Why Do British Homes Have Washing Machines In The Kitchen?

As an American, the first thing you’ll notice in a typical British home is the washing machine in the kitchen. You see it in British pop culture all the time. So, why do British homes have washing machines in the kitchen? 

Washing Machine In The Kitchen 

On the surface, having the washing machine in the kitchen seems impractical. That’s why many Americans are perplexed upon realizing that most British homes have washing machines in the kitchen. 

But, you see, British homeowners don’t have much choice. Here’s why British homes have washing machines in the kitchen?

  • Smaller homes. Homes are much smaller in Britain than in the United States, so there’s no space for a laundry room. The average home size in the US is 2170 square feet, almost three times the size of the average British home (820 square feet)
  • Upstairs bathroom. Bathrooms in British homes are usually upstairs. Installing a washing machine in the bathroom would mean carrying the appliance upstairs, which is not ideal. Also, UK bathrooms are too small to accommodate a washing machine. 
  • No plug sockets in British bathrooms. Even if your bathroom is spacious, you cannot put a washing machine there. UK building regulations prohibit installing electrical sockets in bathrooms for safety. Exposed sockets can increase the risk of electric shock.

In Britain, the houses are too small, so there’s no space for a laundry room.

The bathrooms are upstairs and often tiny to house a washing machine, and plug sockets are not allowed in the bathroom. 

What Is the Best Place to Put a Washing Machine?

A washing machine is a household appliance used to wash laundry. It’s a large appliance, so you can’t move it around from one spot to another. It requires its own designated space where there’s access to: 

  • Running Water. Washing machines use water to wash clothes, so access to running water is paramount. 
  • Electrical Outlet. These household appliances are powered by electricity; you need access to an uninterrupted power supply. 

Most homes in North America have laundry rooms, a space where everything to do with washing your clothes goes — including your laundry baskets, detergents, tumble dryer, and, of course, the washing machine. 

If you don’t have one, placing the washing machine in the bathroom makes sense. But that only works if your bathroom is spacious enough to accommodate one of these gigantic appliances. 

The Next Best Option

If the bathroom and laundry rooms are not an option, that pretty much leaves the kitchen as the next best location for the washing machine.

What makes the kitchen the best place to put a washing machine in a British home?

As mentioned earlier in the article, a washing machine needs water and an electricity supply to function.

In most British homes, an electrical outlet and running water (and drainage) are only found in the kitchen. 

Other options, including the balcony, bedroom, etc., just seem impractical. Having a washing machine in the kitchen is also convenient for British people.

You do your laundry in the kitchen and then take the clothes out in the garden to hang in the line. 

Benefits Of Having the Washing Machine in The Kitchen

It may seem weird, but there are many good reasons to put the washing machine in the kitchen.

Of course, the British don’t have much choice. But you don’t have to be British to put the washing machine in the kitchen. 

If you are an American homeowner struggling with where to put your washing machine, you might want to consider the kitchen.

Here are some of the benefits of having the washing machine in the kitchen: 

  • Easy access to electricity and running water. Use existing electrical and plumbing systems to connect your washing machine to power and running water, usually configured during construction. 
  • Ground floor location. In most homes, the kitchen is often located on the ground floor. If you need to move the washing machine for any reason, say you are moving to a new home, or the washing machine develops an issue and needs service, it’s much easier to deal with it from this location. 
  • Keep the washing machine out of sight. The washing machine is not something you want everyone to see. If you’d like to keep your washing machine hidden when not in use, you can put it in the kitchen and use existing kitchen cabinetry to conceal it. 


Having a stack of dirty clothes in your kitchen on laundry day is not ideal, but it makes a lot of sense if you live in Britain. British houses are relatively small, ruling out laundry rooms.

Plug sockets are not allowed in bathrooms, making the kitchen the best location for a washing machine. 

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