What to Know Before Choosing a Kitchen?
When decorating the house, choosing a kitchen is the most delicate and important moment, especially as regards the quality assessment.
Figuring out what to know before choosing a kitchen is important because the kitchen is the most inhabited environment and certainly more subjected to wear, both for daily use and for several times a day, both for the environmental characteristics that you come to create in a kitchen, such as heat, humidity and various vapors.
At first glance, unless we speak of extremely inexpensive kitchens, all kitchens might look the same, but they are the individual characteristics and details that determine their quality.
So what to know before choosing a kitchen?
In the choosing a kitchen it is necessary to evaluate different aspects
- The structure (case)
- The Mechanics (Hardware)
- Fronts (doors and drawers)
- The worktop (top)
- Household appliances
What to know about the property before choosing a kitchen?
Before choosing a kitchen, compared to the structure, it is right to know that about 90% of the kitchens sold in Italy from the “market” to the “big signatures”, have a structure of the panels in melamine veneer or, to be clearer, the panels are in chipboard covered with melamine.
But before choosing a kitchen you have to bear in mind that, while it is true that the structure of the panels is of the same material for 90% of the Italian kitchens, it is true that not all panels are created with the same characteristics, and this is where the difference between economic kitchens and kitchens of a certain quality is created.
The first thing we can observe is the thickness of the panels (shelves, structure and fronts):
- A very economical kitchen will have approximately a thickness of the panels of 1.4 cm
- A good quality kitchen will have a thickness of panels of 1.8 cm
- A kitchen of excellent quality, such as those produced by Veneta Cucine, will have panels of thickness of 1.9 cm
A second characteristic is the compactness of the particleboard, which is not always visible as rarely the stewmaker leave to view the inside of the panels. However, the more compact the chipboard, the more the screws and the glues will be taken.
Two other parameters must also be taken into account: formaldehyde content and resistance to moisture.
As regards the formaldehyde content, it refers to the type of glue used and the amount of formaldehyde they contain, bearing in mind that this is a toxic element it is advisable to choose a kitchen with low formaldehyde content.
In relation to the resistance to humidity, the best panels are those with the abbreviation V100 (which have a green coloration inside), which immersed in water for 24 hours can undergo a maximum swelling of 12%, alternatively they are called V20.
Before choosing a kitchen it is good to evaluate the quality of the mechanical parts i.e.
- Drawer guides and Baskets
- Hinges for Doors
- Arms for Vasistas, flap and package
These parts are those most subjected to stress and, therefore, more prone to easy wear and in the market if they find several types, among the best companies, manufacturers of these components we find the blum and the grass.
When we choose a kitchen we evaluate first and foremost the practicality and a good part of this is given by an easy opening/closing of drawers and baskets, that is determined by the quality of the mounted guides, which differ in the quality of the metals used, for the best smoothness of the rails and for the flow. There are drawers and baskets that come to support a load up to a maximum of 60 kg. Up to 120,000 consecutive cycles are tested.
Finally, before choosing a kitchen it is good to evaluate another technical characteristic, that is the arms for wall units, whether they are vasistas or packaged. One arm for clutched wall units and with integrated blumotion and white fairing. This type of arm is tested up to 10,000 cycles and if we calculate that on average in one day a arm is subjected to 10 opening/closing, you can calculate for this product a duration of 25 years.
What to know about the fronts before choosing a kitchen?
The things to know about the fronts before choosing a kitchen are many, first you have to evaluate the material with which they are made and then compare the different types.
First, we begin by distinguishing between fronts in
- Lacquered (glossy or opaque)
- Solid wood-Wood veneer
What to know before choosing a kitchen with lacquered fronts
When in relation to a kitchen we talk about lacquering refers to an external finish of the painted-colored front, without specifying which material is lacquer and how much lacquer.
In choosing a kitchen you have to keep in mind so
- About what lacquer is
- How much lacquer is
Usually it is lacquer on a panel of MDF, that is a panel made with wood powders pressed in medium density, therefore not in particleboard. This type of panel is much harder and more expensive than chipboard and has a much smoother surface and more suitable for lacquering. Cheaper kitchens are however lacquered on chipboard panels laminated with paper. This makes it possible to base costs. Obviously with time and humidity the particleboard swells (even very little) and creates cracks on the edges.
Even how much lacquer is important, or how many hands you give. One or two hands are for the cheapest cuisines (it is recognized by an “orange peel” effect that you notice backlight). Three to seven hands for the best kitchens.
What to know before choosing a kitchen with fronts in solid wood and veneered
The solid wood is generally used for the realization of classic doors or in any case of doors with frame and ashlar (i.e. the doors that have a frame). There are usually no smooth doors made of solid wood because the wood, being a “living” material, moves and therefore could crack and embark (deform).
The veneer is a wooden sheet on chipboard panel or sometimes on wood planking. This is used for the realization of modern kitchens or in any case with a smooth door, where using solid wood would be a mistake, because with the heat and moisture a smooth surface could more easily form cracks.
What to know before choosing a kitchen with laminate fronts
A kitchen with laminate fronts is a kitchen made with a chipboard or MDF panel covered with a melamine sheet or a sheet of polymer laminate or melamine Wraky effect, or a sheet of pet or Fenix.
Starting from the most economical doors we find melamine fronts. These are made using a large sized chipboard panel coated with a sheet of paper and colored resin or wood effect, then cut and edged. The edge can be in material on the cheapest kitchens, or in ABS, in this case the edge is more solid and resistant.
It is possible to have polymer laminate fronts, in this case the doors are in MDF, covered with a sheet of polymer laminate fused over the single leaf and then rounded on the 4 sides.
In recent years, the use of laminates “Wraky effect wood or concrete” is taking hold. or chipboard panels covered with laminated sheets thicker than the melamine paper with a three-dimensional effect to the touch. These are qualitatively better than normal laminates.
Finally we find the fronts in MDF coated with sheets of pet (a very hard and precious plastic used usually to make the bottle caps) from the silk effect to the touch, or in Fenix (other plastic material having the characteristic of repairing with heat) from the velvety effect to the touch. These are recommended materials for a longer lasting kitchen.
The glass fronts are composed of an aluminum frame on which is glued and/or framed a lacquered glass of 4/6mm thickness.
The glass door is very resistant because it does not absorb the dirt, it suffers no moisture or heat and does not scratch, a kitchen with glass front panels is the best choice for those who want a glossy or matt satin kitchen.
Good quality glass kitchens have lacquering inside the door, which is then coated with a protective film.
The economical glass kitchens, aesthetically, are very similar to those of good quality, but in reality they are made with chipboard panels on which the glass is glued, this adds to the problems of a common laminate door edged also the discomfort of heaviness, which urges the hardware.