Text: 618-680-0632

How to Add a Kitchen to Your Basement

Here are six suggestions to help you create the most functional and valuable kitchen in your basement.

A kitchen in your basement can help you convert it into a rental unit, a luxurious guest suite or a more appealing entertaining space. If you’ve ever remodeled a main-level kitchen, you know that there are frequently difficult design choices, construction challenges and a great deal of inconvenience. Basement kitchens necessitate similar considerations, but with implications below grade. There are numerous advantages to constructing a kitchen in your basement. Adding a second kitchen to your home may appear daunting, but it doesn’t have to be with the right team. You can design a small and cozy kitchen or a larger kitchen for entertaining family and friends.

Here are the tips you need to know. 

Consider Safety

It is critical to design a safe space when installing a basement kitchen. Make sure your plan includes appropriate fire exits, ventilation for cooking fumes, basement plumbing and the safest way to connect kitchen appliances. In addition, just like in a regular home kitchen, install smoke alarms to avoid future problems. Using a range hood in your kitchen can help remove moisture, odors and smoke. When working on your basement kitchen design, professionals can assist you with proper ventilation like Valor Home Services. Choose the safest wiring, kitchen lighting, appliances, fixtures and flooring. Keep your budget estimate in mind as well.

If a full-scale kitchen is out of the question, consider installing a kitchenette in your basement. A kitchenette has everything you need, including a kitchen sink, enough counter space, small kitchen cabinets and a dishwasher. In contrast, a full basement kitchen will have larger appliances and more space to move around.

basement finishing St Louis

Think About What You Need It For

Consider why you really need a basement kitchen. Do you want to create the ultimate party entertainment space? Or do you want a small kitchen where your guests can feel at ease? Once you have your answer, you can plan your home improvements accordingly. For example, you could add a bar for drinks and snacks or a cozy cooking area with a tiny stove where you could prepare a full meal.

Add Gas, Plumbing & Electricity

A kitchen is a power hog, requiring several dedicated circuits for appliances, outlets and lighting depending on what you include. If you want to install a gas range, you’ll also need to extend your gas line. Cold water, hot water and drains are all part of household plumbing, and you’ll need all of them for the kitchen sink and dishwasher. You may have access to plumbing if your washing machine is also in the basement, but you should never assume that the desired plumbing will work in your existing system. The first step is to create a drainage map. By locating them, you can determine the size and depth of your drain lines. Additionally, homes with plumbing that exits above the basement slab will necessitate specialized equipment such as a backflow valve — exactly as it sounds — and a special ejector pit that functions similarly to a sump pump for waste.

Include Smart Storage

A basement kitchen almost always has limited space. It is critical to plan your storage accordingly. Invest in fewer storage units rather than large kitchen cabinets and drawers. Utilize vertical space rather than horizontal space by utilizing walls. Do not overcrowd your second kitchen with plates, cups, and cookware. A well-organized basement kitchen design will make your basement look much cleaner and allow you to use the rest of the kitchen for other purposes. Here are some clever shelving solutions for making the most of your space:

  • Install floor-to-ceiling cabinets where you can make full use of the available space.
  • Install cabinets that slide rather than swing out.
  • Add hooks and racks to the insides of cabinets and doors.
  • Purchase vertical shelving or dividers for your cutting boards, baking trays, and other similar items.

Consider the Flooring, Ceiling & Lighting

Once you get all the important aspects completed, it’s time to focus on more of the style parts, like flooring, ceiling and lighting. Basement flooring should be durable and moisture-resistant. Ceramic tile and luxury vinyl are both attractive and durable options for this space. Make certain that the color scheme you choose for your counters and cabinets complements the tile or wood flooring.

Ceilings in kitchens can be finished with drywall or a drop ceiling. The latter has the advantage of preserving utility lines. Simply painting or cladding it allows for a drop ceiling while maintaining the required height in the space and opening up more lighting options. A coffered or tray ceiling is an excellent choice because it allows for maximum height while concealing utility lines and ductwork with the framed portion.

Basements are notorious for having poor lighting. Nobody enjoys cooking in the dark! There are numerous ways to add light to your newly remodeled basement kitchen. Under cabinet lighting is a great way to brighten up the space. A beautiful light fixture or chandelier can help with lighting while also adding flair to your design. To make the most of the basement lighting, many designers choose reflective elements such as mirrors or glossy tiles.

Follow building codes

Custom kitchen installations, as you may have noticed, are difficult. Code can dictate a lot about your kitchen build, including materials, how electrical and plumbing lines are handled, who can complete the work (licensing) and layout and execution details. Furthermore, local zoning bylaws may forbid a secondary kitchen entirely or require modifications to your original plan. In some areas, a kitchen is defined by its function (providing a space for the preparation of food). Others define a kitchen based on what it contains (a space with a range, sink and refrigerator). The term “kitchenette” is frequently used in basement construction to describe a small kitchen in areas where basement space is limited.

Kitchenettes or partial kitchens (as defined by some building codes) have limited countertop space and cabinetry, as well as fewer appliances. Wet bars can include all of the features of a full-size kitchen except the range. It doesn’t matter what you call your space; what matters is that you combine what you want with what your municipality allows. If full kitchens with ranges are prohibited but partial kitchens, kitchenettes or wet bars are permitted, perhaps a wine fridge would suffice. Avoid a range, cooktop or oven to avoid many of the code headaches and regulatory issues, noting that microwaves, toaster ovens, and hot plates can provide much of what a range does. Start with the zoning paperwork if you want a full kitchen. A lot of it is about how many people can live in a house and stay away from random rental properties.

Adding a second kitchen to your finished basement may appear daunting, but it is well worth the effort. You can create a space that provides extra storage, a place to cook your favorite meal and a place to entertain family and friends with the help of the right professionals. Contact a Valor Home Services specialist today!