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All About Chicago Bar Rail

If you are building a wood bar then you should consider adding Chicago bar rail to the edge of the bar top. Bar rail adds a nice finish to a home bar while adding function!

Chicago Bar Rail is Functional

Chicago Bar Rail is the bar rail molding that lines the outside of that bar top. The bar rail is a thick durable molding that not only looks stylish, but is functional as well.

Chicago bar rail

Bar rail molding gives you a place to rest your arms or elbows when you are sitting in front of the bar enjoying a cold one. Even if you are leaning against the bar, the bar rail is at the perfect height to support your arms.

Where to Buy Bar Rail Molding

I purchased my Chicago bar rail from the Home Depot website. The bar rail is not sold in stores, so it is recommended to order it from their website.

Most of the bar rail on their website has reviews with pictures, so you can see what it will look like after it is attached to a bar.

Before buying the bar rail molding make sure you have your measurements correct and you measured your 2 bar tops.

If you need help with the 2 bar tops and sizing of bar rail, scroll down in this post to the bar top section for help.

Bar Rail Corners

There are a couple of options when selecting the corner design of your Chicago bar rail. The bar rail can be a rounded corner or a mitered corner.

A rounded corner is just that, a smooth round edge with no sharp points. While a mitered corner has a sharp finish. Mitered corners are two pieces of wood cut at 45 degrees and joined together.

round bar

Finishing Bar Rail

Bar rail can be sanded, stained, and clear coated to match the look of your home bar.

Lining up the corners of the bar rail molding can be a little tricky because you have to cut it just right. If you are the slightest bit off with the cuts, the molding won’t match up on the corners. So make sure to take your time when measuring and cutting the molding.

chicago bar rail

Tips to Install Chicago Bar Rail

All of the bars shown in this post have mitered corners to join the bar rail together. The corners pieces are both cut at 45 degrees and dry fitted.

Before attaching the bar rail make sure to dry fit the corners together on each section of the bar. If you are having trouble with the corners, there is a tip below too help smooth out any small gaps.

wood bar

Fix Small Gaps in the Mitered Corners

If you can’t get the molding to line up perfectly, you can try use wood filler. The wood filler can help close up a small gap in corner of the molding.

Heavily apply the wood filler in the gap allowing it to over flow a bit. Then let it completely dry before sanding it down until the corner feels flush.

bar rail

You may need to apply wood filler an additional time, if it does not feel totally flush.

After the area has been sanded and wiped clean, it can be stained to match the color of the bar top.

2 Bar Tops are Needed

After the wood has been cut and dry fitted to make sure it joins together correctly, it is time to adhere it to the bar rail.

chicago bar rail

You will need to use 2 bar tops to properly install the molding as shown below. The molding typically comes with detailed instructions to adhere it. If you need additional tips for the 2 bar tops this post is helpful.

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