Your Guide to Building a Home Bar: How to Install Bar Foot Rails

Wow, we’re really chugging along here in the Guide to Building a Home Bar series. So far, we’ve covered:

1. Exploring Your Options
2. Layout and Design
3. Building Yourself vs. Hiring Out
4. Refrigeration, Part 1: Standard Refrigeration and Draft Beer Systems
5. Refrigeration, Part 2: Wine Refrigeration, Beverage Centers and Ice Machines
6. Look and Feel
7. About Bar Foot Rails and Arm Rests
8. Bar Foot Rails: Before You Order

Today, we’ll instruct you on how to install your bar rails yourself.

How to Install Bar Foot Rails
Installing bar foot rails is a rather easy project. This guide will walk you through what you need make it happen.

Video: How to Install Bar Foot Rails
Tools for Installation
You’ll Need:Tools You Will Need

  • Electric Drill/Electric Screwdriver
  • Hack Saw/Cut-off Saw
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • File
  • Channel Lock Pliers
Preparing for Installation
When installing bar foot rails, preparation is key. A little bit of prep will eliminate waste and/or mistakes.

Make it easy for yourself and follow our detailed preparation instructions.

Our tubing is sent to you wrapped in a layer of plastic film to protect the metal finish. You should try to keep this covering in place as long as possible while you’re working on installing your rails. The film will help to protect your rails from scratches or dings that could damage them during installation.

If you need to cut or lengthen the standard lengths or tubing, it is necessary for you to make those adjustments before assembling your system. To do this, first, measure and mark where you will need to cut your tubing. When determining tube cut lengths, keep in mind that the splicing joints should be hidden within a bracket. Make sure that you double-check all of your measurements before you cut.

See How to Cut Tubing Instructions.

Next, you’ll want to use a pencil to mark where your brackets will go on the bar face. To hold the screws in place, the bracket requires a solid backing at least 3/4-inch deep, so now is a good time to make sure that your surface is able to support the brackets.

Once you are comfortable with the placement of Attach Brackets for Your Foot Railsyour brackets and rails, you’re ready to attach them to your bar or wall.

Begin by attaching the brackets securely to the wall with mounting screws along the first straight section of your bar.

If you’re installing your rail around a corner, you’ll need to securely attach the elbow to the installed foot rail first. Then, attach the second loosely assembled foot rail section to the elbow.

Secure Finials, Elbows and End CapsOnce all of your brackets are firmly installed, secure the loose tubing to the brackets with setscrews.

You’re almost done! All that’s left to do is attach your end caps and secure any finials and elbows.

Some end caps require setscrews whereas others simply slide into or over your tubing.

If your end caps do require setscrews, it is possible that you may need to drill pilot holes to attach them.

If this is the case, see How to Drill Holes Instructions.

If you’re using a wall flange in place of a support bracket, make sure to slide the flange onto the tube before securing that section of foot rail to the bar. Remember that you can only replace a support bracket with a flange, if the flange is mounted to a solid backing.

Cutting Tubing
You may have to make adjustments to the length of the tubing that you purchase, to make it the perfect size for your bar. Tubing typically comes in lengths from 2-feet to 8-feet, so if the front face of your bar is 9-feet you will need to buy an 8-foot piece of tubing and a 2-foot piece of tubing. You’ll want to cut the 2-foot piece and join the two sections.

For Brass Tubing
You can use either a hacksaw or a powered radial arm saw to cut brass tubing.

It is very important that your cuts be square to the length of the tube.

If you are using a hacksaw, use a miter box to be sure your cuts are straight.

If you are using a powered radial saw arm, use a fine-toothed blade or an abrasive wheel.

After cutting the rail, you will want to file it to smooth the edge.

For Stainless Steel Tubing
Stainless steel is a harder alloy than brass so for stainless steel tubing you’ll want to use a powered radial arm saw with a carbon tip blade.

It is very important that your cuts be square to the length of the tube.

As with the brass tubing, you’ll want to file stainless steel after you’ve cut it, to smooth the edge.

To join two pieces of tubing together, you will need to insert internal connectors called splices. Splices are typically metal pieces that are inserted into the end of each tube. We’re fond of brass splices, as brass is softer and easier to bend and insert into tubing.

To insert a splice into a tube, compress the splice with a pair of channel lock pliers and push the splice into the end of the first piece of tubing. Then, do the same with the other end of the splice and insert it into the second piece of tubing that you want to connect.

For the best look, you’ll want to make sure that that the not-so-good looking joints are concealed inside of a fitting.

Drilling Holes
We’re all about convenience here at KegWorks, so when you buy foot rail components from us, the setscrews that come with them are self-drilling/self-tapping screws, which have tips that resemble a miniature drill bit and you can use them with a power screwdriver.

These screws will make their own hole in brass tubing, which eliminates the need for pre-drilling.

Stainless steel tubing however requires pre-drilled holes for the setscrews.

Wall Anchors
Using wall studs is ideal, when installing anything that will bear weight and provide support. If it isn’t possible to use studs, you can use a wall anchor instead, however it is important to determine the correct size and type that you need.

Should you require wall anchors, we suggest a trip to your local hardware store. Wall anchors come in a variety of sizes and types. The professionals at the hardware store should be able to answer any questions that you might have regarding the best wall anchor for your job.

So, that’s it! That’s all it takes to install bar rails to your home bar. Now that you know how easy it is, you have no reason not to upgrade your bar and set it apart from all the rest.

Our next post in the Guide to Building a Home Bar series will be on Accessorizing Your Bar. Check back soon!


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