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Also check out our numerous Frequently Asked Question pages where you can get answers to some of the more common issues.

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Choosing the Kitchen Design

 

The kitchen is the centre of the home. It is a place for food preparation, cooking, entertaining, eating, socializing, and dinning. The kitchen sees traffic by a family and their visitors than any other room in the home and that should be taken into account when building or re-fitting. Having a well-laid out and planned kitchen can make all the difference.

Kitchen Countertop & Worktop Layouts

Choosing a kitchen countertop layout for new kitchen or worktop change is a large decision. There are four basic kitchen layouts, which have proven to be successful in managing space and traffic. Some make use of the so-called kitchen triangle principle, which means that an even triangle can be drawn between the sink, the refrigerator, and the stove.

The first layout option is a straightforward, or galley, layout. One worktop is along the main wall by the window and contains a sink. The second worktop is on the opposite wall and will have a hob fitted into it and maybe a refrigerator at one end. If the sink and hob are on the same wall, it is considered key that the refrigerator is not placed directly across from the hob, or people will get court up when the room is in high demand.

The second layout option is an L-shaped kitchen. Two worktops sit are in the shape of an L along the largest wall space in the kitchen, a sink, hob, and refrigerator form a triangle along the L. Most of the food preparation will take place in a corner, which avoids other people moving around the kitchen.

The third layout option is a U-shaped kitchen design, which is important for small kitchen spaces where worktop space needs to be maximized. The hob and cooker will be fitted at the bottom of the U shape with the sink fitted in to one of the longer lengths that has a window, a refrigerator will be at one end of the longer worktop lengths normally on the other side to the sink.

The island layout is ideal for spacious kitchens. An L-shaped or U-shaped countertop will compliment an island in the middle or just off to one side of the kitchen dependant on where the doors to and from the kitchen are located. The island is then manly used for food preparation. Often, people will install an additional hob or small sink in the island. Island kitchens should be laid out with a bit of thought, to ensure that all walk ways around the island are of a resizable size so people can pass each other comfortably. It is also worth bearing in mind the work triangle system for a better flow when using the kitchen.

Bi-level countertops are also pretty popular. A second, smaller countertop that runs several centimetres above the main countertop, providing an extra space for storage space or to be used as a breakfast bar, away from the food preparation. 

Worktop overhangs can work to provide a built-in, casual dinning space, but they must be sufficiently supported with a Natural stone worktop. Natural stone worktops are amazingly brittle and must have sufficient support to keep from cracking. Your fabricator or natural stone merchant will recommend to you any extra support needed for your worktops at time of templating your new countertops.

It is a must that the kitchen units can fully support the weight of your natural stone worktops. If you are uncertain about this, have your supplier or stone merchant assess your kitchen units, as you may be required to add additional support to your cabinets. Granite should have no more than a estimated 300mm unsupported span, provided there is a strong support on each side of the worktop. A brilliant way to enlarge the strength of your worktops is to add plywood straight on top of your kitchen cabinets. Check with your stone merchant or templater ahead of doing this yourself.

Sinks

There are two primary types of kitchen sinks: under mounted and sit on. The under mounted sink types are fixed to the underneath of the worktop and look very good, the sit on type sit directly on top of the worktop and are the most practical type of sink’s, but are the most unattractive option. 

Sinks are starting to get more attention, not only as practical, but also as design features and focal points, for kitchens. Yet, the standard cabinet size does not. Consequently, you may not have enough room for the sink that you want. In this case, you can bring the unit out. This is when the worktop and cabinet extend several centimetres away from the wall, and out into the kitchen, to make available more space for that larger sink. Bringing a unit away from the wall can be really eye-catching, particularly to highlight a particularly attractive sink.

If all the options get too overpowering, settle down, have a cup of tea, and imagine yourself in your new kitchen with a stunning looking natural stone worktop. Then take out a pad and take things step by step. Your supplier or stone merchant is always there to respond your questions.

Before you know it, you’ll be preparing your favourite dinner and all assembling around your new worktops more gorgeous than you could have ever dreamed of.

 
 
 
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