Large open plan kitchen with pale wood units and a concrete work surface

How to prevent sound pollution in an open-plan kitchen

Design ideas to keep noise levels to a minimum in a multipurpose space

By Becca Green | 4 November 2020

Open-plan living spaces are great when you want to create a sense of easy social interaction. Knocking through smaller rooms will also make the floor plan feel bigger. As the kitchen is a social hub in many homes, it’s not surprising that the desire for opening up starts with this room.

There are several design considerations to take into account before leaping into creating an open-plan layout. One of which is how to prevent sound pollution from appliances and clattering pans travelling to the seating and dining areas. Sean O’Donnell, design consultant at Burlanes Interiors offers advice on ways to keep things quiet.

An open-plan kitchen with white units and a dining area in front of a central island

Building an extension allowed for a spacious kitchen diner. Photo: Julian Cornish-Trestrail

Choose appliance models with care

Check the decibel ratings of any new appliances, before you buy. Particularly the extractor fan as this is likely to generate the most noise. Look for products that have the Quiet Mark award, as they will have passed stringent tests for sound.

Plan the layout

Another option for how to prevent sound pollution is to design the food preparation and cooking area of your kitchen so that it is as far as possible from where you are going to be sitting and eating. Dedicating the opposite ends of your open-plan space for cooking and relaxing lessens the level of noise in your quiet zone.