A long wooden epoxy bar top.

When it comes to epoxy, there's no shortage of excellent ideas. With its clear, seamless appearance, and its fluid nature that hardens into a rock-solid sealant, epoxy resin is highly suited to customization for many types of furniture and fixtures. This highly customizable nature allows users to exhibit self-expression by giving their furniture—such as table tops, chairs, trays, etc.—or their fixtures—such as countertops and bar tops—an epoxy resin finish.

In this article, we'll be focusing on epoxy bar tops, one of the most quintessential types of epoxy projects. We'll list 5 of the most incredible types of epoxy bar top projects, hopefully giving you ideas for a project of your own!

5 incredible types of epoxy bar tops

Bar tops are beloved as a gathering place for friends and family. A place to both socialize and relax, they've become iconic fixtures for homes and businesses alike, they're often made from warm, inviting materials such as wood—though that doesn't mean there aren't plenty more options.

Because bar tops are often exposed to food, drinks, and a variety of other sources of potential damage or wear and tear, they're almost always given a finish. This is done through application of a suitable sealant, such as epoxy, lacquer, polyurethane, various oils, etc.

Among these sealants, epoxy is undoubtedly one of the strongest and most well-rounded, making it an exceptional choice for a bar top finish.

For epoxy bar tops, there is a wide variety of aesthetic designs that can be tailored to your personal personal preferences.

Below are 5 incredible types of epoxy bar tops, some of which can be combined:

  • The classic epoxy bar top. Sleek, refined, and beautiful—this is the mainstay and most popular option among bar top fixtures.

  • The live edge epoxy bar top. Elements of nature remain with this type of bar top, which is made from wood that retains the natural shape of the source in some of its design.

  • The river vein epoxy bar top. A unique type of bar top in which space is within the substrate material to allow for the creation of an epoxy "river" vein, which simulates a liquid stream beneath the resin finish.

  • Themed epoxy bar tops. Incorporating embedments or colorants, this kind of epoxy bar top showcases a personalized touch with concerted visual elements that represent a shared visual theme (e.g., the ocean/beach—as seen in our resin art guide).

  • Simulated substrate epoxy bar tops. A bar top that can emulate the appearance of a substrate material, such as marble or granite, while benefiting from the properties of another substrate, such as lower cost or reduced weight.

Let's take a look in more detail at each one, starting from the top.

A wooden epoxy bar top, seen up close.

Bar #1: The classic epoxy bar top

This is the original bar top, a classic bar top—usually made with refined wood—which features a smoothed, sanded surface this has been given a clean coating of epoxy resin.

When epoxy resin is applied to a wooden substrate, it enhances the wood's natural colors, bringing life to otherwise dull or desaturated natural tones, making them more aesthetically pleasing.

A classic epoxy bar top is the most common type of bar top and boasts a variety of benefits, such as:

  • A waterproof seal: Epoxy cures to a waterproof finish, preventing liquids from permeating its surface and staining or damaging your wooden substrates (as well as any other materials).
  • Top-tier physical durability:Epoxy bolsters the natural resilience of wood with its own impressive strength, resulting in a powerful fusion of natural and synthetic elements that bolster each other to provide a long-lasting bar top with a impressive lifespan.
  • Low maintenance requirements: Epoxy bar tops are remarkably easy to clean and maintain. Because of their smooth, waterproof surface, wiping up liquids and clearing away residues is a breeze.

As indicated, epoxy resin exhibits an exceptional array of beneficial aesthetic and functional traits that can be taken advantage of by even the most basic epoxy bar top.

For the ideal classic epoxy bar top, it's best to use our premium UltraClear Bar & Table Top Epoxy.

An outdoor live edge mounted wooden bar top.

Bar #2: The live edge epoxy bar top

A live edge epoxy bar top is one which is similar to the classic, but features a wooden substrate with a perimeter that is either a partial or full live edge, meaning it retains its natural form to some extent.

This type of bar top is aesthetically pleasing for its unrefined fringe, which acts as a visual callback to nature, delivering a rough, rustic vibe.

Live edge epoxy bar tops are perhaps the second most common choice on this list. It's not overly difficult to acquire the right kind of substrate, and applying the epoxy is still quite straightforward even with the irregular shape, thanks to epoxy's viscous flow and its self-leveling nature, which allow it to conform to any appropriate substrate, regardless of shape, before finally curing to a hardened seal.

Despite the difference in shape, typical live edge bar tops are best accomplished with our premium UltraClear Bar & Table Top Epoxy.

A deep pour wooden epoxy countertop with three river veins of epoxy, each tinted a different color.

Bar #3: The river vein epoxy bar top

Third on our list is the river vein epoxy bar top.

In similar fashion to creating a river table, this type of finish involves leaving a space within your bar top substrate for a vein of epoxy, typically one that runs the full length of the bar (though not always).

The river vein can be achieved with either our UltraClear Bar & Table Top Epoxy, or through the application of our UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy, depending on the depth of the vein.

For a thinner vein with a depth less than half inch, Table Top Epoxy should be fine. It might be preferable to apply multiple layers, but it can work quite well otherwise. However, if your river vein is a half inch or thicker, it's better to use Deep Pour Epoxy. This is because Deep Pour Epoxy is less viscous, allowing deeper individual pours that are less likely to trap in air.

Although air bubbles can be removed after the fact using a heat gun, a deep pour coating of epoxy will make it much easier to remove them all.

A themed epoxy kitchen countertop with a beach and ocean aesthetic crafted using epoxy pigments.

Bar #4: The themed epoxy bar top

A themed epoxy bar top is one that showcases a cohesive theme. There are numerous ways to accomplish this. Common examples are:

  • Ocean/beach theme. Achieved through use of blue and white epoxy powder pigments to simulate waves. Optional additions such as sand, shell, or rock embedments can be used to further illustrate the effect.
  • Memorabilia/mementos theme. Achieved by embedding various small objects with share relevance, such as mementos of the past, or items of sentimental or nostalgic value. For instance, a domestic epoxy bar top might included various photos of family or friends, with memorabilia or souvenirs from any events during the time those photos were taken.
  • Collectible arrays. Aesthetically pleasing arrangements can be produced with small, similar objects such as bottle caps or coins. This kind of bar top can be an enjoyable way to create your own interesting designs or patterns.
An epoxy countertop with a simulated marble finish made using epoxy pigments.

Bar #5: The simulated substrated epoxy bar top

The fifth and final epoxy bar top in our list is the simulated substrate. This type of bar top is given an epoxy finish using tinted epoxy batches which mimic the colors of other bar top substrate types like marble and granite. The result is a finish that has epoxy's superb strength but has the appearance of a different material.

This type of substrate is desirable for multiple reasons.

The combination of lower cost and higher resilience leads many users to opt for this type of bar top over something more fragile, more expensive, and heavier to move about.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources you may find useful:

Have questions? Want advice? Contact us!

If you have any questions about epoxy resin, or if you'd like assistance in planning an epoxy project, please reach out to us at UltraClear Epoxy—our epoxy experts are ready to assist!

You can contact us via phone or email here. During business hours, you can also text chat online with one of our resin specialists by clicking the Help button at the bottom of your screen.

In our online store, you'll find a variety of useful tools and supplies, ideal for resin projects, plus our award-winning UltraClear Bar & Table Top Epoxy and our UltraClear Deep Pour Epoxy.

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