Our kitchen is looking old and tired. I've visited "the sheds" to look at their displays but it is hard to get a price without the hassle of booking an appointment to sit down with one of their designers and after doing that, they have only reproduced the layout we already have!
Is there anywhere else I can try? With something like this, I think it is best to see one in real life before buying, rather than just mail ordering over the internet.
The cheaper kitchens seem to be wrapped mdf, whereas the more expensive doors are solid wood. Am I right to think that real wood would be best? I'm thinking that the solid doors are more likely to stand up to knocks and scratches from the children. Some of the mdf display models seemed to have scuffs and bits of the veneer missing where customers had hit them with shopping trolleys.
I also wonder whether the mdf will swell if steam somehow gets in? OTOH will the varnish on the solid wood be attacked by steam; this is what seems to have happened to our existing kitchen. I guess the answer is to keep kettles away and always use the extractor etc. to prevent steam in the first place.
I was told by the designers that there has to be a 300mm space between the hob and any cupboard to reduce the risk of fire. I was told for electric hobs, this can be reduced to 150mm. I have tried to research this using google but I haven't found anything definite anywhere. Can anyone tell me what the regs say and where I can find them? Why is a smaller gap necessary for electric and does it apply to all types: solid plate, ceramic, etc? What about induction hobs?
I did wonder about buying an induction hob but I think it would be better to buy that separately rather than as past of some package they throw together. I note that some induction hobs require fan cooling. Why is it that ceramic hobs that get hot do not require fans but induction hobs that are not supposed to get hot do?
Some of the designers said that dishwasher should go next to the sink. I can see that would simplify plumbing but they say it is so you can rinse the plates before putting them into the dishwasher. Have I been doing this wrong all these years? I thought a dishwasher washed plates so that you didn't have to? Surely you should not need to rinse them first?
Is it best to have the hob over a 60cm cupboard? My worry is that this 300mm rule will mean it has to fit halfway over two adjacent cupboards. Is this a bad thing?
And finally, the corners are causing me problems. Are the L shaped cupboards the best thing to use? One thing I am not so keen on is they have two doors but only one has a handle and the second door has a fillet bolted on its edge, which I don't think is very pretty. I did find one web site that said only use one L shape cupboard in case the walls are not square but wouldn't that ruin the symmetry of the layout? No-one else has said that to me.