A kitchen really is the room for all seasons, by being the workhorse of all our homes. We dine, entertain, relax and even work in them. We ask a lot from our kitchens so getting it right is very important.
Sockets and spurs
A new kitchen takes careful planning and arrangement of your appliances to suit the spaces. This requires a plan of where to install your socket outlets and fused spurs for oven/cooker/extractor, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, iron, toaster, microwave, kettle etc.
Whether fitted above or below your worktop, or pop up sockets in your island - they all need to be accessible. If appliances such as fridges, dishwashers and washing machines are fitted under worktops, getting to sockets may be difficult. Ideally, these appliances should be controlled by a switched fuse connection unit mounted above the worktop where easily control it.
All new sockets in a house require protection by an RCD (Residual Current Device).
Getting your lighting correct can literally transform a regular kitchen into an extraordinary kitchen. When an area is lit in exactly the right way, and everyone looks and feels relaxed, when the work areas are pinpointed and lit aesthetically, it creates an incredible atmosphere.
Upgrading your lighting can provide your kitchen with an instant facelift at the fraction of the cost of a major upgrade.
The three main types of lighting are task, ambient and accent. No matter how much natural light you have, in order to have the most beautiful kitchen you need to layer up these three main types of light.
Task lighting – the most practical light. Start with this first and nail where it’s essential, by targeting all the main work areas such as worktops, cookers and sinks. Downlights and under cupboard spots or LED lights ensure bright focussed task lighting and provide another layer. You should design to allow you to cook, prep safely and also read a recipe book.
Ambient lighting – gives you basic illumination, and it’s the light that comes from a flick of the main switch. Don’t think of it as coming from only one source like a pendant, because recessed lights, wall lights, chandeliers and even floor lights can contribute to ambient lighting.
Accent lighting – draws attention to objects and highlights different parts of your room, fireplaces, paintings, or a beautiful lit bowl on a counter and so forth. It gives your kitchen a whole other level by guiding the eye and creating points of interest your room.
If you do have the extra room to make a kitchen diner which makes the kitchen a great family place. This will require an additional circuit for sockets, switches for lighting and maybe an outlet for a fire or TV.
This will also require thought into additional lighting as you may want dimmers switches and a feature light above the table. No kitchen lighting scheme will look beautiful if controlled by one switch. By putting your lighting on different circuits is a must!
An average kitchen needs three, if not four. Anything open plan needs more because each zone is treated differently. If you do all that and you will have created an atmospheric, personal, unique kitchen that you will never want to leave.
Most kitchens don’t have hot water central heating and can be cold in the winter months. Fitting underfloor heating is a great solution to take the chill from your feet.
Electrical underfloor heating can be used as sole source of heat where warm up time is usually fast, and coverage is of the full room. It can be installed under most floor finishes including carpet and wood.