Designing for Durability: Materials That Last in Bar Interiors

Creating a bar that stands the test of time involves more than just stylish decor and a welcoming atmosphere. Durability is a key factor in ensuring that a bar remains attractive and functional despite heavy foot traffic and frequent use. Selecting the right materials can make all the difference in maintaining a bar’s appearance and functionality over the years.

In this post, we explore the world of durable design, highlighting materials that not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of bar interiors but also offer resilience and longevity. Discover how to make smart choices that will keep your bar looking fresh and inviting for years to come.

Understanding the Demands of Bar Environments

Let’s picture an average night at your local bar.

Not only does the bar itself see high footfall, with guests moving to and from the bar to order drinks, and sometimes even making their way to the dance floor as well as to the toilets and the entrance / exit door – the surfaces themselves see plenty of use. Drink spillages, scratches, and constant use render these surfaces subject to plenty of hazards, which is why they need to be durable and long-lasting.

On top of that, the need for regular cleaning of every surface means that all the materials throughout a bar also need to be easy to clean and maintain. And, as has become standard across virtually every industry of late, all of these requirements need to be balanced against the choice of materials which are sustainable and environmentally friendly.

So, where should your search begin?

Top Durable Materials for Bar Surfaces

Durable bar top materials

The bar is subject to plenty of use and more than a little abuse – with handbags, keys, glasses and more causing scratches and marks on a surface that isn’t adequately protected. Spilled drinks can also cause stains on material that isn’t properly coated and sealed, while most bars want to also focus on the look of their chosen material to ensure it complements the surrounding space.

Some of the best materials for a bar top include the following:

  • Granitedurable and low maintenance, with a variety of designs and colour tones available. Having said that, granite is heavy and difficult to move once in place.
  • Quartz – a luxurious and stylish choice that is non-porous so easy to clean. Quartz too is heavy and is also often very expensive; points worth noting if you’re on a budget.
  • Hardened wood – rustic in design and sustainable to source. However, even hardened wood needs to be sealed and will require regular sealing to ensure it doesn’t absorb liquid and swell.

Flooring Options That Last

Moving on now to the floor of your bar, which is where you need to really consider the guest journey and how customers move throughout your bar from entrance to table, to the bar itself, and to other facilities and amenities like the bathroom and a dance floor.

It is generally recommended that a bar floor is durable and level – minimising the risk of slips and trips particularly in a setting which is often darker than an average restaurant or venue. Slip resistance is something else to consider, alongside ease of cleaning and maintenance.

Some popular choices include polished concrete, terrazzo, and commercial-grade vinyl (the latter of which can be replaced in small sections in high footfall areas if you find that certain areas of the bar are becoming worn more quickly than others).

Seating Solutions for High Traffic Areas

There is no escaping the fact that a bar is a high traffic business, with lots of customers arriving in waves and at peak times for socialising and getting together over a drink.

As such, every component of the bar needs to be prepared to deal with this high traffic and high turnover – including your seating options.

The first rule of thumb when choosing seating for a bar is to provide a selection of different options – including stools to perch on at the bar, large tables, and more intimate booths, so that there is something for everyone.

From there, pay attention to the material and textures of the seating solutions, prioritising comfort as well as durability with fabric which are strong and low maintenance, perhaps with a wipe clean surface or texture that conceals minor marks.

Wall and Ceiling Materials for Longevity

The way that you dress and finish the walls and ceiling of your bar space will impact everything from the aesthetic appeal to the theme of your bar and the kinds of customers it attracts.

As such, always make material decisions with an eye to your business model and ideal customer, while considering choices which allow you to control acoustics and keep the space looking clean and well maintained.

Durable Fixtures and Fittings

Finally, to the fixtures and fittings which transform your bar from a shell into a functioning and successful venue for customers to enjoy. This is where you need to consider the value of durable light fittings, accessible door handles, and bathrooms that can serve and endure heavy usage on a regular basis.

Remember, a good bar is not just about the drinks it serves but the experience it offers to customers – whether they arrive as part of the early lunchtime wave of the day, or late at night when hundreds of customers have already passed through the doors.

For more advice on bringing to life a bar that’s as durable as it is stylish, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Carroll Design team today.

Share Post :