20/01/2023 • Blog, Comparisons, Design Tips
Wet Bar vs. Dry Bar: What's Right For Your Home?
Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Home bars have become increasingly popular in recent years. They’re great for entertaining guests with the comfort and casual atmosphere of your home.
Are you looking to design the perfect dry bar for your home? There are a few steps you should consider in your design process that will have you crafting homemade cocktails in no time!
At Deslaurier, we have over 40 years of experience providing our clients with custom cabinets and kitchen design services. In that time, we’ve worked on plenty of home bar designs, tailoring each project to the homeowner’s individual needs.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What is a Wet Bar?
A wet bar is a home bar that includes a sink with plumbing fixtures and running water.
The addition of a sink makes tending to your home bar much easier. It will help with cleaning up spills or rinsing any glassware. You can even include a dishwasher so everything you need to maintain your bar area is actually within your home bar!
You’re more inclined to install a wet bar in an area like a basement, where access to a sink and cleaning supplies aren't as common.
Of course, you can include a wet bar on the main floor of your home as well. Suppose it’s in a secluded dining or entertaining room away from the kitchen; having a built-in sink within your bar system is highly recommended.
What is a Dry Bar?
A dry bar, sensibly enough, is a bar that does not include a sink or plumbing of any kind.
It is a freestanding or built-in bar unit designed to store alcohol as well as glasses and other barware accessories.
With such an emphasis on open floor plans in contemporary homes, including an additional sink in a bar so close to the kitchen is not a necessity. Unlike a wet bar, traditionally found in an entertainment room or a basement, a dry bar will commonly be installed near the kitchen or dining area.
In fact, the lack of plumbing gives dry bars more flexibility when placing them in your home, and makes them far easier to install, as well.
Essentials For Any Home Bar
Regardless of whether wet or dry, there are a few essentials that every home bar needs.
Of course, since the whole purpose of a bar is to store beverages, you’ll need a place to keep them!
If you typically have a lot of beer or are often crafting cocktails, a bar fridge will be a necessity. Keeping a bar fridge in your bar’s base cabinetry design will provide a place to keep beer and cocktail mixes cold.
All the better if the fridge has a built-in ice maker or freezer component!
More of a wine drinker? Consider installing a wine fridge instead.
While a wine rack is a great way to display and access wine bottles if you’re a wine aficionado, you might want to also consider implementing a wine fridge over a traditional bar fridge.
Beer fridge, bar fridge, wine fridge, whichever fridge you prefer you can seamlessly integrate them within your base cabinetry as a built-in appliance!
Durable Countertop Surface
Whether drinks are being made or being spilled, any bar area is going to get wet—there’s no getting around it.
That’s why you want your bar surface to be both water and stain-resistant. Two popular kitchen countertop materials are prized for those characteristics: Quartz and Dekton.
Quartz and dekton are both engineered materials. Quartz countertops are 93% quartz with 7% additional resins and polymers. Dekton, on the other hand, is a fully engineered countertop made by forming raw materials under extreme heat and pressure in order to create a synthetic surface.
Unlike popular natural stone countertops, like granite and marble – both of which are porous surfaces that require regular resealing – the engineered nature of quartz and dekton countertops result in them being entirely nonporous.
With this, quartz and dekton are effectively set-and-forget low-maintenance countertop surfaces. That means you don’t need to worry about yearly (or multiple times a year in the case of marble) resealing. You can endure wine splashes and cocktail spills stress-free.
An added benefit of dekton is you can cut directly on the surface. In fact, you’d have to worry about your knife blades more than you would your countertop! Whether you’re slicing citrus fruits for cocktails or cheese for a charcuterie board, you can prep directly on dekton surfaces.
Floating Shelves and Glass Cabinets for Display
The display is a major consideration for home bar designs. Depending on what you’re displaying – wine, liquor bottles, or elegant glassware, to name a few – there are two key ways you can present your collections: with floating shelves and glass cabinets.
Both methods offer great conversation starters for display, or, in the case of glass cabinets, they can function as their own distinct accent piece in your bar’s overall design.
If you have a liquor bottle collection, floating shelves are a must-have.
Not only are they great for displaying your bottles, but they offer easy and open access whenever you’re ready for a drink. Whether you have an impressive collection of glasses, stemware, beer mugs, or shot glasses, there’s no better place to display them than in glass cabinets.
Why not mix both features together?
Consider having floating shelves nestled between two glass cabinets for a best-of-both-worlds combination of bar storage and display.
Wet Bar vs. Dry Bar: Cost
Including a sink in a home bar is always dependent on the individual client and their budget. After all, it’s an expensive addition for an already expensive feature in the home.
On top of the cost of the actual sink, you’ll need a plumber to install the required plumbing work, which will increase expenses.
According to Home Advisor, the average cost of a kitchen sink installation ranges from $200.00 to $600.00 and can even climb into the thousands of dollars, depending on fixtures, style, and any extra plumbing that is required.
Add to that the cost of the actual sink, and you can expect a wet bar to cost between $600-$1000 more than a dry bar of the same design.
What’s Right For Your Home?
Choosing between a wet bar and a dry bar will typically depend on your budget and where you plan on installing it in your home.
For upstairs bars located near a kitchen, a sink is not always a necessary item to include.
For a basement bar, however, you’re more inclined to want a sink in the direct vicinity. It allows you an area to clean up, wash glasses, and a water source to wipe down any common bar area messes.
Design with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets
Are you looking to create the perfect home bar? Deslaurier Custom Cabinets has everything you need!
With over 40 years of experience to our name, we provide our clients with a fully customized design process with our talented team of designers.
Book a consultation today with a Deslaurier design expert at our Ottawa Showroom or schedule a virtual meeting!
Interested in becoming an authorized Deslaurier dealer? Visit our Become a Dealer page to learn more! Live outside the area? Find a Dealer to connect with a Deslaurier dealer near you!