How to Build a Home Bar Out of Kitchen Cabinets [DIY Dry Bar]
Do you want to build a DIY home bar on a budget? Have you thought about using kitchen cabinets? It’s true: building a bar out of ready-made upper cabinets is a great way to save money.
Even better, it’s a relatively straightforward DIY project you can do. You can transform your cabinets into a beautiful and functional bar area with just a few simple steps.
This article will explain how to build your own DIY dry bar using pre-assembled cabinets. We’ll also give you tips on designing it to look like a professional-grade bar.
So, grab your tools, and let’s get started!
Why DIY a Dry Bar Using Kitchen Cabinets?
DIYing a dry bar using kitchen or basement cabinets is a great way to save money while building a stylish and functional addition to your home.
Stock cabinets offer an affordable and customizable solution for creating the perfect dry bar. You can choose the exact style, material, and size of cabinets you want. This helps give you total control over the look and feel of your bar.
Plus, the project’s customizable during build-out, too. You can include wall cabinets, bar cabinets, a bar top, a baseboard, cabinet sides, or any combination.
How experienced do you need to be? You just need some basic carpentry skills or help from a professional. With a little muscle and time, you can assemble custom cabinets that will last for years.
What Materials Will You Need to DIY a Dry Bar?
Here is a list of materials you will need:
- Kitchen cabinets
- Countertop material (such as granite or laminate)
- Backsplash material (such as tile or stone)
- Shelving (such as plywood or metal)
- Screws or bolts for attaching the cabinets to the wall
- Adhesive for attaching the countertops and backsplash
- Screws or brackets for attaching the shelving
- Optional: wine rack, foot rail, or other additional features
Step 1: Plan Your Dry Bar Design
Decide on the size, bar height, and where it will be located in your home. If you’re incorporating your dry bar into a home game room, check out this post on game room design ideas for inspiration.
Consider the materials you want to use for the countertop, backsplash, and shelving.
Make a list of the tools and supplies you will need.
Step 2: Gather Your Materials
The second step in building your DIY bar is to gather the necessary materials. Start by purchasing your cabinets, as they will form the base of your bar.
They should be sturdy and reliable enough to support the weight of any drinks or food you plan to store. You should also buy other materials, such as a countertop, backsplash, shelving, and hardware.
Make sure to take measurements before making any purchases. Bottom line: you want to be sure everything fits together properly when it’s time for assembly.
Step 3: Assemble the Base
Step 3 of assembling a dry bar base involves measuring and marking the location of the cabinets on the floor.
It is important to use a level to ensure that the cabinets are evenly spaced and straight when installing them. Double-check everything before securing them to the wall with screws or bolts.
Make sure to complete this step carefully! Any mistakes can result in an uneven or crooked dry bar base. Also, double-check that all measurements are correct before drilling holes into the wall for securing purposes. Be sure to use studs!)
After completing this step, you should have a level and sturdy base ready for attaching other components.
You may use cabinet shims, as these are the ideal solution for adjusting cabinets on top of unlevel flooring. Shims come in various thicknesses and materials to ensure that they are a good fit for any project that requires them to be used for leveling.
Step 4: Install the Countertop
Step 4 of installing your dry bar countertop begins with measuring and cutting the countertop. You’ll want it to fit the length of the cabinets.
Be sure to measure twice and cut once! Once you have the correct size, attach the countertop to the cabinets using screws or adhesive.
Depending on your project, you may need to use a jigsaw or other power tool. If you’re using adhesive, apply it evenly across all surfaces. Once you apply it, press down firmly and wipe away any excess.
The screws should be inserted at least every 12 inches along the edges for a secure hold. Finally, if necessary, use caulk to fill in gaps between the cabinet and countertop for a finished look.
Step 5: Add the Backsplash
Step 5 of the DIY dry bar project is adding the backsplash. Before you start, measure the backsplash area to ensure proper fit and installation
There are many options for choosing a backsplash – from mirrored tile to subway tile and even wallpaper.
Once you’ve settled on a design, attach the backsplash to the wall above the countertop using adhesive or screws. It’s important to ensure it’s secure before continuing with any other steps.
Just like that, you’re almost done! Let’s talk about storage and shelving next.
Step 6: Install the Shelving
Once you have gathered all the necessary materials and tools, it is time to start installing the shelving.
The first step is to measure and cut the shelving to fit your desired dimensions. Depending on what type of shelving you are using, you might need a saw.
Once the shelves are cut to size, attach them to the wall or cabinets using cabinet screws or brackets. Make sure that each shelf is securely fastened so that it will not shift over time due to weight or other factors.
Using a level while installing the shelving may also be helpful so it is properly leveled.
Ultimate DIY Game Room Decor & Design Guide
This tutorial is part of our series on how to create the best game room for your home – easily AND on a budget!
Be sure to check out our ultimate DIY game room decor and design guide for more beginner friendly tutorials, from game room flooring, to ambient lighting, to choosing the perfect paint colors for your space.
We’ll give you lots of easy DIY ideas, including how to build your own dry bar from kitchen cabinets to how to flip second hand furniture to create a space you love … on a dime.
Enjoy this game room guide and have a blast in your space!
Step 7: Finish the Bar
Step 7 of the DIY Bar is all about finishing touches.
You can add additional features, such as a wine rack or a foot rail, to give your bar an extra touch of style. You can store your favorite spirits, mixers, and glassware inside the cabinet for easy access during parties.
You may also add toe kicks to rest your foot while having a little chitchat with your friends.
Finishing up the project with these final touches is the frosting on the cake. These last touches will ensure that your bar looks great and is fully functional when hosting drinks-filled get-togethers!
FAQs about Making a Dry Bar
Okay, so now that we’ve discussed building a bar, let’s jump into some common questions people ask.
When tackling ANY DIY project, it’s very normal to have questions. Be sure to do your research!
Where can you buy ready-made kitchen cabinets?
Ready-made cabinets for a bar can be purchased from various places.
Home improvement stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Ikea offer pre-assembled kitchen cabinets.
You can also hunt through thrift stores or places like Habitat for Humanity ReStore shops. These places are awesome for finding cabinets at an amazing price.
Some online auction sites may have secondhand or used cabinets at discounted prices. No matter which option you choose, there is sure to be a ready-made solution that meets your needs and budget.
How much does it cost to build a dry bar?
The cost of building a dry bar depends on the size and complexity of the project.
A basic setup could cost around $500, but more elaborate builds can easily exceed a few thousand dollars.
The main expenses for constructing a bar include the lumber, countertop material, shelving, cabinetry, lighting fixtures, and any additional decorations you would like to add.
If you want to build an extravagant custom bar, expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. So building a DIY bar is a great option to save money.
What’s the difference between a dry bar and a wet bar?
Dry and wet bars are different types of bars typically found in homes.
A dry bar does not have any plumbing lines connected to it. What does this mean? No water or ice is available for drinks (unless you have a cooler or portable fridge plugged in.)
Instead, a dry bar usually includes storage compartments for bottles and glasses and a countertop where drinks can be mixed and served.
On the other hand, a wet bar has all the components of a regular home bar but with added plumbing lines. It would have a working sink and may also include additional features such as built-in refrigerators.
How do you add storage space to your DIY dry bar?
Adding storage space to your DIY dry bar is easy. You can add many kinds of storage to your bar, but the most popular are cabinets.
You have a few options: pre-made cabinets, custom-built cabinets, or a combination of the two.
If you build on a tight space and don’t want to invest in a whole new set of cabinets, it’s worth considering buying pre-made cabinets. Alternatively, you can install additional floating shelves, cabinet doors, and kitchen base cabinets to your bar’s existing structure.
Shelving can be made from wood or metal, depending on your preference. In addition, you can overhang glasses and other items by attaching hooks, pegs, or bars to the walls of your bar.
With these simple additions, you will have plenty of storage space and complete the bar with your favorite drinks and accessories.
Let’s Wrap Up
Constructing a home bar from kitchen cupboards is a great way to save cash and make an area perfect for entertaining.
Using only a few steps, you can alter your kitchen cupboards into an attractive and practical dry bar that will be the object of admiration by your visitors.
Hopefully, you found some great ideas to get you started! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions!