Planning Around Utilities During a Kitchen Remodel

Photo by: Don Dudenbostel

Don Dudenbostel

Planning Utilities

If you are going to keep the layout of a new kitchen similar to that of the old one, this will cut down on a lot of work. However, in most cases some rerouting of utilities will be necessary. The main issues to consider are outlined below.

Natural Gas or Propane

Consider whether the position of any existing gas pipes needs rerouting or adjusting. When purchasing new gas appliances, check where the connections are. In some situations, the supply pipes may need to be converted. Ask an appliance installer or other qualified professional to hook up new gas appliances.


A kitchen sink needs hot- and cold-water supplies, to be connected to its faucets and a waste pipe. It makes sense to locate it close to the dishwasher for plumbing considerations.

Kitchens are full of electrical appliances, large and small. As well as standard outlets above the countertops for coffeemakers, toasters, and blenders, large appliances may need to be connected to special outlets that run 220 volts.

Lighting should be planned to combine general illumination with directed task lighting above sinks and food preparation areas. As well as ceiling lights, wall cabinets and range hoods can have lighting installed underneath.

Once you have designed your layout, use it to plan how to reroute the electrical wiring. Any rewiring is most easily carried out after an old kitchen has been removed and before the new one is installed. In most places you can do the rewiring yourself, but always check with your local planning department or electrician.


A kitchen sink needs hot- and cold-water supplies, to be connected to its faucets, and a waste pipe. Dishwashers also need to be plumbed in, and their supply and waste pipes are often extended from the sink plumbing. Therefore, it makes sense to keep them close together, if possible. Waste pipes are particularly difficult to extend, because they must run at a gradient. If you alter waste pipes you may need to notify your local building inspector.

Installing a New Kitchen

When remodeling a kitchen, consider the order in which you complete each task. Below is an example of a typical work strategy, but there must always be some flexibility built into the work schedule, depending on design elements.

Initially, you will need to remove the old kitchen, but you should take into account such issues as how you will maintain a water supply during renovation work and how you will deal with cooking and bathing needs.

Order of Work for Refurbishing a Kitchen:

1. Reroute electrical wiring, if necessary

2. Reroute plumbing, including gas pipes, if necessary

3. Complete structural work on walls, ceilings, and floors

4. Install base cabinets then wall cabinets

5. Install countertops and backsplash

6. Install sink and plumbing fixtures

7. Install stove (or separate stove and oven)

8. Install exhaust fan

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