Planning a New Kitchen
Start off by drawing up a wish list of all the things you would like to incorporate and fabricate your plan with these elements in mind. Take some graph paper and sketch out a scale drawing of where you would like the electrical equipment to go, such as the fridge, oven and dishwasher. Once you have done this, fit the cabinets around those electrical appliances. Do not plan your kitchen to fit directly between two walls, as you will have not left any room for error. It is very rare that a wall is perfectly straight and it is very difficult to resize kitchen cabinets after they have been made. The below measurements should always be closely adhered to:
There must be at least 600mm directly above a hob, although it is always best practise to leave this are unit free. This area is an ideal location to fit an extractor fan to help ventilate the room, which should be between 600 and 915mm above the wall.
You should always leave 900mm on one side and 400mm on the other side of the hob. Keep a minimum of 460mm between the work top and the base of the wall units.
The dishwasher should be positioned within 1m of the sink, to allow the plumbing elements to be easily fitted. Allow 800mm in front of the dishwasher for ease of loading.
If you want a tiled back-splash behind the sink, try to position the units so you can use a whole number of tiles to tile the area (this involves choosing your tiles in advance).
Kitchen designs tend to work best, when the ‘working triangle’ principle is adhered to. This principle involves placing the main storage area, cooker and sink in a triangle, spacing them equally apart. The total distance between them all should be no more than 7.5 metres. The practicality of any kitchen can be greatly reduced if this principle is not followed.
Flooring that requires a solid finish, such as stone or ceramics, should be fitted before the kitchen units are fitted. This means there will be no gaps between the units and the floors but it does mean you are paying for flooring that will be covered by the units. With this in mind a lot of people choose vinyl and laminate flooring finishes. When designing your kitchen consider adding illuminated lights beneath the wall units, to help light up the work surface. Make sure you plan the wiring before any of the floor units are fitted or any wall finish is applied. The wires should be run from a single switch on the main lighting circuit.
A venting extractor fan must be fitted to an external wall if the piping is more than 5m long. The fan will not be powerful to blow air efficiently over a longer distance. A re-circulating model should be bought if this is not possible. Work tops should over hang the cabinets underneath by about 20mm, as this will eradicate any unsightly gaps at the top of the units.
If you follow these instructions in full, you will be sure to end up with a dream kitchen fitting that will be the envy of your friends. There are many pitfalls involved when fitting a kitchen but some careful planning will help avoid such issues.