If you have a big kitchen-diner...(32 Posts)
What do you do about insulation? Both sound and heat? We're starting a renovation project that will leave us with a (very) big kitchen-diner and I'm concerned it will be cold with the big bifold doors and also noisy with minimal soft furnishings to absorb the sound. Are curtains for bifolds a crazy idea?
Have a aga for heat 😁 and some rugs for warmth.
Ours is about 7m x 7m with bifolds across the back and it isn't cold. There are lots of internet sites that enable you to calculate the BTUs that you need factoring in the glass, whether it's single storey etc. Make sure you get efficient radiators, position them sensibly and it'll be fine. We have oak floors and a rug in the seating area.
Noise wise - we have the seating area (with TV) at the opposite diagonal corner to the kitchen if that makes sense so noise not really a problem (washing machine & dryer in a separate utility room). We don't put the dishwasher on if we're watching a movie for instance but that's because it beeps fairly often rather than underlying noise.
For me personally, I wouldn't have curtains (or anything else) for bifolds but that's because I was going for a kind of contemporary, fuss free look and we're not really overlooked. It's also the reason why we put the seating area the furthest away from the bifolds so you don't feel on display when lights are on in the evening / bit cosier / was darkest part of room anyway.
Do underfloor heating if you can. It makes a huge differenct to overall heat in all areas. I have a glass orangery kitchen with glass walls on 2 sides with a glass roof and its fine. It is only a bit narrower than your room. It is not noisy and it has a tiled floor. I too have a separate laundry and we have a second tv in another room if dw is on but my Miele is extra quiet! We sit next to the glass walls quite happily because it overlook the garden. No-one can see us so not on display at all. Just easy access to the garden if we want it. I do not think curtains go with bifold doors. Polar opposites in style really. Make sure you heat the space effectively and don't shout!
Our kitchen diner is approx 90 sqm so a pretty large room. One end is a set of bifold doors, about 5m wide. We also have a roof lantern, so a decent amount of glass.
We have wet underfloor heating throughout the room. We also insulated the external walls to current building regs. All the windows and bifold doors are double glazed. It’s never cold, in fact it’s usually the warmest room in the house! Underfloor works brilliantly to evenly heat a big space, it’s also lovely walking around on a warm floor! Slippers were ditched a long time ago. We do have an Aga style oven too which gives off some heat and a log burner - but we rarely use that.
We will eventually get blinds for the bifold doors - I think roller blinds work well with them. You can get them built into a recess above the doors so you don’t see them when they are up. Ours will be electric too so automatically closing when it’s dark etc. We don’t need them for heat though, it’s fine.
I’d make sure that you fit a quiet dishwasher etc in the kitchen to cut down on noise from the kitchen area disturbing you. We never find it’s too noisy though.
Ours is big but part of a new rear extension. DH built it and insulated really thoroughly under the floors and in the walls. We have a real wood floor, three velux windows and 2 smallish radiators and it's baking in there! The doors go the full width of the room and we don't have any curtains or blinds.
Thanks for the feedback. There will be UFH but I'm concerned it will be draughty and the gas bills will be horrendous with a big wall of glass. If only my DC would listen when I tell them not to shout...
Ours is about 6x12 m with 4m of the short wall south-facing glazing and 3 windows along the East side. The floor is all tiling but there is a thick wool rug in front of a large fabric sofa, that is all the softfurnishing in the room and seems enough for the acoustics. There is a log burner and there are 2 radiators. The rads give enough heat on their own but when off we use the burner if it is cold out. Our walls are not cavity insulated, the loft above the room has insulation. The sun heats the room, too much on hot summer days so we have roller blinds just for shading.
It is a fabulous room, enjoy yours too.
Inexplicably the people who renovated our house before us didn't put underfloor heating in our basement kitchen diner, just slate flooring onto concrete, a shit load of glass and a horribly underpowered radiator. It's utterly freezing - we have the heating on 24/7 and the other morning it was 9 degrees in the kitchen. Roll on July...
To be honest I think with underfloor heating and very modern glazing you should be ok. An aga or range would be ideal if possible. I did see on a house show on TV an electric range powered by solar panels - the range kept the room warm and it didn't cost anything. That's the dream!
Wood makes things feel warmer too - we have wooden worktops and a big farmhouse table which I think slightly helps compared to granite surfaces and metal/glass.
Do your research on heating and as far as you can, work out coatings.
There have been quite a few posts on UFH for very large rooms. Some say best thing since sliced bread, some say slow to respond / only background heating / expensive to run.
We have electric UFH (so not really comparable to wet UFH) in bathrooms under tiles and whilst it works well in small space, I'm not convinced for a very large living space.
We have a large kitchen/diner - it was originally a 3 room extension that we changed into 1 large kitchen/dinner. We have 3 areas of glass, the front door section is all glass (door in the middle with long glass panels either side, looks like bifold but its not..), we have the whole of the back wall as bifold and another small section of wall is glass top and bottom (top are windows). Difficult to explain.. We also have 3 roof velux windows (vaulted ceiling). It used to be FREEZING, but when we renovated we ensured much better insulation. Our builders wrapped it in a gold duvet thing. Again I can't explain but instead of having the ordinary type of insulation you can now get this stuff on rolls which looks like a duvet and they used that all over the house (and in the roof too). Despite our house being a 1450's period cottage it's probably the best insulated in the area. We also have water based underfloor heating - there's been many threads on the topic but it's now possible to buy an overlay system which can lay over an existing floor (rather than having to dig down which is costly). We have a stone floor (because of dogs and muddy paws) and its work beautifully underneath it. All of our glass units have integrated blinds within the glass. I found with bifolds (and I have a wall of glass in an upstairs bedroom) you will find it difficult to fit curtains if the doors are flush with the opening. So blinds generally are the only thing that will fit. Because most bifolds will be double or triple glazed there should be little requirement for curtains for warmth, purely for keeping out nosy neighbours etc.
The only thing I would say about electric UFH heating it is really expensive to run. We have it in an purpose built office that is in our garden (couldn't have water based as no water to the building). Our electric bill came in this month and was an extra £320 per quarter. The only real change in our living is this office. We have switched it off and bought a cheap heater and plug that in instead as we don't use the office every day and was heating an empty room for weeks/days we were not using it. When we turned it off, then turned it back on again it took 24 hours to come back up to temperature, which is why we have decided to turn it off completely. I find UFH only works in rooms which need it switched on all the time in a space you are living in. Because you can now buy an overlay system there's no real need to get electric if you can have the choice. Water is more expensive to install but much cheaper to run in the long run.
Mamma - our electric UFH only takes a few minutes to really make a difference in our (admittedly small) bathrooms, I think it makes a difference that your UFH is in the garden perhaps? Ours are on (separate) timers, usually on for about 30 minutes before we get up and the rooms are toasty! I have heard for large spaces its expensive to run though. Wet uFH much cheaper to run if you want UFH and think it will provide enough heat OP.
apparently the floor grids in front of the glass that pump out warm air stop condensation
I am leaning towards wet UFH as everything seems to suggest this is better in a bigger area. The builder however is keen to go for electric because he says the install costs for wet are so high it would be 20 years before it starts being cheaper to run than electric. I'm not sure of his figures though, it's a suspended floor so install not particularly complicated. There's not much more we can do on insulation, three walls are internal so the glass will be the only external wall. Loads to think about so thank you all.
I’d be wary of installing electric ufh. It’s very expensive to run. I’d take what the builder said with a pinch of salt. Electric mats are very easy to install, wet ufh between joists is a bit of a fiddly job so a bit more time consuming but I think the materials are cheaper so it shouldn’t cost a huge amount more.
We have a large kitchen-diner, and in addition to the two oil-fired CH radiators, we put in a heat pump which runs on electricity and delivers warmth in minutes, and is economical to run. In summer, it can be an AC unit too. Would recommend but you need a space above the ceiling for a large lump of machine and outside ventilation for it. It only works because our house is upside down!
Ours is huge. The kitchen bit has 2 big vertical radiators and then there is a normal radiator I the dining bit. It is a new extension so well insulated. We have engineered floor in the dining area with thick underlay. It isn't too noisy but the noisy appliances are in the utility room not in the kitchen. We don't have curtains yet but we are going to. Im going for double track as it is south facing so I want a light voile to filter the light a bit when it is sunny so people sitting in the wrong side of the table don't get blinded and then a nice heavy curtain for winter insulation. Plus I just like being all cosy and being able to close the curtains on a night. We have a little armchair tucked in the corner by the bifolds. It is next to the radiator too so in the summer it is a glorious place to sit with the bifolds open and enjoy the sun and in winter it is a perfect curl up corner.
@OCSockOrphanage - can you tell me a bit more about your heat pump? There's a slightly left-field plan of mine to get air-source heat pumps for the wet UFH but I don't know how feasible it is.
You need to talk to someone in the business. Ours is made by Daikin, who are good and reliable, but it's all in the fitting. A really good HVAC engineer local to you is probably the best place to start.
My kitchen is 50ft long and costs £100 per month to heat if we leave it on 24/7.
Embarrassed to say that I have never worked out how much the heat pump costs on its own, but the kitchen is 28 x 17 plus another 12 x 17 into the adjacent hall/entrance, so it takes quite a bit of heating. I turn it off between 10 and 3.00 as the room faces south so it gets all the solar gain.
Ours is 15' by 18' with just a standard double radiator and a towel rail and tbh we often have to open the door to the hall to cool it down.
There are standard upvc patio doors in it, mind and someone previously did put curtains up, which have been welcome when it's -3, outside.
We have wet underfloor heating throughout the house (including a double height 4.5m x 8m kitchen diner/living room). Ours is run by an air source heat pump that also provides our hot water.
The condenser & hot water tank are inside the house in a unit about the size of a large fridge freezer (1m x 1m x 2m high) then an outside fan unit in the garden.
I love it, house is always the right temperature, no cold tiles in the morning and the UFH frees up so much wall space. Our unit is about 10 years old and doesn’t do the A/C in summer but according to the servicing company we use, the newer ones do and are more efficient than ours. Our total electric bill is about £90/month for a 3 bed house (electric, heating & hot water).
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