DIY PVC Tiki Bar

Overview

A Tiki bar constructed from PVC pipes has several advantages. The material is widely available and easy to work with. It is also light, so a bar constructed using PVC pipe as a framework could be considered portable. Tiki bars are designed with a look reminiscent of the outdoor bars of the South Pacific. They are used in themed commercial bars and by homeowners looking for a unique theme for their patio.

Planning a PVC Tiki Bar

The physical size of any bar, including a tiki bar, depends on the space available for the bar. A 5- to 8-foot-long bar is common for a home patio, while commercial bars tiki bars could be much longer. Portable bars, which take advantage of the PVC pipe's light weight, should be no longer than 8 feet to allow for storage and transportation. The standard height for a bar is 40 to 42 inches. This works well with 30-inch-high bar stools. These standards can be adjusted by the builder to accommodate shorter or taller friends. Portable tiki bars should be designed with bases at the bottom of the framework to support the bar. Use extension cords to provide electrical power to the portable tiki bar.

Building the PVC Tiki Bar

The PVC pipe is used to provide a framework for the tiki bar. It will serve as the support for the bar top and roof and as the connection point for the skirting. PVC pipe can be cut to length with hand or power saws. The pipe is connected to fittings using special cements. When the framework is completed, the PVC framework will resemble the skeleton of the bar it will become. A number of materials are used to cover the bar framework. The front and sides of the bar might be covered by a reed skirt. This can be attached to the PVC framework using wire ties or other methods. The roof of the tiki bar is often made of elephant grass sheeting. The natural reed skirting can also be used on the roof. Either material is attached to the PVC framework with wire ties. The bar top can be made of any available wood. By tradition, bar tops are given a waterproof finish. This can be applied to pine or hardwoods depending on the budget and desires of the builder. Exposed white PVC pipe will look out of place on the tiki bar. PVC pipe with a bamboo pattern is available from some specialty building supply outlets. Another option is to wrap the pipe with rope to give it a more authentic and natural look.

Keywords: tiki bar, do it yourself, patio

About this Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. Over the past five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in North Dakota Horizons and Cowboys and Indians magazines.

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