How times have changed; gone are the days when the kitchen had the sole purpose of preparing food. Now we see a time where the kitchen is an extension of our home, a personal haven every homeowner can be proud of.
Open plan living has taken over homes all over the United Kingdom and the rest of the world and with this we have seen the kitchen transform into a living room, a dining room and a place to prepare meals for family and friends. The kitchen is often the heart of the home in many households nowadays, and because of this we see different pieces of technology being developed all the time to aid this.
Technology is improving constantly around the world and it is no different for the kitchen; we see self-cleaning ovens introduced and induction hobs with safety locks. Even televisions are now seen all over the newly transformed, modern day kitchen but there are certain products that we never think about… Kitchen fittings, without them our kitchen wouldn’t function and that is why I believe they are very much the unsung heroes of the kitchen industry.
Kitchen fittings the unsung heroes
In kitchens all over the world kitchen fittings go unnoticed and to the untrained eye they will stay that way. But without them our kitchens simply wouldn’t function. Hinges hold cabinet doors to the cabinet, drawer runners and boxes allow our drawers to hold stable and move freely and our kitchen door handles have more of an impact on the design than you think.
That’s why today I am going to give you a detailed explanation of what exactly these 3 kitchen fittings do, how to fit them and also why we need them.
Kitchen door handles
Kitchen door handles are probably the most noticeable kitchen fitting in the industry, simply because they are in view constantly. However homeowners do not realise the massive impact they have on the design of a kitchen.
If you are looking to spruce up your kitchen changing kitchen door handles can be an affordable and also worthwhile adjustment. There are 3 main kitchen handles styles and they’re as follows:
– D handles: A D shaped handle
– Bow handles: A smooth curved handle much like the letter ‘C’
– T Bar handles: The join between the handle and the fixing is shaped like a ‘T’
Along with different shaped handles there are also differently finished handles too, the three most popular handle finishes are:
– Brushed Nickel
The style/shape of your handle and also the finish will depend on the type of kitchen you have; for example the chrome handle would probably work best in a modern vinyl kitchen. However there is no right and wrong handle for any kitchen, it largely comes down to the owner’s preference.
Fitting a kitchen handle is as simple as it comes; you simply drill the pilot holes, or use existing ones and screw the handles onto your doors, cabinets or cupboards.
Kitchen hinges do a very important job within the kitchen and to the untrained eye one that isn’t often noticed, that’s until one is worn out and needs replacing. You will then notice that there is a wide range of kitchen cupboard hinges available suited to different cupboards and cabinets worldwide.
Two points you need to know about the kitchen hinge is that firstly they are generally named ‘concealed hinges’ this is purely because they are hidden within the cupboard. And secondly you will find the word ‘carcass’. This is the name for the cupboard or frame that your hinge will be attaching too.
Your hinge will come in two parts, the hinge itself and the mounting plate; the hinge attaches to the door and the mounting plate to the carcass. The hinge simply slides onto the mounting plate to connect the system.
There are four different types of concealed hinges that you will commonly find in kitchens throughout the United Kingdom; here is a quick overview of the differences between them all.
Full Overlay Concealed Hinges
The full overlay hinge is by far the most popular in kitchens across the UK. It has a straight arm making it the cheapest to produce and will commonly be found in flat pack furniture. The idea of the hinge is to fully hide the carcass when shut – it pulls the edge of the cupboard door to the carcass when shut, however also allowing it to still open freely. This hinge traditionally has 3 adjustment screws allowing it to be fine-tuned to make sure the door is plumb.
Half overlay Concealed Hinges
The half overlay hinge works in a similar way to the full overlay but it does exactly as it says… It only hides half of the carcass, the hinge will have a bend or crank within which allows the arm to open fully. You would usually see this hinge in bedroom furniture however they are used in kitchens to allow two doors to attach to one carcass.
Inset Concealed Hinges
Inset hinges are not used as much in the modern kitchen as they are the perfect choice for solid wood doors; a much more traditional kitchen. The purpose of the inset hinge is to allow the cupboard to sit, inset inside the carcass frame. The hinge will have a large crank or bend within the middle which allows the door to open fully without hitting the frame or carcass.
Bi-Fold and 170° Concealed Hinges
The Bi-fold hinge is usually found in kitchen corner units where a deep cupboard or carousel shelf has been fitted. These storage cupboards utilise space that would have been wasted in a traditional kitchen. The 170° concealed hinge and the Bi-Fold hinge work together to allow half doors to cover a full corner unit, while sitting flush. You attach the Bi-Fold hinge to the first door which allows it to close and attach the 170° concealed hinge to the carcass. This allows both doors to close flush.
Ball Bearing Runners and Drawer Boxes
There are 3 main kitchen fittings used in drawers, they are the Bottom Fixed Roller Runners, Ball Bearing Drawer Slides and Drawer Boxes. I will explain the differences now.
Bottom Fixed Roller Runners
Bottom Fixed Roller Runners come as a set of two pieces – one of which attaches to the carcass and one attaches to the drawer itself. The way you fit this kitchen fitting is to simply measure the correct length of runner you will need and screw the runners to the furniture and drawer. Next you need to join the two pieces together by simply lining up the drawer with the furniture at an angle of roughly 45° and slowly push it into the furniture lowering the angle until flat at the finish.
Bottom Fixed Roller Runners are usually found in smaller kitchen drawers and are for light duty use; they usually have a loading rate of 15kg. Perfect for cutlery drawers and ones with your small pots and pans in.
Ball Bearing Drawer Slides
Ball Bearing Drawer Slides are most commonly found in metal furniture, probably more associated with the office. However they make the perfect heavy duty kitchen fitting too. They can normally withstand weight up to as much as 45kg and are perfect for any large kitchen drawer packed with pots, pans and other larger kitchen utensils.
They are also fairly easy to fit; you need to work out the lengths of your slides and then pre-drill holes, making them easier to screw in. On the back of the slide there will usually be a black clip that you can push to release the inner member. This piece then needs to be attached to the drawer itself, and then the larger outer member attaches to the carcass of the drawer unit. Both can then be simply screwed to attach and then once in place they simply glide the inner member attached to the drawer into the outer member.
Drawer boxes are easy to make, you simply need to add your own drawer front and then you have a fully working drawer system ready to be fitted into any cupboard carcass. Usually you will find 400, 450 and 500mm length options.
The great thing about drawer boxes is they allow you to use a new or existing drawer front that matches your kitchen. Finally add a MDF back and bottom to complete your fully usable drawer.
As you can see you may not always think about your kitchen fittings but if something isn’t working properly then you may have a massive problem, knowing what kitchen fittings you will need is a very useful skill to have.
This article was provided by Ryan Hirst, Ryan is the marketing and media assistant at Eurofit Direct.
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