A bar counter is a core feature of any bar or restaurant and it is essential that the surface selected intertwines aesthetics with practicality. The surface of a commercial bar counter retains visual importance but must also be able to withstand constant use from customers and staff. Selecting the right surface for a commercial bar counter can be challenging, with many different aspects to consider. In this article, we will discuss the key considerations that need to be made when deciding the most suitable surface material for commercial bar counters, predominantly looking at solid surface materials and natural stone.


Commercial bar countertops need to have a blend of practicality as well as style. A bar countertop is also a workplace and will need to offer durability as bar counters are susceptible to damage from the constant use from staff and customers. The bar counters need to able to withstand all sorts of damages such as: stains, scratches, chips as well issues such as mould and etching. Etching is a chemical reaction caused by acidic liquids that can corrode and dull the surface. Different types of liquids are going to be handled and spilled on a commercial bar counter and various liquids will have different effects on different surfaces. For example, water will have a different impact if spilled than alcohol or coffee. Alcohol such as wines as well as fruit juices can cause etch marks on certain types of surface due to the acidity. Furthermore, drinks such as coffee can cause problems with staining the surface material. For porous surface materials such as granite sealing can be used to help prevent liquids penetrating the surface, however, this sealant needs to be applied regularly. Choosing the right surface material for your commercial bar counter and maintaining the counter effectively is paramount as it will directly reflect on your business.  

Stone surfaces

In terms of durability, natural stone surfaces such as marble, granite as well as others all offer key features that would be well suited to commercial bar counters. One of the principal benefits of using natural stone is the durability. Granite is a surface material that is naturally tough as well as it doesn’t scratch or chip easily. Other natural stone materials such as marble are also popular and offer durability without compromising on style. Natural stone materials can be a great choice for a commercial bar counter as long as they are maintained correctly.

Solid surfaces

Solid surfaces are a type of manufactured material, made from man-made acrylic and polyester resin. As opposed to natural stone, manufactured surfaces are non-porous and therefore eliminate the threat of liquid penetrating the surface and staining. Solid surface materials are also very tough; their synthetic qualities make them very difficult to scratch or damage.

Laminate and wood

Other materials such as laminate and wood might not be best suited to a commercial bar. With laminate, despite it being durable thanks to its man-made quality, is very susceptible to water damage. This is the same with wooden worktops, both require attention in regards to maintenance and need to be resealed often.


For a commercial bar counter hygiene is going to be one of the prime considerations when selecting the right surface material. Commercial bar counters need to meet certain standards of hygiene especially as they are customer facing therefore, deciding on a surface material that maintains a high level of hygiene and is easy to keep clean is vital.

There are various materials that can be used for a commercial bar top that will ensure top levels of hygiene. Solid surface materials offer a high level of hygiene. Firstly, they are non-porous thus, bacteria are unable to penetrate the surface of the material, consequently eliminating its ability to grow. Bacteria is then only able to exist on the surface, which can be easily wiped and managed. The impermeability of solid surfaces also restricts the growth of mould and mildew. The non-porous nature of manufactured surface materials also makes it very easy to clean, they can be wiped down and sprayed regularly without any worry of the surface being damaged.

Natural stone materials, on the other hand, have varying levels of porosity and therefore can let in bacteria. Although natural stone materials can still be used, oftentimes they may need to be paired with sealant and might need to be changed more often than a synthetic material, especially if they are not maintained correctly.


It goes without saying that one of the most important factors when choosing the right surface for your commercial bar counter top is style. The visual and aesthetic appearance of you counter top is going to have a direct impact on the atmosphere and ambience of the space and deciding on the right material is essential in tying it to your business’ brand image and the feel that you are going for.

Many surface materials have different looks and styles. For example, solid surface materials due to their manufactured and artificial nature, can be carefully curated into a variety of styles and colours. Specific types of solid surface materials such as Corian, Avonite, and Durat are becoming increasingly popular choices as they offer vast colour choices and various customizable features.

On the other hand, the use of natural stone also provides intriguing design qualities. Despite not being as customizable as manufactured materials, natural stone surfaces give a bespoke feeling to your counter top from their unique hues, lines, patterns, shapes, and textures. Using natural stone offers a lot of versatility when it comes to the design and style aspects of your commercial bar counter. One of the most compelling benefits of using a natural stone material is that it can be integrated into any aesthetic style; contemporary or traditional for instance.

Choosing the right material for your commercial bar counter can be difficult and it is important to choose a surface material that provides the right balance of all the key considerations discussed. Durability, Hygiene, and style are all principal components to be considered when deciding the right surface material for your bar top and different materials are going to offer better solutions for each individual aspect. For assistance in choosing the correct material for your commercial bar counter, get in contact with our team on 01455 619114 or [email protected].

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