Kitchen dilemmas... advice please(24 Posts)
We are having a kitchen/dining room knock through and extension done, building starting in January. Still lots of decisions to make about what to put where, and what to have in the kitchen. So I am appealing for some MN wisdom please...
- extractor fan. thought I didn't want one as have never used in any house I've lived in. however, upon further thought realise that I've always has crappy (and manky) ones so have ignored them. Are good ones worth having?
- induction or gas hob? think I want induction but not much experience of them.
- underfloor heating - would love this . Electric much cheaper to install. What are the advantages of gas/water system.
- The Sink. obviously a very important part. I really like this double one from IKEA, but it doesn't fit with a draining board (essential for me as I am not and never will be a dryer upper). But I am a rinser, so want enough space to have a fresh water bowl for dunking to save water on the rinsing. Any suggestions?
Any tips or lessons learnt much appreciated.
Haven't chosen the kitchen units yet either....
Yes to extractor fan that vents to the outside (you can take off the filters and stick them in the dishwasher every so often)
I prefer electric to gas for a hob - easier to clean and looks smarter. Wouldn't know about induction other than you need to be sure that your pans will work with it.
Link wouldn't work for the sink, but would a 1.5 bowl plus drainer fit?
Yes yes yes to extractor fan. We did our kitchen and was the one and only thing my DH insisted on. It's so nice that it vents outside and doesn't just put the smokey/steamy air back into the room.
If I could have afforded induction I would have. From what I understand, if a magnet sticks to the base of your pans, they'll work with induction.
I'd go for the underfloor heating too.
I thought about a sink & 1/2 but went for one absolutely ginormous one instead. I love it.
I also love my Silestone/quartz countertops.
Gas hob - you're mad to consider anything else
I couldn't cope without 2 sep sinks but my 1.5 is just fine
Personally I don't see the point of underfloor heating, but each to their own.
I changed from a big butler's type sink (which you can fit a roasting tin in and several saucepans) to a much neater stainless steel 1.5, and my conclusion is....you need a larger sink (but stainless steel) than you think and then another one for slops...Most standard sinks are too small. Try looking at somewhere like Franke for a bigger range than most kitchen outlets.
P.S. My Howden's kitchen looks good but my previous Ikea kitchen had much more durable fittings. Also NEVER get an integrated fridge or dw, they are always crap compared to the white stuff and fit much less.
Otherwise, I've had wood and wipe clean heat proof laminate and I like both for different reasons, but truthfully I prefer the wood I used to have, although it looked shabby. New laminate is brilliant in many ways but just doesn't have the breathing warmth of the wood, possibly because it is darker? (although sparkly and interesting in itself)
I have no extractor, just open the window when I cook, close it when I've finished....works for me.
I have a double sink [2 bowls, side by side] and when I wash up it all goes in the drainer inside one bowl so no chance of them falling over on a drainer. [Then you could swing the tap round and rinse off]. And it looks tidier, no pressure to dry up straightaway.
I have an induction hob. Sleek, easy to clean and very fast and responsive. Pans of water boil in seconds and turn up/down immediately too.
I would recommend the 'stone'/quartz worktops. Better than laminates and not so brittle or heavy as granite.
We have that Ikea sink but we do have a dishwasher so it doesn't really get heavy use. I have a simplehuman drainer that will fit in one bowl or if needed, go on the worktop adjacent.
If I didn't have a dishwasher I'd want a stainless steel good big 1.5 bowl sink with a proper drainer. Or a 1.75 bowl. If you have the space and want a farmhouse look this is a very practical sink, I have seen them IRL. I should think it could be built onto ordinary units with a bit of modification.
Built in micro - expensive but it changes your life
We never used our old extractor and now we don't have one I never miss it or think about it other than yay I don't have to bump my head.
Look at storage and add more, we thought we would have 3 empty cupboards - in reality we had none within 2 weeks
Induction cookers are great, more stable than gas (no rings) but ours looks dirty after every use and needs wiping down
We also got a friend who was good with woodwork to look at the awkward bits - boiler pipes and stopcock are hidden behind paneling that is level with the cupboards but easy to remove.
The best advice we had from relatives who have done their own kitchens every time was forget money and possibility what do you really want and then you can work backwards from that.
Also if you have a DIY store near you look out for them changing the displays, we picked up a perfect £200 sink for £25!!!
I just bought a beautiful huge ceramic reginox -1.5 bowl since from costco £120- fantastic value and. I am really pleased with it! Reginox tap bought online £50.00 looks great might be a bit faulty but Ia m hoping to swap it as I am again really chuffed with how it looks.
We are just nearing the end of our extension and kitchen refit. In some ways, I'm too early in the process to answer your queries, but here's my thoughts:
- We went with an extractor - the cooker is not particularly near the door, and I wanted to be able to get rid of cooking smells as the new space is far more open plan than our old set up. We had the wrong extractor delivered, so we're currently working without one until the fitters come back next week, and I have to say I'm missing not having one.
- We considered induction but wound up getting gas. It was really a case of sticking with what we know, as well as my favourite pan being unsuitable for induction! I'm very happy with the gas though.
- We've got water underfloor heating. It was more expensive to install, but the running costs should be far more reasonable than electric. Friends had the electric, but stopped using it once they realised how expensive it was to run. We're still waiting to switch ours on, as the tiling was only finished 10 days ago, and we were advised to wait 2 weeks minimum before switching it on.
- We've gone with a double Belfast style sink and a granite worktop so that the dishes can drain directly back into the sink. Our main sink is HUGE, so we tend to use the smaller sink for washing up, unless there's loads to do. It just takes so much water to fill the bigger sink, it seems a waste! We find that the sink is a bit too low, but I think part of that is because the units were fitted to the floor, but the tiles mean we're standing a cm or so higher.
Induction hob - amazing, nearly as good as gas and 5 secs to clean - no regrets switching over (not had a power cut yet though...)
Get a water softener installed if you're in a hard water area - this has revolutionised the amount of cleaning I need to do
Fit 2 slimeline dishwashers in - you never have to empty the clean one (well maybe 5% of it) it just works as a cupboard.
1.5 sink but with a large full sink for huge oven trays etc.
thanks so much for your replies. lots of useful and interesting tips
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I've been eyeing up Franke sinks, because although I'm having an Ikea kitchen, the only sink I like is the extra deep Boholmen which has no drainer. Franke sink and a half sinks are somehow more aesthetically pleasing.
I'm afraid Lidingo looks cheap in person IMO. If money is tight, go to Ikea regularly and look through their bargain corner. Most of my utility room has come from there, including the most amazing deep Numerar sink, which can fit a whole bucket in and has an integrated WASHBOARD. Even OH was excited at the 60% off sink. I have put Applad into the utility, with some nice-ish stainless steel doors.
Pan drawers much easier than pan cupboards, especially with a shallow drawer above for pan lids.
No extractor. They are MANKY (this is my personal opinion, feel free to ignore it, especially if you have a nice one that works).
Gas hob is the only way to go. Any other way is madness.
Eye level oven is so much easier with kiddywinkles about. We are having a free standing dishwasher (in stainless steel to match oven, hob and sink) but a built in tall larder fridge in a mid level cupboard, a larder mid level cupboard next to it, then the oven next to that. I wish we could afford to swap our very expensive free standing microwave for a built in one. But we can't. Our freezer is getting shoved into our utility and the Smeg fridge that I lusted after for years is going back on ebay as it won't fit well with my Scandi inspired mid century gloss white and wood kitchen with wrap around counters. Dribble.
We have bought our floor already, and personally I think it is important to avoid too many clashing media in kitchens. So our cabinets are gloss white and one wall of gloss grey. Our worktops and floor are basically the same kind of wood, and then all our appliances, sinks and taps are stainless steel. Table at the other end is wood, like the floor, the chairs and benches are white and grey gloss like the cabinets. I loathe stone/granite/laminate worksurfaces anyway (and I don't really like corian either) but if I had them, my floor would tone in either in material or colour.
We have a white sink like that now. It is NEVER clean. I know stainless steel gets grubby, but at least it doesn't look actively filthy constantly. It only looks clean after I've bleached it. And then only for ten minutes.
We are almost at the end of a single storey rear extension and knock through for a kitchen and family room (with separate lounge).
Extractor: you have to have one of some description for building regs and for us the building inspector was happy with a smaller capacity external venting cooker hood (which is hidden in my over mantle). If we hadn't had one he wanted a separate externally venting fan so that sealed the deal for me. I didn't want one of those!
I second the 'work out what you love and want then work backwards from there' approach. There are ways to make it affordable.
We've had an island. Not everyone loves them but I'm going to love mine I can tell already, and it was only fitted yesterday!
We're getting our inspector round before the kitchen is fitted - so long as he can see provision for an extractor, then he's happy. We may never fit one of course....
Another vote for the gas hob (much easier to be exact in terms of temperature control) and for an extractor fan. Nothing worse than condensation inside a building - especially if you've just plastered and painted!
I find induction just as responsive as gas - and sooooo much easier to keep clean - check if your pans will work with induction by seeing if a small magnet (fridge magnet will do ) will stick to the bottom of your pan - if the magnet sticks then it's 99.99% going to work on an induction hob !
very useful thread as we will be planning a kitchen soon too.
one tip from our current kitchen. we have a gas hob with a lid that comes down over it. it is perfection itself and means we have a massive worktop space when we are not using the hob
and we don't have to wipe the hob every night
just need to find one that is not from 1970!
The other thing I invested in was a hob top kettle - bliss tbh and it has never caused and issue with shortage of rings and one less thing cluttering up the worktop.
We had a kitchendiner extebsion done in the summer. I spent a lot of time reading old threads on Mumsnet for advice and followed a lot of it. I would recommend going for eye level oven and microwave, if possible. We have had an induction hob put in and it's amazing, quicker and more responsive than gas and a doddle to keep clean.
pan drawers are much better than cupboards, and we also invested in a pull out larder which I love.
Building regs mean you have to have an externally venting extractor fan. I didnt want a cooker hood so we went for a flush-to-the-ceiling extractor (like a bathroom one) which is almost invisible.
We are really pleased with our choices, wouldn't change a thing.
Your extractor sounds brilliant - could you tell me which one you had? I hate hate hate extractor fans, but a ceiling one would be much less irritating and not spoil the lovely lines of my kitchen.
Induction hobs do sound nice in your post, but one of our wedding presents was a set of copper bottomed saucepans, so a no no for us.
If you want to use non-induction cookware on hob then you could try this:
I haven't tried one myself as I just used the new hob as an excuse to buy new cookware! And actually most of my pans worked anyway.
You can pay a fortune for fancy extractor fans but ours is a bit like this:
ours isn't quite the same model but same principle. I think ours cost about £50, the ducting to the outside runs along the main joist so it was boxed in with that.
We didn't go for underfloor heating as our budget wouldn't stretch that far, had we had the budget then I would have probably done under floor heating and tiles, but we went for engineered oak and radiators, and that's fine.
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