Classy Kitchen Cabinets

Classy Kitchen Cabinets

In the last post I talked about how appropriate choice of sink could have a bearing on the longevity of your worktops. Now I’m going to consider kitchen cabinet units. Actually there’s really not much choice with these as all the major manufacturers make them of melamine (plastic) coated chipboard, either 15mm or 18mm thick. You can pay more for 18mm but it’s still basically the same low-quality material which is very susceptible to water damage. The other difference is that a few (notably Ikea) make units with no service gap at the back. This is great if you have smooth walls with no surface-running pipes or wires, as it allows your tenants an extra 10cm of storage space within, but they can be a problem to fit otherwise. Also Ikea units don’t go together quite like other types, so your carpenter may grumble unless he’s done them before. Howden’s also offer a great trade-only service and can be very competitive on price, for inexpensive kitchens that look classy.

Of course the alternative is a bespoke kitchen but since these can come to the price of a decent executive car, strictly for very high-end properties only!

Adel birch unit being installed

With the doors you have a choice of solid wood or veneered MDF board. I always go for solid wood as it is much more durable – nothing expands in water like MDF! My properties are all newly converted so I’m fitting Ikea cabinets for the extra space, with Adel solid birch doors. They are light and contemporary and look great with black or grey granite.

I fit pelmets below the wall units to cover the low-voltage underlighting. I don’t fit cornice as I think it’s unnecessary. Again I like Ikea because they use a real wood veneer on the moulded MDF, not printed plastic which feels cheap and is very hard to work with.

With the plinths (kickers) below the floor units, it’s important to fit the plastic track underneath which should come with them, to protect them from water damage when the floor is washed. I like to get a spare bit to protect the end panels too, or at least spread clear silicone sealant underneath them to water-seal the wood.

I’ve run out of space to talk about taps, but hope to discuss the different types, and maybe cooker hoods too next week.


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