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Bridger Steel Project News, Highlights & Helpful Tips

DIY Kitchen Island With Corrugated Metal

[fa icon="calendar"] 07/30/2015 / by Katie Smith

When you walk into Jim Greenbaum’s house in Manhattan, MT, his personality bleeds through every corner. From the surfboard hanging on the living room wall to the electric guitar, microphone, and amp in the corner, everything is uniquely his style. “I think a home should smell like coffee and home cooking when you walk in,” Jim tells us. “It makes people feel more at home.”

The house is Jim’s own design built in 2005. Acting as the general contractor, he and a crew added every detail — from the large picture windows in the living room to the light, airy kitchen. Since then, Jim has been adding personal details as time goes on. Most recently, he began experimenting with galvanized corrugated metal to create a unique and durable kitchen island and accent below his living room windows.

Corrugated Metal BarThis corrugated metal bar with 1-1/4 x 1/4 Galvanized Corrugated panels was the first interior metal project Jim attempted in his house.

“Recently, a friend of mine was at Bridger Steel getting his materials for a metal roofing and siding project. I went with him and when I walked inside the showroom I was so impressed with all the applications of the different corrugated metal materials," explains Jim.  

“I thought to myself, ‘I’d love to do something in my house and create a textured look with the corrugated metal. I’ve got the wood, I’ve got the granite, but I don’t have the metal look,’” he recalls.

While Jim has plenty of construction experience, he had never worked with corrugated metal before.  When he decided his first project would be the kitchen island, he went back to the Bridger Steel showroom to talk with the experts. “Definitely talk to the guys at Bridger Steel before your start your project, and get the best tools for the job,” Jim advises new DIYers.

Corrugated Metal BarJim recorded his process from demolition to completion, adding pillars with granite and tile as well as the metal accents.

To begin the DIY project, he first built out the sides of the kitchen bar with plywood and added granite and tile pieces to frame the metal. The area was originally sheet rocked, which he ripped out so he could attach the pieces with the fasteners from Bridger Steel instead of searching for studs. “It was a lot more work, but it was worthwhile to build out and start fresh,” explains Jim.

To replace the sheet rock, he chose 1-1/4 x 1/4  Galvanized Corrugated Metal 28ga with a contrasting black 1/2” J-Metal trim. “I like the art deco aspect and the light gauge,” he says. Since this was his first project with corrugated metal, he decided to use the lightest gauge available to make it easier to cut and bend around the corners.  

Even with the lighter gauge, Jim still came across challenges with his first project, including bending the metal corners around the radiator panel at the bottom of the bar. This encouraged him to come up with creative solutions like the striking band of black metal in the center. “It was difficult for me, having no experience with corrugated metal. I added the black trim down the middle to split things up and make it easier,” he says.

Corrugated Metal Bar

Jim poses by the finished corrugated metal bar, which is now a beautiful conversation piece and addition to his house.

Jim’s choice of the bright and reflective galvanized corrugated metal paired with the rich black trim creates a stunning focal point with clean lines that play off the ample light in the kitchen. He is pleased with the results of his corrugated kitchen bar.

“The metal work fits in extremely well with the design of the house,” he says. “I have a lot of people say ‘Wow, I love what you’re doing.  I never would have thought metal could be used for interior.’” Jim used the left over corrugated metal as accents under his living room windows and plans to tie it into other areas of the house.

One area he is keen to tackle is behind his wood stove, perhaps this time moving up to a heavier gauge metal and a wider corrugation now that he’s got some experience under his belt. “Metal fits in with any decor,” says Jim. “I wish I had known about it earlier. I would have planned things differently and used metal from the start.”

Jim encourages others who want to try adding metal accents to their own homes to work with Bridger Steel. “Anybody who’s looking forward to doing this project should come to Bridger Steel and get advice from the guys in the show room.” 

The team at Bridger Steel is always happy to show anyone who is new to metal working how to add a touch of steel to a home. Whether its a corrugated kitchen bar or full accent wall, our team of experts can help you find the perfect panel profile and color/finish for your home.

Need some inspiration? Read 5 ways to update your home with corrugated metal to get some inspired for your next DIY project. 

Topics: Interior Metal, DIY

Katie Smith

Written by Katie Smith