How to Build a Breakfast Bar

Open up a kitchen and add storage with an open breakfast bar backed by cabinets.


Tools and Materials:

2x4 lumber
plywood or MDF
contact adhesive
roller for adhesive
DAP Wellwood contact adhesive
three base cabinets
laminate for countertop
matching edge banding
tape measure
reciprocating saw


  1. Use a utility knife to cut along the corners of the wall and the ceiling. That will stop the drywall from tearing during demolition. Stay away from the line that runs to any outlets on the same perpendicular.
  2. Make an inspection hole to see what wiring is behind the wall. Once you've determined where the studs and electricity are, demo the wall between dining room and kitchen. Consult licensed contractors about re-wiring the electricity and re-directing the duct work (if necessary).
  3. Use a hammer to remove drywall all the way to the floor. Remove any nails in the studs.
  4. Frame in the breakfast bar with 2x4s. Screw the bottom sill into the floor and the stud at the corner into the adjoining stud in the wall. Install drywall on both sides of the frame.
  5. Build the base for the cabinets with 2x4s. Make sure the base is level and drive long screws on a 45-degree angle through the back of the base into the studs behind it.
  6. Set the cabinets in place on the base. Clamp the cabinets up and then screw them into place.
  7. Measure and cut the countertop from plywood. We rounded the corners of the countertop for safety. Use a belt sander to ensure a tight fit against the wall.
  8. Measure and cut the laminate so that it extends one inch over the edge of the plywood on the sides and open end. Lay the laminate upside down on the countertop. Wipe it down with a damp rag to get rid of any dust, then remove it.
  9. Use a roller and brush to put a thin, even coat of contact adhesive on the plywood all the way to the edges. If the adhesive is too thick in places, it will not dry or hold the plywood and laminate together.
  10. Add a thin, even coat of contact adhesive to the laminate.
  11. Place dowels over counter top. Lay the laminate over the dowels, making sure it does not touch anything other than the dowels.
  12. Starting at one end, pull the dowels out one at a time, allowing the laminate to fall onto the plywood. As each dowel comes out, roll out any air bubbles and make sure there is even contact between the laminate and the plywood all the way to the edges.
  13. Trim the edges of the laminate off with a router, then apply edge banding with contact adhesive and a roller.
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