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Resource Centre - Helpful Design Pointers

Things you should know about your choice of stone

Make an informed choice through product education

Welcome to our online resource centre, where you will find a wealth of information on stone and worktop related subjects. We hope you find it helpful in your projects and visit us here often to increase your knowledge. We believe by educating our customers they can choose the best options.

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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Making your Plan



For most people, the most difficult part of planning a new kitchen or bathroom is trying to imagine the potential for the new environment. A good technique for getting a idea of how your ideas will look is to sketch them out.

Measure your room accurately, including all windows and door openings, projecting radiators, and the like, and use those measurements to draw your kitchen or bathroom onto graph paper. Make each square on the paper 1 cm/100mm.

Now comes the enjoyable bit: Measure out some of the unit sizes available on another peace of graph paper and then cut them out and use them as templates on the layout you have done of your room. Fool around with this as many layouts as you can make up, rearranging fixtures, cabinets, and interior walls however you like. You may find that all of the fundamentals you hoped to incorporate just will not fit. Do not panic. As a accomplished Kitchen or Bathroom Designer can often find space you did not know you had. If not a compromise must be found to suit your minimum specification requirements. But for now you have a copy of this plan as a rough guide to work from and to discuss with a professional designer.

When you sketch out a rough design for your kitchen or bathroom, do not overlook to allow for sufficient space to be able to move around the room as cramped environments are simply not practical.

Doorways should be at least 800mm wide in order to pass through happily.

Paths between items no less than 600mm, ideally bigger.

For kitchens smaller than 14 square meters, permit at least 3.5 metres of wall cabinet space, with cabinets at least 300mm deep. Wall units are generally 720mm in height via standard kitchen outlets but if you need to the extra space and are prepared to look around you can obtain these 900mm in height. Difficult-to-reach cabinets above the hood, oven, or refrigerator do not count within the 3.5 metres of space.

Kitchens larger than 14 square meters, allow at least 4.5 metres of wall cabinets, with cabinets at least 300mm deep. Again, hard to get to cabinets above the cooker hood, oven, or refrigerator does not count.

The sink should have at least 76 mm of worktop space on one side at least 45mm on the other. Most sinks are around 1 metre in width with a standard bowl and a hlf sink needing a minimum 600mm cabinet to house it.

A hob is generally 600mm in width for a standard 4 ring configuration. 5 ring options are 700mm. Hobs are different from sinks in that you can house a hob in a base unit that is smaller than the hob; a four ring hob can be utilised within a 500mm base unit for example by notching the gables (upright sides) of the base unit. It is not good practice to house hobs above wet appliances (washing machines, dishwashers etc.) although we are not aware of any building regulation prohibiting this. One thing to note about hobs placed into granite worktops is that hobs are around 40 - 45mm thick. Solid worktops are generally 30mm so you will have a hob projection of 10 - 15mm to the underside of the worktops. If you then elect to place an appliance under the hob this 10 - 15mm projection can cause issues that you should discuss with your kitchen designer.

Provide a clear floor space of 750 - 1200 mm in front of the sink, dishwasher, hob, oven, and refrigerator to offer clear access. These spaces can overlap.

In a seating area, allow 900mm of clearance from the edge of the worktop or table to any wall or obstacle behind it, if no traffic will pass behind a seated table area. If there is a walkway behind the seating area, allow for about 1.6 meters of clearance, including the walkway, between the seating area, and any wall or obstacle. Less than this and seated people may have to keep moving around to enable access for others to pass.

One point to seriously take into consideration is how user friendly the space is. Your kitchen designer will have a multitude of different options for your consideration. Our website contains hundreds of worktops options. The functionality of the space is of paramount importance and both the kitchen designer and The Worktop Factory can find options to suit the best utilisation of the space you have. Having a kitchen that is immaculately presented that does not function properly is poor utilisation of your investment that will cause you frustration for years to come; essentially do not let design outweigh function or you will live to rue your decisions.


The principles of bathroom design follow exactly the same ethos as above but you should also take the following into consideration.

Do not place toilets close to walls of the seated use of them becomes awkward.

If you are planning on having a stone bath surround the material should be a minimum of 150mm wide. Anything less than this may compromise its structural integrity thus hindering the materials potential longevity.

If you are planning on having stone used as a front panel to the bath you will need to make allowances for access to the underside of the bath in case of an emergency or to replace a faulty tap etc.

The cladding of walls in stone is becoming increasingly popular, this bathroom project is a perfect example of such works. If you would like to have this feature within your own bathroom you will need to relay to your builder that the walls they are constructing will need to be flat to accomodate these panels. Stone panels cannot be placed on uneven walls.

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