BAR ARM RESTS AND BAR FOOT RAILS
The final touches for your basement or rec-room bar will be Arm Rests and Foot Rails. Your bar will look okay with out the foot rails but it will look odd and be uncomfortable to sit at with out some sort of handrail or armrest. There are two different styles of arm rests, metal arm rests and wood arm rests.
Once you have figured out your arm rests you should look into Foot Rails. Why install foot rails? Standing with one foot slightly raised and resting on something is considerable more comfortable while leaning against a bar. That is why most bars and pubs have them; if the patrons are more comfortable they will stay longer and spend more money.
Both of these are difficult to make on your own so you will most likely end up purchasing them and then installing them yourself. Installing these on your own is very simple and can usually be done with one person, two at the most.
Using sculpted arm rests are an easy way to add comfort to your bar. They are available in many types of wood and are usually sold unstained. Once you get your arm rails stained or painted to match your bar let them sit to dry. Follow the directions from the stain/paint manufacturer. Installation is pretty easy, most people glue the lip to the front corner of the bar and use finishing nails to secure it. Then they brace the under side with a 1" x 4" or appropriate size piece of wood depending on how far the top of the bar overhangs the front. Once you get your arm rests you may decide to use another method depending on the specifications of your bar.
There are many bars that have metal arm bar rests built into the design. Depending on the type of finishing hardware you have in the rest of you bar you can match the arm rests to them in style and color. There are 3 components to the metal arm rest system: the rail, the bracket, and the end cap that goes on both ends of the rail to finish it off. It is recommended that you install an arm bracket at least every 4' to support the weight and pressure and to make sure the arm bars don't bend.
Foot rails are what will set your bar apart from all those other folks who have "so-so" bar in their home. They are available in many different styles and finishes. The most popular being the Brass Foot Rails, but for outdoor use we recommend the Stainless Steel Foot Rails. Just like the metal arm rests there are 3 components of the foot rail system: the railing, the foot brace and the end caps. Depending on the size and layout of your bar you may want to use one of the 90 or 135 degree bends. We recommend that you space the foot rail brackets 4' apart, and six inches from any bends for proper support.