What are the Best Tips for Adding a Basement Kitchen?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

When adding a basement kitchen, there are a number of important factors to consider, many of which have to do with the placement of the kitchen area. Kitchens that are built into the first floors of houses usually have proper ventilation. Most basements, on the other hand, are not incredibly well ventilated. To make a basement kitchen safe and comfortable to work in, it may be necessary to install a ventilation system. Safety is also am important consideration, so be sure to have a plan for putting out kitchen fires, even if the plan is as simple as having a fire extinguisher on hand.

There are some precautions that should be taken when using a gas stove in a basement kitchen.
There are some precautions that should be taken when using a gas stove in a basement kitchen.

Consider the uses of the basement kitchen. If it will be used as the primary kitchen in the house, then it may make sense to position the kitchen as close as possible to the dining area. If it will be used mostly to make treats, snacks, and light meals that will be enjoyed in an adjoining room, then placement is not as crucial. In this latter case, it may make sense to create a small galley kitchen instead of going all out and installing all of the bells and whistles.

Adding a double sink should be considered if the space is too small for a dishwasher.
Adding a double sink should be considered if the space is too small for a dishwasher.

In many cases, setting up the wiring and plumbing for a basement kitchen is a snap. The reason for this is that most houses have plumbing and electrical system hubs in their basements. For those who are not experienced at working with electrical or plumbing systems, it is best to hire a professional to manage this part of the addition. Those planning on installing gas stoves in their basement kitchens should be very cautious and should have a professional manage this part of the installation. Also, be sure to research how to safely use a gas oven in a basement kitchen.

One drawback to adding a basement kitchen is that the basement is more likely to flood than any other area within the house. Flooding can ruin much of the equipment that is used as part of a functioning basement kitchen. In order to protect one's investment in a basement kitchen, take steps to keep the basement from flooding. One of the best ways to do this is to divert rainwater away from the house which can be done using a number of landscaping techniques and by moving the placement of downspouts. Consider investing in flood insurance as well.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


My current house was previously divided into three housing units, so I already had a basement kitchen when I moved in. I've turned the basement into a game room, and a man cave to watch sports. The galley kitchen comes in handy whenever I want to make hot snacks or heat up leftovers.

One tip I have is to keep food and beverages stored elsewhere until you actually plan to spend time in the basement. This way, if a plumbing line breaks or a flood happens, you won't lose a lot of expensive food in the process. Decide what you want to prepare ahead of time and bring just enough supplies to get through the event.


I don't know if I'd ever install a basement kitchen unless I was planning on using it as rental or guest suite space. I'd be concerned with meeting city codes with the ventilation and plumbing systems. I'd also be concerned about flood damage and foundation problems.

If I were to take on a basement remodeling project, I'd want to make sure the kitchen design ideas included easy access to the upstairs or outside. I'd hate to have to carry hot food up a precarious set of stairs or have no where to go if an overheated dish created thick smoke or even a fire. Putting a kitchen in a remote part of the basement might not be a good idea.

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