Being a tiki bar owner now for over 5 years I’ve learned things that I wish could have done and things that I’d never do again. I would love to share with you my errors and Opossum Poop to my tiki bar.
First I would like to discuss a few things I learned building my own outside pub. The weather conditions in your area will determine how you construct your bar. Here are ideas you need to pay attention to if you are building an outside tiki bar.
Your Climate- if you reside in a place which has warm summers and cold winters, then you’ll encounter the same obstacles that I came against. Be sure that you use treated wood for any surface that comes in contact with the floor. If you do not follow this rule then your tiki bar will soon shrink and crack. That is why you have to use treated timber; it shrinks less and will last much longer. Anytime you have wood that is exposed to the weather you will need to pay close attention to the type of wood you use and proper treating of the timber after it’s installed.
Insects- I used white cedar logs to the construction of my roof construction because cedar is supposed to be less susceptible to insect damage. Okay, throw that out the window, I went along for three years without any insect problems until last year. I noticed wood dust and small chips lying on my bar . I thought it was coming out of thatch breaking or falling apart but to my surprise I’d carpenter bees! After inspecting my white cedar logs I found holes about 3/8 inch bored in a few of my logs. I knew I had to address this situation immediately and after doing some research I called an exterminator. A carpenter bee appears almost identical to a common bumble bee except no hair on abdomen and the men can’t sting. They love natural cedar! May sure you apply either wood preservative or a good Valspar varnish for your logs.
Bar Top- There are many different opinions about what to use for your bar . It’s suggested that you use marine plywood to the bar top, and for good reason. I used the next best thing that I thought, oak plywood. The oak plywood was fine for the first couple of years, applying about ten coats of marine varnish. This would be OK except the edges of the plywood are very tricky to seal. Once water started getting into wood I had nothing but problems! To solve my problem I applied glass tile into my tiki bar top using waterproof glue and grout. The marine plywood is extremely expensive but well worth the money.
You can figure on replacing your thatch palms at least every two decades. The only way that you can eliminate this problem is to buy high quality commercial synthetic thatch. I just re-thatched my bar with sealed thatch that will give you an extra two years of additional life.
Securing Your Bar- One thing I want to mention here, is anchoring your bar down is a must item. I’m fortunate enough that my bar is sitting on a concrete apron around my pool area. I used drop in concrete anchors to prevent my pub from blowing over in high winds.