Renovation & Design

Shared wall in basement a real time saver

Kitchenette and bathroom can run on the same plumbing -- just don't forget the criss-cross

Marc LaBossiere / Winnipeg Free Press

A common wall between the bathroom and kitchenette allows for shared plumbing.

When a lower level consists of one big empty space with four concrete walls, and a basement renovation is imminent, it is very important to design an all-encompassing floor plan that best suits your every need.

A rec room, an extra bedroom maybe, a laundry room and that ever-so-needed additional bathroom, etc.

During one project a few years ago, all of these aforementioned spaces were on the agenda, including the introduction of a small kitchenette. Where this kitchenette was situated on the floor plan made all the difference in the world.

It was a lengthy ordeal that entailed numerous electrical instances, and an enormous amount of time spent on routing the rough plumbing.

Luckily, the proposed kitchenette had been pencilled in on the design sketch adjacent to the bathroom — this simplified the plumbing layout considerably, as the water feeds and drain pipes could be shared by the bathroom vanity sink and the kitchenette sink.

Hot and cold water lines were fed within the wall cavity to accommodate both sinks, on either side of the common wall separating the bathroom from the rec room and kitchenette areas.

The bathroom was completed first, while awaiting the upper and lower cupboards and countertop for the kitchenette, which had been pre-ordered to specification.

Once the cupboards were delivered, the lowers were secured to the common wall.

The uppers were also fastened to the wall.

Before the countertop was set permanently into place, I realized I had mistakenly forgotten to reverse the hot and cold water feeds on the kitchenette side — it was correct on the bathroom side: cold on the right, hot on the left.

Because I was working from the bathroom side while establishing the rough plumbing, it hadn’t dawned on me that when facing the other side of the wall (from the kitchenette-sink perspective), the water feeds must criss-cross to allow for the standard placement of hot and cold water feeds.

Once this oversight was remedied, shut-off valves were introduced to each feed.

The countertop was fastened to the top of the lower cabinets, and a hole was cut for the oversized bar sink.

The sink was set into place and fastened, and the faucet was tightened into position through pre-drilled holes on the stainless steel sink.

The mesh hoses were then attached to each of the shut-off valves.

The sink drain was then installed, and the ABS trap was fashioned to accommodate tie-in to the rough plumbing, established during the initial plumbing layout process.

Once the faucet and sink were tested and proven to be free of any leaks, the final steps could be achieved.

The handles were affixed to each of the cupboard doors and drawer fronts.

The decorative side panels were secured to the end of the uppers and lowers, and the valance was fastened to the underside of the upper cupboards.

LED lighting was positioned equidistant from side to side below the upper cabinets.

With one final task, the hip-high bar fridge slid into the open cavity at the far end of the lower cabinets.

Then, the kitchenette was ready for use.

The shared wall between the bathroom and the kitchenette definitely saves a bunch of time from a plumbing perspective — running water feeds and drain pipes for both sink instances expedites the rough-plumb process.

And in subsequent projects whereby a common wall was part of the design, never again was the criss-cross accidentally overlooked.


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