Kitchen Heating: Get Your Kitchen Cosy For Winter

The clocks will soon be going back, the nights are drawing in and temperatures have definitely dropped.  In fact, we’ve had the heating on since the beginning of September!

It’s at this time of year that the kitchen becomes the most important part of the home – particularly when it’s time to cook Christmas dinner!  We are thinking about renovating our kitchen but it’s a big project and there’s so much to think about.

If you’re already planning a kitchen, then you might well have spent a lot of time pondering the type of bespoke cabinetry or worktops you want.

You might be considering splashback materials like perspex from Simply Plastics as well as the appliances you and your family will need to keep things running smoothly.

You might have even started to think about lighting and wall colours but the one thing that can often make or break the usability of a kitchen – particularly during the winter months – is often not given nearly enough thought.

How to heat your kitchen

How you heat your kitchen, whether it’s radiators, a cast-iron range that runs the central heating, or underfloor heating, your choice will have a huge impact not just on how you use your kitchen when it’s complete but how you design the room from its inception.

Back to basics

The key to a heating system that works efficiently is a good boiler.

When you’re planning your kitchen design, it might be worth factoring in a new boiler rather than repairing it if yours is more than 15 years old as they’re not nearly as energy efficient as new models.

Be aware too, that older boilers may not be covered by boiler insurance schemes.  British Gas took one look at our ancient one and refused to cover it.

Updating an old system to an A-rated condensing boiler could reward you with a 90% increase in efficiency.

Also, replacing a boiler could free up room for more cupboards or worktops and you’ll benefit from instant hot water if you opt for a condensing combi-boiler.

Choosing the right type of kitchen heating

Radiators

For many years, central heating systems running a series of radiators have been the heating of choice. Usually already in place, updating them from dated 1970s flat-panel models to one of the many stunning styles on offer from specialists such as Bisque or Aestus can completely change the look of a room.

For contemporary schemes look at ladder-style vertical radiators in sleek white and steel finishes and for classic kitchens pick something a little more period in it’s look like Bisque’s Classic range, which echoes Edwardian shapes.

If you’re particularly eco-minded then aluminium models are a good option, as they heat up and cool down much faster than traditional radiators, which will save both time and energy.

One thing you should do if considering radiators is to ensure that you have just the right amount to heat the room. There are plenty of online calculators to help you do this – just pop in the room’s dimensions, the number of windows and the calculator will give you the BTUs or wattage required.

Underfloor heating

A great option if your kitchen is being designed from the floor up; underfloor heating gives comfortable radiant heat and can deliver great savings too.

Depending on what type of heating you opt for, it can be used under most types of flooring, including stone, tile, wood and vinyl.

It’s best to check your floor is a suitable match before you go ahead and invest, but a large kitchen with porcelain or ceramic tiles are almost always a perfect fit with underfloor heating.

There are two options, electric and wet systems. Electric flooring is easier to fit, being a network of wire elements on a mesh that is placed below the flooring or wet systems, which use water pipes below the floor.

An electric system is easier to lay and can be retrofitted fairly easily if you’re laying a new floor, just check with your builder first.

Wet systems require more work and are better suited to renovations such as new extensions or completely new builds.

kitchen heating - a gleaming kitchen with brown features and lighting

One of the biggest benefits of underfloor heating is that you don’t have to give over valuable wall space to radiators, meaning you can often include more cabinets for additional space and bespoke storage solutions.

It is also vital to have your kitchen design finalised before the pipes or mats are laid for the flooring, as it would be an absolute waste to heat built-in cupboards, or under appliances.

A floor plan from your expert designer will help any heating engineer advise not only the best pattern to lay the floor in but also where to place the controls on the walls.

Using a timed thermostat means that you can set the heating on to warm the room just enough so it’s a little easier to step into your kitchen on a frosty winter morning.

Cast-iron ranges

While an ‘always-on’ Aga is often the traditional choice in farmhouse designs, it will provide radiant heat to warm your kitchen on a winter’s morning but it can’t run a central heating system.

If you want your heat-store range to do that, then opt for models from Stanley or Rayburn, which can often run up to 20 radiators.

Go mobile

Finally, consider investing in an app-controlled heating system such as Hive or Nest so you can switch on your heating, using your phone, wherever and whenever you feel the need with great ease.

With some careful planning, you’ll find the most effective, and economical form of kitchen heating for your home.

*collaborative post




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How To Transform Your Family Kitchen On A Budget

While for many families the kitchen is the heart of the home, there often comes a time when it begins to look and feel tired and no longer suitable for your growing family’s needs. You may not have the budget to go for an entirely new kitchen, but with a little imagination, time and effort you can make a significant difference to your kitchen without spending very much.

Transform your kitchen on a budget - bright wood and white themed kitchen

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

As well as looking fresh and modern, you can create a kitchen that is comfortable to use, efficient, easy to keep clean and able to handle the daily chaos that comes with family life. Get it right, and your new-look kitchen can grow with your family.

Transform your kitchen on a budget

Here are some simple ideas to transform your kitchen on a budget.

Add a new colour to kitchen walls

Painting the walls is the perfect way to give your kitchen a fresh new look without having to spend too much. Whether you are already handy with a paintbrush or a complete beginner, in most cases you should be able to get it done in a day. With any decorating job, preparation is key. Make sure you choose kitchen paint and use a combination of rollers and paint brushes suitable for the area you will be painting.

Transform your kitchen lighting

Updating your kitchen lights is a simple way to transform the room. Replacing your existing lights with something similar should be quite straightforward. There are, however, so many options available that you could introduce a whole new lighting scheme. Choose from spot and downlights, oversized pendants, to strip lights and under cabinet lights. Replacing lights should be a simple job, but if you do want to change the lighting completely, you may wish to hire a local electrician.

Give old cupboards a facelift

If the structure of your kitchen cupboards is in good condition, then you could replace the doors. Painting the cupboard doors is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to create a new look. Use a primer first as your base to ensure an even finish. Then pick a colour that works well with your updated scheme, whether a simple white or you want to introduce a pop of colour. To finish the look, you will need to replace the old tired cabinet knobs or handles.

Transform your kitchen on a budget - shelves crowded with ornaments, cans and flasks

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

Freshen up your worktops

Worktops in a family kitchen need to cope with a lot. Updating your worktops can make a dramatic change to your kitchen. Worktop kits mean you can easily prepare and paint over old, tired worktops to bring them quickly back to life. Replacing your worktop with laminate is a popular and cost-effective worktop. If you are doing a simple replacement of your existing worktop, then it should be a reasonably straightforward task for any DIYer. If you aren’t feeling confident or you wish to change the layout of your kitchen completely, you might need to hire a joiner or kitchen fitter.

Improve kitchen storage

Good storage can make a huge difference to any family kitchen. While you are updating your kitchen think about how you use the space. Pull-out drawers in a cupboard instantly make every spare inch of space usable. If you lack top cupboards, then wooden shelves on metal brackets can be installed that provide a functional display area for your dishes.

Change the way you dress your kitchen windows

Changing your window dressing is a quick and easy way to update your kitchen. Curtains, nets and blinds can absorb moisture and get dirty very quickly. Shutters meanwhile are great for a kitchen as they are hardwearing, durable, easy to keep clean and above all, look great. You don’t have to be a DIY pro to install them either with easy to follow guides on YouTube and The Shutter Store, you’ll be able to fit them in no time.

Finish off with new flooring

Your kitchen floor must endure a lot, so it is not surprising when it eventually starts to show wear and tear. If you have wooden floors which are looking tired, but you don’t want to get them professionally refinished, then consider painting them instead. If you would like to put down something completely new, a quick, budget-friendly option is to use groutable vinyl tiles which have the look of ceramic. They have a durable finish and are very easy to install.

You don’t have to be an experienced DIYer or have a large budget to give your kitchen a completely new look. Updating just a few key areas can go a long way in changing the overall look and feel of your kitchen for all the family to enjoy for years to come. You can transform your kitchen on a budget!

Is Your Kitchen Ready For Entertaining?

Is your kitchen ready for entertaining? Are you planning a celebration? Whether it’s the approach of the festive season, a romantic Valentines Day meal or a special anniversary or birthday, if you enjoy hosting then you may already be planning a celebration to bring everyone together.  You might be feeling especially brave and planning to involve the kids in your dinner party too!

But before you send the invitations out, you need to make sure that your kitchen is all ready for entertaining and hosting guests. Do you think you could do with a bit of kitchen renovation?

Here are some useful tips that can help you get your kitchen up to scratch.

Update Your Kitchenware

Cooking appliances, crockery and bakeware can quickly become dated. Unless you are going for a vintage style in your kitchen, you should update any old-fashioned items in your kitchen. Not only will this do wonders for the look of your kitchen, but you will also find that they are a lot easier to use. And new cooking appliances will help you cut down the time you spend in your kitchen. Meaning you will have a lot more time to mingle with all your guests!

Get Rid Of Clutter

I’m sure most of us have a lot of clutter on our kitchen tops and dining table. It’s because it easily gathers on these surfaces! Especially the likes of letters, bills and important paperwork. So before you start cooking for your dinner party, make sure you quickly tidy up all of this clutter and remove it from your kitchen.

It is also important to tidy your kitchen work surfaces once you have taken all the clutter away. Keep them neat, and you will have plenty of space to prepare your food. They will also look very tidy to your guests!

Clean Your Fridge

Your fridge will be used a lot during the dinner party especially if you have guests going in there to top up their glasses of white wine. So it is very important that the inside of your refrigerator is looking clean and tidy.

If you are placing a lot of dishes in the fridge ready for the meal, make sure that the door shuts tightly. It is also a good idea to check that none of the food is blocking any of the air vents. Otherwise, the refrigerator could quickly heat up.

Take The Bin Out

You don’t want a nasty smell to put your diners off their meal, so remember to take the bin out before anyone arrives. It might also be worth cleaning out the bin itself with some strong disinfectant. After all, no matter how careful you are, there is always the chance that some food has escaped out the bin bag and made its way into the actual bin!  Consider indoor bin deodorisers.

Make sure you have plenty of extra bin bags as well. The rubbish will quickly pile up during a dinner party, and you might have to even take the bin out half-way through the meal!

Once you follow these tips, your kitchen will be all ready for you to entertain. And if you are planning a celebration, then your guests will certainly be impressed!