My wet bar is mostly done at this point. There were a few setbacks but nothing that money can’t solve.
The first issue we ran into was that the floor is very, very uneven in that corner of the basement. On the order of a couple of inches drop over just over 12 feet. This required a great deal of work to make the floor appear more level.
First, the contractors applied floor leveler. Floor leveler is a special kind of underlayer that gets put down before actual flooring. The leveler is put on the floor and flows till level (I’m simplifying but that’s the general idea).
After the floor was leveled, there was still a significant gap between one end of the bar and the other. The cabinet installers compensated by shimming the cabinets at different levels. They hid the shims behind the toe kick. If you look closely at this picture, you can see how much taller the toe kicks are on the left side of the photo than they are on the right.
These floor leveling problems lead to another problem. After the cabinets were installed, the tile guys had to do another round of leveling so that they could install our large (24″x24″) tiles. This meant that the dishwasher slot “lost” an inch of height on the right side, and half an inch on the left side. This also meant that my KitchenAid dishwasher wouldn’t fit anymore.
The solution here was to buy a new dishwasher. Standard dishwashers require a 34″ tall opening but thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there exist ADA compliant dishwashers. I don’t know the specifics as to why this is more accessible, but ADA compliant dishwashers are not as tall and have more options for adjustability. Unfortunately, there are fewer options and only one American company makes one, GE sells a rebranded Danby as an ADA dishwasher.
To get a dishwasher that fit, I looked at Bosch, Asko and Miele. Bosch has very long delivery times, and I didn’t like the way the racks worked in the Asko. This lead me to get a Miele. Unfortunately, this also cost me about $250 more. The Miele only comes in a fully integrated model which means I had to buy a panel separately. On the plus side, Miele makes nice dishwashers and it’ll still be super quiet which was a must. I am disappointed that KitchenAid doesn’t make one.
Here’s a picture of the final wet bar: