The Fitting of My New Kitchen
This page describes the fitting of my new kitchen, which has dominated the summer of 2001, much to the boredom of everyone to whom I describe it. Here is your opportunity to look at photos of this project. Yawn!
Photographs of the Whole Process
All thumbnail photos are linked to full-sized photos (each is about 20kB in size).
I discovered a long-standing leak under my kitchen sink. At first, I thought I might as well pay a plumber to fix it. Then, as I thought it over, I decided to get the whole kitchen refurbished, thus fixing my leak en passant. Overkill? Yes! But, I have needed a new kitchen for ages, and any excuse to get the project started was welcome.
Strip out the old kitchen, and dump it in a skip.
This caused all the plaster to fall off the walls. The first sign that something was wrong with the plaster was when my steam-powered wallpaper stripper had an alarming tendency to remove a rather thick layer of material from the walls!
Put in some new electrics, and start to replaster the walls.
Finish off replastering the walls, and lay some nice floor tiles (Agadir Beige). The tiles came from C&C Ceramics in Malvern, who I highly recommend.
Install the sink. I was amazed at how thin the steel is in modern sink units. If I bang the tap on the side, then it oscillates back and forth!
Put in a dishwasher and a washing machine. It took 2 weeks to get to this point, so I was glad to be able to wash my clothes. As for the dishwasher, I have never had one before, and I am now wondering how I have managed all these years without one. You may now drink from crystal clear glasses, rather than the greasy smeared objects I used to offer you.
Whorr! This one is for all you pipe fetishists! Anyway, I hope no complicated jobs ever need to be done to this lot of pipes in the future.
At this point I took over from the workmen who had now completed their part of the project, so that I could complete the kitchen fitting job myself.
There was a teeny problem with my garage door. I had used my garage to store all of the kitchen units in their flat-packs. Then the lock on the garage door decided to fail in such a way that the door could not be opened. Thanks to my next door neighbour for some well-aimed blows with a hammer and chisel that sorted out the problem.
Fit the base units around the cooker. I chose the Four Seasons (Merida Pine) range of units, because these were attractive without being pretentious (eat your heart out, Jilly Goulden!). Assembling the flat-pack units was a breeze. Just like adult Meccano (does that "toy" exist any more?).
Fit the wall units over the cooker. This turned out to be easier than I had thought, because the units were hung from the wall by rather clever mounting brackets that made alignment of the units very easy. The same was not true of the glazed unit, which had no mounting brackets included in its design - don't ask me why. I had to invent a scheme of my own for this unit.
Fit some concealed lighting. Thanks to a friend for prompting me very early on to install these, so that I could have the appropriate power cable(s) run under the plaster. The result is nice, so I am sure that I will eventually be installing this sort of lighting throughout the house.
Fit wall units opposite the cooker, install concealed lighting, and put a fridge/freezer in the alcove. I am trying to turn all of the available "volume" in the kitchen into storage space, so there are now cupboards everywhere. The microwave is now mounted on wall brackets to free up some of the worktop area. The alcove used to house my larder, which has now migrated to some of the wall cupboards, allowing the fridge/freezer to be pushed out of the way in the alcove.
Build a breakfast bar. This provides a useful extra worktop/eating area. The fun part of installing this worktop was attaching it to the plasterboard wall at the far end of the kitchen. I finally discovered the delights of "cavity fixings" after an abortive attempt to attach it with standard screws.
The power points behind my breakfast bar. The one on the right is 1cm lower than the other two!
There was then a delay whilst I waited for the workmen to return to fix the above badly aligned power point (and various other wonky power points).
The delay gave me the opportunity to borrow lots of wall tile samples in order to find what worked best with my kitchen. I went through several iterations (with the help of other people, who I bored to death discussing tiles every time they visited my house), before I converged on tiles that were slightly irregular in shape to disguise the uneven wall surface, and which had an slightly textured pale blue colour to mimic the texturing of the floor tiles and wall units, and to complement the browns and yellows in the rest of the kitchen. With hindsight, it's sort of obvious that the wall tiles had to be like this.
I also investigated the idea of hiring a powered tile cutter, which is an essential item for tiles that are quite thick. It turned out that the cost of hiring one (even if only for a 4 hour period) was not much less than the cost of a brand new one (though it was rather tinny), so I bought one outright.
Begin to put up wall tiles (Melange Azzure). The tiles came from C&C Ceramics in Malvern, who I highly recommend.
I really should upload some more photos to show that the kitchen has actually been finished. I will get around to it sometime.
This page was last updated on Thursday, 29 January 2004.