Kitchen Appliances

While essential to the kitchen’s function, appliance inclusions can differ greatly from kitchen to kitchen and will usually be influenced by budget, space and client brief. The appliances chosen can be used as a focal point within the kitchen space, or concealed (or partially concealed) behind integrated panels to match the cabinetry.
Cook tops
Available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, cooktops generally use one of three main sources of fuel — gas, electricity or induction. A standard cooktop is still considered to be 600mm wide but, today, units are available as small as 350mm and as large as 1200mm wide.

Electric Cooktops

Electric cooktops feature a smooth ceramic surface with the element located underneath. The smooth surface is very hygienic as there are few areas where dirt can become trapped. Spills, though, will need to be cleaned up quickly, as they can become baked on because the ceramic glass will hold heat, even after the element is turned off. Care also needs to be taken with choice of suitable pots and pans for use on a ceramic cooktop. A subcategory of ceramic cooktops utilises halogen bulbs to create heat. A cooktop is classified as semi-halogen if it uses a halogen bulb to heat a coiled metal element.
Damco Kitchens Electrci Cooktop

Induction Cooktops

Induction cooktops are so-called because a magnetic field is generated by the element that induces heat within the cookware that is placed on top. This electromagnetic energy allows for the very fast transfer of heat from cooktop to pan, but also enables instant cooling which is often prized by homeowners as a safety feature. Specific cookware is required for use on an induction cooktop and homeowners should be aware that the purchase of additional items may be required if they choose this source of fuel. Because both ceramic and induction cooktops are smooth, flat surfaces, cleaning it is very easy and many manufacturers offer special cleaning products to suit their range. Gas cooktops used to be the most popular choice, with their instant heat and ability to control the flame, but induction cooktops are challenging this long-held position.
Damco KitchensIinduction cooktop

Gas Cooktops

Gas Cooktops offer even cooking and a high degree of heat control, plus the visual advantage that you can see the flame and make adjustments accordingly. With burners, rivets and grills, cleaning is more time and effort intensive.
Damco KitchensIinduction cooktop
Dual-fuel cooktops are a good choice for homeowners with a range of cooking needs.In addition, many high-end manufacturers now include items such as grill plates, deep fryers, scales, Teppanyaki grills, steamers and wok burners, which can be included as part of a combination of cooktops. For most efficient placement, the cooktop should be located where most of the food preparation occurs. It should be placed at least 300mm from an inside bench corner. It is recommended to allow a minimum benchtop landing space of 400mm adjacent to the cooktop. There are specified clearances to vertical and horizontal surfaces from the cooktop hot plates or burners.

Design tips

  • Locate cooktop in the food preparation area
  • Allow a minimum landing space of 400mm adjacent to the cooktop
  • Be aware of required minimum vertical and horizontal clearances to any adjoining walls or cupboards
  • Correct placement of the appliance will ensure that the work triangle operates at optimum efficiency
  • The size and shape of the cooktop should be determined by the client’s cooking habits
Oven’s & Stove’s
The terms “oven” and “stove” are often used synonymously but, as a general rule, “oven”refers to a cabinet-installed unit, either single or double, that stands alone. “Stove” refers to a free-standing unit that includes oven space as well as a cooktop.
Damco Kitchens Stove
Damco Kitchens Oven
Ovens and stoves will be powered by gas or electricity and the standard unit is considered tobe 600mm wide, although many manufacturers offer units that are smaller (although not by much)and up to 1200mm wide. Most often, the size of the oven will match the size of the cooktop — this is particularly important if they are to be installed with the oven underneath and cooktop on top.

Double Ovens

Double ovens are often installed together, with one on top of another, to make a stack and are wall-mounted within the cabinetry. Electricity is considered the most reliable fuel for ovens as it will set and maintain a temperature. It is also a dry heat, so will not interfere with the item being cooked. Gas tends to be more unreliable in terms of setting an exact temperature and maintaining it through the cooking process.
Damco Kitchens Double Oven

Steam Ovens

Steam ovens are gaining in popularity and are often installed as the “second” oven in a stack. Most manufacturers in the high end of the market offer steam option to match the regular oven.Powered by electricity, steam ovens cook the food inside using heated water vapour, which creates humidity. Steam cooking is considered a healthy option as it traps nutrients and prevents food from drying out. Some manufacturers offer a combination of steam and convection cooking within the one unit with the benefit being that homeowners who are short on space can enjoy the best of both styles of cooking. Be aware that some of the higher-end brands do require a direct connection to a water source while others have a compartment that will need to be manually filled.
Damco Kitchens Steam Oven

Freestanding Stoves

Freestanding stoves, as the name suggests,are standalone units that are incorporated into the design of the kitchen but are not physically installed within the cabinetry. Most freestanding stoves will be a minimum of 500mm (standard is600mm) but many are much wider and can be as wide as 1200mm. Freestanding stoves are valued by homeowners for their commercial feel and are often revered by serious cooks. Because these units can be quite wide, there is scope to include a variety of options within the cooktop area — including wok burners and the like — and the oven space below can either be one large unit or broken up into two smaller spaces. The two smaller ovens act independently so different dishes can be cooked at different times and at different temperatures without one influencing the other.
Damco Kitchens Stove

Microwave Ovens

Microwave ovens cook utilising microwave radiation, which can be very quick and efficient for certain types of foods. Microwave ovens are generally used in conjunction with other appliances to create the desired outcome and would not normally be considered the main oven in any kitchen. A microwave niche can be incorporated into the design of the kitchen and most manufacturers offer a trim kit as an option to create a ‘built-in’ feel for this appliance.The manufacturer’s installation guide should be consulted to confirm ventilation requirements if this is the chosen option. It is generally accepted that a microwave should be installed no more than 1300mm high and it is advisable to have 400mm of landing space on the opening side of the unit (or opposite within 1200 mm but not across a major walkway). Combination microwave/convection ovens are also available. These make use of both styles of cooking and can be a handy option for some homeowners.
Damco Kitchens Microwave Oven
Another popular option is self-cleaning or pyrolytic ovens. These ovens self-clean by heating the interior to around 500°C, thereby converting any food residue to ash, which is then simply wiped out by the homeowner. Most self cleaning ovens do not require any additional cleaning products. There are also continuous-cleaning ovens available that feature a catalytic surface on the inner lining of the oven that oxidises food spills to make cleaning the surface much easier. The oven should be located in the food preparation zone and the top shelf in a wall oven should be at a convenient height for the user (generally the top shelf should be no higher than 1300mm). It is advisable to have a minimum of 400 mm of landing space located adjacent (or opposite within 1200mm,but not across a major walkway). The oven is typically the least-used of the major appliances in the kitchen.

Design tips

  • Locate oven in food preparation zone
  • Microwave should be installed at no more than 1300mm high foroptimal ease of use
  • A wall oven’s top shelf should be no higher than 1300mm for optimal ease of use
  • Allow a minimum 400mm of landing (bench) space located adjacent (or opposite within 1200mm, but not across a major walkway).
  • The size and configuration of the oven should be determined by the client’s cooking habits
  • Correct placement of the appliance will ensure that the work triangle operates at optimum efficiency
Range Hoods / Exhaust Systems
Every kitchen will require some method to managesteam and cooking odours and what is chosen will depend on the kitchen’s layout, proximity to external walls, budget and style of kitchen design.
As a general rule, there are three options:

  • A range hood canopy
  • An integrated range hood
  • A proximity (side or downdraft) system
Damco Kitchens rangehoods
A range hood canopy can be wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted (if hanging over an island, for example) and will show the flue. An integrated range hood is installed underneath upper cabinetry, either as an on-display unit or one that remains virtually invisible until needed.

The range hood can also include a front portion that slides forward when in use and retracts when not in use. A proximity system is so called because the exhaust system is installed to the side or back of the cooktop area and will often slide out of sight when not in use.

It is considered very effective as it removes vapours directly from the cooking surface and provides very little in the way of head-height bulk. The exhaust system will either filter or recirculate the air it collects, or it will duct the air to the roof cavity or outside.

Ducting is a more expensive option but is considered more efficient, particularly in an open-plan kitchen as it removes the air completely.

The role of the exhaust system is to remove steam, odours, smoke and grease, so it is essential the unit chosen can perform this task.

Every unit will have different requirements for cleaning and maintenance, so it is a good idea to strongly recommend to your clients that they consider this when making their decision.

With the popularity today of open-plan kitchens, another consideration is the noise the unit will make when operating. It is generally considered that ducted exhaust systems are quieter than recirculating exhaust systems but this is not necessarily true for every make and models the manufacturer’s information should always be consulted before a decision is made.

Noise is measured in decibels (dB) but, when relating to range hoods, the sound the unit creates is measured in sones. The higher the sone number, the louder the noise produced. The sone will generally increase as the power level increases — ie lower settings will produce a lower number of sones than higher settings.

The capacity of the unit will be measured in cubic metres per hour — the higher the capacity, the more effective the machine will be at doing its job.

The kitchen’s size and layout will determine the venting capacity required. Sometimes the type of cooking that will generally be carried out in the kitchen will also affect the capacity needed.

If you are considering a ducted system, remember that the efficiency of the extraction will be affected by the length of ducting required and, in some units, the type of ducting channel chosen can affect the operating loudness of the unit. If you are considering a recirculating system, suggest you look for a unit with an easy-to-remove filter that is dishwasher safe.
You could also suggest they look for a unit with a built-in reminder system that will prompt the homeowner to change or clean the filter.

It is recommended that the range hood be at least as wide as the cooktop to ensure adequate coverage of steam, grease and odours created during cooking.

As the range hood is often a source of light within the kitchen, make sure this is considered when planning the lighting.

Design tips

  • Always check manufacturer’s minimum clearance requirements
  • The rangehood must be at least as wide as cooktop
  • Look for a model with easy-to-operate buttons located at the front of the unit
  • Decide if the rangehood will be a visual feature or hidden
  • Choose a model that reflects the type of cooking undertaken
Refrigerators
Today’s refrigerators and freezers come in such a variety of sizes and configurations to ensure they suit the wide range of spaces available. The Refrigerator can be freestanding or integrated, with matching panels, into the kitchen cabinetry.
There are many size and shape optionsto consider:

  • Top-mount
  • Upside down
  • Side-by-side
  • French door
  • Pigeon pair
  • Wine or bar units
  • Drawer systems
Top-mount refrigerators have a smaller freezer on top with a larger refrigerator below. Both sections are accessed via side-opening doors.

Upside-down refrigerators

Upside-down refrigerators have the freezer below, usually as a drawer unit, with the refrigerator above that has a single, side-opening door. In this option the freezer space is usually larger than in a top-mount unit.

Side-by-side refrigerators

Upside-down refrigerators have the freezer below, usually as a drawer unit, with the refrigerator above that has a single, side-opening door. In this option the freezer space is usually larger than in a top-mount unit.

Side-by-side refrigerators

Side-by-side refrigerators feature two full-height doors with the fridge and freezer space divided equally.

French-door refrigerators

French-door refrigerators incorporate a freezer below, as a drawer unit, with the refrigerator above but the refrigerator is accessed via two equal-sized doors, rather than one side-opening door.

Pigeon pair

Pigeon pair refers to the configuration of a full-size refrigerator and full-size freezer that are installed side-by-side but are separate, freestanding units.

Wine or bar refrigerators

Wine or bar refrigerators can be half-height (for under bench installation) or full-height (for standard installation). These are normally installed as additional to the main refrigeration unit and used specifically to store beverages.

Drawer systems

Drawer systems are a very new entry to the market, such as the Fisher & Paykel Cool Drawer™ unit, which are designed for in-cabinet installation. The smaller capacity allows for greater control of specific temperatures for specific items. Refrigerators can incorporate ice and water dispensers in which case special allowance must be made for plumbing requirements. Refrigerators and freezers are two of the thirstiest appliances in the kitchen, so energy efficiency is often a top priority for homeowners in choosing which make and model will suit your needs. Always remember that storage capacity can vary greatly between models and large refrigerators that are mostly empty will be less energy efficient than a more moderately sized refrigerator that is fuller. The refrigerator should be located in the food storage zone and must be placed where it can be accessed without interrupting the cook. A minimum 400mm landing space should be incorporated into the design to allow adequate space for unpacking and stowing away groceries. This landing space should be allowed on the door opening side, or opposite if within 1200mm, but not across a major walkway. Consider the door swing when planning the kitchen; ensure there is adequate room to open the door freely and there is sufficient clearance for people to walk past. Consult the manufacturer’s specifications regarding recommended clearances to the side, top and rear of the refrigerator.

Design tips

  • Consider door swing to ensure adjacent doors do not impact on opening the refrigerator
  • Locate the refrigerator in the storage zone
  • Provide a minimum 400mm landing space adjacent to and on the door opening side, or opposite if within 1200mm, but not across a major walkway
  • Locate the refrigerator to allow access without entering the main cooking zone
  • Check the position of the refrigerator within work triangle to ensure optimum efficiency.
  • Consider size and type of refrigerator to suit your storage needs.
Dishwasher
It would be rare for a homeowner to request a kitchen that did not include a dishwasher however, should this happen; it is recommended that allowance be made for the installation of oneat a later stage. Pre-planning can ensure that space is set aside within the kitchen’s layout to incorporate a cupboard with access to power and water. A standard dishwasher is 600mm wide and can be installed under-bench (fully- or semi-integrated) or as a freestanding addition to the kitchen. There are a few models on the market that cater for different needs in terms of width and height, such as the Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer and DishDrawer Wide units. You should choose a water- and energy-efficient model that is within their budget. Another aspect homeowners should consider is size and capacity (not always the same thing). Capacity indicates the amount of dishes, cups and cutlery that will fit in a standard load while size indicates the physical dimensions of the unit. Internal design can affect capacity markedly, with adjustable trays and optional extras allowing for the inclusion of more items if needed. You should be aware that all dishwasher models create differing amounts of noise, which is particularly pertinent within an open-plan setting. Correct placement of the dishwasher is essential to the success of the kitchen. Generally located next to the sink, the dishwasher should be placed to the left if the homeowners are predominantly right-handed, and vice versa. Clear benchtop space adjacent to the dishwasher is needed for loading and unloading. An open dishwasher door/drawer should not obstruct access to storage areas while being loaded or unloaded.

Design tips

  • Locate the dishwasher in the clean-up zone, adjacent to sink
  • Place unit to the left if you are predominantly right-handed, and vice versa
  • Ensure sufficient space adjacent to the dishwasher for loading and unloading is allocated
  • An open dishwasher door/drawer should not obstruct access to storage areas while being loaded or unloaded
  • Specify the right size and operating capacity to suit your personal needs
Coffee Machines & Other Appliances
Coffee machines are fast becoming considered an essential appliance and can either be integrated as freestanding units or built into the cabinetry. A popular choice is to group an integrated microwave, steam oven and coffee machine to make a stack of appliances. Most manufacturers offer built-in models in the same width or with a trim kit to suit. If you are considering a built-in model, be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications and requirements for separate power or water sources. If you are considering a freestanding unit, it may be worth considering a small appliance cabinet or slide-out shelf be integrated into the kitchen’s design. All coffee machines will be automatic, semi-automatic or manual — each requiring a different level of input from you. Automatic Machines will grind beans, pour coffee and switch off with the push of a single button. Semi-automatic and manual machines require pre-ground coffee. Semi-automatic units will pour apre-set amount of coffee but manual machines will need to be turned off and on as required. Built-in coffee machines are generally more expensive and take up more space than freestanding units and should only be considered if you are regular coffee drinkers.The coffee machine should be located in the beverage preparation zone and includes easy access to storage for related items. Minimum adjacent landing space of 300mm is recommended. For safety reasons, it should be positioned at a height of no more than 1300mm and where can be accessed without disturbing the cook.

Design tips

  • Locate coffee unit within the beverage preparation zone
  • Ensure coffee machine is installed no higher than 1300mm for ease of use
  • Ensure adequate access to power and water
  • Check manufacturer’s requirements for clearances for built-in models
  • Position unit to allow access without encroaching on the main cooking zone
  • Consider allowing space for accessories close by
  • A Minimum adjacent landing space of 300mm is recommended.

Other Appliances

Other built-in appliances that may form part of a kitchen include:

  • Steamer Wok
  • Burner
  • Grill
  • Teppanyaki plate
  • Plate warmer
  • Deep fryer
  • Small appliances – toaster, kettle, sandwich maker etc.
Always consider space-planning principles, manufacturer guidelines and statutory authority regulations when planning placement of these appliances
Sinks
With a sink available in almost any shape, style or size, it’s almost a case of too much choice in this sector.There is no longer a standard size sink with a range of configurations available, including single bowl, double bowl and one and-a-half bowl, as well as a variety of drainers and accessories to match. Sinks will either be top-mounted, over mounted, under mounted or integrated. Top-mounted sink sit fully on top of the bench. An over mounted sink features the rim sitting on the bench top and the rest of the sink is countersunk. An under mount sink is fixed to the underside of the bench top. An integrated sink is formed as part of a single piece of solid surface or stainless-steel bench top. A butler’s sink is a specific item usually kept for classic or traditional kitchen design. It can be manufactured from ceramic or fireclay porcelain and features a specific rectangular shape, with either one or two bowls. The homeowner should carefully consider what type of washing up will normally be undertaken in the sink so you can ensure the sink is large (or small) enough to suit their needs. Consider the size of trays and baking dishes that may need to be washed up by hand. The designer should also consider if the homeowners are left- or right-handed as this will determine the alignment when installing the unit. 18/10 stainless steel is recommended for kitchen sinks due to its scratch resistance. The sink should be located in the clean-up zone. It is recommended that between 400mm to 600mm bench space (excluding trainer) is available on each side. The total bench space should be at least 1050mm.

Design tips

  • 18/10 stainless steel sinks are recommended for hygiene
  • Look at options for built-in sinks or moulded pieces
  • Locate the sink in clean-up zone with easy access to the dishwasher
  • 400mm to 600mm bench space should be allowed to either side (excluding drainer)
  • Check the position of the sink within work triangle to ensure optimum efficiency
Tap ware
In terms of tapware, the general consensus is that “you get what you pay for” so, when making choice of taps, consider your budget but also look at warranty and product life expectancy.Taps come in a range of shapes, sizes and finishes,so be sure to choose one that suits the style of the kitchen and fits in with its overall design. Always ensure the tapware specified carries a Watermark and conforms to the relevant Australian Standards, along with displaying the WELS star rating. The most popular and, not surprisingly, low-maintenance finish is chrome but taps are available in stainless steel, brass, white, satin or nickel finishes. Be careful and aware of the maintenance requirements of their chosen finish. Taps are one of the most-used items in any kitchen,so it is essential to make the right choice from the start. Do consider if you have any special needs – for example, the elderly sometimes find mixer taps easier to use than cross taps because of the action required to turn them off and on. Single-lever mixers are so called because the operation is carried out from one point —the lever. Moving the lever left to right will control temperature while water pressure is controlled by moving the lever up and down. Cross taps feature the more traditional three-piece configuration with the spout in the centre with one hot tap and one coldtap that are operated independently. The Handle is in a cross configuration, which allows for ease of turning off and on. Spray mixers feature the same configuration as single lever mixers but with the added functionality of a spray head which can be used for trickier cleaning jobs as well as food preparation. This is often seen as a gourmet, rather than standard, inclusion. For safety, it is possible to have the taps fitted with a thermostatic mixer valve, which sets the maximum top temperature the water will reach so little hands cannot be scalded. There is also a range of ‘hot and cold’ taps available to complement the regular taps installed in a kitchen. These items produce boiling hot water and chilled water at the touch of a button and dispose of the need for a kettle or water filter, so have become very popular as additional items within a kitchen.

Design tips

  • Tapware chosen should match the design of the sink and overall look of the kitchen
  • Consider the maintenance requirements of the finish chosen
  • Consider the needs of the client when determining handle type
  • Look at options for a spray mixer or pull-out function if required
Damco Kitchens
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