Preparing a kitchen for Installation
This is the second of a series of articles written by Tim Foley of T Foley Interiors about the problems and successes of installing your own kitchen. This edition will advise you about which steps to take before the kitchen is installed.
Preparation is a very important part of the process to getting a new kitchen.
Remove your kitchen
As my grandmother used to say, “install a kitchen in haste, repent
I just made that up but this rule is of paramount importance when it comes to installing a kitchen successfully.
Preparation should take place a few days prior to fitting your new kitchen and provision will no doubt have to be made to visit the local take-away for the duration.
Once the sink has been removed, it’s a good idea to fit an angled washing machine valve to the cold supply for filling the kettle while you’re without a sink. Fit blanks to all other exposed pipe work.
Check your plumbing and electricity
The ideal time to carry out plumbing and electrical alterations is prior to any re-plastering. As the kitchen is the place where most electrical appliances are concentrated, it is important to check that your existing wiring is capable of coping with the load placed on it at busy periods.
If you possess a plan for your new kitchen, obtaining a first fix preparation layout will help you to determine the position of all electrical and plumbing services to the nearest millimetre. As well as reducing installation time, arranging your own first fix should also reduce installation costs.
Wall socket boxes and tails of cable for sockets below worktop height can now be positioned where required. Provision should also be made for ceiling and under-cupboard lighting at this stage.
Gas and water services can also be positioned in preparation for cabinet
installation, as can any waste pipes or extraction holes.
At this point it is important to refer to the laws relating to work on gas appliances or fittings. Details can be found here.
Once the pipe-work is in position behind the relevant cabinet/s, fitting isolating valves will eliminate the need to shut off the house water supply whilst the installation is being carried out. Provision to access these valves can be made later when fitting the cabinets.
A good point to remember at this stage is to ensure any pipe-work passing
behind integrated appliances is installed tight to the wall and at a low level
depending on the appliance depth and configuration. Overlooking this point
will mean your integrated appliance doors will protrude from adjacent cabinet
This is to be avoided unless you wish to set a new trend!
Check your walls
After removing your old kitchen it’s worth checking the condition of
The finish and strength of the walls ultimately determine how your kitchen will look and to ignore it at this stage may spoil the final appearance.
Fitting units or tiles to perished plastering is like placing your best china
in a fruit-box and I strongly advise any rectification to be made during preparation,
(a sight you won’t relish after your kitchen has been fitted is the plasterer standing on your new worktops trying to reach the bare wall above your new cupboards). You may find that although your walls can be re-plastered after fitting, your worktops and sink have more scratches than an ice rink.
If major plastering is required once you have removed your old kitchen, be sure to give it sufficient time to dry before fitting any units otherwise the cabinets will swell due to moisture content
Although time taken on completing the above will of course prolong the installation, it will ultimately bring you peace of mind and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that all your surfaces are sound.
One final step before installing your kitchen
Once you’ve completed the above steps and your plastering is dry you’re ready to mark levels on the wall.
Firstly, determine the depth of the floor covering and add this measurement to the height of the units (without worktops). For example: Depth of tiles = 12mm. Height of units = 870mm. A line will be made at a height of 882mm. This will allow easy fitting of the kickboard on completion.
Having completed the preparation it’s now time to begin fitting the units and providing services have been positioned correctly this will be a much easier task than you thought.
In the next article of this series I’ll be showing you how to install your cabinets and reduce the profits of your local take-away sooner than you thought.