Technology in the kitchen

Linking the kitchen to the outside world and other parts of the house requires special wiring and planning.

November 13, 2013

Linking a kitchen to the outside world or other parts of the house requires special wiring. This particular kitchen includes a television, which is fairly common in a modern kitchen. Design by NKBA Member: Terri Schmidt, Co-Designers: Linda Eberle, CKD, CBD and Keven Schmidt.

Communication systems are becoming a standard component in the kitchen, so consider the wiring needed for these components early in the project. Linking the kitchen to the outside world and other parts of the house requires special wiring and planning. New structured or bundled wiring packages provide all the wiring needed for home communications and entertainment together. It makes installation easier because only one wire bundle needs to be installed rather than installing each wire individually.
Home intercom networks are becoming common, and the kitchen is a logical location. Consider the users when deciding on the most appropriate type and placement of the intercom unit. It should be accessible by all family members.
A telephone or charging station for a cell phone in the kitchen is standard today, so wiring for the telephone may already be available. The new kitchen plan, however, may require moving the phone line, along with the necessary electrical line, to a new location. Your clients may wish to have a computer in the kitchen, which will probably need an Internet connection, so discuss with your clients the type of connection they might need. A base station for wireless Internet capability may be requested. In addition, more appliances are including the capability of being Internet ready, so wiring for the Internet now is advisable.
As families include more activities in the kitchen, the television becomes a familiar feature. Linking the kitchen to the home cable or satellite system allows family members to keep up with the news while involved with other kitchen activities. Connections for a DVD player and speakers or sound system are also part of the entertainment package. If the client does not want electronic equipment located in the kitchen, installing speakers in the ceiling or wall, either recessed or wall mounted, that connect to home electronics located elsewhere will allow the sound to be projected into the kitchen.

Computer workstation
In the household where the planning center functions as the home office, it usually includes a computer workstation. If a computer will be added to the planning-center desk area, there are additional design considerations.

  • Is this the only computer in the home? How will the computer be used?
  • Are recipes saved and grocery lists accumulated?
  • Are family bills/records managed on spreadsheet software?
  • Are school work essays written and class assignments completed on word processing programs?
  • Do people play games and shop online?

The frequency and type of use, as well as the number of users, are important in designing the computer workstation. It is even possible that the client will want more than one computer workstation in the home planning center. PR

This article is excerpted from the NKBA Professional Resource Library volume: Kitchen Planning, Second Edition by Julia Beamish, PhD, CKD, Kathleen Parrott, PhD, CKE, JoAnn Emmel, PhD, and Mary Jo Peterson, CKD, CBD, CAPS, CAASH. Copyright: 2013 National Kitchen & Bath Association; published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This material is reproduced with the permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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