Wet bar vs dry bar: Full review and comparison of Home Bars

Home Bars

The home bars NJ homeowners are installing provide the ideal place for entertaining. A welcome addition to any home, they offer a beautiful way to store wines, liquor, and other favorite beverages as well as provide a wonderful workspace for mixing and serving drinks. Once you decide to add a wet or dry bar to your home’s design, you will find there are many decisions to be made.

What is a Wet Bar? Definition:

When discussing a wet bar vs dry bar, you will find that the main difference is simply a matter of plumbing. A wet bar will include a sink with running water while a dry bar skips the sink and only offers a place for mixing and serving your favorite beverages. Wet bars became popular in the 1970s when homeowners started entertaining friends at home rather then going out to the bars. Wet bars are still on-trend and a very useful addition to your home, but be sure to give yours a modern design in order to avoid making your house feel dated.

When it comes to the wet bar vs dry bar debate, keep in mind that a wet bar allows you to do things like rinse your glasses and wash out the blender easily. You will appreciate the sink, especially if your home bar is located on a different floor from the kitchen. Nothing can ruin a party for the host quicker than having to constantly leave their guests in order to run back and forth to the kitchen every few minutes. You will be missing out on much of the fun, and your guests just might feel neglected.

The inclusion of a sink in your home bar design also allows you to serve more complex drinks and enjoy easy clean-up. Once that plumbing is in place, it opens you up to many more design options. You can create a prep area complete with a drain for mixing cocktails or incorporate a beer tap with a gutter underneath for catching drips.

Dry Bar Ideas: Entertain with ease

Although a wet bar has many advantages, a dry bar can be an excellent option in many situations. With today’s open floor plans, a bar area with a sink can seem redundant as the kitchen is close at hand. Without the plumbing issues, the installation of a dry bar is an easy process and can be quite affordable. Dry bars are great in any room of the house, and they need only a small amount of space. Even without a sink, you can still have a specific place for spirits, barware, and a beverage refrigerator. Incorporating a liquor cabinet into the dry bar design is becoming very popular too, and it makes for a great combination in any home bar.

Designing Cabinets for a Home Bar

The cabinets are an important element in your home bar design. The wood or colors used is a simple choice as you will want it to match the other cabinetry in your house. This is especially true if the bar can be seen from the kitchen. Shelves and roll-out drawers provide convenient storage. A wine rack, or even a wine wall unit that keeps your favorite bottles chilled, can be functional and beautiful. Incorporate a lazy Susan into any corner cabinets or deeper cupboards. Top the cabinets with natural stone or quartz countertops for an elegant touch. Use an eye-catching backdrop to add interest to the space.

Don’t think that every item needs to be hidden behind a closed door. Many liquor bottles and glassware items are too beautiful to hide. Use them as part of the overall decor. Clear or frosted glass doors show off these pieces wonderfully. You could also use stem glassware holders mounted under the upper cabinets to display gorgeous drink ware as well as free up your workspace. A nice mix of glass and solid doors is ideal. You will be showing off your best items while being able to hide snacks, the less attractive equipment, and other essentials.

Best Locations for a Bar

You can install a wet or dry bar into any area of your home. Your bar can be a large focal point that invites guests in or a smaller concept that stays hidden in the nook of your room. Basements are the perfect location to place a home bar. Many finished basements are used as a game room or man cave which is exactly where a bar would be most useful. Another terrific spot is outdoors near a pool or patio. Outdoor wet bars are freestanding structures that can resemble resort-style bars complete with seating at the counter, a TV for entertainment, and full plumbing for ease of use.

You can also include a dry bar into your kitchen’s existing design. Have it become part of the current cabinetry by designating a specific section or corner of your cupboards and countertops for the purpose of mixing and serving drinks. It can also be included on the backside of the kitchen island. This is perfect as you may already have seating at the island and a sink.

Cool Sink & Faucet Ideas

The typical bar sink is a single basin that is smaller and shallower than your traditional kitchen sink. Most homeowners will choose an under-mount sink. These are installed underneath the countertop for a seamless look. They also provide a way to clean up easily as there is no rim for debris to get caught in. Stainless steel is commonly used for it’s resistance to stains. Granite composite is another great material choice for a bar sink. It also resists stains, and it has a modern cutting edge appearance. Outside of these mainstream sinks you can do a specialty sink that is long and narrow which is great for setting up chilled campaign or a raw bar on ice.


The bar sink is often combined with a beautiful and functional faucet. Touchless faucets work wonderfully along with faucets that have a sprayer built into the neck. Faucets come in many different materials. Polished or satin nickel is always popular as well as chrome and stainless steel. Matte black is used for a contemporary style while brass and bronze are often chosen for their antique appearance.

With so many design options available, you can incorporate a wet or dry bar into just about any area of your home. You will have a wonderful space for entertaining friends as well as a beautiful addition to your home’s existing decor.


Need help designing your Home Bar?

Give us a call at 973-636-0100 to get started!