DIY Network

Installing a Banquette: Preparation and Building the Base

Here's how to get started if you want to install a fun, functional eating area in the kitchen. Learn to install a banquette yourself with these easy steps.

More in Kitchen

building base of a banquette
  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prepare the Area

Before you begin your project, you need to determine the layout. Computer programs are available that can create a 3-D image to give you an idea of what the finished project will be.

Gather all the tools and materials you will need for the job a day or two before the weekend.

Measure your space, going from angle to angle. Also, measure the height of your chairs for the placement for your bench top. This way your knees won't be hitting the top of the table once it is in place.

Remove the existing baseboard using a utility knife and a prybar; and remove the floor register laying over the air vent.

Step 2: Prepare the Sleepers for the Base

Prime all the finish wood trim. Cut out all the 2" x 4's that you need to create the sub floor base. Notch one 2" x 4' for each end (Image 1) to allow for the power outlets you will move later on.

Stand the 2 x 4' sleepers on the edge and toenail them to the floor with a nail gun (Image 2). Countersink any nails that are sticking out because they can affect the way your plywood will attach to the front.

Step 3: Redirect the Floor Register

Once the sleepers for the base are in, you need to redirect the floor register. A premade vent was found to fit the hole, but it was not long enough to come all the way out to the edge of the seat. To lengthen the vent, use ductwork extension (Image 1). It is a good idea to tape the ductwork all the way out to the register to keep moisture from getting into the wood.

Tip: If you alter any ductwork in your heating system, you could dramatically lessen the efficiency of the overall system. Consult a heat and air expert before you make a change that could end up costing more in the end.

use ductwork extension to lengthen vent

Step 4: Secure the Vent

Apply silicone to the floor around the air vent hole, set the vent in place and secure it with wood screws.

set vent in place and secure

Step 5: Remove and Prepare the Outlets

For any outlets that are along the wall where the seating will go, you need to move them. This is the reason for notching out the 2" x 4's. Once the outlets are moved, you can put a top on the base. You do not need to move the outlets themselves, it is just as easy to run new ones. Turn off the power to the outlets after checking to see if the electrical line is fed from above. Remove the outlet covers and then drill a hole with a paddle bit below where the top of the base will be (Image 1).

Feed the non-metallic building electrical wire through the box and out the new hole (Image 2).

At the wall connect the ground wires together. Attach the white wire to the silver terminal and the black wire to the brass terminal of the outlet.
Allowing for the thickness of the 2" x 4' base, attach a new box in the notched out 2" x 4' (Image 3). Cap off the hot and neutral wires and place them back in the box.

Step 6: Make Measurements For the Top of the Base

For the top of the base, begin by measuring from the outside edge to the first corner against the wall. Then measure from the outside edge to the corner of what will be the front of the banquette. Transfer these measurements to the plywood and make your first cut. Make sure the first piece is square to the wall and nail it in place. Set the next piece of plywood in place and mark the front and back edge of the angle of the cut. Proceed this way all around the base.

nail first square in place