With prosumer, a blend of professional and consumer, appliances all the rage of the kitchen design world, let’s run through some of the challenges that need to be considered prior to going purely prosumer in the kitchen.
With ranges measuring up to 4 feet in width and refrigerators and freezers getting larger as they go pro, expect to nearly double the amount of space needed for appliances. Typical residential kitchens need approximately five feet for appliances, prosumer and commercial appliances can take more than double that number in linear feet.
Scale will need to be considered as well, as the appliances can easily overwhelm smaller spaces.
Older homes may not be up to the task of holding these heavy appliances. An Aga range, my dream appliance, requires a special cement base to support the load, and flooring may need to be shored up . Floors need to be perfectly level for the appliances to work properly.
For the extra sinks and wall mounted pot fillers, consider how to get the water to these areas. If upgrading an older kitchen, walls may need to come down to run pipes. Electrical updates will probably be necessary to handle most appliances, along with dedicated circuits.
The high powered cooktops require high powered ventilation, and too much ventilation can actually cause a negative air pressure in the home. That nice little fire going up the chimney can be sucked down into the home. Some local fire codes may require an air makeup unit to counteract the pressure.
A workaround is to use induction cooktops which use electromagnetic energy rather than heat for performance. While eliminating the ventilation issue, it can double the already doubled cost of commercial appliances.
If going prosumer, expect to pay big, not only for the appliances, but for the upgrades that come with them. While kitchen upgrades pay off big in recouping most of the expense in a higher home sales price, consider the over-improvement factor. There’s a price point when the upgrades no longer bring a return and it’s easy to overspend. If you’re in a $200,000 house, you’re not going to get the return you’re looking for on these upgrades.
With all the design and cost challenges, prosumer kitchens are still gaining in popularity. As they become more popular, expect more offerings in the lower price ranges, along with smaller, but feature-filled and high performance prosumer appliances.