One of the most popular additions to a man cave or game room is a bar. After a long day of work, you can pour yourself a drink of your choice at your very own bar. You can either chose to build the bar or buy a pre-built bar for your man cave. Aside from the bar, you can add a pool table and darts to get the full pub experience.
To build a bar for your man cave, you will need a little experience depending on the complexity of the bar you want to develop. The tools you will use will depend on the materials. Cutting and shaping would be more comfortable than grinding granite tabletops. You can also consider buying a pre-built bar that would save you time. For someone who likes DIY projects, building a bar can be your next exciting venture.
HOW TO BUILD A BAR
Here are the steps to build your own simple bar in your man cave. These are just basic instructions to create a simple bar for your basement. Anything you want to add is up to you, such as a sink, or shelves will require more materials than the ones on the list. I will also show you the right height of the bar for the chairs you have. After you build the bar, I will also show you how to build a tap to make your bar look authentic. It will probably require plumbing permits to construct the valve.
TOOLS AND MATERIALS
- Electric Drill
- Impact Driver
- Drill bits and Screwdriver bits
- Table saw
- Lumber depending on the size of your space (2 x 4)
- 4 x 8 sheet MDF Board
- Tape measure
STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE
A standard bar height is about 42 inches. By building the bar around 42 inches, it will be easier to purchase stools to fit this height. The overhang of the counter should be at least 8 inches, so you can adjust your knees comfortably while sitting on the seat. The bar tabletop should at least be about 20 inches wide so you can fit the molding. The bar molding is useful to prevent spills on your lap and the floor.
- Step 1: Outline the groundwork
After deciding where to place your bar, measure the back wall adjacent to the length of the bar. 9 feet of distance should be enough to move around. Remember that you will be putting bar accessories on the wall so you should make enough room.
- Step 2: Building the framework
Using 2 x 4 lumber, make the length of the bar depending on how long you want the tabletop to turn out. Use a saw to cut the middle pieces and fill the frame with the studs. After this step, you should have a full framework for the tabletop.
- Step 3: Deciding the height
Now that you have the bar frame, it is now time to build the pillars that will be the main foundations of the bar. A 4 feet bar should be the average height. Just like the tabletop framework, you will repeat this step for the pillars. Make sure you make enough studs to support the bar. Use the 3-inch screws to join the pieces together.
- Step 4: Securing the framework
Now that you built the frame, you will put it in the upright position. If the side of the bar is lined up to a wall, screw the side frame to the wall. If the bar is in the center, safely screw the frame to the flooring.
- Step 5: Build block structures for support
For extra support, you will need to build at least three block frames using the lumber. The height of the structures should be at least 26 inches for a 4-foot bar. The reason it is a little bit lower than the height of the bar is that it will be a space to put shelves. You will need sheets of plywood to spread out to use as shelves.
- Step 6: Installing the bar top
To install a bar top, you will need to install stabilizers. To do this, you will need 2 x 4s to create a spot where you can fasten the frame using screws. Cut enough pieces depending on the length of the table to make enough studs.
- Step 7: Install the finishing touches
At this point, your bar is almost taking shape. You can use any wood paneling to finish the bar. It can be drywall, plywood, or any paneling with a design. Cut enough pieces to finish the whole frame and fasten them with screws until there you cover the entire structure. Now you have it, a basic bar.
You can finish the bar with moldings and paint them with the color you prefer. You can also use bricks or any material that you feel it fits with the theme of your man cave.
BUILDING A TAP or KEG
This addition is where the work gets complex. You will need a source of water ready for doing this job. Hiring a professional can be the easy way, but doing it yourself can be fulfilling. While you are doing this, you might want to consider adding a drain for the bar like you would use in building a sink. This procedure will prevent you from cleaning spillage on the floor. With a filter, the bar top is easier to clean.
- Small Fridge
- PVC pipes
- Plastic Tubing
- Mini Kegs and Conversion Kits
STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE
- Step 1: Prep your countertop
Make sure you make a space for your mini-fridge under the bar. You will place the fridge inside one of the cabinets.
- Step 2: Measure and drill a hole for your faucets
Now it is time to drill a hole on top of the tabletop. Make sure you measure the diameter of the taps, so you don’t drill a hole too big.
- Step 3: Kegs in the fried
To make enough room for your kegs in the mini-fridge, you will need to take out all of the dividers in the refrigerator. This fridge will be required for one specific reason only, chilling the beer. You will need to drill a hole on top of the refrigerator to put in your PVC pipes leading to the faucets.
- Step 4: Connect the kegs to the faucets
With the use of plastic tubing, connect the plastic tubes from the keg conversion kits to the PVC pipes and into the taps. With everything in place, you are now ready to enjoy your very own DIY kegerator.
You can also do this process to get a water hose. However, with the use of in-house plumbing, you will need a professional to do this for you. If you are a beginner in DIY projects, plumbing can be dangerous work as you may damage the pipes and create a flood in your basement. If you are confident enough to do this task, there is no stopping you now!
Here are examples of pre-built bars you can get inspiration for building your bar. You can also purchase these bars if you do not want to go through the trouble of building. I know building can be a great activity to pass your time, especially on weekends, but to save you from trouble, here is a list of bars you can buy and use for your man cave:
- LAMBER BAR UNIT
If your man cave is too small to fit a full-sized bar, you can try this small bar unit with many features. It is made with birchwood and finished with a stain of cherry. The maximum weight capacity of the bar is 50 lbs. (Product Dimensions: 71.5 x 24.5 x 41 inches)
- Brass footrests
- Ice bin
- Towel rack
- 4 Drawers
- Wine wall (10-bottle capacity)
- PARTY PONG TABLES FOLDABLE ILLUMINATING BAR
This party bar brings life to the party. If you are more into dancing parties like what they do in the club, you can turn your man cave into just that with this foldable bar. You can set this bar up in seconds. It comes with flashing LED lights that can turn any dull get together into a full-blown party. (Product Dimensions: 39 x 15 x 36 inches)
- 2 lightweight foldable bars
- LED lights with 16 different colors
- 4 color modes
- Adjustable speed and brightness
- Storage shelves
- Ultra-portable when folded so you can place it anywhere in your man cave
Before thinking about getting a pool table for your man cave, make sure the pool table fits. Pool tables are usually massive, and you want your space to accommodate the pool table as well as have enough space to play pool with friends. You want to have at least 4 feet of clearance between the table and the walls to be able to move comfortably.
If you were thinking about getting a pool table, maybe you do have enough space. It is better to measure the area first before going to a store and buying your pool table. You can search for pool tables at your local sporting goods stores. If they have a website, you can check online for the sizes of pool tables they sell first to save you time.
MOVING A POOL TABLE DOWN THE BASEMENT
There are a couple of ways to move a pool table. One will require the help of two or more people, and the other one will need tools and meticulous work.
The first way is to use dollies for each leg. You can rent the dolly carts you need from moving services like U-HAUL and many more. With this method, you need help from two and more people to lift each leg of the pool table. This way is probably not the ideal method to transport the table to a basement floor.
The second method is an ideal way. It may be a lot of work, but it is the safest way to move your pool table to your man cave. You have to take your pool table apart and rebuild it in the desired space you want. This method will require meticulous work and knowledge with the necessary tools. Here are the steps to do this:
- Remove the pocket nets first.
- Detach the rails. Usually, the tracks are held together by locking nuts.
- Free the felt by removing the staples underneath the table.
- Separate the slate from the wooden table part.
- Now, try to look for any locking nuts and remove them to detach the legs.
- Level and measure the desired space you wish to assemble the table
- Try to rebuild the table the exact opposite way you tore it down.
- When you place the slate, make sure that it is all level. You can use a pool ball to see if there are any uneven spots.
- Make sure there are no creases or wrinkles on the felt to ensure smooth play.
- Rebuild the rest, including the rails and pockets, and you’re good to go!
The third option is when you are buying a new table. Tell the store to assemble the table in the exact spot you want it. This option will save you a lot of time and will lessen your work.
RECOMMENDED POOL TABLES:
- BARRINGTON SPRINGDALE CLAW LEG POOL TABLE
This pool table is an example of a classic billiard table with classic features. It comes with all of the essentials, so you and your buddies can play right out of the box. This item features classic drop pockets that add an authentic look. (Product Dimensions: 89.5 x 50.25 x 32 inches)
The package comes with:
- 2 cue sticks
- 15 numbered balls
- 1 cue ball
- 1 triangle rack
- 1 felt brush
- 2 chalk cubes
- HATHAWAY PARK AVENUE 7 FOOT CONVERSION TABLE
The Hathaway Park Avenue is a 3-in-one table that combines classic pool games, table tennis, and a nice dining table for you and the boys. It has a sturdy construction that is quality engineered with the most secure materials. The high-quality felt of the pool table feels perfect for playing smoothly. The roller bumpers bounce accurately.
The package comes with:
- Two 57” pool cues
- Complete pool ball set
- Cue chalk
- Table tennis net
- Two paddles
- Two table tennis balls
- Table tennis top
- Dining tabletop
- LANCASTER GAME ROOM BILLIARD TABLE
This pool table looks more contemporary, which would fit perfectly for your modern themed bar. It is a complete set, so you would not have to buy anything to start playing with your friends. The sleek design looks very classy and elegant. It is the perfect addition to your bar and man cave.
The package comes with:
- 2 cue sticks
- 15 numbered balls
- 1 cue ball
- 1 triangle rack
- 1 felt brush
- 2 chalk cubes
Now, your bar would not be complete without the pub games such as darts. If you do not have enough space for a pool table, consider getting darts. The official dart distance is 7 feet 9 ¼ inches, so make sure you have enough space to play darts safely. Here is a suitable dartboard and darts you can purchase for your man cave:
- VIPER SHOT KING REGULATION DARTBOARD
This dartboard is constructed with sisal bristle fibers that provide unsurpassed durability. It is an official tournament size dartboard that comes with two complete dart set-ups amounting to a total of six steel tip darts. You can remove and rotate the steel rings so the dartboard fiber can heal to extend its life.
- CUESOUL TUNGSTEN STEEL TIP DARTS
If you want additional darts for your dartboard, you can buy these center-weighted darts that are easy to control. It comes with a total of six professional darts with two slim cases. It comes with a wrench to tighten the shaft if it loosens. The luxurious design will make your dart set looking elegant.
Whether you plan on building the bar or buying a pre-built one, you can buy the right bar stools. You can make simple wooden bar stools as well, but here are a couple of suggestions that can help you decide on the height of your bar.
- ROUNDHILL FURNITURE BAR STOOL
This stool is excellent for a bar in a contemporary setting. The height of this bar stool is adjustable to fit with a bar counter that is 24 to 29 inches high. (Product Dimensions: 16 x 20.5 x 43 inches)
- Adjustable height
- 360-degree swivel
- 4 leg extensions
- FLASH FURNITURE 2 CURVED BACK BAR STOOL
This product is a set of two beautiful modern bar stools. This pack is a must-have for your modern man cave. The seats have a mid-back curved design that comes in multi-color fabric upholstery. (Product Dimensions: 19 x 19 x 42.2 inches)
- Weighs 43 pounds each
- Chrome footrests
- Seat height adjustment
- Adjustable swivel
- ASHLEY FURNITURE CHALLIMAN BAR STOOL
This set of bar stools are excellent for the rustic pub design of your man cave. It can easily match most homes with its trendsetting signature design. It is designed for casual seating and made with a metal frame. The surface is made with engineered wood with adjustable foot levelers for reinforcing stability. (Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 19.5 x 29 inches)
- Veneered plank seating
- Comfortable foot L-shaped footrests
- Metal base with iron tone finish
- Fits counters with a height of 35 to 39 inches
PUB THEME IDEAS
- RUSTIC BAR
Building a bar with a rustic theme can be inexpensive if you have enough creativity. You can go around town and look for antique materials from the thrift stores and flea markets. All you need to do is to restore these items and make them functional for your bar. You can buy items such as decorations, shelves, and the glasses you need.
- INDUSTRIAL BAR
If you are into steampunk and post-apocalyptic film settings, building a bar that resembles these films can look suitable for your man cave. Imagining you are in alternative reality can be a cool addition to your bar. You can even leave your basement unfinished and use the vents and air ducts as decorations. Just remember that everything is safe without finishing.
- FUTURISTIC BAR
You can use this design in your bar with high-tech gadgets to make the ambiance look and feel futuristic. You can use chrome materials and computer chip designs to get this kind of design. To achieve this design, you will need to paint your bar and accessories with futuristic colors such as metallic and chrome.
- CONTEMPORARY BAR
A contemporary bar can be a simplistic bar with modern colors. Make sure you make the bar with minimalistic edges as possible. Creating a contemporary bar is all about shapes and lines. For some people, it can be relaxing to stare at modern designs and art while enjoying their favorite drink.
- BIKERS BAR
If you are into the big bikes and motorcycles, you can design the theme of your bar with biking accessories. You can use old motorcycle handlebars and anything that has to do with bicycles. It can be inexpensive if you already have some old materials you can use for decorating the place. You can also buy old materials from junk shops.
- BAR LOUNGE
If you have enough space in your man cave, you can turn your bar into a whole lounge where you can have a drink in relax. A lounge is a bar plus the chill areas where you can put a sofa, and tables where you and your friends can kickback. It does not have to be expensive. You can use your old furniture that you were planning to throw out.
You can also build enough bar shelves where you can display and store your rare collection of good liquor. If you do not have the time to build these shelves, here are a couple of pre-built products you can purchase:
- SUNCOO LED ILLUMINATED BOTTLE DISPLAY SHELF
This shelf is an excellent choice for your bar. You can display your liquor bottles in style with this lighting shelf. It includes 20 static colors that you can adjust with a remote control. This shelf is best to put on top of the bar table. Hanging the shelf can be dangerous because there is no glass for protection. (Product Dimensions: 59 x 12.2 x 11 inches)
- DEL HUTSON DESIGNS RUSTIC FLOATING WINE SHELF
Keep your bar organized with this attractive wooden shelf. This shelf is a good-looking shelf for your rustic design bar. It is very durable and handmade with high-grade pine wood. This product is easy to install because of the predrilled holes for hanging. (Product Dimensions: 10 x 24 x 5 inches)
- HATHAWAY SEVILLE BACK BAR MIRROR
A Bar mirror in the back of the bar is an excellent edition to make your man cave bar look more authentic. It is crafted with birch wood and birch wood veneers with a rich walnut finish. Make sure you paint the bar the same color as the accessories so it would create uniformity. (Product Dimensions: 62 x 35.5 x 10 inches)
- COOL BAR ACCESSORIES
- BOURBON WHISKEY DECANTER
This Whiskey decanter was hand-blown by skilled artisans. It was handcrafted in Kentucky by brilliant artists. It makes a good addition to your bar, and it can also be a good gift idea. It can hold up to 115ml of liquor. The glass stopper is airtight. It can make your liquor last longer without evaporating through time better than cork. (Product Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 12 inches)
- MAN CAVE SHOT GLASS DISPLAY CASE
Though this is a beautiful display case perfect for your man cave, it does not have a door to prevent dust. Make sure you still wash the shot glasses in storage before use. It is a nice display case for your shot glass collection. (Product Dimensions: 18.25 x 14.25 x 2.5 inches)
- ECHO DOT 3
Amazon’s Echo Dot is the ultimate home control tool. It is one of the most popular compact smart speakers in the market. The ultra-compact design makes it easier to place in a small space. It is compatible with most smart devices such as the lighting for your bar. Ask your new virtual assistant Alexa anything you need help with while working in your man cave. She will be happy to serve you.
- PRIMST SMART REFRIGERATOR COFFEE TABLE
This smart fridge is the ultimate man cave accessory. It has many features that are not only limited to chilling your snacks and beverages anymore. The futuristic look of this product will surely impress your friends and visitors. It has an elegant style that can fit any part of the house, including your man cave. If you decide to expand your man cave bar into a lounge, you can use this appliance as a table for the lounge area.
(Product Dimensions: 51.2 x 26.2 x 18.1 inches)
- Dual Bluetooth speakers with enhanced sound and bass
- Fridge plus cooler and storage
- Charging station
- Height adjustment
- Smart touch controls
- LED colors and brightness settings
- Lifetime warranty and replacement
- WINSOON INDUSTRIAL VINTAGE CHANDELIERS
This light fixture is an excellent example of industry themed light that can be perfect for your modern or post-apocalyptic bar theme. It has three lamp heads that can also be used for your pool table light. The base socket is compatible with most CFLs and LEDs to make lighting up your basement more energy efficient. (Product Dimensions: 17.83 x 5.12 inches ceiling plate/ the wire is adjustable up to 2 meters)
- 59-INCH BLACK METAL BALL DESIGN POOL TABLE LIGHT
This light fixture is designed to light up your man cave pool table. It is decorated with pool balls from number one to fifteen and looks very good for your pub-themed man cave. It is recommended for your 7 to 8 feet sized pool table. You can hardwire this directly to your basement’s electricity, or you can light it up by plugging it in directly to an outlet. The cool thing about this piece is that real pool balls were used for the design.
- SMART WIFI LED STRIP LIGHTS
This product is an innovative decoration for your man cave bar. These strip lights can set the mood of your bar, depending on the theme. You can change the color or brightness according to your preference using your phone. It works with Google Assistant and Alexa so you can change the color of your lights with a simple voice command.
- JANDCASE A19 COLOR CHANGING LED LIGHT BULBS
For a meager price, you get to experience this set of color switching RGB LED light bulbs. It has a total of seven dimmable color options that range from 2700 Kelvins to an ultra-cool 6500k. It comes with a remote control so you can change the color as well as the brightness with a few presses. It has dual memory functions. You can save the settings for when you turn them off. This item is an excellent addition to your bar, depending on the theme you choose.
Building a bar for your man cave is a fun activity you can do. It is not that hard to do even if you are not experienced in DIY projects. The only thing that would be close to difficult is installing the plumbing if you decide to put in a sink. But, other than that, you’re good to go. Make sure you do all the safety precautions and enjoy building your man cave bar. Remember to have fun and drink moderately.