How to Add a Raised Bar to Kitchen Cabinets

Michael Straessle

One of the amenities that add to the character of a kitchen is a raised bar. In most cases, a raised bar in a kitchen is used to eat without having to go to the dining room. This type of raised bar is a countertop that sits above the height of the base cabinets by 6 inches and is 18 inches in depth.

New Wall New Bar

For the purpose of this article, we will build a raised bar that is 48 inches long.

  1. Place the 48-inch lumber on a worktable. Measure from one end and make marks at 15½, 17, 31 and 32½-inches. Place the carpenter's square on the marks and draw lines across two of the pieces of lumber. These are the top and bottom plates of the wall supporting the raised bar.

  2. Place the 37½-inch lumber between the top and bottom plate. Two will go on the ends of the 48-inch lumber and the other two will go on the lines you drew in Step 1. Secure these with the 2½-drywall screws.

  3. Place the frame you just built on its side. Next, place the 48-by-42-inch plywood on the frame. Secure it with the 1¼-inch drywall screws. Stand the wall up and place it against the back of the cabinet that is the location of the raised bar. Secure it to the cabinet from inside of the cabinet and through its back into the new wall.

  4. Place the 17-inch wide plywood on top of the wall so that 9¾-inches is hanging over the back of the wall. Secure it with the 1¼-inch drywall screws. Next, place the oak plywood on the 17-inch piece and secure it through the bottom of the 17-inch piece and into the oak with the 1¼-inch drywall screws.

  5. Mark one of the 96-inch pieces of oak edging at 48-inches. Cut a 45-degree angle so that the back of the angle is 48-inches long. Repeat this with the other 96-inch oak edging. Drill pilot holes with the 1/16-inch drill bit every 6-inches for the finish nails. Apply wood glue to the edges of the oak plywood and secure the edging to the raised bar top. Measure and cut an 18-inch piece of edging with a 45-degree angle on both ends. Drill pilot holes as before, apply wood glue to the edge of the oak top and secure it with the finish nails.

  6. Install the 48-by-42-by-¼-inch paneling to the wall with the paneling nails. Then do the same with the 4½-inch piece of paneling. Install the 42-inch piece of outside corner on the corner where the two paneling pieces meet with the paneling nails, cut and install the baseboard. Set all the nail heads and fill the holes with putty.

  7. Place the 1-by-12-inch piece of oak on the worktable. Drill countersink holes in the back of the oak at 2-inches from the edges. Then measure in from the edges and make marks at 13¾ and 17¾-inches. Place the carpenter's square on the marks and draw lines across the width of the oak.

  8. Drill countersink holes from the backside and centered between the two lines. Secure the corbels through the back of the oak with the 2½-inch drywall screws at the top of the corbels and the 1¼-inch drywall screws at the bottom. Locate the studs in the new wall under the raised bar top and drill pilot holes through the oak lumber accordingly. Place the corbel assembly against the paneling vertically and the bottom of the raised bar top horizontally.

  9. Tip

    Always clean excess glue immediately with a damp cloth. Allow wood putty to dry per manufacturer's instructions.


    Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children.

    Do not apply paint or stain to the wood bar top without proper ventilation.