It is important to remember all your beautiful design work is diminished if you haven’t effectively planned for the appliances in your project. 

Proper ventilation is one of the most important aspects of any kitchen.  It is always best to vent to the outside. The placement and diameter of the duct pipe is critical. 

You will note in the photo to the left, the HVAC contractor incorrectly placed the duct too far forward from the wall in all 8 units of this new construction project. The telescopic duct cover would not work and all 8 vents had to be reworked before we could complete installation.

Cooking equipment planning is also critical.  You may need 240 & 120 volt– electric and natural or LP gas, or a combination of these.  Just knowing what is needed is only part of the equation. 

Where the supply lines are placed is also of importance.  In this photo, you will notice that the gas shut off valve for the 36” cook top and a 36” wall oven placed below it.  The shut-off valve protrudes 3” from the wall preventing the wall oven from being installed flush. 


 In this example of a wall oven with microwave above, the placement of the electrical connections is the issue.  The oven, to be located in the lower opening, has 220 volt power in the cabinet above the microwave.  It would be smart to place hook ups and shut offs in adjacent cabinets for ease of access. 

The issue we face here is the conduit from the appliance manufacture is 4 feet long and the junction box is 5 feet away.  It also was overlooked that the microwave requires a dedicated 120 volt outlet. Installation was delayed!


Refrigeration planning matters too. The choices are nearly endless and all have specific placement requirements. All refrigerator, all freezer, built-in, flush or inset, free standing, under counter, ice and water dispenser all have a need for specific placement.

Requirements for the electric access could be for up high if built in refrigerator to down low if wine storage. In this photo you see where it should never be, exposed.

 New categories of appliances continue to challenge us for placement.  If you want a commercial dishwasher in your home, now it can be done.  It does require a 240 volt access which was only used for cooking equipment in the past.  Some brands of coffee systems and steam ovens may have needs for plumbing in addition to the electric requirements.  

Andy Welemin, Account Manager with Westar Kitchen & Bath, has been involved in home products since 1977 and, specifically, in the appliance industry since 1983. 

Andy is a member of NKBA and NARI and a past board member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, Minnesota andArizona.

You can reach Andy at