The kitchen is one of the most essential rooms in any home. It’s where you prepare food, where you eat, and often where you gather as a family. Therefore, it’s important to have a kitchen that is both functional for its purposes and a place where you can feel comfortable.
One significant component of that functionality are the kitchen appliances. From the stove to the microwave, from the fridge to the dishwasher, all your appliances need to be operational.
But in order to be able to use them, you’ll first need to deal with their installation. And it is at this stage of the process that many mistakes are made.
Some common mistakes with kitchen appliance installation can have serious consequences, so it would be wise to avoid them altogether if possible. Knowing what to be on the lookout for will help with that.
When do you need to worry about common mistakes with kitchen appliance installation?
Most people don’t need to install their kitchen appliances often. You can use the same fridge or stove or even dishwasher for years without ever having to disconnect it.
At most, you’ll disconnect one of those when it breaks down, and you need to replace it. Even then, the handyman who fixes it or the person who delivers your new appliance will probably be the one to install it.
There are, however, two situations when you will have to disconnect, move, and install a larger number of kitchen appliances: when you’re remodeling your home and when you’re moving.
These are already stressful situations, typically with a time limit, when you’ll have to install most if not all of your kitchen appliances anew. So mistakes are more likely to happen.
Think about potential issues in advance
Avoiding common mistakes with kitchen appliance installation starts with planning in advance. When you’re preparing for a remodel or a relocation, think about all the issues you might encounter with appliances down the road, such as paint splatter, scratches, transportation damage, etc. Then do what you can to avoid them:
- when remodeling: take photos of your appliances while they’re still connected and use them as a guide later on; move appliances out of the kitchen when doing major remodeling work like replacing floors; cover appliances with a tarp and move them out of the way when doing minor remodeling work like painting; thoroughly clean appliances before installing them again
- when moving: disconnect and clean appliances at least 24-48 hours before the move; make sure all surfaces are dry before packing your appliances; pay special attention to appliances when preparing your kitchen for the move – wrap each part in bubble pack or blankets, secure protection with tape or string, use dollies and straps when moving so you don’t drop heavy appliances, use straps to secure appliances in place once loaded on the moving truck; get additional moving insurance for valuable appliances
What are the most common mistakes with kitchen appliance installation?
Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or moving house, the typical mistakes when installing kitchen appliances are more or less the same. Some of them are relatively innocuous: if you start installing the fridge without instructions and realize you have no idea what you’re doing, you can always look up the instructions and start over. But others can be dangerous and cause severe damage to your kitchen.
Choosing the wrong appliances for the space you’re working with
One of the most common mistakes when installing kitchen appliances is actually made before the installation itself, and it is choosing the wrong appliance in the first place. The wrong appliance could be:
- a fridge or dishwasher that is too big to fit into the space designated for it
- a hood or vent too small for the stove you’re using
- dishwashers and fridges whose doors you won’t be able to open properly due to lack of space
- any outdoor appliance (like a grill) intended for the outdoors that you put inside and vice versa
- an appliance whose cables and lines don’t fit with the outlets and energy sources in your new home (a common problem when moving abroad and bringing appliances with you)
It is one of the basics of kitchen remodeling to measure your space correctly before making any plans.
If you’re buying new appliances, this will help you choose the right size. If you’re keeping old ones, you can adjust your remodeling plans to work with the size of the appliances you already have.
Finally, if you’re moving, knowing your new kitchen’s measurements will help you decide which devices to take with you and which to leave behind. This will resolve many of the problems with choosing the right kitchen appliance.
Installing kitchen appliances yourself without reading instructions
If you’re going to install your own kitchen appliances, make sure you know what you’re doing.
Even if the installation seems reasonably straightforward, it never hurts to read the instructions before jumping in.
New appliances will come with a booklet with instructions for installation and handy diagrams too. For old appliances, you can use your own photos taken before disengaging to guide you in your installation.
These will help you connect things properly and ensure that your devices actually work.
Causing gas and plumbing leaks
Appliances like dishwashers and gas stoves require more than just electricity to operate. So you’ll also have to connect them to your gas line or plumbing.
Getting this part wrong could be an expensive and potentially dangerous mistake. Typically, kitchens are a good investment when remodeling, but if installing the dishwasher causes flooding or turning on the stove starts a fire, that’s not going to be true in your case.
So be extra careful when installing appliances that run on more than just electricity, you can look for more information on how to do it as a professional.
Installing the hood too high
The point of the hood above your stove is to collect the smoke, fumes and smells that cooking creates before they can spread throughout your home.
When the hood is installed too high, however, it cannot serve that purpose. This isn’t a massive issue for most people, but it does defeat the purpose of having a hood above the stove.
It can also cause your smoke alarms to go off if they’re particularly sensitive.
Stacking wall ovens
Multiple wall ovens can be a great way to save space, but it’s important not to do so at the expense of safety.
You shouldn’t stack more than two wall ovens and one warming drawer. Otherwise, you could end up with a serious fire hazard in your home.
While the fire department is a good number to have saved in your phone, you don’t want to be using it much if you can avoid it. So, find other ways to save space instead.
How to avoid common mistakes with kitchen appliance installation
You should know about the mistakes people often make when installing kitchen appliances so you can avoid making them yourself. So what can you do to prevent common issues with kitchen appliance installation?
Will relying on professionals help you avoid common mistakes with kitchen appliance installation?
One way to avoid some of the mistakes people make when installing kitchen appliances is not to do it yourself. While you might only rarely have to install kitchen appliances, some people do it every day for a living.
However, you shouldn’t trust just anyone with appliance installation. If you’re moving, professional movers combined with the appropriate packing techniques are definitely a great way to avoid transportation damage.
If you’re remodeling your entire kitchen, you should ask your contractors to install the appliances as well. But if you need someone specifically for appliance installation, make sure you’re hiring the right people.
Even major companies often outsource delivery and installation, so you can’t always rely on the delivery person to install a new appliance. And if you bought a model that’s new to the market, even some handymen might struggle with installing it.
So do your research before investing in professional help.
Read instructions and get informed if you want to do it yourself
If you want to install kitchen appliances yourself, read the installation instructions thoroughly to avoid any mistakes.
This is especially important for major appliances like stoves, ovens, and dishwashers. If the instructions are not very clear or you run into some problems, you can always turn to the Internet.
You can find all sorts of instructions, tips, and guidelines for appliance installation online, usually from people just like who have already successfully overcome this hurdle.
Choose your appliances wisely
How difficult the installation is will depend in large part on the appliances you choose.
It will be significantly harder to find the right way to install devices of the wrong size, those that don’t match up your plumbing, piping, and outlets, or appliances not intended for an indoor kitchen.
This is why one of the best tips for kitchen remodeling is to plan everything in advance, including which appliances you’re going to get and where you’re going to put them. Having a plan will help you choose the perfect appliances, which will, in turn, make installing them more manageable.
Remodeling projects can take a long time, especially if you run into some unexpected issues. If you’re still living in the home while remodeling, any delays will be even more frustrating because they will have a direct impact on your day-to-day life.
But you can’t let this make you reckless. If you want to install kitchen appliances without mistakes, you need to take your time. Rushing will increase the chance of errors, which can lead to spending even more time fixing problems you could’ve avoided in the first place.
It is better to stay calm instead and not rush the process. That way, you’ll be sure everything was done right.
Even if you avoid all the common mistakes with kitchen appliance installation, triple-check that everything is safe before use
Poorly installed appliances can cause various problems, including short-circuiting, electric sparks, leaking, flooding and other water damage, and even fires.
To avoid serious issues like these, you should always check that everything is installed correctly before using your appliances.
Even if you are confident that you haven’t made any common mistakes with kitchen appliance installation, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure that every line is connected, inspect the hoses for tears, and run the dishwasher empty to check for leaks. Most importantly, make sure there are no gas leaks. Pay attention to the smell when you turn on the stove – if you smell gas, there’s a problem.
Finally, remember to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your kitchen. These are some of the most important appliances you’ll ever need because they’re there for your safety.
Frequently asked questions:
How do I choose the right kitchen appliances?
There are two things to take into consideration when selecting appliances: functionality and aesthetics. To ensure functionality, buy from reputable sources and avoid second-hand shopping from people you don’t know. Aesthetically speaking, look for appliances that fit with the color scheme and appearance of your kitchen.
Can I install kitchen appliances myself or should I hire professionals?
It is possible to install kitchen appliances yourself (or at least with the help of friends). However, this will require that you familiarize yourself with the appliances themselves as well as plumbing and electrical installations in your home. A contractor or handyman will be much faster. Avoid relying entirely on the delivery person because delivery and installation are usually outsourced to third-party companies, even by major retailers, so it’s always a gamble.
How do I choose the right professionals for the job?
If you’re hiring a contractor or handyman to install your kitchen appliances, ask family, friends, and neighbors for recommendations, or look at reviews online. This is the best way to find out how good they really are.
Where do I find installation instructions for old appliances?
If you’re buying second-hand or simply moving your own old appliances from one home to another, odds are that the instructions booklet won’t follow. You can contact local retail stores and licensed repair shops for instructions or look for them online.
What if I make a mistake with installing kitchen appliances?
It really depends on how bad the mistake is. If you install the hood too high up over the stove or damage the plumbing while connecting the dishwasher, it’s best to leave the repairs to professionals. If you’ve just set up the microwave wrong, turn to the installation instructions for advice.
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