Wet Bar vs Dry Bar: Which Should You Build (Infographic)

LAST UPDATED ON May 18th, 2020

Aside from the living and dining room, where most people entertain their guests, a home bar makes a great nook to casually toss up a few bottles of beers and get together with friends. Whether you’re redoing part of your kitchen or adding a bar to your basement man cave, it’s important that you decide what type of bar you’re installing. Here’s a quick guide on wet bar vs dry bar.


A wet bar refers to a bar that has a working sink and running water, and a dry bar is one without. Wet bars became popular during the ‘70s, and ‘80s at the time when a lot of people were inspired to flip their game rooms, dingy basements or deck areas into recreational spaces (check out this article on home wet bar ideas)

Safe to say, you’d need a wet bar if your bar is on a different floor or separate from the kitchen. If you’re a cocktail connoisseur who loves to mix drinks and share them with your friends, having a functional sink and faucet next to you makes life a lot easier. Walking back and forth your kitchen just to rinse out glasses and bar tools for another round of cocktails will only take you away from the party or your friends’ company. Choosing a wet bar over a dry bar will help you be more present for your guests; plus cleaning up spills and washing the dishes will generally be easier.

Custom wet bars can come with bar stools and convenient storage (some overhead or undercounter cabinets) to keep wine accessories and barware. Below is a great infographic on how to build the perfect wet bar.

wet bar vs dry bar


If you aren’t sold on dealing with plumbing and the price that comes with it, a dry bar will fit you best. Dry bars, unlike wet bars, don’t have running water so you can always build one near an available electric outlet should you decide to have electricity at your bar. You’ll actually need a professional to wire up electrical cables for a custom wet bar, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to mix electricity and water.

To set up a dry bar all you need is a little extra space for a short counter and suitable shelves. Dry bars where wine and spirit collections, and glassware are comfortably and creatively displayed have increasingly become popular. You can simply alter your kitchen counter with some rollout drawers or DIY a farmhouse pipe shelf in an unused corner. Also, using portable liquor cabinets is an easy life-saver especially if you’re limited on space. 

Obviously, with both wet and dry bars you’ll need to stock up on plenty of booze. A dry bar mashed up with your kitchen will have no problem, but you’ll probably need to invest in a mini fridge or a kegerator if you’re building your bar on a different floor.

custom wet bar

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