Kitchen tap plumbing

How to plan successful kitchen plumbing within your new kitchen design

Island kitchen plumbing

Careful consideration of kitchen plumbing is essential, and especially if you are intending on installing a kitchen island.

Whatever kitchen plumbing requirements you have for your new kitchen design, it is advisable to establish these at the onset of your kitchen planning. In so-doing, you can establish a design that feasibly accommodates kitchen plumbing needs, avoiding the disappointment of a kitchen that will not work further down the line. Plumbing needs for your new kitchen may prove quite complex as you will have hot and cold water feed pipes, drainage pipes, drainage connections to your ‘soil’ pipe, and possibly also plumbing requirements for a heating system.

How to plan for kitchen feed pipes

Hot and cold ‘feeds’ are the pipework that deliver pressured water to your kitchen tap and other appliances such as a washing machine, or a refrigerator with option for chilled water.

Kitchen plumbing for appliances

Kitchen plumbing for appliances: Hot and cold ‘feeds’ deliver pressured water to your kitchen tap and other appliances.

It is important to know the particulars of your water pressure as some kitchen taps and washing machines require a minimum pressure for them to work.  If you are worried your water pressure is low then it is wise to have a plumber test it and if necessary they can recommend ways to improve it.  In terms of how the feeds will affect the design of your kitchen, these pipes are relatively small, (usually less than 28mm); they typically run in tandem, and are located either behind the kitchen units bracketed to the wall, or else run beneath the floor.  If you are installing your kitchen as part of an extension then the process is usually quite straightforward.

Compact kitchen plumbing systems

Compact kitchen plumbing systems below flooring or beneath a sink free up kitchen space that can be used for storage.

 However, if you are contemplating fitting your sink within a kitchen island then careful attention should be given during the planning stage to work out how the feeds/pipes will be concealed within your floor. Similarly, if your new kitchen is being fitted within an existing space then pipe location may depend on the floor material in place, and you might need to budget for a builder to create a channel in the floor, as well as replace the floor covering.  If you live in an apartment it is strongly advisable to check in advance of any works whether you will require freeholder or management company consent for this.


How to plan for kitchen drainage systems

Kitchen plumbing advice

Planning your kitchen plumbing properly will ensure suitable and working drainage, essential for any kitchen.

Whilst water is delivered into your kitchen under pressure, it will usually (unless a pumped system is installed) only leave the kitchen by way of gravity, and so may need some assistance to help it drain away.  Substantially larger than feed pipes, drainage pipes are fitted at an angle called a ‘fall’ to facilitate this.  Your sink, washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher will typically all need connecting to drainage pipes, and the drainage pipe must connect to the soil stack or external foul drain.  Take note of where these are located as if unable to conceal a pipe that connects to them, it may affect whether your intended kitchen design will work.


Appliance kitchen plumbing

Kitchen appliances such as this raised dishwasher must include efficient kitchen plumbing, connected to a drainage pipe. 

In most circumstances the drainage pipe can be concealed behind kitchen units but the exception to this is (again) if intending to fit your sink within an Island.   If the vertical space permits a workable fall then you will be able to conceal the pipes within your floor.  Ascertaining whether this is possible for an existing building can be difficult so you may want to consult a builder.  However, if you are planning your kitchen within an extension then your architect will be able to help you with this.


How to plan your kitchen heating

Kitchen plumbing systems: an Open flue boiler

Kitchen plumbing systems: an Open flue boiler

If planning for your kitchen to work in conjunction with an existing heating system the first major point to establish is if your boiler is already situated within your kitchen.  Unfortunately, it is not as straightforward to relocate a boiler as many homeowners think (or hope) it will be.  If it is a gas boiler it will have a flue, and this frequently means moving the boiler is expensive or sometimes just not possible at all.  You will also have to consider the pipework for your heating and hot water system as whilst you may wish to conceal these, the valves should remain accessible in case any problems should ever arise.

If planning a new heating system then you must consider what type will be best suited for you and your kitchen.  If you plan to use radiators then how will they work in congruence with your intended kitchen plan? Especially given they can take up a lot of space.  Perhaps a ladder-style radiator that uses up less horizontal wall space may be a better option for you, or else you can find a way to conceal the radiator within the kitchen design.

Kitchen plumbing for heating systems

A  subtle but sleek radiator is in keeping with the  contemporary style of this white kitchen design. Another option is to disguise a radiator within a kitchen island such as this  island with central radiator and bespoke cover.


Underfloor kitchen heating

Underfloor kitchen heating

Underfloor kitchen heating is a heating system that requires kitchen plumbing. 

Another popular heating solution is under-floor heating. This should not impede your kitchen plans at all, except that it is best not to locate it under the intended site of your cooling appliances as the heat exchangers would have to work much harder, reducing efficiency.  If you are planning for other services beneath the floor, such as the plumbing for an island then all of the plumbing should be designed as a single exercise, so as not to encumber one another. 


LWK’s word of advice for kitchen plumbing

In summary our recommendation is to be mindful of kitchen plumbing requirements when first thinking about your new kitchen and establish the feasibility of your design ideas early in the planning process. Naturally your experienced kitchen designer can add real value and assistance to you on this task, and much is possible with sufficient forethought.   Forward planning can help avoid substantial increases in cost that inevitably occur when the design has not been produced with consideration of kitchen plumbing requirements, particularly so if you intend to place a sink or other water-supplied appliances within a kitchen island.


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  1. Katrina says

    Could you please give me your expert opinion on something. We are in the later stages of a large kitchen diner extension that a building firm have completed (just finishing electric switches etc). The old kitchen wall (where the sink was based) has been completely removed and our new layout has moved the sink to a side wall, along with the dishwasher. Our builders sorted out all plumbing to the extension for radiators etc and re-routed the hot and cold pipes into the wall area where our new sink was to go. The kitchen fitter has started fitting the units along that wall but has asked why a waste pipe has not been plumbed in by the builders to fit to the sink and dishwasher. The builders are saying that fitting of the waste pipe should be the responsibility of the “kitchen fitter” but I think they are just unhappy because we didn’t take up their offer of fitting our kitchen. What is your opinion on this? I think the builders should have provided the essential waste piping into the appropriate wall area (alongside the hot and cold pipes) when they were doing the extension but would love a second opinion. Thank you

    • says

      Hi Katrina, I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing this. If it was LWK Kitchens it would be the builders responsibility. We send a post survey letter and a prep guide in advance of all installations to make it clear exactly who is responsible for which works. Are you able to check through all your paperwork and see if you can find this? Hopefully you can find it specified in your T&C’s but from what you have said it does sound like the builder should have provided the plumbing into the correct location as he has done with the electrics/gas and ducting. I hope you get this sorted! Jen

      • Katrina says

        Thank you for your reply – we are of the same opinion. I feel the builders are being uncooperative because we asked someone else to do the kitchen fitting. All getting sorted though – thank you again.

        • says

          It’s a real shame that has happened and tainted your experience; I am glad to hear it is being put right now though and fingers crossed you will love the end result!

  2. Kerryanne short says

    Hello I have jyst had an extension put on the side of my house and would like the kitchen to be in this i have an oil arga connected but that’s it I have no more plumbing. how would I go about this.

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