If the client insists on a finish, use Cabot's but remind the client that it will need to be renewed. The frequency will depend on the weather and the amount of UV exposure.

              Best of luck with the project,
              John

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              • #8
                Re: Outdoor Bar Question

                No matter what you use as far as wood or finish, anything outdoors has to be redone periodically. There is no way to keep wood from aging in the environment. Ask any boat owner. The best you can do is Varathane or other marine finish. No matter what you use, though, it will have to be removed, the piece sanded and refinished about every 3 years. This is another reason why boats are so expensive to maintain.
                I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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                • #9
                  Re: Outdoor Bar Question

                  Thanks guys!

                  J

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                  • #10
                    Re: Outdoor Bar Question

                    I vote for concrete. I made concrete counter tops for my kitchen and just finished one for a bath in the basement. It is easy and the variations are limited on your imagination. I also made a hearth for my fireplace and it sat outside for over a year in our Wisconsin weather until I was ready to install it and it looks as good as the day I made it.

                    Brian
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