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Kitchen splashbacks and plugs - please talk to me!

(41 Posts)
shovetheholly Mon 05-Dec-16 09:40:23

My first kitchen, so please assume I am a total numpty about it all! smile

Two questions about splashbacks (if that is the right word for the bit that goes on the wall between the countertop and the wall units?). Firstly, I have 2 x 4 metre runs of worktop in my planned kitchen, facing each other. I would like there to be totally smooth, continuous splashbacks not tiles if possible, and I'd like the splashbacks to be unbroken so there are no joins. But is this possible with a 4 metre length? Most places seem to stop at about 3 metres? How have others solved this issue?

Also, it has only just occurred to me that I will need plug sockets. blush I don't really want to break the splashbacks to put these in. So I have been wondering about putting them in the side walls instead at either end of the kitchen. But will it drive me mad not having plugs more centrally down the run of units? Or will it just look odd having them at the ends?

I want everything to be very minimal!

PigletJohn Mon 05-Dec-16 10:03:26

Sockets are intended to be used, not as ornaments, so have plenty. You will also want switches for the undercounter and wall appliances. It is simplest for the electrician to run your sockets and switches in a horizontal line along the wall, 150mm or more above the worktop.

IMO a double socket every metre is not too many, but as your appliances will usually be 600mm wide, it may look more symmetrical to use 600mm centres. You will have a kettle, toaster, mixer, espresso, radio, phone charger(s), microwave, and numerous other gadgets to plug in, and you will have switches for your boiler, extractor, fridge, undercabinet lighting, dishwasher etc. From time to time you will change the place you want to put your gadgets, so need sockets everywhere. Don't put a switch or socket over the hob where you would have to reach across it, or where a flex would dangle into the heat. The switches for your appliances, and especially the cooker, should not be hidden away but should be in plain sight and their purpose obvious so anybody can immediately turn them off in an emergency.

If you dislike looking at plugs and sockets, you can have them higher, so they are in the shadow of the wall units, but you will soon become irritated by having to stoop down to see and use them.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 05-Dec-16 10:39:09

As I understand it, splashbacks in glass / acrylic (whatever you're having) can be cut by the manufacturer so that they have holes effectively where the sockets will be and they fit around them. Obviously that needs careful planning but you'd still have a continuous length of splashback.

YelloDraw Mon 05-Dec-16 10:47:56

Do you need splashback along the whole run?

Really nice kitchen in last place had granite worktop and upstands, then just painted wall. Hob was on island so no splashback. But my mum has the same and just has a glass splashback by hob.

Go for loads of sockets.. think where you will have your things plugged in and plan them.

YelloDraw Mon 05-Dec-16 10:48:48

Also think about getting one USB socket - so you can have 2x normal plugs in it and 2x USB cables all doing stuff at the same time

TheDuckSaysMoo Mon 05-Dec-16 10:52:33

We only have a splashback (glass) behind the hob. PigletJohn speaks wise words about plugs!

Watto1 Mon 05-Dec-16 10:55:09

What about pop-up sockets? Also, I bought 4m lengths of splashback from an independent builders merchants.

SharpLily Mon 05-Dec-16 10:59:52

The maximum length of a continuous piece for a splashback depends upon the material being used. What are you planning to use as worktop? Natural granite, for example, won't come in a four meter length.

You do need plenty of sockets but there are other ways around their placement - sockets fitted to the underside of the wall units, for example, or sunk into the worktop, although both can impact functionality in these areas. I'm not suggesting you go for this model but it was a quick and easy one to find just to show you an alternative option to splashback sockets: www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/lighting/integrated-lighting/utrusta-1-way-socket-with-usb-port-aluminium-colour-art-20262289/

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 05-Dec-16 11:00:30

We have glass between the worktop & wall units along a long run. Wasn't cheap but we are very pleased.
The cut outs for plugs add disproportionately to the cost.
Could you get the pop up tower of plugs added to the worktop so they can be invisible when not in use?

user1475253854 Mon 05-Dec-16 11:04:40

The popup sockets are good, but do cut into your cupboard space beneath, so it depends on how much you need the storage.

bookbook Mon 05-Dec-16 11:04:49

I have a glass splashback just behind my cooker. It was a few years ago, but had it cut to fit by a glass manufacturer, as they were not easily available at the time.
Plugs are tricky though - you need lots - and a plug socket needs to be a certain amount away from a cooker - the electrician will have details ,( it may be different from when we had ours done)

shovetheholly Mon 05-Dec-16 12:36:35

Thank you all so, so much for taking the time to reply! And for being kind and explaining everything so clearly.

I think this is the moment where I confront the fact that a kitchen in real life is not the same as in the brochures. I've been looking at a lot of these sleek German kitchens in pictures and noticed that very few of them have any plug sockets at all - if you Pinterest 'contemporary kitchen' you'll see what I mean! Any sign of a plug socket is almost entirely absent, and instead there are acres and acres of perfect splashback with no interruptions or joins. In my head I just wanted gloss white for metres and metres with no annoying vertical bars or sockets to interrupt it. But clearly people with perfect lives in brochures don't need electricity and can just make everything work using the power of their eyes, whereas I do require its assistance. So I guess this means that I need to make some compromises and accept that plugs are likely to be an important part of a kitchen that works and isn't just for pictures.

pigletjohn - your advice about spacing is noted (as is all your other kitchen advice). I suspect I might quickly become annoyed with sockets only at the extreme ends. I will need the storage underneath as well, so pop up might not be possible. The plugs underneath the wall unit idea is ingenious sharplily, but I think this might just replace plugs with leads for things like kettles, and that would be, if anything, more irritating!

SharpLily Mon 05-Dec-16 12:52:39

What are you having at the sides of your four metre runs? Are they between walls or open at the sides? Another option is to fit plug sockets into the side panels or 'waterfalls' at the end of your runs, but again this could impact the functionality of whatever units or appliances bracket these runs and doesn't necessarily give you as many convenient plug sockets as you need. However it does allow you to retain that very plain, sleek look above the worktops. Can't find any decent pictures of what I mean but take a look at these:

YelloDraw Mon 05-Dec-16 13:07:55

But clearly people with perfect lives in brochures don't need electricity and can just make everything work using the power of their eyes, whereas I do require its assistance

That made me smile :-)

atticusclaw2 Mon 05-Dec-16 13:10:33

My sockets are all on the underside of my wall units. None at all on the walls.

shovetheholly Mon 05-Dec-16 13:15:55

lily - the room is a long rectangle with a doorway in the middle on one short side and a tall window in the middle on the other. The units just face each other all along the length of the long sides. So the end of the countertop/side of the units is just the side walls. I was thinking of putting two double sockets in each side wall (8 in total), but I think you're right that this might actually get really annoying and become quite inconvenient. Perhaps I'm better off accepting and embracing the need for power!

yello - I am surprisingly outraged that the people making the brochures are lying to me in this way! LYING I TELL YOU! grin

shovetheholly Mon 05-Dec-16 13:17:02

Oooh atticus - how do you find that as an arrangement? Do you end up with trailing wires or have you found a way around that? Am concerned about things like the kettle having this permanent trailing lead!

SharpLily Mon 05-Dec-16 13:25:40

Yeah, I think you're going to have to embrace the idea of sockets somewhere. The best way around it probably to use the sleekest, smartest sockets you can find.

www.forbesandlomax.com/home.html

www.livinghouse.co.uk/acatalog/electrical-sockets-and-switches.html

www.hartingtonheath.com/product-category/uk-sockets-2/?gclid=CMTD8aST3dACFcLGGwodlmoDHg

atticusclaw2 Mon 05-Dec-16 13:29:58

I don't have any trailing wires at all unless I'm using something.

But that's due to a combination of:

1. kettle is a hob top kettle not an electric one.
2. all sockets are under the wall units but these are only really used occasionally for the food mixer
3. All phones etc are charged using a charging drawer (posh name for a drawer with an electrical socket in the back it (also with double usb sockets)
4. toaster, microwave etc are all in large "appliance garages" (posh name for cupboards with sockets in the back.

Kitchen was deliberately designed like this because I wanted a streamlined look with no small appliances on show.

PigletJohn Mon 05-Dec-16 13:37:05

I find a kitchen sink looks much sleeker if it has no taps or plugholes.

However it's not much use as a sink.

SharpLily Mon 05-Dec-16 13:41:35

wink

PigletJohn Mon 05-Dec-16 13:43:42

And a car with no ugly wheels.

And hands without tiresome fingers.

SharpLily Mon 05-Dec-16 13:48:05

www.businessinsider.com/bmw-vision-next-100-wheel-movement-2016-3 ? smile

shovetheholly Mon 05-Dec-16 13:56:26

Ha! I love the almost metaphysical turn this has taken! When is a plug not a plug? When is a sink not a sink? There are so many ingenious ways to hide and disguise things. Some are surprising - how does that invisible socket even work!?! That's incredible. lily - how do you even find out about these things?

I am intrigued even while I know that such things will be impossible without breaking my (small) budget. I suspect your kitchen atticus is a Ferrari and mine will be a pushbike grin But it is still useful to know, because I suspect there are a lot of tricks I can steal and reuse from higher end kitchens than I can afford. smile

I won't be charging my phone in the kitchen, because there is a 100% chance that I will end up accidentally baking or beating it, or covering it with boiling soup if I do this. smile I do, however, regularly use a food mixer, soup blender, instant pot, etc. But only when cooking - they go away afterwards. So maybe under the wall units could work? However, I fear they might be good for me but not so great for my DH who is quite a lot taller and would probably have to stoop awkwardly to use them.

I shall ponder, thank you all for your help!

SharpLily Mon 05-Dec-16 14:02:09

smile. I'm a designer.

Sounds to me like the Forbes & Lomax Invisible range would fit your requirements quite well.

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