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Old 02-03-2011, 05:36 PM   #1
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Wet bar construction


Does anyone have a good or decent set of plans or ideas on how to construct my wet bar. I am going to do an L shaped bar which will be about 4' by 10'. I am unsure if I should build a base then put kitchen cabinets on the bases then the top with a front facing or if I should build the entire structure out of 2x4's then slide cabinets in the structure. I need some ideas. Perhaps I will throw up a pic of the space that I will be utilizing. Thanks

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Old 02-03-2011, 09:33 PM   #2
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Wet bar construction


The way we usually do these is to first frame a 2" x 4" knee wall forming the shape of the bar. The height of the finished framing should be around 42" tall. Run your plumbing and electrical through this wall to service the bar appliances. Install horizontal blocking so you'll have something to anchor the cabinets to at the top. If you need corbels to support a bar top, install them before you put on the sheet rock so you can lag them in from the backside of the bar (this way there's no holes to patch through the face of the corbel). Then install moisture resistant 1/2" drywall on the inside (cabinet side) of the bar wall. I like to use National Gypsum XP board (purple). Outside the wall gets skinned with 3/4" finished (veneered) plywood and some type of a trim detail. Shadow boxes and ogee, fluted casing, whatever. Set your cabinets. I like to install 2" x 4" cleats on the floor so that when the cabinets sit down, I can nail through the kick (bottom of base cabinet) into the cleat. Fasten top of base cabinets to the blocking you installed. When you set your countertops you'll have one at standard counter height and one on top of the framed knee wall at bar height. Overhang for bar stools should be about 16". So, the slab for the bar usually ends up being about 22" deep. 16" overhang + 5" or so for framing and drywall,+ 1" overhang on the counter side. Hope this helps.

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Old 02-04-2011, 05:35 AM   #3
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Wet bar construction


There are several ways to successfully construct a wet bar---Depends a lot on your skills and tools.


Most of the bars that I have built are constructed like furniture-- 3/4 ply carcass--faceframe and then doors--and what ever style of facing is desired--raised panel and marble step being the most popular-


I tossed together a quick one last month using a shallow bath vanity cabinet for the heart of the bar--

then a 2x4 knee wall to support the top with sheet paneling for the face---Customer was pleased--
I was not-----Mike---
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:04 AM   #4
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Wet bar construction


Hey Mike

Here is what I am thinking I am going to do. I may have access to an older set of actual kitchen cabinets. Okay tell me if this will work. I am going to build a base approximately 6" tall. Out of 2x4"s the size of it will be about 2 feet wide by 10 feet long. I am then going to sheet the top of it with plywood. I am then going to put mount the cabinets on top of the base and screw them together. Now where the back of the cabinets go will be 2x4"s extending from the edge of the base up to 42" tall. The cabinets will be around 37"ish total with the base. I am going to take the 42" boards and take them across about 3/4 of the way then drop a second tier down about 6" so my work space will be considerally lower. So my work space will actually be sitting right on the cabints itself. I've drawn this all out and I think it will work pretty slick. I am going to make my own counter tops from from laminated mdf board then epoxy the tops and add some fleck to give them a granite look. I think I am going to do pure jet black tops with silver and gold speck with 2-3 layers of epoxy. Tell me your thoughts. If I have to draw it out I will because I trust your judgement. Thanks
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:12 AM   #5
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Wet bar construction


Oh I forgot to mention this is an L shaped bar with the long section as the bar area and the short end will have the sink. Since the front side of the bar is where everyone will see I am going to use 1/2 hardiboard then use natural stack stone veneer on the front and finish the sides off with a deep espresso type color probably on maple hardwood then stained. As far as the cabinets go I may just sand them down and paint them a matching espresso color. Nobody will see them anyway so I am not concerned about that but the side and front people will see for sure as well as the counter top. Do you think the veneer facing would be a nice touch and how could I add some lighting to it. I don't really want to use cheap rope lighting and have it dangle all over the place. I was thinking I could put some notched trim around the veneer and install the rope way back behind the trim so only notched area would light up. Huge plans not as huge of a bank account unfortunately!
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:53 AM   #6
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Wet bar construction


The only flaw thay I see is the height of the cabinets---bar back height is typically 32"

That is why we chose a vanity cabinet for the base on the bar last week.

If you have the cabinets already--knock together a mock up out of some scrap--see if it feels and looks right.

Nothing like a mock up to get a good idea of proportion and function.---Mike---

I've got negatives from one outstanding bar from some years back---I get a disk cut and post pictures of it.---Mike---
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:05 PM   #7
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Wet bar construction


You need to decide the height of the bar. Kitchen cabinets(base cabinets) are a little low unless you build a proper base.
Decide on the seating you want, then plan the bar.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:07 PM   #8
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Wet bar construction


I just bought a really good set of plans barplans.com. You can customize your bar plans to the size you need and it gives you detailed info as far as wood required and estimated cost. I am in the middle of a 45 degree "L" shaped bar and am very happy with the detail that the plans go into. Good value for $19.95.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:03 PM   #9
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Wet bar construction


Yeah I planned on building a base that would make the top part of the counter top 42" high then the second tier will be around 35" or so which is where my work space will be.

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