Should I Fit A Bar Foot Rail To My Home Bar

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When building a home bar we try to authenticate a real bar or pub. Many pubs have a rail that runs along the bottom of the bar. What are their purpose? And should I fit a bar foot rail?

Although not all pubs have a bar foot rail, the ones that do are there for a reason. However they can get in the way too. So will they serve a purpose in my home bar other than just looking authentic.

Should I Fit A Bar Foot Rail?

It is a good idea to fit a bar foot rail if you or your guests intend to stand at the bar for any length of time. A bar foot rail will aid the comfort of your guests. However if your bar is going to have a row of stools in front. Then it is probably not necessary to fit a bar foot rail. It may well get in the way of the stool legs.

There are other factors for fitting or not fitting a bar foot rail. Which I will cover in this article.

What Is A Bar Foot Rail?

Should I Fit A Bar Foot Rail

A bar foot rail is a strong bar that runs along the bottom of the bar. They normally run the whole length of the bar.

They go back along way in history.

A popular rail is the polished brass rail, although they now come in a variety of designs and finishes.

What Is The Purpose Of A Bar Foot Rail?

A bar foot rail is not just for show, there is a purpose to them. It is all to do with customer comfort.

A lot of people that have a drink in a pub, tend to stand at the bar. Standing upright with our two feet planted on the ground for any length of time can be a strain.

Lifting one foot on to a foot rail can ease the pressure on the back. It also lends to a more comfortable lean on the bar. One foot resting on the rail and one or both arms resting on the bar top.

A well known sight in the pub.

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Should I Fit A Bar Foot Rail?

Should I Fit A Bar Foot Rail

The one in the image is an industrial looking foot rail that comes in a kit. It can be customisable for any length.

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Fitting a bar foot rail can just be a matter of choice. They do look good and can finish the look of a bar off.

So some people will just fit one for the look and not for any practical reason.

The amount of room available can be a factor to whether a foot rail should be fitted. If room is tight and there is no way you can fit a row of stools in front of the bar, then a foot rail may be ideal.

No bar stools means standing at the bar, so a foot rail will aid the comfort of your guests.

On the other hand, if you have a row of bar stools in front of the bar. Then a foot rail may just be a hindrance and get in the way of the stool legs. Although depending on the stool, some still use the bar foot rail to rest their feet on.

There is a cost to adding a foot rail, so this may be a factor to add one or not. Will it really be worth the expense?

If in doubt, then it is better not to fit a foot rail and see how things work out. If you find that you really do need one, then it is an easy thing to add on.

How To Fit A Bar Foot Rail

In its simplest form a bar foot rail is just a length of tubing with some brackets to secure it. Just like a stair hand rail. In fact a stair rail can be used as a foot rail, it may need cutting to suit your bar length though.

The rail brackets can be fixed to the base of the bar, or fixed to the floor. However for better stability it would serve better if it was fixed to both.

Some brackets fixed to the bar and some to the floor, this will give maximum stability.

Fixing a foot rail although easy will depend on the type of rail being used. A manufactured rail will come with brackets that are screwed down.

Only basic tools are needed, such as a drill, screwdriver and cutting tool.

What Height Should A Bar Foot Rail Be?

A bar foot rail should be six inches from the floor to the centre of the rail. This is considered the most comfortable height for most people. Although I have seen them slightly lower and higher too.

Slightly lower may be better for shorter people and higher for taller people.

If you are buying a ready made foot rail, then the brackets will determine the height from the floor and how far it sticks out from the bar too.

Final Thoughts

A bar foot rail does serve a purpose and does look good too. The comfort of your home bar guests is obviously important. But it may not always be practical to fit a foot rail, space and bar stools can be the deciding factor.

The good thing is that it is not essential to fit one, and it may be best to not fit one at first. See how things work without a foot rail. If things work okay, then forget about it.

However if after trying it without one, you think your home bar would benefit, then fit one. The beauty is that they are an easy add on and easy to fit too.

Whether it is personal choice or necessity, a bar foot rail will look good and serve a practical purpose.

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