What to know before choosing a kitchen?

How to choose kitchen furniture

What to know before choosing a kitchen?

When you furnish your home, buying a kitchen is the most delicate and important moment, especially when it comes to quality assessment. 

Understanding what to know before choosing a kitchen is important because the kitchen is the most populated environment and certainly more subject to wear, both for everyday use and for several times a day, both for the environmental characteristics that are created in a kitchen, such as heat, humidity and various vapors.

At first glance, unless we speak of extremely economical kitchens, all kitchens may look the same, but they are the individual characteristics and details that determine their quality.

So what to know before choosing a kitchen?

When choosing a kitchen it is necessary to evaluate different aspects

  • the structure (cash)
  • the mechanics (hardware)
  • the fronts (doors and drawers)
  • the work plan (top)
  • the appliances

What to know about the structure before choosing a kitchen?

Before choosing a kitchen, compared to the structure, it is fair to know that about 90% of the kitchens sold in Italy by “mercatoni” to “big names”, have a melamine faced panel structure or, to be more clear, the panels they are in chipboard covered in melamine.

But before choosing a kitchen we must bear in mind that, if it is true that the structure of the panels is the same material for 90% of Italian kitchens, it is true that not all the panels are created with the same characteristics, and this is where the difference is created between economic kitchens and kitchens of a certain quality.

The first thing we can observe is the thickness of the panels (shelves, structure and fronts):

  • A very economical kitchen will have roughly a panel thickness of 1.4 cm
  • A good quality kitchen will have a panel thickness of 1.8 cm
  • A kitchen of excellent quality, such as those produced by Veneta Cucine, will have panels with a thickness of 1.9 cm

A second feature is the compactness of the chipboard, which is not always visible because the cooks rarely leave the inside of the panels visible. However, the more compact the chipboard, the more grip the screws and the glues will have. 

Two other parameters must also be taken into account: the formaldehyde content and moisture resistance.

As far as the formaldehyde content is concerned, it refers to the type of glue used and the amount of formaldehyde they contain, bearing in mind that this is a toxic element it is appropriate to choose a kitchen with low formaldehyde content.

With regard to moisture resistance, the best panels are those with the code V100 (which have a green color inside), which are immersed in water for 24 hours and can undergo a maximum swelling of 12%, alternatively they are called V20.

Before choosing a kitchen it is good to evaluate the quality of the mechanical parts ie

  • the guides for the drawers and baskets
  • the hinges for the doors
  • the arms for Vasistas wall units, flap and package

These parts are the most subject to stress and, therefore, more subject to easy wear and in the market if they are of different types, among the best companies, producing such components we find the BLUM and the GRASS.

When we choose a kitchen we firstly evaluate the practicality and a good part of this is given by an easy opening / closing of drawers and baskets, which is determined by the quality of the mounted guides, which differ in the quality of the metals used, for the better fluidity of the tracks and for the flow. There are drawers and baskets that can support a load up to a maximum of 60 kg. up to 120,000 consecutive cycles are tested.

Finally, before choosing a kitchen, it is good to evaluate a further technical characteristic, that is, the arms for wall units, whether they are drop-down or packaged vasistas. a bracket for frictioned wall units with integrated blumotion and white fairing. This type of arm is tested up to 10,000 cycles and if we calculate that on average in one day an arm is subjected to 10 opening / closing, we can calculate for this product a duration of 25 years.

What to know about the fronts before choosing a kitchen?

Things to know about the fronts before choosing a kitchen are many, first of all you have to evaluate the material with which they are made and then compare the different types.

So let’s start, first of all to distinguish between fronts in

  • lacquered (glossy or matt)
  • solid wood-wood veneer
  • laminate
  • glass

How to choose kitchen furniture

Ease of access

In the jargon of stove lovers we talk about the rule of the triangle of activity : in practice it means that your fridge, the oven and the sink must be arranged in order to reduce as much as possible your movements . The ideal arrangement is that of parallel lines: on one side the hot space (oven / cooking plates), and on the other the cold space (fridge / sink). 
It is not you that you have to adapt to the kitchen , but it is the kitchen that must adapt to you! 

If you are not a basketball player, it is better to choose low elements, if you are tall, give preference to wall cabinets or base cabinets (especially for sink and work space). If you can not bend as you once did to reach the lower shelves, remember to choose the appropriate accessories to make life easier (furniture swiveling in the corners, removable low compartments to reach what is stored there without having to put on all fours etc.).

Work space always uncluttered

Depending on the shape and size of your kitchen you should arrange the furniture in order to always keep a large and functional work space for cooking and supporting your dishes. The chef’s advice: choose a worktop that is deeper than basic furniture to create the space necessary for the passage of electric pipes and cables .

Easy maintenance

Every cook, from the most expert to the beginner, will find himself fighting with the frying oil splashes and the sauces that stain the poor kitchen furniture ! For this reason it is better to choose easy to clean and resistant materials – a stroke of sponge and everything is back like new!

How to set up the kitchen and arrange the furniture

The arrangement of the furniture varies depending on the configuration of the kitchen. 
First you should:

  • check where the water, gas, electricity and drain pipes are located , to establish the layout of the appliances (in particular for the extractor hood , excluding the models with recirculation);
  • measure the space used to house the furniture;
  • establish the shape of your kitchen .
Once you have all this data clear you can start designing the furniture installation. 
An important detail: usually the cupboards are intended for foodstuffs , while the elements on the ground receive dishes and accessories for the preparation of meals (pots, pans, small appliances, etc.).
Configuration

Long and narrow kitchen

Wall units and base cabinets on one wall .

Medium-sized kitchen

You prefer the L-shaped arrangement, ie with a corner on two walls.

Large kitchen

You can opt for the central island that usually includes the cooking space.

U-shaped kitchen

You can arrange the elements on three walls or on two walls and a peninsula . It is the ideal arrangement if you have a closed kitchen or with an open entrance to the living room (open kitchen).

Furniture: to each his style (and his budget!)

The structure of the base cabinets is standard (18 mm thick plywood), but you can always indulge in the choice of fronts, surfaces, side panels and worktop . 

On the market you can find a wide range of materials to give the style you want to your kitchen.

The ant

The excellent material of the 70s kitchens is back in fashion! As the laminate is durable and easy to clean . 

Unfortunately, it is a material little used by the manufacturers, we must take a little ‘to get it! 

Most people get rid of this kind of furniture because they have a too retro style, and therefore you can find them at very affordable prices ! In addition, the recycled ant furniture is also healthier , as after a few years the recomposed wood panels no longer emit polluting substances. Of the ant we can appreciate the robustness and the retro style(even if it is difficult to find furniture in good condition); among the disadvantages we remember the tendency to scratch and break with the passage of time.