Wet Bar vs Dry Bar: Which is Better for Entertaining?

December 11, 2023 | Interiors, Lower Levels, Outdoor Living Spaces

Adding a bar to your home can elevate your entertaining experience, giving you the perfect spot to make drinks for friends and family. Read about the unique advantages and considerations between wet and dry bars as you decide which is right for your home.

Wet Bar vs. Dry Bar: What’s the Difference?

The difference between the two is simple: a wet bar has a sink with running water, and a dry bar has a preparation space without a sink. Both options have room to store, display, mix, and serve liquors. Most importantly, they’re a place for people to gather together in your home.

Choosing between a wet bar and a dry bar for entertaining depends on your preferences, needs, and the available space in your home. Here’s a comparison to help you decide which is most suited to your entertaining style:

What are the Advantages of a Wet Bar?

Plumbing and Sink:
A wet bar typically includes plumbing and a sink, meaning you can conveniently prepare drinks without using the kitchen sink.
Beverage Storage:
Wet bars often have dedicated space for refrigeration or ice makers, making it easy to keep beverages chilled.
Wet bars are versatile and can have various features: a wine cooler, built-in kegerator, and other drink preparation amenities.
Water Source:
A sink and water source make it easy to clean glassware and utensils during and after entertaining, either in the sink or in a dishwasher. To make life even better, opt for a dishwasher with a special glass-washing setting. This will keep everything sparkling after the party is over.
Pro-tip: Add a separate filtered water faucet for drink-making. It’ll make a huge difference to the taste of your drinks, including your drinking water!
Professional Appearance:
Most well-designed wet bars add a touch of luxury to your entertaining space.



What are the Advantages of a Dry Bar?

Because dry bars don’t require plumbing, you can put them in almost any space in your home. If your bar is going to be close to your kitchen, then you don’t necessarily need the sink to make the space functional and easy to use.
Dry bars are simpler and don’t have plumbing, sinks, or water sources. They’re essentially a dedicated space for storing and serving drinks without the need for water connections.
Space Efficiency:
Dry bars are often more space-efficient, making them suitable for smaller areas or rooms where incorporating plumbing might be challenging.
Dry bars are generally less expensive to install than wet bars because they don’t require plumbing work or the installation of water-related fixtures.
Low Maintenance:
Since dry bars lack plumbing elements, they are often easier to maintain, and there’s no risk of plumbing-related issues.

Choosing Between Wet and Dry Bars for Entertaining

  • Consider Your Entertaining Style:
    If you frequently host elaborate gatherings and want the convenience of a fully equipped bar, a wet bar may be better. A dry bar could be a better fit if your entertaining needs are simpler and you prefer a more minimalist approach.
  • Evaluate Available Space:
    Consider the space available in your home. Wet bars may require more room and access to plumbing, while dry bars can be more easily integrated into smaller spaces.
  • Budget Considerations:
    Assess your budget for the installation. Wet bars are often more expensive due to plumbing requirements, while dry bars offer a more cost-effective solution.Ultimately, the choice between a wet bar and a dry bar depends on your personal preferences, the level of convenience you want, and the constraints of your space and budget. The good news? You don’t have to make this decision alone. During your next remodeling project, the James Barton Design-Build team can weigh in based on their expertise and your expressed preferences.

A very cleanly designed kitchen island and dry bar in a lower level remodel

Does a Wet Bar Add Value to a Home?

Yes, a well-designed, professionally installed at-home bar can add value when you look to sell. Generally speaking, wet bars have a higher ROI than dry ones, but both can attract prospective buyers.

Classy Kitchen with Green Cabinets. Dry bar.

Refresh Your Home With JBDB

James Barton Design-Build is known for its commitment to exquisite remodels in and around the Twin Cities. If you’re ready to give your home a new look and feel, it might be time for a remodeling project. From living spaces to lower levels to bathroom remodels, JBDB does it all. Schedule a consultation!

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We look forward to hearing your ideas, sharing our expertise, and collaborating together!

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