I talked about kitchen cabinets last week, and was going to cover taps and hoods this week, but after a number of private emails and questions here I’m adding in a few important addendums.
Re. kitchen cabinets, many landlords buy second-hand kitchens on ebay. Having fitted these myself I can say that unless you can buy very cheaply, it probably isn’t worth it. You have to remember that the kitchen was designed to go somewhere else, it can be hard to get all the mismatched components to fit properly, some units may already have been customised for the original space, and important instructions may be missing. If your fitter takes a lot longer to fit the kitchen for these reasons then you could end up paying more for a dated kitchen which has already had the best of its life.
It’s important to keep services (water and gas) as accessible as possible to facilitate repairs. Last week I neglected to mention that where possible I like to run the pipes under the kitchen cabinets so that if there is a problem they can easily be got at by popping off the kickers at the bottom. This is much easier than accessing services which are set into the wall behind the cabinets! Where there are no cabinets, services in kitchens can be put into a neat box behind a skirting set out from the wall, with a top of MDF, rather than set into the wall. The photo shows a box for pipes which then pass beneath a kitchen cabinet.
A few weeks back Paul asked how to stop silicone bathroom sealant from mildewing. I recently replaced some mouldy silicone where the grout was cracked and the tiles were somewhat porous, allowing water to get behind, where it ran down and accumulated behind the silicone. As well as replacing the silicone, I renewed the grout and cleaned then sealed the tiles with a silicone-based tile sealing solution. This should prevent the problem recurring. Client-permitting I would have replaced the grout with epoxy grout, which is completely impervious to water and also less prone to cracking. By the way I do NOT recommending sealing floor tiles unless they already have a strong texture. Sealing solution can make floor tiles very slippery and dangerous when wet.
Also it’s wise to make sure that blinds work properly in damp rooms such as bathrooms or kitchens. My tenants hadn’t wanted to bother me about a broken blind, so had left it permanently closed in the bathroom, then wondered why they had damp around the window. The blind had prevented proper ventilation to the glass, condensation ran down accumulating on the sill, then soaked up the wall which became very mildewed. A new blind should rectify this problem.
Hopefully I’ll be able to talk about taps and cooker hoods next week.