Kitchen Design and Planning

With any room it is advisable to draw a scale plan showing the location of the fixed and heavy items before you set about the task of ordering and remodelling. With the kitchen it is more than advisable—it is essential. There are so many things to be fitted into the room and there are so many ways you can do the wrong thing. You can shift settees, tables and lamps in the living room, but you cannot just move a sink, cooker, and washing machine from one spot to another if you have made a mistake. The first job is to write down all the factors which must be considered before drawing up the plan:

• Is the kitchen large enough? If not, can a wall be knocked down or an extension built? Take care — you should always consult a builder or an architect before moving kitchen walls.

•Who will use the kitchen? If children will be around, you must think of the safety. If the family is large you will need a lot of storage space.

•Are the services suitable? Remodelling is an opportunity to replace old pipes, have stopcocks fitted etc.

• Is cooking important? If meals are simple and entertaining is an uncommon event, it is not worth wasting money on a large and complex oven. If frozen food is frequently used you will certainly need a microwave oven.

• How often do you shop? Obviously you will need much more storage, refrigerator and freezer space if you shop weekly or fortnightly rather than daily.

• Do you plan to eat in the kitchen? Space may be a problem, but family meals in the kitchen make life much easier for the housewife, and even a small room can usually accommodate a breakfast bar.

• What fixtures do you plan to keep and what do you intend to replace? • How much money can you afford? Left off some checklists in the textbooks, but a vital consideration for all of us! There may be other points you wish to consider before getting down to the detail of planning. Once the plan is complete you should collect catalogues for the items of major equipment you propose to buy. Try to see the goods before you order. Shop around — check whether installation is included in the price.

kitchen design planning layout

Beginning the plan

Mark out the floor plan on graph paper—it is also useful to draw wall plans. Although the measurements on this page are given in inches, it will probably be better to work in metric units these days. The usual scale is 1/20. Draw in doors, windows and the location of pipes, drains, electric points etc. Then mark the position of all appliances and units which are going to remain. The next step is to cut out pieces of card to represent the equipment and units you plan to install. Before coming to a decision, carefully study the concept of the Work Triangle and the 5 basic kitchen styles.

The Work

Triangle The heart of the kitchen is the triangle formed by the refrigerator, sink and cooker — in a very small room this may be condensed to a line rather than a triangle. For the sake of safety avoid having the sink and cooker on either side of the line of traffic, especially if children and dogs are present. A door when opened should not enter this triangle. For the sake of efficiency keep the total length of the sides of the triangle to less than 20 ft.

Completing the plan

Having chosen one of the 5 basic arrangements it is necessary to site the main equipment and units.

Following these needs as far as possible, move the cardboard shapes around to give you the ideal arrangement. If there is a piece of equipment which you want but cannot yet afford, leave a space and fill with a temporary unit. Check the completed plan. Have you arranged for sufficient 13 A plugs (minimum 5) above the work surfaces? Have you positioned the tallest units (eg a broom closet) in a corner or at the end of a run of units? Have you put the sink, washing machine and dishwasher close together to make plumbing easy?

kitchen london

Contact Kitchen Fitters and Installers in London for a free Quote.

Connecting a Vanity Wash Basin

Taking out a wall-hung or pedestal basin and replacing it with a vanity unit is part plumbing and part carpentry.

vanity bathroom basin

You will need to disconnect the old basin, cut a hole in the surface of the vanity unit to take the new basin, fit the basin and reconnect the supply pipes. Before buying the ready-made unit, measure the available space carefully, then choose the counter-top basin to fit the new unit. The taps, basin and cupboard can all be bought separately, but to ensure that the complete unit is compatible it is obviously easier if you buy everything from the same source.

bathroom basin

The counter-top basin fits into a hole in the top of the unit; usually the manufacturer supplies a template for cutting the hole. There are several different types of basins: the self-rimmed ones overlap the counter tops and are supported by them; the frame-rimmed model is secured with lugs that connect frame, basin and counter top. The unrimmed recessed basins are held by bolts and metal flanges. All must be sealed with mastic silicone sealant. You will also need a slotted waste connection, an overflow fitting, a suitable trap, and tap connectors to enable the final connection of the water supplies to be made to the taps.

15 mm pipes and valves

Corrugated flexible copper pipes (15 mm) facilitate easy connection of the supplies, especially in awkward places, and are obtainable with tap connectors already attached. Integral ring-type fittings can be used for all joints. They cost slightly more than end-feed fittings but this factor is offset by the ease with which they can be installed: using a blow torch, you need only apply sufficient heat to melt the solder and the joint is complete.

London Bathroom Fitters

Interior of a kitchen in London, 1862

Interior of the kitchen at the city prison, Holloway,London, in 1862

old kitchen

“One boiler contained a large quantity of broth, with huge pieces of beef… Another boiler contained a large quantity of potatoes which had just been cooked. They were York Regents of an excellent quality. A different boiler contained an enormous quantity of gruel, made of the best Scotch oatmeal, to be served out for supper in the evening. It was filled to the brim, with a white creamy paste mantling on the surface. Cocoa is given on alternate days, and is prepared in the other coppers we saw alongside.”