Modular Kitchen: Designs, Structure, Layout & Arrangements

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Modular Kitchen is a term used for the modern kitchen furniture layout consisting of modules of cabinets which can facilitate the effective usage of spaces in a kitchen.

Different arrangement of counters

  • A kitchen has three primary tasks which are carried out between:

    1. Cooking Zone (hob, oven and microwave)

    2. Washing Zone (the sink)

    3. Storage Zone (cabinets, fridge and freezer)

  • Natural work path planned between these three zones called as work triangle.
  • The smaller the work triangle, the more efficient a work space.
  • As a general rule, the distance between the three areas of the kitchen work triangle should be no less than 4.5 feet and no larger than 8.5 feet.

  • The six most common modular kitchen layouts are:

1. L shaped layout

  • L shaped kitchen has single unit spread across two adjoining two walls will provide with ample amount of free space.

Features

  • Discreet and versatile
  • More storage space
  • Ideal for small kitchen

2. Straight layout

  • A straight line kitchen has its hob, sink, fridge and other storage cabinets all in a line against a single wall

Features

  • Easy Workflow
  • Compact and unobtrusive
  • Ideal for small kitchen

3. U shaped

  • U shaped layout has the most efficient work triangle and enormous counter space, extra wall, and floor cabinets.

Features

  • 3 way accessibility
  • plenty of wall and floor cabinets
  • Ideal for large kitchen

4. Parallel or gallery

  • Parallel layout of modular kitchens has two long working areas facing each other against two walls.

Features

  • Easy movement flow
  • Plenty of working space
  • Ideal for long and narrow kitchen

5. Island

  • It combines either a straight line or L-shaped kitchen model with an unconnected island space.

Features

  • Versatile
  • Contemporary look and feel
  • Separate storage and cooking space

6. G shaped or peninsular

  • Peninsula Layout of modular kitchens has a little extra counter space for either dining or entertainment purpose.
  • Unlike an Island layout, the extra space is connected to the main counter space.

Features

  • Utilizes less floor area as compared to island
  • Separate cooking space and the dining spaces
  • Plenty of storage.

Components of modular kitchen

Components of Modular Kitchen

Countertops

  • A countertop is flat working surface in a kitchen.

Types of material used for countertops

Cabinets and Shutters

  • Modular cabinets are premade individual unit, used for storing products.
  • Modular shutters are pre-designed pair of panels fixed on the cabinets to protect essential products from foreign particles.
  • Careful selection of shutter finishes can enhance the overall look of the kitchen.

Types of material used for cabinets and shutters

Pro tip: Do not use any material less than 18mm thickness.
                 Prefer using BWR grade plywood. In case of MDF, use BWR plywood under sink.

Types of cabinets


1. WALL CABINETS

  • Wall cabinets, also called as wall-mounted or upper cabinets, refer to cabinets that are fixed on a wall.
General types of wall cabinet

  • Wall cabinets can be customized according to space requirements and can vary with different hardware’s used.
  • General classification of wall cabinets are:

2. BASE CABINETS

  • Base cabinets also known as lower cabinets provides a base for heavy countertops and can be used for storage and organization of everyday essentials.
General types of base cabinet
  • Base cabinets can generally be classified according to usage:

3. TALL CABINETS

  • Tall cabinets also known as pantry cabinets or utility cabinets, create bountiful storage for extra items like groceries, pickle jars, ready to eat packed foods etc.
General types of tall cabinet
  • Tall cabinets can generally be classified according to storage requirements:

Types of finishes used for cabinets and shutter

1. Laminate Finish

Application

  • Laminate are hot pressed to remove air and bubbles on shutters and cabinets.

Advantage

  • It can vary from matt, to emboss to gloss.

2. Veneer Finish

Application

  • Sheets of wood bark are pasted on boards.

Advantage

  • It is available in different colours and offers natural look.

3. Acrylic Finish

Application

  • Acrylic is man-made material in the form of thin sheet, which is applied on shutters and cabinets

Advantage

  • It is a high gloss reflective finish that gives a shiny and modern look to the kitchen.

4. PU Finish

Application

  • PU (polyurethane) is acrylic based clear coating paint also called as lacquer finish applied over boards.

Advantage

  • It is weather resistance and also easy to maintain and clean.

5. Glass Finish (lacquered)

Application

  • Painted glass is stuck on the surface of shutters and cabinets

Advantage

  • It is toughened so in-case glass breaks, it will not harm and can be easily replaced.

6. Membrane Finish

Application

  • Membrane is approximately 0.3 mm thick sheet which is pasted on the shutters and cabinets.

Advantage

  • It is not heat resistance.

Hardwares

1. Hinges

  • It attaches the cabinet door to the frame, depending on the height and weight of the door.

Hinges used on cabinet door

General types of hinges

2. Lift up system

  • It is designed to provide effortless opening and closing of cabinet door.

Lift up shutter

General types of lift up

3. Drawers

  • It is a box-shaped storage compartment, made to slide horizontally in and out of a cabinet.
  • Its hardware design depends on channel/slide, storage space and weight,opening system, etc.
  • It is available in market under various names depending on the companies.

Cutlery drawer

General types of drawer

According to Function
According to Application


4. Baskets

  • A hardware used to hold or store things in kitchen.

Basket to store food items in kitchen

General types of basket

5. Channels

  • A hardware that slide in and out, and hold the drawers or baskets.

Channel to slide basket

General types of channel

6. Handles

  • A hardware used for opening and closing of cabinet door.

General types of handle

Common hardware brands in India

  • Hettich
  • Grass
  • Blum
  • Hafele
  • Sleek
  • EBCO
  • Haecker
  • Johnson
  • Kohler
  • Godrej

Appliances

  • Appliances are integrated and built in with modular kitchen which saves beneficial spaces and improve aesthetics of the kitchen.

Appliances installed in Modular Kitchen

General types of appliances used in modular kitchen

1. Chimney

  • It helps in removing the hot air and smoke from the kitchen and provides proper ventilation.

Chimney

Considerations for chimney
General types of chimney
General types of chimney filters

Suction power of chimney
  • It is the capacity of chimney motor to absorb oil particles and odour.
  • It is measured in cubic meter per hour(m3/hr).
  • It should be able to recycle the air at least 10 times in an hour.
  • It depends on the size of kitchen and home.
  • Formula to calculate suction power : Kitchen volume x 10 i.e., (L x W x H) x 10.

DUCT OR DUCTLESS CHIMNEY

Size of chimney
  • Selection of kitchen chimney size depends on the size of the stove or hob and kitchen size.

  • The thumb rule is it should be either stove or hob size or slightly greater than the stove or hob size so that it absorbs smoke effectively.

2. Cooktop

  • It is a kitchen appliance designed for the purpose of cooking food.
General types of cooktop

3. Oven

  • It is an appliance designed to perform function like cooking, grilling and baking.

Freestanding oven

General types of oven

4. Refrigerator

  • It is an appliance or compartment which is artificially kept cool and used to store food and drink.

Refrigerator

5. Dishwasher

  • It is an appliance for a purpose of cleaning dishware and cutlery automatically

Dishwasher

6. Sinks

  • It is used for washing dishes, vegetables, etc.

Stainless steel sink

General types of sinks

Common appliances brands in India

  • Hafele
  • Bosch
  • Hindware
  • Sunflame
  • Glen
  • Kutchina
  • Kaff
  • Prestige
  • LG
  • Pigeon

Add on Accessories

Tips to consider before installation

1. Incorporate the golden triangle rule

  • To increase work efficiency install the cooking zone (stove, oven), the washing zone (Sink), and the storage zone (refrigerator) within a gap of 4-8.5 feet.

2. Select durable materials

  • Choose base materials that are durable and easy to clean.

3. Compartmentalize storage

  • Storage spaces needs to be analyzed and can be personalized according to the requirements.

4. Service points

  • Electrical and plumbing points should be considered in accordance with the modular units before installation.

5. Choose an appealing color

  • The aesthetic appearance of the kitchen depends especially on the colours.
  • Avoid dark colours, as they are not good reflectors of light.

6. Bring in good ventilation

  • Proper ventilation is the rule of thumb for any kitchen to repel overpowering smells.

Advantages of modular kitchen

1. Contemporary design

  • Modular kitchens present a smarter, modern choices and sophisticated finishes compared to traditional methods.
  • The designs are planned scientifically as per users requirements.

2. Versatile

  • They are extremely versatile with a combination of module units, wall storage, cabinets, drawers, and shelves or space for appliances.
  • Moreover, they are available in an array of colours and finishes.

3. Efficient storage:

  • These kitchens provide more storage and better work flow, as it is well organized.
  • For instance, modular kitchen cabinets offers special systems such as built-in bottle racks, plate holders, cutlery compartments, garbage holders and wire trays for vegetables.

4. Quick and easy installation

  • The manufacturing of modular kitchens comes ready-to-install.
  • They are also easy to dismantle can be reinstall the kitchen in a new home.

5. Easy to maintain

  • As each part is a separate module, maintenance and repair work can be done easily.

6. Easy to clean

  • Cleaning the modular kitchen requires less efforts as all parts can be removed and can be properly accessed for cleaning.
  • Periodically wipe down the cabinets and counters with a mild detergent solution to get rid of grime and dirt.

Disadvantages of modular kitchen

1. Expensive

  • Initial installation cost of modular kitchen is higher as compared to your ordinary kitchen.

2. Delicate

  • These kitchens are not suitable for rough use. (Unless high-quality hinges are used), the kitchen may require frequent repairs, adding to the maintenance costs.

3. Skilled labour

  • Pre-fabricated cabinets need technical assistance while installation and repair.

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