One of the most common rooms in the house to remodel is the kitchen. After all, it’s a special place in the home where family comes together to eat meals and catch up on the events of their day.
The kitchen is often referred to as the hub of the home. But a fast-paced lifestyle often leads to relying on take-out food, reducing the opportunity of conversation and preparing meals together.
However, the ease of working in a remodeled kitchen may mean you’re more likely to spend additional time cooking healthier meals together.
Regardless of the time you plan to spend in your renovated kitchen, you probably have a checklist you need to work through – first of which is plumbing. Here are some important plumbing factors to consider.
Consider the New Kitchen Layout
A kitchen remodel brings many decisions, with the first addressing the layout of the existing space. If the kitchen renovation includes expanding the space, there are often changes to make to the existing layout.
Whether you’ve decided on an expanded layout and design, or are merely updating the existing function flow, you will probably need to reroute or upgrade a lot of the utilities. This will also include replacing old plumbing and gas lines (if applicable) to meet current codes.
A professional contractor should be able to identify the plumbing changes that will be necessary. A qualified plumber can review the blueprints to discuss locating a shutoff valve for all the water, as well as isolated shutoffs for the sink, dishwasher and perhaps even the refrigerator.
Types of Plumbing Material
Code requirements are likely to be a determining factor on whether most of your plumbing is going to be plastic (i.e. PVC, CPVC, PEX) or metal (i.e. copper piping, stainless steel or cast iron). Many homes used to have galvanized steel – especially those built between the 1930’s and 1980’s. Updates to coding regulations may mean piping upgrades.
Piping options available have their pros and cons, though it’s likely your plumber will use a mixture of PVC and copper or stainless-steel piping (or even chrome plated copper) in your kitchen. PVC is inexpensive, and often used for drainage, but since it can’t handle hot water, you may want to choose PEX piping instead, which is very versatile.
Plumbing Your Kitchen Sink
If you’re simply replacing your sink rather than moving it, then plumbing may be easier. In fact, a simple kitchen sink and faucet update can make a world of difference to the appearance in the kitchen.
Options to consider for a new sink include an under-mount, top mount, corner, or double basin sink, or one of the many other types. Depending on the sink you choose, you may need to adjust the arrangement and height of the plumbing. You may also consider the installation of a garbage disposal, water filter and even a water heater if necessary.
Whether you connect to existing piping or add new pipes will depend on the quality, location and material of your existing plumbing. If you are changing from a simple wall sink to an island sink, that will require more work and extensive underfloor piping.
Standard Dishwasher or Drawer Dishwasher
Installing a standard, compact, drawer or even a counter top dishwasher also requires some decisions as to the model you choose. Ideally, the dishwasher should be located near the sink because it can use the same water supply and main drainage pipe. However, you’ll also need access to a power supply.
Most free-standing dishwashers are easy to install yourself, but if you intend on using a built-in or integrated dishwasher which are fixed into position, you’ll likely need the assistance of an experienced plumber to ensure it is connected properly and fits in nicely with your countertop and cupboards.
Plumbing Needs for Refrigerator and Freezer Choices
While most people don’t consider the need for a water supply for their refrigerator, it’s become common for many models to include chilled water and ice dispensers. If this is the case, you should clearly map out where your fridge will be located when planning the plumbing, so it has access to a water supply.
If you have a self-defrosting freezer you probably won’t need access to a drainage point, as they’re designed to cycle and periodically melt small amounts of ice that eventually evaporate in a drip tray. However, a manual defrosting freezer will require drainage, so locate it near a sink or drainage point where it can be easily accessed with a hose.
Other Kitchen Plumbing Considerations
Cold winters in Michigan often lead to freezing pipes. Consider locating plumbing away from exterior walls, or at the least improve insulation to prevent pipes from freezing.
While many kitchen renovation projects can be costly, the newer, more energy-efficient appliances and water efficient faucets can result in saving money on water and electricity in the long run.
Finally, you may find a pretty faucet in your local home builder store that seems affordable. But, the durability and quality of contractor grade materials can lead to peace of mind – in addition to warranties that may not be included with store bought items. A plumber familiar with remodeling requirements can advise on high-quality materials that will last.
Whether you intend on attempting the kitchen remodeling yourself, or plan to hire a contractor, a licensed plumber should install the plumbing. He is qualified to pull the correct permits, provide quality installation, and make sure the work passes inspection.
For all your plumbing questions, including a no obligation quote, please feel free to contact us at Naugle Plumbing & Heating at (517) 423-3121.