Border County Kitchens

Specification (a bit boring but please read if you are considering buying a kitchen)

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Except where detailed elsewhere, the carcases, shelves, doors, drawers and ends of the units will be solidly constructed in moisture resistant MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard). We have been making kitchens of MDF since 1987 so our experience is second to none. 18mm MDF is used for the carcases of the lower cupboards, with 15mm for the wall cupboards, so our cupboards really are strong. MDF is a strong board material that takes paint finishes extremely well. It is homogeneous and superior to chipboard in every way. It is also more expensive than chipboard but still cheaper than good quality plywood.

Compare the contruction of our base units with some others....

The interior of the cabinets can be finished in acrylic eggshell paint in a colour of your choice. This is included in the painting which is quoted separately. We could make the carcase in other materials if required, but painted interiors can be repainted if they get scruffy, and they look good if the colour chosen matches or compliments the exterior finish

Very little furniture is produced these days without MDF in it somewhere. All the following use MDF in their products:
Smallbone
Plain English
Magnet
Artisan (John Lewis Hungerford)
Sharps Bedrooms

What we don't use is chipboard, melamine faced (Ugh!) or any other kind, as it has a limited life when used in the construction of kitchens. Clients sometimes specify chipboard laminate worktops, aware that they will need to be replaced long before the kitchen. Also tiled worktops are often laid on a suitably sealed chipboard top, which combined with a suitable tile and epoxy grout has proved both long lasting and repairable.

One question we are asked is "Is MDF hazardous to health?" The answer to this is "No", qualified as follows.
When working with MDF dust should be kept to a minimum and if necessary an appropriate breathing mask worn. This is important for those working frequently with MDF. However after installation there is no hazard and appropriate working practices will keep dust created during installation to a minimum. Any possible danger is restricted to people who work with MDF every day.

Hinges in general are strong nickel plated 110 degree opening Blum type snap hinges (actually made by Winzer-Wurth / Salice), easily adjustable for final fit on site. 165 degree hinges are used where necessary for better access. Cabinets will be fitted with end panels which continue forward almost flush with the closed door. These, and infill strips between units give the appearance of a framed piece of furniture. A simple cornice is added around the top of the upper units.

We also make painted kitchens where the doors are hung in a traditional manner, on visible brass butt hinges within a face frame. This costs more as the face frames have to be made and each door has to be carefully planed to fit, which takes more time. With brass butts all doors open 180 degrees if the walls and adjacent cupboards allow.

We supply attractive shaker style handles and drawer pulls or white porcelain, brass or wooden knobs according to your preference. Any other available knobs or handles can be supplied, please ask.

Adjustable legs and clip on plinths allow for easy fitting to uneven floors. The plinth faces will be painted to match the rest of the kitchen. Backs are fitted to all major units, except the sink unit.

Drawers are constructed using the Blum Metabox system. This produces strong drawers with a smooth rolling action. Non standard widths are no problem.

Units are supplied primed 1 coat only, and will require patch priming, careful finish sanding and final painting on site. Farrow and Ball paints in National Trust and traditional colours are very suitable, but so are Dulux Dimensions range, available in an enormous choice of colours. We always recommend finishing in eggshell paint, as being both durable and attractive. We have had some success with water based eggshell, it does not yellow with age like oil based but it may be less durable.

Initial trials using DuPont Smartpaint, from B&Q, are encouraging. These are hardwearing water based paints, but at present in a limited range of colours.

You can choose any worktop from post formed laminate to Corian or granite and the adjustable feet on our units will accommodate different thicknesses. However the only worktops we supply ourselves are chipboard tops with an oiled hardwood edge, ready for priming and tiling, sheet zinc worktops or oiled hardwood tops. Chipboard worktops, where specified, will be fitted ready for priming and tiling. It is essential that those responsible for tiling ensure that the chipboard is sealed and that the tile adhesive and grout used are suitable for fixing worktop tiles to chipboard. It is very important that water cannot get through to the chipboard and with this in mind we strongly recommend that only epoxy grout is used. A suitable oiled hardwood edging will be fitted around the worktop prior to tiling.

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