My main goal for the bars that I build can be summed up in two words, "Lasting Beauty". Whether it's going in your basement mancave, under your tiki hut, out on the balcony, by the pool, or just hangin out on the outdoor patio, all of my Tiki Bars are constructed starting with strong and sturdy solid wood framing that is fully sealed with multiple coats of exterior solid body stain. All the joinery is stiffened with water resistant, high bond glue and construction grade screws. The shelving is an exterior rated plywood that is either sealed with scuff and mildew resistant semi-gloss acrylic, or with an exterior stain, that is top coated with clear acrylic for maximum scuff resistance and color retention. To prevent water entry between the pieces and to camouflage any gaps, the bamboo cladding is backed by plywood, that is sealed with a color matching exterior stain. Unless otherwise special requested, the rustic cabinet doors are finished with either stain, French Polish shellac, or metallic enamel, then top coated with either oil based marine spar urethane, floor rated polyurethane, (whichever is most appropriate for your bar location), or a water-based acrylic on light color metallic finishes to avoid ambering of the color. On bars up to 4' wide, the bar tops are removable, so the bar will fit through a doorway of 33" minimum width. Standard natural wood finish bar tops are a hardwood plywood (typically birch or poplar for the grain character) and typically have a French Polish amber shellac finish that adds depth and a prism like effect to the knots and grain pattern. Alternate stain colors or no stain options are also available. They are then top coated with multiple coats of either floor rated poly urethane or marine spar urethane depending on the amount of UV rays it is expected to receive. Metallic finishes are a durable enamel that is either top coated with poly or spar for darker colors, where the slight ambering effect caused by the oil base in the urethane doesn't noticeably affect the color, (typically copper, gold, or bronze). Lighter colors, like silver and stainless, have water-based acrylic because of its crystal clear properties. The undersides of the bar tops are sealed with exterior solid body stain. All bar tops can also be flood coated with bar and tabletop epoxy, upon request, at an additional cost. Granite, marble, exotic stone, and artistic epoxy resin finish bar tops are also available upon request. For custom built bars, many alternate top materials and finish options are available. I.E. - live edge slab, river table or other deep pour epoxy art, weathered barnwood, exotic species, or other dimensional lumber slat joined construction, breadboard, Sho Sugi Ban or other distressed technique, and whatever else I may have missed that suits your fancy. Price will vary based on exoticness of the wood species, amount of epoxy, and the time and artisanship required. As an option for any extra wet or extreme location, stemming from a collaboration with Tiki Tavern Nautica in Tarpon Springs, FL, to go on their new line of tiki cruise boats that operate in the Gulf of Mexico, I also now offer a tiki bar that, from the frame to the bar top, is constructed using 100% PVC. More info regarding this bar option can be found at the bottom of the BOAT BAR page. Below is a short video comprised of still photos that quickly progresses through the making of a Hollywood Tiki Bar.
While natural bamboo is an option for the narrower 1" cladding that covers the bulk of the front and side bar faces, for purposes of straightness, a lifetime of no splitting or warping, durability, and the ability to not loosen and become wobbly after many thermal expansion and contraction cycles, the 3" whole log legs, 1.5" and 2" trim, corner post, or footrail pieces, and the curved pieces, that require flexibility on the Tiki a Round model are made from my handcrafted PVC bamboo. As natural bamboo also doesn't grow with orderly growth node rings, all bars with growth rings arranged in a pattern, by necessity, must be made using PVC bamboo.
If you prefer the bends, lumps, bumps, and extra character of real bamboo, and choose that option, I split the bamboo in half to deter future splitting, although future splitting on a piece or two could possibly occur, depending on the amount of direct UV exposure it receives. It may also tend to gray over time from weather exposure, especially direct UV. For maximum durability and color retention, (unless otherwise requested because you want it to naturally fade to a weathered gray appearance), I finish it with an acrylic deck stain to your desired hue, then add traditional amber shellac and 2 coats of marine spar urethane. Because of bamboo's natural crookedness, to disguise the gaps, I stain the plywood behind it a matching color for a non-eye-catching flow. For a visual aid detailing the unnoticeable difference the two types, the Beach House Tiki bar below has natural bamboo for the narrow 1" wide vertical cladding on the face of the bar, and it has PVC bamboo for the 2" trim under the bar top, the 2" corner leg posts, and on the footrail.
Epoxy Resin Art
While the standard finish on the Tiki a Round model is epoxy resin bar tops with simulated chiseled rock face edges, it is also an optional finish choice for any model or custom-made bar. There will be a price adjustment dependent upon the amount of epoxy and degree of artistic intricacy required to produce your desired design. Here is a brief discussion of different techniques and appearances. If you have another alternative design in mind, feel free to message me to discuss.
Exotic Stone Dirty Pour
This look is achieved by selecting a color palette that suits your fancy or matches your decor. The colors are mixed individually, then added randomly together into a bucket, before being poured out onto the surface. The random blending/not blending of the colors in the bucket and the self-leveling process produces a beautiful and unique pattern that appears to be a naturally molten formed exotic stone. While it's not an exact science, as there are many variables, the boldness or sedateness of the pattern and primary color dominance can be adjusted to suit your wishes. Here are a few examples from the Tiki a Round model bar tops that have varying degrees of pattern and color contrast boldness. As seen by the tree being reflected in the bottom photo, and the tree and bougainvillea behind my shop being reflected in the copper tone marbled effect photo, this produces an ultra high gloss finish.
For those who prefer the much more singular and solid color look of marble, simply select base and veining colors to suit your taste.
BEACH & OCEAN WAVES
For the beach lover and those who prefer an abstract art scene. Color hues and wave patterns are adjustable to suit your preference. Substituting real sand mixed into the epoxy instead of natural woodgrain to simulate the beach is also an option. A final clear flood coat will leave a smooth as glass surface.
If you have other alternative abstract art, deep pour with embedded objects, river, or deep pour and live edge combination bar tops, I'm happy to accommodate these requests as well.
Tell Me to Shape up
Do you have a different bar or table shape in mind than one of my designs? It's likely that I can accommodate your request. Whether it's a round, square or "L" shape patio table, or an "L" shape, "T" shape, boat shape, or other unique shaped bar, feel free to contact me for a discussion and a quote.
And Oh, by the Way
If you'd like to have tiki masks/totems incorporated into your design, either inset into the wall cladding, in place of the corner posts, incorporated into, or hung over top of the bamboo cladding, I can make that happen. Simply pick out the ones you want from a maker or source, I'll order them and include them into the construction. Also, at risk of losing my reputation as the Tiki Man, I can and will build bars that are not bamboo tiki bars. To name a few, these might include themes such as nautical, rustic, metallic, art, display, simple live edge, or whatever the bar style to be named later happens to be.
Gettin a Move on
Depending on the amount of mobility you desire, the surface that the bar will be placed on, or if you'd like the bar actually standing on the legs, I have options available. If you opt to have the bar stand on the legs, I ship the bar with temporary medium duty wheels that slip inside the legs for transport and positioning the bar, then can be slipped out once the bar is positioned. If the time comes when you want to move it again, you can slide them back in. Ideally, with this option, the surface the bar will be located on should be level, to ensure that all of the legs rest on the ground. If you'd prefer no wheels, but the bar will be on an uneven surface, I can install leveling feet in place of wheels.
If you'd like the bar to be easily moved, and it will be located on an even surface, the 2" heavy duty wheels with locking levers are the best option and provide the most ease of use, as you can just simply engage or disengage the locking levers as needed.
If you'd like mobility, but the bar will be located on a surface that might be less than perfectly level, such as patio pavers or a deck, the heavy-duty wheels with leveling legs option is the best choice. These are a little more difficult to use then the locking levers, as they require getting down and wrenching each foot leg down when positioned and up again when you want to move it, but they provide rock solid stability and even weight distribution to the frame on uneven surfaces, and allow the bar to be leveled on surfaces sloped for water runoff.
Hopefully the visual aid below will help clarify this for you. (On a mobile device this list will be in a straight line descending order) The top left photo is a side by side of locking lever and leveling leg wheels. Top right is the temporary/removable leg insert wheels on a Cooler Tiki bar designed to stand on the legs when in use. Center is permanent leveling leg wheels mounted inside the legs of the V 40 model. Bottom is locking lever wheels mounted to the bottom of the frame of a Hollywood Tiki bar. Bottom right is a lousy downloaded photo of leveling feet that would be attached to the frame if you want leveling capability and no wheels.
Do you want to have it made in the shade, with all the tropical ambiance of the thatch look, but don't have the space or desire for a tiki hut? All of my tiki bars offer the option of being built umbrella ready, so you can kick back, cool as a cucumber, and enjoy some tiki time under the patio umbrella or palapa of your choice. Photos are of my Palapa model, which comes with the umbrella, mounting bracket, and outdoor cover included.
It's a Cover Up
Even though all of my bars are fully sealed, and all bamboo and bar tops are top coated with multiple coats of marine spar urethane, epoxy resin or other exterior clear coat. However, as we live in a universe governed by the pervasive law of thermo dynamics, there is no exterior finish that will not eventually fade and degrade from constant UV exposure or that benefits from having standing water puddled on it. If your bar will be located outside and not under a tiki hut, pergola, lanai or awning of some kind, it is HIGHLY recommended that, for the long-term stability, vibrancy, and color retention of the finishes, and to keep the cabinets and drink counter high and dry, the bar should be covered when not in use, preferably with a marine vinyl or equivalent outdoor fabric cover. These come in an assortment of colors and grades of materials that will both look nice and protect your investment. If you'd prefer not to shop for one, I will be happy to order one for you at no additional cost over what the manufacturer charges. Below are pictures of my Palapa Tiki Bar with a beige custom-made cover from Covers & All, made from their Covermax material, that comes included with the purchase of that model. (I took the pics right after I pulled it out of the box and tossed it on. The crumpled up fold wrinkles flatten out after a short time). Contact me if this is something you would like more info about.