Home Theater / Bar Layout Advice Needed! (Pictures Included) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-06-2014, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Been a huge fan of the avs forums for years. Recently moved into a new house and will soon tackle the basement. Need some help with the layout of my future home theater and bar. At first I was looking at making a dedicated home theater but then figured the room would be more open and more guest friendly if I were to incorporate a bar/ game room instead. Also will allow for more seating.

Here is the floor plan of my basement, I`ve put a red perimeter to designate the man cave area. I`ve also included some pictures of various views of my basement in its current state. Perhaps this will help. I`d like my man cave to have a dry bar (no additional plumbing) and I will be getting a large screen tv (60ish inches) as the everyday game watcher. Also planning on having a 100+ inches of acoustically transparent screen to fall in front of the tv for movies.

I am currently stuck as I do not know where to place my TV/Screen, couches and bar. Obviously I would want to have a view on the tv from the bar.

Any ideas??


basement.png


Looking at the above floor plan, this is a view from the NW Corner (click to view larger):


SW Corner (click to view larger):


NE Corner (click to view larger):


SE Corner (click to view larger):
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-06-2014, 08:29 PM
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With a space of that size, instead of trying to view the projector from the bar area, just hang a display there and connect it to the same source(s). You'll be happier with a fixed AT screen, speakers and projector all positioned for movies. Throw the 60" TV or whatever closer to the bar. On "game day" you could have multiple screens (and games!) showing. Nothing says "AV man cave" better than multiple displays. biggrin.gif

People joke that I have too many TVs in the house. My reply is that there is no place where you can see more than one screen at a time, so no, I don't have too many. wink.gif

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post #3 of 25 Old 01-07-2014, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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The issue at hand here isnt really the number of displays... I have no idea where to put the screen or tv.. bar and even the furniture. As for the multiple displays.. I dont hate the idea.. I just dont want to put too many hours on the projector bulb hence why I want a large screen tv to do the heavy lifting on a daily basis and use the projector for specific events or for movie watching.
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-07-2014, 01:03 PM
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While I agree with Jautor about how you can never have too many displays and that you'll like a fixed screen better, I can appreciate wanting to save the wear and tear on your PJ bulb. I'm currently in that some boat, but right now I have a 100" fixed non-AT Onyx screen on my main viewing wall with a 55" plasma that is on a rolling stand that I move in front of the screen when it's just me watching casual tv...thus part of the reason for the name of my current basement renovation...The Sanford & Son Build. My project is more of an open media room/theater with bar & pool table, much like it sounds like you want yours to be.

Unfortunately, my space is much more broken up than yours is...I'd love to have your space as a blank canvas. My two cents after looking at your floor plan would be to frame over/blockout the window on the right end of the "man cave" designated area and mount your 60" and drop down screen there. At 12.6' wide you should be able to get a good 120" drop down screen in there comfortably since you plan on it being acoustically transparent and don't have to worry about leaving room for speakers. From what I know, just be sure you go with a good tensioned screen to avoid wrinkles. You'll definitely have to spend a little more for a good electric tensioned drop down screen over a fixed screen, but at least it will give you the flexibility you're looking for.

From there, moving towards the left side of the room from the screen, you have space to have two rows of theater seating using risers -or- a nice sectional unit if you're keeping it casual. You can build and in-wall A/V cabinet under the stairs where you'll have access to wiring. I would certainly consider a snack ledge type bar with stools directly behind your seating in addition to having a wet bar on the far left wall. Since that is right next to your water heater and sump, you could easily and inexpensively plumb it for a simple bar sink at minimum. Just having a sink is convenient for ice and rinsing glasses, etc.. I don't know how elaborate you plan to get with your bar build, but you have plenty of room no matter how you decide to go. There are definitely plenty of good bar threads on AVS to check out in that regard.

Back to Jautor's point, I would definitely put at minimum a 32"-37" TV in the bar area in addition to your 60"/PJ on the other end of the room. 37 feet is a long room, and by adding another screen in the bar you'll create a nice atmosphere down there. Looking down the long length of the room will be better for viewing and speaker placement throughout. It's really about the only way I can visualize it being finished, since 12'8" doesn't give you much throw distance for a PJ anyway to project on either of the long walls. By the way, how high is your ceiling down there?

If you want to check out what's going on in my similar renovation, check out my build thread. Good Luck!
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1506118/the-sanford-son-basement-redux-home-theater-build
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-07-2014, 01:41 PM
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With the layout of the room, you might also consider a very large flat panel (80") for your primary display... Especially if this will be a primary TV / sports-watching area.

(and keep the 37"+ bar display regardless! biggrin.gif )

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post #6 of 25 Old 01-08-2014, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't hate the idea of having my screen, tv on the extreme right wall and having two rows of theater seating. Obviously given the shape of the room, its a no brainer. The issue with that is I'm looking for a home theater/game room effect. I wanna use the room not only to watch movies or games.. but to entertain as well. I`d like the seating to somewhat face each other. Also, I currently already have two large couches that are fairly recent and in good shape. I don't think it`ll go over well with the misses if I ask her to scrap the couches we have to buy different ones.

Adding to my layout issues, one of the couches is a large L shape sectional, as seen here:



And the other couch being a more conventional although large sofa as seen here:


I don't know how to place both couches without cutting overall room flow and actual walking room.

I`m going to get the full measurements of the couches and then try to elaborate floor plan with couches drawn to size.
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post #7 of 25 Old 01-08-2014, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are two layout options that I`ve considered. Problem is, both scenarios involve being quite close to the screen / tv. I also feel as though I giving up too much real estate for the bar area. Haven`t decided yet on the bar layout, figured I`d start off with the Media area first and then make do with what space was left.

Both layouts show walls, openings and couches drawn to scale.

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post #8 of 25 Old 01-09-2014, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Using a variant of layout option 1, I added possible bar and seating placement. Two possible options, the first using a bistro set for additional and conversational seating. The second option using a familiar ``sofa bar`` and seating I`ve often seen on various websites. I`d like to get your input as to which would be ideal. I`m also undecided un the final speaker placement. I would be looking at a 7.1 system with two additional in ceiling speakers meant for the tv/bar area. Are these speakers overkill?

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post #9 of 25 Old 01-10-2014, 10:30 AM
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I like the bottom layout on the last image you posted (with the snack ledge/bar behind the sectional)...you're onto something there and that is kinda what I was envisioning when I first saw your space. Is your sectional permanently setup with the "wing" on the right side or can it be moved to the left? If moveable, you could pull the whole sectional in a foot or two closer to the screen. Looks like right now that sectional viewing distance is about 17-18'...not too bad if you're able to do a 120" screen or so, but a little far if you have to go smaller on your screen.

Are you planning on putting cabinets behind your bar? If so, you'll close up some of that open space between the bar and screen/seating because you'll need more room for the bar. Also, are you planning on a bar in the conventional sense or a "bar area?" I'm going with this kind of cabinet/bar table setup in my bar area...a little more practical for entertaining/family stuff than the bar I'd ultimately like to build, but I'm happy with it. My cabinets are different than this pic (will have a 40"+ TV between the upper wall cabinets) but you get the idea.



I'd try to keep the speakers in the bar if possible...not overkill to me.

I like where you're headed BigMike!
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-10-2014, 10:34 AM
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Also forgot to mention...you'll want your right/left surrounds to be more of a 90 degree angle from your primary viewing area (even a little behind) instead of out in front. Rears should be equal distance from viewer as the sides. By your rough layout it looks like your side surrounds are a little too far out in front.

You probably already knew that (if so, sorry wink.gif) but you never know how much someone knows on here so it's better to always state the obvious. LOL
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post #11 of 25 Old 01-10-2014, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I probably will put some floor cabinets behind the actual bar.. no upper cabinets as this spot will be ideal for tv placement. I`ll fit in a mini fridge as well. I highly doubt that with room under the bar and the floor cabinets on the opposite side, I`ll be needing any more storage. I dont think I will opt for an actual wet bar. Seems like too much plumbing for the times that I will be needing it. I wont be far from bathroom anyways if ever I need water. If ever I want to make changes to the room for whatever reason, it`ll be a headache I dont want to deal with.

As for the sectional, unfortunately I can`t reverse the side of the L shape. I agree that having the long section on the wall side would be optimal. As for distance from the screen, I dont have much of a choice.. if I move the sectional any closer, it cuts access to the adjacent rooms as well decrease walking room between couches. For screen size, I think 100 inches would be good. It would give whoever`s sitting on the brown couch somewhat of a decent view..

I agree that speaker placement needs to be improved. I didnt pay much attention to placement when doing the drawing. Still unsure about the second speaker zone around the bar area. Seems like overkill considering the proximity of the area to the other speakers. I`ll post an improved drawing sometime later tonight.
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post #12 of 25 Old 01-10-2014, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Well after a few additions and tweaks, the room is beginning to take shape. I changed speaker placement, added lower cabinets opposite to main bar, along with mini fridge. Sometime tomorrow, I`ll start moving things around the basement and placing furniture as per the plan. See if I like the flow and feel of it all. I`ll take some pics and share. If I like what I see, I think the next step will be lighting.

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post #13 of 25 Old 01-11-2014, 06:53 AM
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Big mike- any interest in rotating the bar 90 degrees so it is on the North? wall? Then those 4 people can also view the big screen at the end of the room without turning much-
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post #14 of 25 Old 01-11-2014, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is an improved version of the layout. I rotated the position of the bar to allow easier screen viewing as per Husker`s comments. I also added the bottom left area of the room for a better overview. Unsure if this should be «my final placement for everything. Debating whether or not I should move the bar closer to the left wall. Perhaps also mounting the bar tv on that wall too. One potential issue I see with the current layout, my lower bar cabinets hinder the base heating found under the window.

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post #15 of 25 Old 01-11-2014, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Cleaned up a bit in the basement and I`ve placed both couches according to the layout. Here a few pics of it could look like. Still unsure if the couches are in their ideal locations.

View from the bar area.



View from the TV/Screen wall




Here is a panorama of it all.

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post #16 of 25 Old 01-11-2014, 01:56 PM
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I like what you've got going here based on Husker's advice...assuming you can find a solution to your base heating/cabinet problem.
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post #17 of 25 Old 01-11-2014, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I`m having a bit of a conundrum. I can`t decide which layout is best, the one I posted earlier today or the one in my post. I`d like to get the input from the community as to which one you guys prefer.


VS
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post #18 of 25 Old 01-11-2014, 06:49 PM
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Personally, if you do a large TV or projector on the top photo....room flows a bit better.

You don't have people potentially walking in front of screen as in #2, and everyone can see the big screen.

The heating element can always be shut off and alternatives used I assume?
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post #19 of 25 Old 01-16-2014, 06:20 AM
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Hi bigmike05,

Sorry for the off topic question, but what app/software did you use to do the floorplans?

Thanks!
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post #20 of 25 Old 01-16-2014, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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The application that I use for floor layouts is sponsored by Urban Barn but powered by Icovia http://urbanbarn.icovia.com/icovia.aspx It's free, it's online and you can save all your floor plans. Once you decide on a basic layout, use the Symbols tab on the left if you don't want to use Urban Barn's products.
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post #21 of 25 Old 01-16-2014, 10:40 AM
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I like #1 (top pic) for layout purposes. It looks like you'll have room under the stairs to run your rack too. Even though its not a dedicated theater, having it at that far end almost makes that space more like one and will likely contain the sound better in the narrow space vs having it generated from the wider one.
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post #22 of 25 Old 01-18-2014, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BasementHT5 View Post

I like #1 (top pic) for layout purposes. It looks like you'll have room under the stairs to run your rack too. Even though its not a dedicated theater, having it at that far end almost makes that space more like one and will likely contain the sound better in the narrow space vs having it generated from the wider one.

Thanks for your input.. I am leaning towards layout option 1. I`m going to start running wiring sometime this week. Cat6 and RG6 for now.. waiting for final divisions to be built at the end of the month to get started on dry-walling.
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post #23 of 25 Old 01-26-2014, 10:15 PM
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I actually like the pic in post 12 the best instead of turning the bar sideways. I know your customers sitting at the bar won't be able to see the big screen, but its also 30' away and they will have the TV in the bar. Plus if you have a game on both screens, everyone will be up and moving around to get snacks and drinks and socialize.
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post #24 of 25 Old 01-27-2014, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input. The bar would be much easier to set up if it were in a corner. I think I will make the final decision once the drywall is up. The placement of the bar isn't that problematic in terms of wiring.. 1 rg6 for the cable box.
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It's been a while since my last update. Finally got around at installing the in wall sound proofing and gypsum. Most of the basement has 1/2 inch thick light weight gypsum panels except for the two main walls that connect with the stairs. Although sound proofing will mainly involve the ceiling/first floor, I saw fit to include this wall given its proximity with the main room. I used 6inch thick owens corning pink insulation covered by heavy 5/8 gypsum.

With the gypsum install coimplete, the plastering is now in progress.

Gypsum/insulation in progress



(Same wall) Finally! Plastering has begun, room is taking shape.

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