Plumbing tips for kitchen renovations

Many people don't think about their plumbing needs when doing a kitchen renovation.  Plumbing is a necessary component in any kitchen renovation and the following are a few plumbing tips to ensure you have a great functional space.

1. Don't change the plumbing

If you want to save money, keep the plumbing in the same area.  With the sink waste and water services left in the same position, you can save on labour costs to chaise or saw cut the concrete to change the drainage.  Water services are run in the walls, so these can be easily changed during rough in.  But generally, keeping the sink in the same position will prevent a budget blow out and solve plumbing headaches.  Demolition of a kitchen usually starts with the plumber isolating the water and waste services to the existing sink and appliances.  If the kitchen is to be a new design, the plumber will need to come back after demolition to rough in the services to suit the new kitchen layout.  The plumber doesn't come back to site until all the cabinetry is in, the sink has been cut into the benchtop and sink holes have been drilled into the bench/sink, ready for tap installation.

2. Place the dishwasher next to the sink

The dishwasher should always get installed next to the sink under the drainer side of the sink.  For some layouts, this may not be possible, but it's the ideal installation to ensure an easy installation for the hoses and practicality for when you load dirty dishes from the sink to the dishwasher.  Extending the water connections and hoses leaves room for pipe bursts, plus they incur extra costs to install.

3. Measure twice!

Measure your appliances twice for your new kitchen cabinetry.  Appliance retailers always say that dishwashers are a standard size which majority are, but there are subtle difference in a lot of models that can put a spanner in the works if the space allocated doesn't fit your chosen dishwasher.  Measure twice, and you can't go wrong.

4. Choose the right sink

Choosing the right sink will depend on the look and functionality of your kitchen.  One scenario is to have a double bowl sink for double duty; one bowl for washing and rinsing and another for draining or available use when the other bowl is occupied.  If you choose to have an additional filtered water tap and decide for these taps to be installed into the kitchen sink, ensure there is enough landing for the 35-40mm hole so your mixer tap can be installed.  Alternatively, these taps can be installed in the benchtop but your cabinet maker will need to know the size of your mixer tap and location where the holes should be positioned.

5.  Think about the best sink position

The sink position is a matter of preference.  A sink in the middle of an island bench can make the bench look cluttered but it may be where the existing plumbing is.  A sink near the window allows for natural light and can be less cumbersome, allowing the island bench to be clear.  It also needs to be practical for ease of use.

6.  The biggest mixer may not be the best mixer!

There are many mixers to choose from.  Unless you love the look of a commercial veggie mixer and have the right bench support to hold the weight of such a mixer, then go for a standard middle of the range sink mixer.  There are many retractable kitchen mixers available which are affordable and won't look too commercial.  A standard kitchen mixer is easier to replace when it has done it's time too.  They don't last forever!

7.  Allow enough water connections

If your fridge has a water filter and ice maker, ensure it is placed in an area where the water from the sink can be run to the fridge.  Other areas to consider water points for are dishwashers, filtered water taps, butler's pantry and hot/chilled water units.

8.  Consider if a food waste disposal unit is a must have

A food waste disposal requires a larger sink drain outlet, which means be careful when choosing your type of sink.  

9.  Get an isolation tap under the kitchen sink

Consider getting the plumber to install an isolation tap under the sink so that the water to the kitchen can be isolated at any time if needed.  This is convenient if you have a flexi hose burst or leak from the dishwasher and need to turn the water off quickly.


While the plumbing is a small component to a kitchen renovation, it's vital to get it right to ensure your new kitchen is functional for everyday use.