Renovating a kitchen can quickly become a rather complex experience. Design as well as functional elements are very important, but can often compete with each other. The devices used are in general rather energy-consuming and the needs in terms of lighting are important. Considering that we have often discussed the design aspect of the kitchen (eg white kitchen), let's take a moment today to clarify the major electrical issues that must absolutely be considered when renovating a kitchen.
Introduction to kitchen renovation: the impact of practical and design decisions
First, the design and functional decisions made will have a major impact on the electrical plans.
In this stage of conceptualization, the intervention of an interior designer can have significant repercussions on the scope of the electrical work to be done.
If your lighting needs are important, you will most likely add an independent circuit for each new lighting system that will be implemented.
Trending now is in fact the multiplication of light sources. It’s not surprising today to be asked to add lights in cabinets, built-into and under the countertops, placed above the island and in drawers, etc. The sky’s the limit!
LED lights are also very popular in the kitchen because they consume very little energy and have a long lifespan. Since these bulbs operate at low voltage (12v), they require the addition of transformers.
The heating system
Here we must think of all the details: which heating system to use? Will you have a heated floor? Where will your heating system be located? Will you opt for radiant heating over the patio door?
In terms of wiring layout, these decisions are essential. As there is now a trend towards an open-concept kitchen design, it must be ensured that the heating system will have the ability to heat the entire room.
You also have to be aware that the types of appliances you choose can have an impact on your energy consumption. If these cause you to exceed your available energy limit, this may result in other electrical work.
For example, if you decide to use an independent induction cooktop with a separate convection oven (instead of a range), and a 220v dishwasher (instead of the standard 120v), you may well quickly exceed your available energy capacity.
Plan your home appliance needs as early as possible to be sure to have the necessary electrical once the kitchen renovation is underway.
Once Upon a Time: Montreal and Old Electrical Systems
As Montreal-based renovators, we’ve seen it all. Since homes are often quite old, most electrical systems are passed-due and need to be changed.
Not only does it happen very often that systems do not offer dedicated circuits, but the amperage supported by them no longer correspond to today’s standards.
It is therefore essential when renovating a kitchen to ensure that the present system meets current standards.
Capacity of your electrical panel
In Montreal, the electrical panel will usually offer 100 amps of energy to homeowners. For larger energy needs, add a sub-panel (to increase the energy capacity) or change the panel completely (more expensive solution).
Race to circuits
The challenge pertaining to electrical work in kitchen renovations is indeed to allocate the necessary number of circuits to receive the desired systems.
With the growing trend of multiplying light sources combined to maximized storage and open concept floor plans, one problem arises: what to do with all the light switches? For some, the solution will be to move all the switches to a more discreet area (such as the garage for example) and use a home automation system to control everything from a smart device.
In addition to lighting that requires a large number of circuits, other gadgets such as automatic “servo-drive” systems to open cabinets or bins automatically will also require some electrical work. To connect these, it will be necessary that power outlets are added.
Take a look at our article on kitchen gadgets if you want to get more inspiration on the subject.
Renovation of kitchen and electrical works: our conclusion
All in all, as part of the initial choices you make during the design stage, it is very important to target your needs as accurately as possible.
This will eventually lead the kitchen renovation experts to do the right electrical work and make sure all the elements receive the energy they need.
For more information on the electrical work to do when renovating your kitchen, do not hesitate to contact ESPÉ.