We're trying to lay out the appliances for a new kitchen, and would
appreciate some impartial advice on a couple of queries please.
1) Is there any issues with placing a free standing larder (tall) fridge
next to a tall built in over housing?
2) Given the need to position an extractor hood over, is there any problem
with locating an electric hob right up to a window opening (i.e. along
side, not in front of)? No curtains but probably an inset blind in the
3) To position a built in over near a corner, how much side clearance
should there be to stop the oven scorching the cabinets facing (around the
corner) when the door's open?
I guess I don't trust the designers not to tell me to do whatever results
in the most cabinets/expense.
None that I would know of. The oven and fridge should be separated by the
kitchen unit wall and both their insulated skins.
A hob is best positioned against an inside wall with splash back surface for
heat and hygiene reasons.
Having a oven door opening against anything with a decorative facing is a
no, no in my opinion. It's amazing how much heat emanates from the oven
when the door opens, so it will mark other surfaces with scorch and grease
A kitchen should have cooking and washing up facilities at right angles with
each other for convenient working and hassle free transfer of dishes and
pots. The wet areas should all be together for convenience of plumbing and
drainage. The cooking areas should all be together for convenience of
ventilation and wiring or plumbing of their services.
We were told to remember the triangle form when we designed our kitchen.
The points of the triangle are made up from the storage area (fridge, larder
etc.), the wet area (sink, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.) and the
cooking area (speaks for itself really), with the straight lines between
them being worktop surface for serving up and food preparation areas with
all the knifes and mixing appliances etc.
When the kitchen is laid out in this type of configuration, it's then easy
to find out where the most power sockets are needed and where all the
plumbing needs to go, and then you can get it all this work done before you
start to fit the units.
Good luck with, and can we get some pictures when it's finished ?
If we're going to stick with a high level built in oven, we have 2 options
against an outside wall (one near the sink, the other right alongside a
window. My wife doesn't want the hob near the sink.
The only other thing we could do is to locate the oven somewhere else and
put the hob against the inside wall. I'm not keen on this idea due to the
look of that layout and the need to duct the hob extractor.
And would it be possible to site the hob next to the built in oven unit ?
Does the extractor need to be ducted, or is it a charcoal filtered type ?
What sort of wall units are you fitting ? Would the wall units be OK to sit
the pipework on top of, from the extractor ?
It's also a pain from the point of view of accessibility of the oven I
That wasn't the problem we had, they were (in general) just plain
incompetant. One position a dishwasher under a sink, that's simply
impossible, it won't fit.
Decide the best arrangement of appliances, worksurface, etc. yourself
(only you know how you work and what you do most) and then see which
kitchen units etc. can get closest to your ideal.
Positioning things *only* for convenience of wiring/plumbing seems
wrong to me. Postion them to make it easy for them to be used. If
you can also make installation easy as well then so be it but user
requirements are more important than ease of installation.
Just put more sockets than you need everywhere, the cost is trivial
compared with everything else.
I assume you mean he put the dishwasher under the bowl of the sink
itself? Not so good. You can put a dishwasher under the draining board
side of sink and use the space under the bowl as a normal cupboard.
Handy for all the water and waste plumbing.
We have the double drainer with one and a half sinks, the washing machine is
on one side and the dishwasher on the other. There's a single 800mm wide
base unit between them which I made myself. It holds all the washing
powders and things and is right next to both appliance. It made the
plumbing and wiring a lot easier to install as well.
I'm not sure about the bowl capacity. You'd probably have to measure up
the sink wou want to use to make sure it all fits. I figured it would be
possible measuring the sink in my current house, and happened to see the
setup in Homebase when I was looking round. There were two 600mm wide
units, one housed the bowl and was a normal cupboard. The other was the
front to the dishwasher. I plan to do the same, but with a slim line
Yes, it was under the bowl! Having the dishwasher near the sink makes
sense from the point of view of using it as well of course. You can
empty dregs etc. in the sink which, if nothing else, is usually less
messy than dribbling them into the dishwasher.
wow, that's pretty incompetent for a so-called designer... what height was
the worktop at - normal height plus 30 cm??!!!
I butchered the cabinet under the sink so that our (slim width) dishwasher
would fit underneath the drainer. As far as practicality goes we're finding
it an ideal position. As you say, emptying dregs and rinsing off debris is
From the kitchen designers that I've had dealings with, they appear to be
people who don't cook an awful lot. The old "work triangle" design with
sink, fridge and hob at each apex is an efficient kitchen (but I realise
this just isn't practical in many kitches - especially galley style ones).
You really need some worktop space at both sides of the hob, worktop space
on the non-drainer side of the sink and at least some other contiguous
worktop space for preparation.
With suitable insulation between them I wouldn't see oven and fridge
together as such a problem with modern appliances.
I'd really not want a hob flush against any tall unit - for safety I'd want
to be able to remove a pan quickly from the hob in either direction.
But then, I'm fussy about these things....
email me at
richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
I think it was Magnet did the 'design', it was also horribly
Most of the ones we met just took our 'we thought something like this'
layout and built an (expensive) fitted kitchen around it. There was
no input from them from the usability point of view and, if they
couldn't understand what we wanted or their units couldn't do it, they
just didn't bother.
In the end we spent a *long* time with bits of squared paper
scribbling and throwing away ideas. Our problem is that we have a
large kitchen but with two access points, an ordinary doorway on one
long side and a wide archway into the adjacent breakfast room on the
other long side. Thus the useful workspace is in two L shaped parts.
The original infelicity of the kitchen as we found it was that the
dishwasher was tight in the corner of one of the Ls and thus, when it
was open made that corner and the adjacent cupboard completely
inaccessible. Moving the dishwasher to the end of the L, still
adjacent to the sink was the fundamental 'right move' but it meant a
lot of thinking about all the rest of the layout. Given the size of
the kitchen we were able to fit a full double bowl sink in as well
which is lovely compared with the old 1.5 bowl one, I never really saw
any use for the 'half' bowl.
That was one of our other contraints, we wanted to get a 90cm hob in,
with as you say, space for pans either side and that was quite
You mean you actually use the kitchen to cook/work in, I think lots of
people don't. The long time we spent (several months of elapsed time)
in thinking about our kitchen has really paid off. It's now a real
pleasure to work in as just about everything is in the right place and
we managed to get appliances that are good functionally too.
Do you mean oven? Advice I've read in a kitchen design book said not to
put the fridge next to the oven. But a free standing fridge should be
better than a built in one. So it might be okay, but I'd leave a
reasonable gap IIWY. You'll just make your fridge less efficient the
closer you have it.
Again, I'd leave a reasonable gap. Say 200mm+, if only for aesthetics.
Maybe a bit more. 300mm?
Same here. I've spent along time planning and designing my own kitchen.
I'll probably go along to a kitchen designer anyway (MFI or where ever)
just to see if they have any good idvice I've not thought of.
I used the MFI design service and found it very good. I sat with the
designer for a good two hours whilst we tried different configurations and
ideas on the computer. There was no element of them trying to push something
that I didn't want, but occasional useful suggestions of what might work in
the particular circumstances to solve problems that came up. He even worked
out how to get together a Belfast sink unit and door, despite these not
being officially available in the range I was buying.
I suppose a lot comes down to the individual in question. We used MFI
last time and the (design) experience wasn't very pleasant in my opinion.
He was clearly playing the "how many things can I stuff in" game.
Due to the fall of cabinets for the hood, I'd need to allow less than half
that if we put the hob where my wife want (near the proposed oven), rather
than near the sink.
Once again, if I have to leave more than about 150 I've no room for the
Tried this with B&Q. They but the hob near the sink, the built in oven
next to the free standing fridge, with the oven separated from the near
(round the corner) cabinet door by a 6" wine rack insert.
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