Can You Have a Kitchen Upstairs?


If you frequent open houses, you’d commonly see the kitchen conventionally located on the ground floor. But what might interest you is seeing it on the second floor.

While this may appear fascinating through fresh eyes, having a kitchen upstairs is actually not as rare as you think.

In terms of architectural preference, yes, you can have your kitchen upstairs. It could provide you with a bigger space and a captivating view especially if you are living in the countryside. 

However, there are several considerations with this choice including plans for plumbing, ventilation, and electrical wiring system.

Nonetheless, the benefits of having the kitchen upstairs may weigh more than its minor inconvenience if you have an essential function for the ground floor.

Read on to find out if an upstairs kitchen is what you need.

Why Are Kitchens Always on the First Floor?

Having the kitchen on the first floor has always been the norm to maximize heating, speed up delivery of food items, and ease up the necessary cleaning.

Historically speaking, people during the colonial period use a single furnace for cooking and heating the entire house in winter.

If the house is a bungalow the heat coming from the kitchen is enough to keep everyone warm.

On the other hand, if it has two floors or a split-level house, the heat from the kitchen downstairs will also diffuse in the upper rooms.

A dedicated room for a fireplace is only common among the wealthy upper class. But in a period where kitchen work is associated with women and servants, having the kitchen upstairs is unlikely. 

Upper floors are often dedicated to socialization which requires a great distance from the mess and raw smell of food preparation.

The invention of radiators and other heating devices gave way to architectural freedom when it comes to designating where the kitchen should be.

Still, the mere thought of bringing your groceries on the upper floor can be daunting. Thereby, most homeowners still prefer their kitchen on the ground level.

When Should You Have a Kitchen Upstairs?

Several modern house designs focus on enlarging the ground floor space for purposes such as the following:

1. Turning the first floor into a commercial space (e.g. store, office)

It is typical to convert some portion of your house into a commercial space. In highly urbanized areas houses are often located above stores for quick access and convenience. If this is the setup of your home, naturally, you’ll have to put the kitchen on the second floor.

2. Dedicating the First Floor for Entertainment

If you’re a frequent host or someone who receives visitors often, it makes sense to use your first floor for socialization and entertainment. You can decide to transfer your kitchen upstairs and turn the space downstairs into a patio, a garden area, or a sitting room.

3. Adding an Annex Kitchen Next to the Second-floor Bedroom

Small kitchens are sometimes placed near the bedroom in case you are craving a midnight snack. However, before deciding to have this layout, consider your safety more than accessibility.

4. Strong Personal Preference

If ever you decide to move your kitchen upstairs simply because you like it that way, no rule stops you. But speaking of rules, your design will still be subjected to building regulations approval. Hence, careful planning is necessary.

5. Living on a Sloping Block

You might want to move your kitchen upstairs if you’re living on a sloping block. This is a typical floor plan as ground floors are often used as a garage or extra bedroom. The living room, dining area, and kitchen are placed on the second floor for easy access to the high point.

Pros and Cons of Moving the Kitchen Upstairs

Before choosing to move your kitchen upstairs, consider the implication of this change.

If you’re someone who spends most of their time preparing food and requires wider space, then a kitchen on the upper floor will match your goal. 

But if you love doing groceries on your own, you might want to consider the proximity of the front door to your pantry.

Here’s a good way to evaluate if an upstairs kitchen is for you. Look into its advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

1. Ample Amount of Daylight

With a breathable architectural design, you may find your kitchen with plenty of sunlight, especially during summers. A good amount of natural light makes cooking more pleasurable. Plus, it brings out vibrant colors if you are recording a cooking video.

2. Spectacular View

If your house has an incredible view and you spend most of the day in the kitchen, then you are up for a treat if the kitchen is upstairs. Imagine living next to a lake, an ocean, mountain ranges, or any captivating scenery. Your cooking experience will be blended with the comfort of nature.

3.  Extended Space

Upper floor kitchens often have wider spaces compared to their downstairs counterpart. Homeowners who opt to move their kitchen on the upper floor typically plan to optimize the area for food preparation. Thereby, it separates the kitchen from sharing the floor with the bedrooms or living room.

Cons

1. Strenuous Transport of Kitchen Supplies

Unless you have your elevator at home, bringing the groceries and other kitchen supplies to the second floor can be an exhausting task. It is even worse when you transfer your appliances.

2. Added Upstairs Noise

If the floor upstairs is not thick enough or lacks soundproof panels, the rest of your family downstairs has to tolerate any noise created in the kitchen. The amount of work in the kitchen including heavy footsteps can easily disrupt any activity on the first floor.

3. Residual Heat Won’t Spread Across the House

This may not even matter if you have heating devices in your house. Still, during extremely cold weather, the residual heat from the kitchen will seem like a huge waste. Instead of spreading across the common areas, the heat will simply go directly outside.

What to Consider Before Moving the Kitchen Upstairs

Remodeling your kitchen can be a lot of work. Even so, if you’re going to move it upstairs. To keep things simple and easy, it’s always helpful to seek the services of architects and contractors. 

But before completely deciding to relocate your kitchen to the second floor, consider the efficiency and budget for the following.

1. Plumbing

Additional tubes for water supply and drainage are necessary to make your kitchen functional. Also, have in mind how the new plumbing work is integrated into the established system in your house.

2. Gas Supply

If you want to put gas connections, they should be carefully placed in a flame-protected area of your kitchen. Likewise, make sure to install a kitchen exhaust hood for proper ventilation.

3. Electrical Wiring

Placement of outlets and electrical wiring should correspond to the electrical codes. Consider the number of permanent and plug-in appliances along with lighting fixtures when thinking about your electrical wiring.

4. Fire Safety Measures

Your kitchen is probably the most hazardous area in your house since fire is frequently used. Make sure your grill is not too close to light materials. Keep a fire extinguisher and a blanket nearby.

A keen preparation in terms of budget and paperwork will make this project easier. Conduct your research and consult professionals to make your expenses worth it.

Takeaway

Kitchen placement is an important decision that could affect several activities and conditions in your home. Having your kitchen upstairs can be a good advantage if you needed a wider space. But it can also be a painful choice. That is if you don’t consider the frequency of its use and your own logistics capacity.

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