Installing laminate or wooden kitchen worktops

Installing laminate or wooden kitchen worktops

Choosing the right counter tops is crucial when transforming your kitchen into a functional and aesthetically pleasing space. Laminate and wooden kitchen worktops are popular for homeowners seeking durability, style and affordability. Whether renovating your kitchen or building a new one, installing laminate or wooden kitchen worktops requires careful planning and execution to ensure a seamless and long-lasting finish.

This guide will walk you through the steps and considerations involved in installing these versatile and beautiful kitchen worktops, helping you achieve the perfect look and functionality for your culinary haven.

1.   Preparation is key

Before embarking on this DIY adventure, ensure your kitchen floor units are solidly anchored and impeccably levelled. An uneven base can complicate the worktop installation, leading to potential wobbling or misalignments.

This guide focuses on easily cuttable materials: laminate and solid wood. Professional assistance is essential if you’re considering granite, quartz or other solid surfaces. They’ll ensure the precision of your kitchen’s template and handle the off-site worktop preparation.

Before the installation, cleanliness is pivotal. Remove any sawdust or residue from your floor units. Also, the surfaces, especially the rear walls, should be smooth and even.

2.   Essential tools

For a seamless installation, gather:

  • The kitchen worktop (laminate, wood or butcher’s block)
  • Joining strips for the worktop
  • A timber baton
  • Two G-clamps
  • A circular saw
  • Safety equipment: eye goggles and gloves
  • Measuring tools: tape, utility square, pencil
  • Electric or Phillips screwdriver
  • Sandpaper for finishing touches
  • Hacksaw
  • Electric drill with drill bits
  • Masking tape and scissors
  • Screws for securing

3.   The art of setting out

Strategising or ‘setting out’ ensures you minimise cuts and optimise the factory-cut edges of the worktops, providing a neat, consistent look. Ideal installations should have minimal joints, presenting a single continuous surface illusion.

The longer worktop sections should align with the lengthier walls for kitchens with an L or U shape, while the shorter sections cover the adjoining areas. Aim to position the joining strips inconspicuously to preserve the worktop’s aesthetic integrity.

4.   Measuring and precision cutting

Start with your kitchen’s longest wall. Remember to account for an overhang (around 20mm) beyond the edge of the kitchen units when measuring the worktop length. Accurately mark this on the underside of the worktop using your measuring tools.

Affix a timber baton to the worktop to guide precise cutting, ensuring alignment with your pencil markings. This strategy guarantees straight, neat cuts. When cutting, prioritise safety by wearing goggles and gloves. Maintain a steady pace, avoiding stops that could cause splintering.

Post-cutting, lightly sandpaper the edges to eliminate imperfections, ensuring you focus only on the sides and not the main surfaces.

5.   Installing the worktop

Position the cut worktop over the base units, aligning it perfectly. Ensure the overhangs are uniform and rest snugly against the rear wall. Use G-clamps to anchor the worktop to the base units below temporarily.

The attachment mechanism may vary, but typically, you’ll need to drill pilot holes from the base units into the worktop without breaching the top surface. These holes facilitate the screwing process. After drilling, join the worktop and base units with screws at both the front and back to ensure stability.

This procedure remains consistent for all subsequent worktop sections.

For adjoining sections, employ joining strips to achieve a cohesive finish. Measure the required length and trim it with a hacksaw. Secure this strip to the worktop edge and slide it into its desired position. Once you’re satisfied, anchor it to the base units.

6.   Finishing flourishes

Exposed edges of materials like laminate might necessitate the application of a finishing strip. Measure, tape and template this strip according to your worktop’s profile, then trim it accordingly. Apply the supplied glue (in a well-ventilated room) to the end strip and the worktop edge. Allow it to cure briefly, then position the end strip and hold it in place with masking tape until the adhesive solidifies. If any protrusions or inconsistencies appear, gently sand them for a polished finish.

With these steps at your fingertips, you can fit the rest of your kitchen worktops with precision and confidence.

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Induction cook tops: are they worth the price?

Induction cook tops: are they worth the price?

The ‘battle’ between gas and induction cook tops has been going on for a while, at least ever since you can see everyone on TikTok using induction ones. Whether they look better or are simply more efficient, we can’t tell for now, but what’s sure is that most people want gas stoves to be gone, especially since gas is no longer considered a sustainable choice.

That’s the reason why chefs on social media talk about the benefits of cooking with induction appliances. Jon Kung, for example, prefers them because they keep the air cleaner since they don’t burn natural resources to be operable.

But how reliable are induction cook tops really? And what about the costs of owning and running one? If you’ve ever wondered about these products’ efficiency, we’ll discuss some of these aspects to help you decide if it suits your kitchen and your lifestyle.

Induction cook tops: the technology of the future

Induction cook tops are fairly similar to electric ones as far as design is concerned, but what differs between them is the electromagnetic technology behind induction. The cook top doesn’t necessarily heat up, as the energy is transferred to the pan.

In the beginning, induction cook tops were merely a trend on social media. Nowadays, more people have got the handle on it and are switching from gas or electricity to this safer and more energy-efficient solution.

What’s the difference between induction and gas?

Induction is superior to gas in many ways, such as when we talk about surfaces used for cooking. However, the most significant benefit of induction is that it’s sustainable when compared to gas – for both nature and humans. Gas stoves can lead to respiratory problems due to emitting pollutants and are more dangerous to kids, who can be prone to developing asthma with prolonged exposure to gas from stoves.

Are there other advantages of switching to induction cook tops?

Besides being a sustainable and less health-damaging solution, induction is an excellent choice from many perspectives. Firstly, it’s incredibly safe since there are no naked flames resulting from the process. This means that it’s impossible to be burned by touching the surface of the hob. Also, there’s practically zero risk of the kitchen igniting. Moreover, most induction cook tops will automatically shut off after you remove the pan from it after a few seconds. Hence, even if you forget to switch it off after cooking, it’ll shut itself down almost immediately.

At the same time, induction is a more precise method than gas or electric when cooking & heating food because it directly heats only the bottom of the pan. When you switch the stove top off, the heat immediately cuts out, so your food won’t overcook. And since induction is more powerful than electric and gas stoves, it’s also more energy-efficient.

Finally, induction cook tops are extremely easy to clean, as any spilt food won’t burn or stick to its glass finish. Hence, you don’t need powerful cleaning products applied with lots of elbow grease; a simple wipe with a damp cloth and everything’s clean. If you install it in handleless kitchens, then you won’t have to worry about spots ever again.

However, induction is not for everyone because…

Induction is quite costly. Since it’s a fairly recent product on the market, only a few have had access to it so far. Prices tend to start at around £800. The cost for an electrician to install it will be an additional outlay; the electrical wiring needs to be installed safely. On the whole, induction is more expensive compared to gas and electric appliances.

The installation cost will be further increased if you’re making the switch from gas to induction. This is because both a plumber and electrician are needed as it will be necessary to remove the gas line safely, following which you’ll have to install specialist wiring. Finally, they’re required to test to ensure that the stove is properly integrated into the property’s electrical system.

In addition, as the material above the induction unit is glass, the appliance is prone to scratching with regular use. Even the edges are challenging to keep in good quality, which is why some induction cook tops come with a metal frame that helps them last longer in terms of appearance.

Finally, cooking on an induction cook top requires a little getting used to because it works in differently to regular gas and electric hobs. For instance, there’s a lot less waiting time when boiling or frying since pots & pans will reach the necessary temperature almost immediately.

You need a certain type of cookware

The thing with using induction cook tops is that you may have to replace your cookware or simply learn which one of your current ones are suitable for usage. For instance, aluminium, copper or glass won’t work because the material needs to have a magnetic pull for the induction to work.

You can successfully use anything made of cast iron and a particular type of stainless steel with an induction cook top. You can test if your pans are good for induction by sticking a small magnet to each and see if the pan holds it.

What do you think about getting an induction cook top?

Induction cook tops have been trending because they’re smooth and easy to use and clean. They don’t work with literal heat, so the cook top’s surface won’t burn you or the food that falls from the pans. At the same time, the heat is distributed better, so preparing foods may be smoother and faster than with any other stove powered on gas or electricity.

However, before deciding to purchase such an appliance, know that the financial outlay and installation can be quite expensive and the glass surface on top is susceptible to scratching.

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Why slab backsplashes are trending in our kitchens

Why slab backsplashes are trending in our kitchens

Once a utilitarian space, the kitchen has transformed into the heart of our homes, where functionality meets aesthetics. Homeowners and designers alike are continually seeking innovative ways to enhance kitchen design, and one such trend that’s been gaining traction in recent years is the slab backsplash. Unlike traditional tiled backsplashes, slab backsplashes are large, uninterrupted pieces of stone or other materials which offer a unique and contemporary look to kitchen spaces.

In this post, we explore the reasons behind the rising popularity of slab backsplashes in our kitchens and their numerous benefits.

Reasons behind the rising popularity of slab backsplashes

1. Seamless elegance

One of the most significant reasons why slab backsplashes are trending is their seamless elegance. As a single, uninterrupted piece of material, slab backsplashes create a visually stunning and luxurious effect. The lack of grout lines, which are typically present in tiled backsplashes, adds to the sense of unity and sophistication in the kitchen. Whether the chosen material is marble, granite, quartz or porcelain, the smooth surface of a slab backsplash exudes a sense of luxury and refinement. It will make a kitchen look as fancy as those in Lottoland lottery winners homes.

2. Minimalist appeal

The minimalist design philosophy has gained immense popularity recently, and slab backsplashes align perfectly with this aesthetic. The clean lines and uncluttered appearance of slab backsplashes contribute to a sense of openness and spaciousness in the kitchen. With fewer design elements to distract the eye, the focus remains on the beauty of the natural stone or material chosen for the slab, allowing it to become the centrepiece of the kitchen’s design.

3. Versatile material choices

Slab backsplashes offer an extensive range of material options, catering to diverse design preferences. While marble and granite are timeless classics known for their luxurious appeal, other materials like quartz and porcelain offer modern and chic alternatives. Homeowners can choose from a wide array of colours, patterns and textures, ensuring that the slab backsplash seamlessly aligns with the kitchen theme.

4. Durability and low maintenance

Aside from their aesthetic charm, slab backsplashes are known for their durability and low maintenance requirements. The absence of grout lines eliminates the need for constant cleaning and resealing, which is common in tiled backsplashes. Natural stone slabs, such as granite and quartz, are highly resistant to heat, stains and scratches, making them ideal choices for a high-traffic area like the kitchen. The longevity of slab backsplashes ensures that they remain a worthwhile investment, retaining their beauty and functionality for years to come.

5. Increase in property value

Home improvement trends often align with increasing property value, and slab backsplashes are no exception. Potential homebuyers are increasingly drawn to modern, aesthetically pleasing kitchens with functional design elements. A well-executed slab backsplash can significantly enhance a kitchen’s appeal and become a selling point for the property. As such, homeowners looking to upgrade their kitchens often prioritise the installation of slab backsplashes as a means to increase their home’s overall market value.

6. Seamless integration with design styles

Slab backsplashes have a versatile nature that seamlessly integrates with various design styles. Whether it’s a contemporary, industrial or farmhouse-style kitchen, a well-chosen slab backsplash can complement the existing elements while adding a touch of uniqueness. The ability to harmonise with different design aesthetics contributes to their widespread popularity and ensures that slab backsplashes are here to stay.

5 alternatives to slab backsplashes

While slab backsplashes are a popular choice, several alternatives can offer unique aesthetics and functional benefits to your kitchen design. Here are a few alternatives:

  1. Tile backsplash: The traditional and widely used option, tile backsplashes come in various shapes, sizes and patterns, allowing for endless customisation possibilities. From classic subway tiles to intricate mosaic patterns, tiles offer various styles to suit different kitchen designs.
  2. Herringbone pattern: A variation of tile backsplashes, the herringbone pattern involves arranging rectangular tiles in a zig-zag manner, creating a visually appealing and stylish look. This pattern can add a touch of elegance and movement to your kitchen design.
  3. Brick backsplash: A brick backsplash is an excellent option for a rustic or industrial vibe. Real or faux brick tiles can add texture and warmth to the kitchen, creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere.
  4. Pressed tin panels: Pressed tin panels can be a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a vintage or retro-inspired look. They come in various patterns and finishes, adding a touch of nostalgia and charm to your kitchen.
  5. Glass backsplash: Glass backsplashes offer a sleek and modern appearance. They come in various colours and can be back-painted to match your kitchen’s theme. Glass backsplashes are easy to clean and maintain.

When choosing a backsplash alternative, consider your kitchen’s overall design theme, the level of maintenance required, and how well it complements your lifestyle and cooking habits. Each alternative brings its own unique charm, allowing you to create a kitchen space that truly reflects your personality and style.

Conclusion

In conclusion, slab backsplashes have emerged as a prominent trend in modern kitchen design due to their seamless elegance, minimalist appeal, versatile material choices, durability and low maintenance characteristics. Their ability to increase property value and seamless integration with diverse design styles further cements their position as a sought-after kitchen design element.

So, which kind of backsplash do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Best kitchen colour schemes with black appliances

Best kitchen colour schemes with black appliances

Black appliances are becoming a popular choice among home-owners these days and for good reason. Black is a versatile colour, has a stylish and sleek appearance, and is easier to maintain than white appliances. If you’re planning on buying black appliances, take into account the overall look of your kitchen. The colour of your cabinets and your appliances should match or complement each other to make your kitchen visually coherent.

While a popular consumer choice is black appliances with white cabinets there are plenty of other options to consider. Would other colours of kitchen cabinets with black appliances look visually appealing? Let’s discuss them below.

What colour kitchen appliances are in style?

Before we get to the nitty-gritty about deciding on the perfect colour for your kitchen and choosing colour that complements black appliances, let’s first consider what other options are available. Kitchen appliances are available in a few different colours; however, the most common ones we see are white and silver with differing finishes. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of them.

Black stainless steel appliances

Black stainless steel is one of those finishes that remains timeless. This finish is flexible and versatile and can be easily paired with other colours; be it neutral, pastel, bright or beige. Another advantage of black stainless steel appliances is that it’s smudge-proof and very easy to maintain.

Matte black appliances

A matte black finish is also another appliance option that design-conscious home-owners are currently loving. Unlike stainless steel appliances, which are usually shiny and reflective, matte black is the exact opposite. It has a dull and deep appearance which lends it a sleek and masculine look.

Stainless steel appliances

Stainless steel kitchen appliances offer a shiny and stylish look that adds a modern touch to any kitchen. Not only do they look great, but stainless steel is durable and easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel appliances are corrosion-resistant and very hygienic, making them ideal for sanitary-aware homes.

White appliances

Obviously, white remains the most popular colour choice for appliances – it’s why they’re often referred to as ‘white goods’. White is the preferred option for several reasons. It could be because of the wide availability of appliances in the colour and the overall aesthetic effect it brings to a kitchen’s interior décor. White appliances, however, can easily show any dirt, marks and stains. If you want to avoid a stark, all-white kitchen look, opting for off-white appliances would be a good alternative.

Off-white appliances

If you want a dreamy kitchen look, you can find pastel-coloured kitchen appliances. Off-white kitchen appliances offer a classic look that complements traditional or mid-century kitchen designs. This neutral shade is perfect for creating cohesion among different colours and textures in the kitchen, while also helping to create a light and airy feel. Off-white appliances are available in many styles and mostly are highly durable and easy to maintain.

Tips for choosing a colour that complements black appliances

While kitchen’s fitted with different colour appliances looks more fun and visually playful, many people prefer to go for a modest and simple kitchen style by incorporating black appliances. If you’ve already opted to go for black appliances, or you already bought black appliances, the next step is to select the best colour for kitchen appliances that will complement black.  If you have black kitchen appliances, what colour cabinet should you have? Here are a few tips and tricks you can follow.

  • Black appliances with white cabinets is always a good idea
    The most straightforward colour to pair black appliances with is white. You’ll never go wrong with black appliances in a white kitchen. This colour combination is best suited to contemporary and modern kitchens. White cabinets surrounding black appliances create a stark visual contrast. It’s a good design technique to avoid kitchen spaces looking boring.
  • Try brown cupboards and black appliances
    Black stainless steel appliances with brown cabinets is a colour combination you should opt for when designing traditional kitchens. Having dark brown kitchen cabinets with black appliances makes the kitchen look elegant and sophisticated. Interior design trends like modern Victorian, farmhouse and industrial are best achieved if you pair dark stained wood kitchen cabinets with black appliances.
  • Black appliances with grey cabinetry is an attractive alternative
    When choosing a colour to pair with your black appliances, sticking to neutral ones means you can’t go wrong. Grey cabinets with black stainless appliances look good together because it creates visual continuity. Unlike white where it creates contrast, grey is like a supporting backdrop for the black-coloured appliance. It makes your aesthetic cleaner, calmer and more laid back. Experiment with different shades of grey such as dark or light grey kitchen cabinets with black appliances.
  • Black on black: black kitchen cabinets / black appliances
    If you’re obsessed with the colour black, there’s no reason why you can’t create an all-black kitchen. Don’t be afraid to deviate from the norm and opt for black cabinets with black appliances. This combination is rare and not everyone can pull off a perfect interior design composition by pairing black kitchen cabinets with black stainless steel appliances. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
  • Go for beige kitchen cabinets with black appliances for a minimalist look
    A kitchen can sometimes appear dull and uninteresting if you stick to neutral or black and white colour schemes. For people who want to avoid the all-white or all-black kitchen aesthetic, incorporate colour in subtle yet significant ways by painting the kitchen cabinets in beige hues.

How to choose the perfect colour for your kitchen

When choosing the perfect colour palette for kitchen, it’s not just the appliances and cabinets that you should consider. Also think about the counter-tops, splash-backs, walls and flooring of the kitchen. Here’s a few tips how you can follow when selecting kitchen colour schemes.

  • Create a mood board when choosing a kitchen cabinet colour
    Choosing a shade to paint your kitchen cabinets with can be a complex task. It includes knowing the basic colour theories and interior design rules. To avoid making costly mistakes, create a mood board beforehand. The mood board will serve as your guide on what paint colour and material to purchase.
  • Decide on the colour of kitchen appliances
    Next, decide what colour kitchen appliances you’d like to go for. Black? White? Multi? Gloss? Matte? Colourful, pastel tones? This choice should also be presented in your mood board.
  • Choose the counter-top colour
    Choose what kind of counter-top will work alongside to your chosen kitchen cabinet and appliance colour. Don’t just consider the colour when choosing counter-tops. Also think about the material and its characteristics and whether or not it is practical and suitable for your kitchen.
  • Select the kitchen floor material
    In order for everything to be visually coherent, the kitchen flooring should also be taken into account. Popular options include laminate, hardwood, and tile flooring. A general guideline is to choose a second prominent colour. It should be something that is complimentary yet contrasting to better shape your kitchens visual appeal.
  • Pick the kitchen wall colour
    Picking the colour of your kitchen walls is a personal decision, but there are a few factors to consider when making this choice. Firstly, you want to select a shade that will complement the overall design style of your kitchen. In addition, you should also take into account the amount of natural light in your kitchen space as this can affect how the colour appears. Finally, it’s important to consider the mood you want to create; softer shades will make a room feel more serene and airy, while brighter colours can make a room feel more vibrant and energetic. Taking these factors into consideration will help you pick the perfect colour for your kitchen walls.