7 Kitchen Renovation Plumbing Tips

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Few things are more daunting than making changes to your kitchen. A full blown renovation… Well, that’s a whole new world of challenges. But in the end, it’s all worth it.

When you are tackling a kitchen renovation, you want your plumbing to be a focal point. Efficient kitchen plumbing is crucial to enjoyment, usability and functionality. It should not be forgotten just because you can’t see it.

So, with that in mind, here are 7 kitchen renovation plumbing tips to consider.

1. Try Not to Change Existing Plumbing

You can save quite a few headaches, and dollars, by leaving your plumbing layout alone. Utilising the existing plumbing will be advantageous in terms of time and money.

For example, moving the sink means you will likely have to dig up floors to move plumbing and pipework. Those costs can quickly add up due to equipment, labour and parts. Yet if you keep existing plumbing and water points where they are, you can use the money saved on other special features or appliances.

2. Create Enough Plumbing Connections

Now, there is one good exception to changing your current plumbing layout during a renovation; creating enough plumbing connections.

The last thing you want is to be left in need of additional plumbing connections and water points for the future. One great way to plan ahead is by considering your needs and those of future buyers.

Sure, perhaps you don’t want a dishwasher, but a potential buyer would. A dishwasher provision would be an expectation, and so could a water point for a fridge. If both can be built into existing kitchen plumbing easily, it’s a good choice.

3. Go For Function, Not Just Style

When you’re starting from scratch, forget style and look at practicality first. One of the best ways to achieve that is starting with the kitchen work triangle.

The work triangle is an ideal layout promoting workspace flow with the fridge, cooktop/oven and sink all at opposing points. This prevents bottlenecks forming when commonly used appliances are right next to each other.

Also known as a golden triangle, the separation means you can also have appropriate bench space and storage options. With the triangle planned out, you can then think about benchtops, microwave placement, etc.

4. Place the Dishwasher by the Sink

Among all of the plumbing considerations, remember to install the dishwasher by the sink. This way you can build off existing plumbing connections and keep your cleaning-up to one corner of the kitchen.

A dishwasher also requires a hot water supply, cold water supply, drain line and backflow preventer. It’s convenient to have the dishwasher next to the kitchen sink as pipes and hoses can neatly be hidden underneath the sink cavity.

Check Your Pipes

Although one recommendation is to not change any existing plumbing, damaged plumbing is an exception when performing a kitchen remodel. If you have an older home, or have pipes that are compromised for any reason, the best plumbing option could be a fresh start.

Organising a drain inspection is a smart choice if you deal with a recurring blocked kitchen drain. You don’t want to renovate a kitchen with broken or blocked drains and not address the issue when everything is already cleared out.

This is where the expenses can occur, but it’s better to install brand new kitchen plumbing than a few months after renovating. But remember, only replace it if you really have to.

Install a Stop Tap

If you ever have a plumbing emergency in the kitchen, a stop tap will be your best friend. A stop tap is a small tap installed beneath a kitchen sink. You can also find them in bathrooms, often near the sink, toilet and/or shower.

Stop taps allow you to easily isolate the water supply in case of a serious leak or burst pipe. It means you won’t have to turn off the entire home’s water supply, and is especially helpful if you share a water mains connection with other homes.

This is a handy safety guard against damage to your freshly renovated kitchen.

Plan Where Your Power Outlets Are

Finally, do not place power outlets too close to any plumbing fixtures. The last thing you want is an electrical outlet and toaster sitting right next to the kitchen sink.

Map everything out on paper first. You want to have plenty of power options for things like the toaster, microwave, deep fryer, etc. An electric cooktop and oven will also need a power supply. Also consider spots for charging small appliances. You want it to all be practical, and most importantly, dry.


Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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