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How to build a bar for a pub

Updated July 20, 2017

Whether building an English style pub for your basement or installing a bar for your business, a pub style bar is a great addition to any room. Easily built and maintained, this feature brings a rustic charm to a restaurant or a gathering place to a recreational room.

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  1. Measure the footprint of the bar and mark on the floor. Measure the 2 by 4 pieces and cut accordingly. Nail down the first 2 by 4 pieces along the entire length of the front wall of the bar. If attaching to a concrete or masonry floor, use masonry nails or screws. The length is totally dependent on your needs and can be as long or short as you desire. Measure six inches back from the first 2 by 4 line and nail down an identical line. Make sure that any water, tap or power lines are between these two lines.

  2. Measure and cut 2 by 4 pieces for the wall studs at about 42 inches tall. You should attach them, using wood screws, to both lines mentioned in Step 1 at a spacing of no less than 18 inches apart. If you are planning on attaching any electrical sockets to the walls of the bar, take this opportunity to attach the boxes. Measure, cut, and attach a 2 by 4 across the top of each line of studs making sure to screw through to each stud.

  3. Measure and cut the bartop. If you are using a 2x12 single piece, you will want to counter drill (use a drill bit that is slightly wider than the drill head and go about half way through the lumber.) to hide the screws. If you are using plywood, measure and cut two pieces of identical size. Secure one to the stud walls, screwing it down at around every 18-20 inches. Apply epoxy to the top of the secured piece and clamp the second piece on top. It will hide the screws and give it a complete hardwood look.

  4. Measure and cut the dry wall or panelling for the front of the bar. Before you secure it, remember to cut out any slots for power outlets. Attach it with either wood screws or tacks. If you are using drywall, apply tape, flashing and spackle as required. If desired, or required by code, panel or drywall the inside of the bar as well. Just remember to leave or create access points to get to the water, tap, and power lines.

  5. Measure and cut moulding for the front of the bar for a finished look. The style of moulding is a personal choice. None are wrong, but pubs tend to be have a simpler style of moulding, with only a few curves, for ease of cleaning and durability.

  6. Tack the moulding in place at least every eight inches to allow for wear and tear. Some pub bars raise the level of the moulding up to an inch above the surface of the bar creating a lip. Others do not and fit it flush with the top of the bar. That is also totally up to you.

  7. Drill holes in the bar top for any water, tap, or power lines you want to put in. It is always best to place them as close to the point where the pipe will be coming through the floor. to minimise the run of the line and thus minimise the risk for leaks and damage.

  8. Run the lines and install with required or desired fittings. If you are putting a power outlet in the bar surface, I would highly recommend putting it very far away from any liquid and using a ground fault interrupter outlet to minimise electrocution and fire hazard.

  9. Tip

    A few coats of dark walnut or mahogany stain followed by a couple coats of marine varnish will give your bar a great hardwood look even if you used plywood for the surface. Anchoring the bar in a wall will greatly add to stability and prevent it from becoming wobbly over time. Also, be sure to anchor the stud walls to the floor adequately. When in doubt, drive another fastener.


    Before you start any project like this, check on city zoning, permit, and inspection requirements. Nothing is worse than having to remove all of your hard work because you did not fill out the proper form Be sure to wear proper safety equipment including eye and ear protection to avoid a potentially serious injury.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Wood (2x4 and either 2x12 or plywood)
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Wood Screws
  • Masonry nails or screws
  • Drywall or panelling
  • Drywall tape and spackle
  • Moulding
  • Finishing Tacks

About the Author

Adrian Traylor began writing professionally in 2008. His work has been seen in various conference publications and academic journals including "Eyes on the ICC." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, a Master of Arts in international negotiation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a L.L.M. in international law from the University of Edinburgh.

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