My Backyard Hangout

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One of the most common questions when designing an outdoor bar is what materials you should use. Unlike an indoor bar or kitchen, outdoor bars require extra considerations. What might be a beautiful addition to an indoor space could easily turn into a hot mess when left out in the sun. But this doesn’t mean your outdoor bar needs to be plain or boring. There are plenty of outdoor bar top ideas that are anything but. In fact, although most often considered for their conventional use, bar tops can make great conversation pieces. If you’re in need of some inspiration, keep reading.

1. Tile Outdoor Bar Top Ideas

One of the most unique outdoor bar top ideas is porcelain or ceramic tiles. Tiles are a common choice for both indoor and outdoor projects. They’re a tough material that doesn’t absorb moisture. If you have some tiles left over from another project, such as a backsplash, here’s your chance to put them to use. If not, you might consider purchasing some neutral or otherwise solid-colored tiles. My favorite way, however, is to incorporate mosaic tiles. If you’re interested in creating your own, check out this tutorial.     

2. Copper

Another idea worth considering is copper. Copper-plated countertops are a good choice for outdoor bars because copper doesn’t rust. It does corrode, but it often takes several years to do so, depending on where you live and the amount of exposure they receive. Some people even prefer the greenish-blue patina that forms, welcoming it as a nice addition to their rustic-themed bar. It’s not as budget-friendly as some of the other outdoor bar top ideas, but copper bar tops can last for several years and are easy to purchase.   

3. Concrete

Similar to copper, concrete is a very durable option for an outdoor bar top. It’s low maintenance (apply a sealer every few years) and can last for several years if done correctly. Some people choose to do this themselves, but, if you’ve ever worked with concrete, you know it can take a while to perfect the art of a smooth, even pour. Thankfully, there is still the option of having someone make them for you. This means you only need to measure out the area and install it once it arrives. 

4. Wood Plank Bar Top

One of the most popular choices for any outdoor project, including bar tops, is wood. There are many different types of wood available. Which raises the question: what is the best wood for an outdoor bar top? In terms of resistance to the elements, teak is often noted as the superior option. But, for most people, it isn’t the most reasonable option due to both its price and accessibility. There are many affordable alternatives that can last several years when cared for. This includes variations of cedar, acacia, and oak. 

5. Live Edge

Another wood outdoor bar top idea is live edge. Live edge refers to a slab where the natural curvature of the tree and, in some cases, the bark is left intact. For outdoor use, you’ll want a piece that has a water-resistant coating. For example, something with a clear sealer or UV-stable epoxy resin. With epoxy, many people also like to add color using mica powder, as seen in the popular river tops.  If you’d like to try your hand at making one yourself, there are many helpful DIY tutorials online. But you can also easily order from an artisan and have them customize one for you. Since not all epoxy holds up well to UV, be sure to message the seller beforehand. Inform them how you intend to use the piece and where you plan to place it.    

6. DIY Epoxy Resin Bar Top Ideas

If you’re not fond of the live edge look, there are still plenty of ways to use epoxy to make an outdoor bar top. You can create different colors or embed items to give them a 3D look. Again, you can either collaborate with an artisan who works with epoxy, or you can try making one yourself. If you choose this route, be sure to buy UV-resistant epoxy to protect your bar top from damage or discoloration. You might also consider adding a clear top coat of something like urethane for extra protection and keeping it out of direct sun. As with any project, it’s a good idea to practice on some scrap wood first. Especially if you plan to embed unique items that aren’t easily replaced, like event tickets. 


When searching for outdoor bar top ideas, you want something that is both durable and attractive. Two of the biggest concerns are resistance to water and UV. While some materials are naturally resilient, such as copper and tiles, others need a protective coating to live up to their full potential. Epoxy, concrete, and wood, for example, all make good choices outdoors, but they need to be properly sealed.   

What’s your favorite outdoor bar top idea? Let us know in the comments.


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