One of the biggest trends in home design is the “commercial” look. Magazines and television shows often depict kitchens with sleek, stainless-steel, commercial grade appliances. Although it may be tempting (and fashionable) to purchase restaurant equipment for your home, there are some things that you should consider before outfitting your kitchen with commercial appliances.
Residential kitchens are generally not designed to accommodate commercial restaurant equipment. Most base cabinets in home kitchens are 24 inches deep, while many restaurant ranges are 30 to 68 inches deep, meaning that the appliances will not fit flush with kitchen cabinetry. In addition to being an eyesore, an ill-fitting range can also be a safety hazard, causing cuts, burns, and other injuries.
Warranties and Insurance
Installing restaurant equipment in your home can have serious consequences when it comes to warranties and insurance. Most commercial appliance manufacturers will not honor warranties for products installed in private residences. The warranty becomes null and void as soon as you install the appliance in your home, which could cost you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong with your unit.
Your homeowner’s insurance coverage may also be affected if you decide to furnish your kitchen with commercial appliances. Some insurance providers require additional coverage while others demand that homeowners meet strict installation requirements. In many instances, homeowner’s insurance policies will be cancelled entirely if commercial equipment is installed in the home.
Fires are one of the biggest safety hazards associated with installing commercial appliances in homes. Restaurant kitchens are comprised mostly of stainless steel, reducing the need for insulation to protect adjacent cabinetry and backsplashes. The sides and fronts of commercial ranges are therefore not insulated and can become very hot, which could cause severe burns or start a fire if installed near sheetrock walls and wood cabinets.
Ventilation is also an issue. Residential gas ranges are usually equipped with 9-12k BTU burners whereas restaurant ranges normally have 25-35k BTU burners. As a result, you may have to purchase a ventilation system and a commercial range hood with fire suppression to keep you and your family safe.
If you are trying to save on your energy bills, it may not be wise to install commercial restaurant equipment in your home. Unlike a residential range, a commercial range’s pilot does not shut off, using gas continuously at all hours of the day and night. This raises the temperature of your kitchen and could ultimately cost you more to cool your home.
What Types of Restaurant Equipment and Supplies are Suitable for Home Use?
Although there are drawbacks to purchasing commercial appliances such as ranges and refrigerators for your home, there are some types of restaurant equipment and supplies that are great choices for residential use. A professional Panini grill is a versatile addition to any kitchen. In addition to making grilled sandwiches, this appliance can also be used to prepare chicken, burgers, vegetables, and more.
Commercial cookware is another smart option for home kitchens. Durable and tough, professional stainless steel and cast iron pieces are constructed to withstand frequent use. Serious home cooks should consider adding items such as commercial stainless steel stock pots and cast iron frying pans to their cookware collections.