How to Design a Wet Bar

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A wet bar is a luxury space in the home with many practical purposes. What those seeking to install a wet bar might not know is that a wet bar is an easy weekend project for do-it-yourselfers. Keeping a few simple things in mind and considering how the wet bar will be used, a wet bar can be a useful addition to interior living spaces such as basements, living or family rooms, game rooms and finished garages.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Graph Paper
  • Pencil
  • Measure the space where the wet bar will be constructed. It is important to be certain that there will be enough space for the wet bar without making the room feel cramped. The bar will be approximately 42 inches high and 8 inches to 12 inches wide on both the patron and bartender sides of the bar, depending upon whether there will be bar stools. There should be at least 2 feet of space behind the bar, between the bar and the wall or cabinets. Cabinets take additional space and should be taken into account.

  • Draw a simple floor plan for the wet bar. This will help with visualizing the wetbar in the designated space. Make sure to draw the wet bar to appropriately scaled dimensions and in the shape the bar will be. Use graph paper for simple, hassle-free scaling.

  • Think about how electricity will be drawn to the bar area. Wet bars need power for lights and small appliances that will be used at the bar, including a bar refrigerator. Make sure there is enough power to the wet bar area to work all electrical fixtures.

  • Plan for lighting over the bar. Pendant lights and track lighting are ideal for wet bars because they do not take up much space while providing adequate light to the wet bar area. Recessed lights are another option for wet bar lighting.

  • Plan for storage. Wet bars are small, self-contained spaces and should have all the storage necessary to keep all wet bar items in the wet bar area. A bar fridge is ideal, as are cabinets, a wine rack and hanging racks for stemware.

  • Include plumbing. A good wet bar should have a sink and possibly an ice maker, so include plans for plumbing when designing a functional wet bar.

  • Decide on materials. Choose bar top, cabinet and floor materials before starting the project and look at the cost of all materials for a surprise-free wet bar construction. Make sure that the materials match the decor in the rest of the space.

Tips & Warnings

  • Scale the room down with graph paper making one square on the graph paper represent one-square foot of actual space.

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