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Master Class Cabinets / Articles  / Kitchen and Integrating Appliances

Kitchen and Integrating Appliances

Reading this blog will inform you of the pros and cons of buying different styles of appliances. Also the kitchen and integrating appliance differences you should know about. The sales rep at the appliance store probably won’t talk about what I am writing about, as they have never installed a kitchen. They don’t know these small details which can really cause some tears down the track. I always recommend you consult your kitchen designer before buying your appliances, you can still select your appliances just don’t sign on the dotted line.

Knowing what is what and what to look out for before you walk into an appliance store will help with not being overwhelmed with choice. There is so much choice out there, reading through these seven points will send you down the right track and help you know what to look for and even raise points with selecting what you are after.

Ovens & Stoves

Choosing what oven works for you really depends on why you are renovating your kitchen; are you a chef that just loves to cook?. Are you a novice cook that just wants somewhere that looks great and is functional to cook meals? These are the 3 types of ovens below.

Oven towers

These are the most functional way (in my opinion it looks the best too) to have your kitchen set if you use your oven more than, say your microwave, or hotplate as opposed to an under bench oven (UBO) as you don’t need to bend down to access the oven. With the oven tower, you can have a double oven, either side by side or stacked on top of each other. Our Oven Towers.

The tower also allows for a space to store your microwave above the oven but the microwave cannot exceed a height 1350mm (this stops you or your kids accidentally spilling hot food onto yourself if the microwave was any higher), that is to the bottom of the microwave. Lastly, under your oven is a great place for 2 pot drawers which is great for all your oven trays. A great way of maximising space.

Under Bench Ovens – UBO’s

Below your hotplate is great if you mainly use your hotplate & microwave. Aesthetically UBO’s look great under a hotplate and would generally be the centre point of your kitchen. Having your kitchen set out with the hotplate and UBO centred in the room will draw everyone’s eye there when they first walk in the room. They are pricey but a slimline 900mm oven with electric oven always look great here.

Stoves

Stoves are the most common mispronounced item in a kitchen; so here you are, a stove is a combination oven and hotplate as 1 unit, it is not an oven or cook top or even my favorite oven and cooktop thingy. Stoves are generally cheaper compared to the oven and hotplate which why is most people go for the stove. This is definitely the case if you want a 900mm wide oven & hotplate.

A 900mm wide stove is far cheaper than a 900mm wide hotplate and oven sold separately, so basically what I am saying is that if you want a 900mm wide oven and you are on a budget then have a look at the 900mm wide stoves if the price of the 900mm wide ovens give you a heart attack.

Aesthetically the stoves look great these days especially if you are going for Farmhouse or Hampton style kitchens. The only downside to the stove is food and rubbish can fall down between where the stove and bench top meet as there will be about a 2 to 5mm gap to allow for the oven to slide back when installing the stove. Unless you take the stove out the food scraps will be there forever.

Hotplates

This is VERY IMPORTANT if you are wanting an INDUCTION HOTPLATE. Make sure you get a qualified electrician around to your house or site to see if you have enough power coming into your house from Western Power to run your induction cook top. Induction hotplates use a lot of amps, the minimum required is 15 amps. I have experienced a couple of times in the past when I arrive to quote on a kitchen and the client says “I have bought all my appliances and I bought this U-Beaut induction hot plate” I ask them if they have checked with an electrician? You can imagine their disappointment when they find out they don’t have enough power to run their appliance.

It’s not nice but lucky for you, you are reading my blog, sweet. Moving on

Gas VS Electric

This just comes down to personal preference (I am a gas person myself). If you are to switch between the two you just need to make sure you have gas or power to the area. Most gas hotplates these days will need power for the igniter, if you are renovating your kitchen it is really easy to move gas pipes and electricity.

Induction Hotplates

Are a safe way of cooking when you have little ones around, basically, you can put your hands onto the heating element without getting burnt. Also, the induction hotplate brings water to the boil faster and has many other features. There is another downside to induction hotplates, you will generally need to buy all new pots and pans as they need to be induction compatible i.e. cast iron, ceramic & several stainless-steel brands. Induction cook tops use magnets to create a magnetic field and can interfere with PACEMAKERS, if you have a pacemaker you need to keep 600mm away from induction cook tops.

Range hoods

The 2 types are Canopy or Under-mount. There is the slide-out version, but these are obsolete (my opinion only). Now as with the under-mount range hoods, they are hidden away. The slide-out range hood runners generally end up rickety and get harder to open the older they get with all the grease and fat build-up.

kitchen rangehood

Range hoods themselves all do the same thing; they have the same suction and they can all hold up an A4 piece of paper, what you are paying for is how quiet they are.

Say a $300 range hood will sound loud enough that the noise is a little annoying and a $3000 range hood, the motor is mounted in your roof space and you can’t hear it.

Canopy Range hoods

Canopy Range hoods are purely aesthetics again if you like the look of a canopy well go for it but be prepared to pay a little extra as you need to pay for the design, the stainless steel and the glass which is the feature of the canopy.

Under-mount Range hoods

These are cheaper than canopy range hoods and you can afford to go for a cheaper under-mount range hood here. The reason being the way we build the range hoods we build a cabinet around your under-mount range hood, this stops part of the noise from the motor of the range hood. The best thing about the under-mount range hood is you can’t see it, the range hood is hidden away behind a cabinet. So you and your guests can’t see or touch any grease build-up, yuck.

Just something else to think about is the extraction of the grease or the fat itself. It is Australian regulation that you extract the range hood out through your roof space (or any way you can) and out to the atmosphere. This is a really easy job and wouldn’t cost more than $400 and that also includes the flue and mushroom vent on your roof.

Sinks

The right sink for you, I believe, comes down to whether you are getting a dishwasher or not. If you are having a dishwasher, you don’t necessarily need a big double sink. You will probably put your dirty dishes straight in the dishwasher. A 1 & ¼ sink or even a single sink would suffice and will give you more bench space.

Under-mount sinks

They look great and have less chance of getting mould build-up, which means you can’t get around the edge of the sink like the top mount sinks. There are only 2 issues that come to mind when it comes to under-mount sinks.

1st is, I wouldn’t suggest having drainer that connects to your sink (like a standard top mount sink) as aesthetically it doesn’t look great (my opinion only please don’t hate me) and after a while you can see the mould on the inner edge where the bench top meets the sink. Basically, the bench top cannot overhang the lip of the sink which will create unsightly mould over time. My solution to this is to choose an under-mount sink that comes with accessories i.e. chopping boards and vegetable washing racks (this way the bench can overhang the sink completely). All the accessories fit the sink perfectly and are easy to remove and store away if you are not using them.

2nd If you are not having a dishwasher you will not have much room to put dirty dishes. My solution is that if you are not having a dishwasher then I would go for the top mount sink.
Lastly, I would like to mention that a under-mount sink can’t go under laminate tops.

Top Mounts

These are commonly known as inset sinks. Top mount sinks generally come with a drainer for dirty or drying dishes. Top Mount sinks can get mould build up around the edge over time which can become unsightly. Top Mount sinks are cheaper, both when purchased from the sink supplier and the stonemason, opposed to an under-mount sink.

Butler sinks

These are probably a necessity when it comes to Farmhouse style (Hampton’s style you can still get away with less is more approach), Hampton’s Kitchen we have done with a Butler sink(this kitchen design is right on the borderline of Farmhouse and Hampton’s). The Ceramic bowls really shape the style for Farmhouse. They are defiantly on the pricey side but when you are talking farmhouse you are talking $$$$. The butler sinks are massive and give you ample room for your kitchen sink, hence the name butler sink.

Butler sinks generally stick out 50mm from the front edge of the bench top. However, they can be either under-mount or sit up above the level of your bench top. If you are wanting the butler sink to sit up above the level line of the bench top, you would need to be sure that the butler sink is oven cured all the way around the sink. Basically, I mean there needs to be paint on the back of the butler sink. You will be able to feel it and if you have a window behind the sink the unpainted surface will be exposed and will look unsightly.

Dishwashers

Absolutely yes you should get one. These days they are efficient with water and power usage. This is displayed on the front of the dishwasher in the appliance stores.

Dishwasher drawers

The plus side is you can fit more in and also you can do a half wash if you only had a few dishes to wash. Access is a little easier as you just have to pull the drawer out rather than open the door and pulling individual trays out if you were using a standard dishwasher. The downside is they cost more & the kick board needs to come out with the bottom drawer which can be unsightly.

Standard Dishwashers

Yes, they are cheaper and not as easy to access as the dishwasher drawer. Aesthetically they can be better looking if you get an integrated or flush-fitting dishwasher (these are normally only in the premium models); your kitchen will flow better as all the gaps will line up. With cheaper dishwashers we can’t really adjust them, this is the same with fridges. So, if the ground is uneven the appliance can become unsightly.

Fridges

Most fridges that we fit into kitchens are not integrated (integrated appliances that are hidden behind doors). There are 2 big points you need to think about when buying a fridge.

1st Fridge doors generally speaking when open sit proud of the fridge carcass and protrude past the fridge width size .  That means when the door is in the open position, the door itself will be sitting to the outside of the fridge width. So basically, you wouldn’t be able to open a drawer that is next to the fridge as it would knock or bang into the fridge door even if the door is open at 90 degrees to the fridge carcass. (remembering that a drawer will slide straight out, the fridge door will sit past the drawer front itself which will stop the drawer from opening).

So, what this means for these types of fridges is that the fridge cannot sit flush with the cabinetry doors unless you have a 50mm gap either side of the fridge which would be a complete waste of space and doesn’t look the best. So basically, what will happen if you have a standard fridge and the fridge doors sit flush with the cabinetry doors, the fridge door will bind on the cabinetry doors and will not be able to open to the full open position. You can try this at home to see what your fridge does. Just another point, is your cabinetry would need to be a minimum of 700mm deep to achieve this, depending on fridge depth. Standard fridge sitting proud of cabinetry There are fridges out there on the market that can open and not protrude past there widths, they fall under integrated fridge category.

2nd Will your new fridge fit through the doors of your house. I know this sounds silly but you would be surprised how many times this happens. I mean really, how many times has this ever crossed your mind when selecting kitchen appliances

Kitchen and Integrating Appliances

Obviously they look great, but what you might not be aware of is they sacrifice space, as ventilation is an issue with integrated appliances. Also, expect to pay another 50% more than the standard appliances. The cabinet maker will also charge you more for fitting and the supply of a door. We need to charge for the door to match the rest of your cabinetry.
kitchen and integrating appliances | integrating appliances
The reason I believe the price is more from the appliance manufacturer is for the ventilation systems that go into an integrated appliance. The appliance needs to breathe but can’t breathe like a regular appliance and this needs more engineering to allow the integrated appliance not to overheat. Basically, the appliance needs to breathe within itself and extract in different spots to allow the cabinet maker to manufacture the cabinetry to circulate fresh air through the appliance, which can get a little tricky but nothing we can’t handle.

Well, that’s enough from me about appliances. I just want to say that before you buy any appliances. Please consult me to make sure the appliance will fit and that they will work with the design you’re after. Please feel free to get in touch with me to discuss appliances, design or anything that is on your mind regarding your kitchen renovation. The link is to contact me through my website.

Once you have gone through what type of appliances you are after the next step is kitchen set out & planning. I think the best approach to planning is looking at what style your home is. If you want to continue that or change to contemporary or even be bold and think about Hampton. I will have a blog on kitchen layout soon so keep an eye out!

Rodney

Rodney

Rodney Mills is a founder of Master Class Cabinets along with Stuart Mills. Both of whom are passionate about designing and producing stunning cabinetry work.

1 Comment

  • Avatar

    Brendan Carruthers

    17 April 2020 9:17 pm
    Reply

    This was very informative, especially with the sinks and where mould grows. Thanks for taking the time.

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