By Davina Barkley. Wine Cellar Types. Published at Thursday, May 31st, 2018 - 10:29:22 AM.
Things to Consider Before Building: A custom built wine cellar in the home is not as difficult an undertaking, nor as formidable an expense as you might fear initially. Ideal storage conditions for wine are simple, the bottles must be stored in a vibration free dark environment, lying horizontally and undisturbed, the temperature a constant 52 - 57 degrees Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees centigrade), and relative humidity no less than 70 percent. Where shall we put it? If one had the freedom (or luxury) of being able to carry out structural alterations (or even better, build from scratch), our personal preference would be a location with easy access from the living or dining room, preferably the former.
Wall, Ceiling & Floor Coverings: What type of finishing materials should be used? There are certain ones not to use, but what it really comes down to is a matter of taste and budget. The cellar usually has a decor theme that is carried throughout the interior. The walls and ceilings are often covered with drywall and then plastered or painted (when painting only use a latex covering). If drywall is used we recommend that a waterproof drywall be used for added protection. Cedar, Redwood and other wood coverings can be applied to the walls and ceiling, usually in a tongue and grove application. This can provide a uniform look to the cellar especially when the racking material is the same wood as the wall and ceiling coverings. Stone, granite or even ceramic tiles can be used as wall covering material.
Doors & Lighting: Two more elements that can have an effect on the environment of a cellar are doors and lighting. Doors must be of an exterior grade with a full weather stripping. If a cooling unit is being installed, without the weather seal the cellar will not maintain its proper humidity or temperature levels. This is the most common problem with cooling units running continually. Solid core doors, or doors with glass inserts, make sure the glass is double thermo pane and tempered, are used most often.
A dumb waiter saves your back, and with advancing age this is solid medical advice! Industrial strength insulation is essential, even for below ground cellars. The standard material used is four to six inch thick polystyrene or polyurethane sheets, aluminum clad on both sides. Insulate all six surfaces, meaning four walls, ceiling and floor, even if your cellar rests on solid earth. The cold room contractor who advises that it is not necessary to insulate the floor because it rests on solid earth does not know what he is talking about and should be avoided. Heat absorbed by the ground during the day goes through the earth and rises through the floor.
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