Kitchen Appliances

While essential to the kitchen’s function, appliance inclusionscan differ greatly from kitchen to kitchen and will usuallybe influenced by budget, space and client brief. The applianceschosen can be used as a focal point within the kitchen space,or concealed (or partially concealed) behind integrated panelsto match the cabinetry.

Cook tops

Available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, cook topsgenerally use one of three main sources of fuel — gas, electricity or induction. A standard cook top 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 surfacewith the element located underneath. The smooth surfaceis very hygienic as there are few areas where dirt canbecome trapped. Spills, though, will need to be cleanedup quickly, as they can become baked on because theceramic glass will hold heat, even after the element isturned off. Care also needs to be taken with choice ofsuitable pots and pans for use on a ceramic cook top.A sub-category of ceramic cook tops utiliseshalogen bulbs to create heat. A cook top is classified assemi-halogen if it uses a halogen bulb to heat a coiledmetal element

Damco Kitchens Electrci Cooktop

Induction Cooktops

Induction cooktops are so-called because a magneticfield is generated by the element that induces heat withinthe cookware that is placed on top. This electromagneticenergy allows for the very fast transfer of heat fromcook top to pan, but also enables instant cooling which isoften prized by homeowners as a safety feature. Specific cookware is required for use on an induction cook topand homeowners should be aware that the purchase of additional items may be required if they choose thissource of fuel. Because both ceramic and induction cook tops are smooth, flat surfaces, cleaning it very easyand many manufacturers offer special cleaningproducts to suit their range.Gas cooktops used to be the most popularchoice, with their instant heat and ability tocontrol the flame, but induction cooktops arechallenging this long-held position.

Damco KitchensIinduction cooktop

Gas Cooktops

Gas Cooktops offer even cooking and a high degree of heatcontrol, plus the visual advantage that you cansee the flame and make adjustments accordingly.With burners, rivets and grills, cleaning is moretime and effort intensive.

Damco KitchensIinduction cooktop

Dual-fuel cooktops are a good choice forhomeowners with a range of cooking needs.In addition, many high-end manufacturers nowinclude items such as grill plates, deep fryers,scales, Teppanyaki grills, steamers and wok burners, which can be included as part of acombination of cooktops. For most efficient placement, the cooktopshould be located where most of the foodpreparation occurs. It should be placed at least300mm from an inside bench corner. It is recommended to allow a minimum benchtoplanding space of 400mm adjacent to the cooktop.There are specified clearances to vertical andhorizontal surfaces from the cooktop hotplates orburners.

Design tips

  • Locate cook top in the food preparation area
  • Allow a minimum landing space of 400mm adjacent to the cook top
  • Be aware of required minimum verticaland horizontal clearances to any adjoiningwalls or cupboards
  • Correct placement of the appliance willensure that the work triangle operatesat optimum efficiency
  • The size and shape of the cook topshould be determined by the client’scooking habits
Oven’s & Stove’s

The terms “oven” and “stove” are often usedsynonymously but, as a general rule, “oven”refers to a cabinet-installed unit, either singleor double, that stands alone. “Stove” refers toa free-standing unit that includes oven spaceas well as a cook top.

Damco Kitchens Stove
Damco Kitchens Oven

Ovens and stoves will be powered by gas orelectricity and the standard unit is considered tobe 600mm wide, although many manufacturersoffer units that are smaller (although not by much)and up to 1200mm wide. Most often, the size ofthe oven will match the size of the cook top — thisis particularly important if they are to be installedwith the oven underneath and cook top on top.

Double Ovens

Double ovens are often installed together, withone on top of another, to make a stack and arewall-mounted within the cabinetry. Electricity is considered the most reliablefuel for ovens as it will set and maintain atemperature. It is also a dry heat, so will notinterfere with the item being cooked. Gas tendsto be more unreliable in terms of setting an exact temperature and maintaining it throughthe cooking process.

Damco Kitchens Double Oven

Steam Ovens

Steam ovens are gaining in popularity and areoften installed as the “second” oven in a stack Most manufacturers in the high end of the marketoffer steam option to match the regular oven.Powered by electricity, steam ovens cook thefood inside using heated water vapour, whichcreates humidity. Steam cooking is considered ahealthy option as it traps nutrients and preventsfood from drying out. Some manufacturers offer a combination ofsteam and convection cooking within the one unitwith the benefit being that homeowners who areshort on space can enjoy the best of both stylesof cooking. Be aware that some of the higher-endbrands do require a direct connection to a watersource 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 stand alone units that are incorporated intothe design of the kitchen but are not physicallyinstalled within the cabinetry. Most freestandingstoves will be a minimum of 500mm (standard is600mm) but many are much wider and can be aswide as 1200mm. Freestanding stoves are valued by homeownersfor their commercial feel and are often reveredby serious cooks. Because these units can bequite wide, there is scope to include a variety ofoptions within the cooktop area — including wokburners 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 canbe incorporated into the design of the kitchenand most manufacturers offer a trim kit as anoption to create a ‘built-in’ feel for this appliance.The manufacture’s installation guide should beconsulted to confirm ventilation requirements if this is the chosen option. It is generally accepted that a microwave should be installed no more than 1300mm highand it is advisable to have 400mm of landingspace on the opening side of the unit (or oppositewithin 1200 mm but not across a major walkway). Combination microwave/convection ovens arealso available. These make use of both stylesof cooking and can be a handy option for somehomeowners.

Damco Kitchens Microwave Oven

Another popular option is self-cleaning orpyrolytic ovens. These ovens self-clean by heatingthe interior to around 500°C, thereby convertingany food residue to ash, which is then simply wipedup by the homeowner. Most self cleaning ovens donot require any additional cleaning products. There are also continuous-cleaning ovensavailable that feature a catalytic surface on theinner lining of the oven that oxidises food spills tomake cleaning the surface much easier. The oven should be located in the food preparation zone and the top shelf in a walloven should be at a convenient height forthe user (generally the top shelf should beno higher than 1300mm). It is advisable tohave a minimum of 400mm of landing spacelocated adjacent (or opposite within 1200mm,but not across a major walkway). The ovenis typically the least-used of the majorappliances 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 ovenshould be determined by the client’scooking habits
  • Correct placement of the appliance willensure that the work triangle operatesat optimum efficiency
Range Hoods / Exhaust Systems

very kitchen will require some method to managesteam and cooking odours and what is chosenwill 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 orceiling-mounted (if hanging over an island, forexample) and will show the flue. An integrated range hood is installed underneathupper cabinetry, either as an on-display unit or onethat remains virtually invisible until needed. Therange hood can also include a front portion that slidesforward when in use and retracts when not in use. A proximity system is so called because the exhaustsystem is installed to the side or back of the cooktoparea and will often slide out of sight when not in use.It is considered very effective as it removes vapoursdirectly from the cooking surface and provides verylittle in the way of head-height bulk. The exhaust system will either filter or re-circulatethe air it collects, or it will duct the air to the roof cavityor outside. Ducting is a more expensive option but isconsidered more efficient, particularly in an open-plankitchen as it removes the air completely. The role of the exhaust systemis to remove steam, odours, smoke and grease, so it isessential 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 recommendto your clients that they considerthis when making their decision. With the popularity today of open-plan kitchens,another consideration is the noise the unit will makewhen operating. It is generally considered thatducted exhaust systems are quieter than recirculatingexhaust systems but this is not necessarily truefor every make and models the manufacturer’sinformation should always be consulted before adecision is made. Noise is measure in decibels (dB) but, when relatingto range hoods, the sound the unit creates is measuredinsones. The higher the sone number, the louder thenoise produced. The sone will generally increase as thepower level increases — ie lower settings will producea lower number of sones than higher settings. The capacity of the unit will be measured in cubicmetres per hour — the higher the capacity, the moreeffective the machine will be at doing its job.The kitchen’s size and layout will determine theventing capacity required. Sometimes the type ofcooking that will generally be carried out in thekitchen will also affect the capacity needed. If you are considering a ducted system,remember that the efficiency of the extraction willbe affected by the length of ducting required and,in some units, the type of ducting channel chosencan affect the operating loudness of the unit. If you are considering a recirculatingsystem, suggest you look for a unit with an easy-to-remove filter that is dishwasher safe. You couldalso suggest they look for a unit with a built-inreminder system that will prompt the homeownerto change or clean the filter. It is recommended that the rangehood be atleast as wide as the cooktop to ensure adequatecoverage of steam, grease and odours createdduring cooking. As the rangehood is often a source of lightwithin the kitchen, make sure this is consideredwhen planning the lighting.

Design tips

  • Always check manufacturer’s minimumclearance requirements
  • The rangehood must be at leastas wide as cooktop
  • Look for a model with easy-to-operatebuttons located at the front of the unit
  • Decide if the rangehood will be a visualfeature or hidden
  • Choose a model that reflects thetype of cooking undertaken

Today’s refrigerators and freezers come in sucha variety of sizes and configurations to ensurethey suit the wide range of spaces available. Therefrigerator 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 ontop with a larger refrigerator below. Both sectionsare accessed via side-opening doors.

Upside-down refrigerators

Upside-down refrigerators have the freezerbelow, usually as a drawer unit, with therefrigerator above that has a single, side-openingdoor. In this option the freezer space is usuallylarger than in a top-mount unit.

Side-by-side refrigerators

Upside-down refrigerators have the freezerbelow, usually as a drawer unit, with therefrigerator above that has a single, side-openingdoor. In this option the freezer space is usuallylarger than in a top-mount unit.

Side-by-side refrigerators

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

French-door refrigerators

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

Pigeon pair

Pigeon pair refers to the configuration of afull-size refrigerator and full-size freezer thatare 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 (forstandard installation). These are normallyinstalled as additional to the main refrigeratorunit and used specifically to store beverages.

Drawer systems

Drawer systems are a very new entry tothe market, such as the Fisher &PaykelCoolDrawer™ unit, which are designed for in-cabinet installation. The smaller capacity allowsfor greater control of specific temperatures forspecific items. Refrigerators can incorporate ice and waterdispensers in which case special allowancemust be made for plumbing requirements.Refrigerators and freezers are two of thethirstiest appliances in the kitchen, so energyefficiency is often a top priority for homeownersin choosing which make and model will suit yourneeds. Always remember that storage capacity can vary greatlybetween models and large refrigerators that aremostly empty will be less energy efficient than amore moderately sized refrigerator that is fuller. The refrigerator should be located in thefood storage zone and must be placed where it can be accessed withoutinterrupting the cook.A minimum 400mm landing space should beincorporated into the design to allow adequate space for unpacking and stowing away groceries.This landing space should be allowed on thedoor opening side, or opposite if within 1200mm,but not across a major walkway. Consider the door swing when planningthe kitchen; ensure there is adequate roomto open the door freely and there is sufficientclearance for people to walk past. Consultthe manufacturer’s specifications regardingrecommended clearances to the side, top andrear 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 accesswithout 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.

It would be rare for a homeowner to requesta kitchen that did not include a dishwasher however, should this happen; it is recommendedthat allowance be made for the installation of oneat a later stage. Pre-planning can ensure thatspace is set aside within the kitchen’s layout toincorporate a cupboard with access to powerand water. A standard dishwasher is 600mm wide andcan be installed under-bench (fully- or semi-integrated) or as a freestanding addition to thekitchen. There are a few models on the marketthat cater for different needs in terms of width andheight, such as the Fisher &PaykelDishDrawerandDishDrawer Wide units. You should choose awater- and energy-efficient model that is withintheir budget. Another aspect homeowners should consider is size and capacity (not always thesame thing). Capacity indicates the amount ofdishes, cups and cutlery that will fit in a standardload while size indicates the physical dimensionsof the unit. Internal design can affect capacitymarkedly, with adjustable trays and optional extrasallowing for the inclusion of more items if needed. You should be aware that alldishwasher models create differing amounts ofnoise, which is particularly pertinent within an open-plan setting. Correct placement of the dishwasher is essentialto the success of the kitchen. Generally locatednext to the sink, the dishwasher should be placedto the left if the homeowners are predominantlyright-handed, and vice versa. Clear benchtopspace adjacent to the dishwasher is needed forloading and unloading. An open dishwasher door/drawer should not obstruct access to storageareas while being loaded or unloaded.

Design tips

  • Locate the dishwasher in the clean-upzone, adjacent to sink
  • Place unit to the left if you are predominantly right-handed,and vice versa
  • Ensure sufficient space adjacent to thedishwasher for loading and unloadingis allocated
  • An open dishwasher door/drawer shouldnot obstruct access to storage areaswhile being loaded or unloaded
  • Specify the right size and operatingcapacity 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-inmodel, be sure to check the manufacturer’sspecifications and requirements for separatepower or water sources. If you areconsidering a freestanding unit, it may be worthconsidering a small appliance cabinet or slide-outshelf be integrated into the kitchen’s design. All coffee machines will be automatic, semi-automatic or manual — each requiring a differentlevel of input from you. Automaticmachines will grind beans, pour coffee andswitch 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 machineswill need to be turned off and on as required. Built-in coffee machines are generally moreexpensive and take up more space thanfreestanding units and should only be consideredif you are regular coffee drinkers.The coffee machine should be located inthe beverage preparation zone and includeeasy access to storage for related items. Aminimum adjacent landing space of 300mmis recommended. For safety reasons, it should be positionedat a height of no more than 1300mm and wherecan be accessed without disturbing the cook.

Design tips

  • Locate coffee unit within the beveragepreparation zone
  • Ensure coffee machine is installed nohigher than 1300mm for ease of use
  • Ensure adequate access to powerand water
  • Check manufacturer’s requirementsfor clearances for built-in models
  • Position unit to allow access withoutencroaching on the main cooking zone
  • Consider allowing space for accessoriesclose by
  • A Minimum adjacent landing space of 300mm is recommended.

Other Appliances

Other built-in appliances that mayform 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 statutoryauthority regulations when planningplacement of these appliances


With a sink available in almost any shape, style orsize, it’s almost a case of too much choice in this sector.There is no longer a standard size sink with a rangeof configurations available, including single bowl, doublebowl and one and-a-half bowl, as well as a varietyof drainers and accessories to match. Sinks will either be top-mounted, over mounted,under mounted or integrated. Atop-mounted sink sitsfully on top of the bench. An over mounted sink featuresthe rim sitting on the bench top and the rest of the sinkis countersunk. An under mounted sink is fixed to theunderside of the bench top. An integrated sink is formedas part of a single piece of solid surface or stainless-steel bench top. A butler’s sink is a specific item usually keptfor classic or traditional kitchen design. It can bemanufactured from ceramic or fireclay porcelain andfeatures a specific rectangular shape, with either oneor two bowls. The homeowner should carefully consider what typeof washing up will normally be undertaken in the sinkso you can ensure the sink is large (or small) enoughto suit their needs. Consider the size of trays andbaking dishes that may need to be washed up by hand. The designer should also consider if the homeownersare left- or right-handed as this will determine thealignment when installing the unit. 18/10 stainless steel is recommended for kitchensinks due to its scratch resistance. The sink should belocated in the clean-up zone. It is recommended thatbetween 400mm to 600mm bench space (excludingdrainer) is available on each side. The total benchspace should be at least 1050mm.

Design tips

  • 18/10 stainless steel sinks arerecommended for hygiene
  • Look at options for built-in sinksor moulded pieces
  • Locate the sink in clean-up zone witheasy access to the dishwasher
  • 400mm to 600mm bench space shouldbe allowed to either side (excluding drainer)
  • Check the position of the sink within worktriangle 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 butalso 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 thekitchen and fits in with its overall design. Always ensure the tapware specified carries aWatermark and conforms to the relevant AustralianStandards, along with displaying the WELS star rating The most popular and, not surprisingly, low-maintenance finish is chrome but taps are availablein stainless steel, brass, white, satin or nickelfinishes. Be careful andaware of the maintenance requirements of theirchosen finish. Taps are one of the most-used items in any kitchen,so it is essential to make the right choice from thestart. Do consider if you have any special needs – for example, the elderly sometimes findmixer taps easier to use than cross taps becauseof the action required to turn them off and on. Single-lever mixers are so called becausethe operation is carried out from one point —the lever. Moving the lever left to right willcontrol temperature while water pressure iscontrolled by moving the lever up and down. Cross taps feature the more traditionalthree-piece configuration with the spout inthe centre with one hot tap and one coldtap that are operated independently. Thehandle is in a cross configuration, whichallows for ease of turning off and on. Spray mixers feature the sameconfiguration as single lever mixers but with theadded functionality of a spray head which canbe used for trickier cleaning jobs as well as foodpreparation. This is often seenas a gourmet, rather than standard, inclusion. For safety, it is possible to have the taps fitted with a thermostatic mixer valve, whichsets the maximum top temperature the water will reach so little hands cannot be scalded. There is also a range of ‘hot and cold’ tapsavailable to complement the regular tapsinstalled in a kitchen. These items produceboiling hot water and chilled water at thetouch of a button and dispose of the need fora kettle or water filter, so have become verypopular as additional items within a kitchen.

Design tips

  • Tapware chosen should match the designof the sink and overall look of the kitchen
  • Consider the maintenance requirementsof the finish chosen
  • Consider the needs of the client whendetermining handle type
  • Look at options for a spray mixeror pull-out function if required
Damco Kitchens
Our Location
Book your FREE home designer visit
Follow Us on