Kitchen Nightmares and Design Mistakes Part 1
It happens in all cabinet shops. Every once in a while there's a kitchen that jumps out of the bushes and scares the tar out of everyone involved. Some you can see coming, some look innocent enough until a single kitchen design mistake snowballs into a full blown catastrophe. Here are some kitchen design mistakes we've seen that you'd do well to avoid.
…is not an exact science. Essentially, cabinet manufacturers wipe an already stained door with a darker color paint, filling in all the cracks and crevices. Then they wipe this off, leaving the paint in the hollows. There are also traces left on the flat parts (frames and door panels) and each door or cabinet ends up being unique. A cabinet set will consist of all the same colors, but each cabinet will be a little different.
This is just a process of beating up cabinets, but done in such a way that the cabinets aren't wrecked, only banged up a little. Like glazing, every item will be different. Some people don't understand this, and cabinet manufacturers nowadays make end customers view a sample door and sign a disclaimer stating that they understand some variation may occur.
Accurate Floor Plan Measurements…
…are essential to a project going well. If a wall measures longer that what is being used in the kitchen design, things may be ok; there are always filler strips. But if the designer thinks he's working with 6'-3” and there is really only 6'-1 1/2” available, there might be a big problem; calling Mission Control in Houston might not be necessary though, there might be an easy fix.
One smaller cabinet and a filler strip might be the answer. Replacing a corner cabinet farther up the line with a blind corner cabinet, and bumping it out the correct difference, is another idea. It all depends on the kitchen area, how creative the designer is, and what sort of changes the homeowner can live with.
Don't Forget the Ceiling
Some folks love utility cabinets; especially the new ones with all those swing out shelves and fancy racks on the insides of the doors. But they're tall, usually available in 84”, 90”, and 96”. If someone has an 86” ceiling, they're all set, right? Not necessarily. How are you going to tip it up into place? Is there another room with higher ceilings you can tip it up in, then carry it to the final resting place somehow? Is there a stairwell with just enough space to do it? Are the doorways you'll have to go through on the way to the kitchen 86” or more? Some manufacturers let you ship the toe space loose, effectively making it a 79 1/2” (in the case of an 84”) cabinets. Once in place you can block the cabinet up and attach the toe space and toe kick.
So far, you've been able to see three problems that can lead to kitchen disaster. While there are workarounds for each problem, it's best to dodge them in the first place. To see more pitfalls and things to avoid, check out Kitchen Nightmares and Design Mistakes Part 2 .