Here, we talk about the next part of Doug’’s speech at Grand Designs Live, all about choosing worktops and units and making sure you get the look you want.
There is a lot of choice out there in terms of worktops, and with different price tags to match.
You will find that the bulk of kitchens have laminate worktops, that is Formica bent round chipboard with a sink cut into the top. There’s nothing wrong with this. It is durable, it lasts a reasonable amount of time and can cope with up to 160°C, although you wouldn’t want to put a cast iron pan on it straight from the oven.
Laminate worktops occupy the lower end of the budget, and it’s definitely true that you get what you pay for. Look for brands like Formica and Duropal – these may be slightly more expensive than others, but it will be worth it for the quality.
But what are the other worktop options?
We always get asked whether you can put hot things on any of the worktops. And our answer is, “Don’t do it!” – you may just get away with it with slate or granite, but you certainly wouldn’t with the others.
One thing we often see is people considering buying cheap cupboards but putting expensive worktops on top of them. That’s like buying a Porsche but asking for a Fiesta engine in it. We recognise that everyone has a different budget, but it is important to keep everything on the level.
“Buying cheap cupboards and putting expensive worktops on them is like buying a Porsche but asking for a Fiesta engine in it.”
The average kitchen in this country will be replaced every 7 years. The old kitchen will either fail at the point where the doors are screwed into the unit, or where that drip under the sink got into the wood and made the cheap unit go soggy.
If you’re building a house put in units that will last. It’ll be one of the best investments you make.
Cupboards can be made from various materials:
All units will come in standard sizes 60/40/30 meaning there’s not much scope for creating something unique. So, if you can, consider going bespoke, particularly if you have an old or unusual shaped house. This can work out a little more expensive but will make sure can use every inch of space available and get exactly what you want.
Koivu specialises in beautiful, made-to-measure plywood units. To find out more give us a call.
Check back next week for part four: How to design your kitchen: Other things to think about