Frequently Asked Questions
I can’t decide if I should have a handleless kitchen, is this what all modern kitchens have?
Handleless kitchens have become more popular within modern and contemporary designs, with more customers wanting a sleek and clean lined look in their kitchen. Handleless systems are widely available and cater for every budget. What we have to offer is two true handleless systems, that come with a aluminium grip rail which can also be colour matched to the door fronts. Both these systems have a purpose built grip rail, meaning ease of access to cupboards and drawers. A system that is often passed off as being ‘handleless’ is the J shaped handle. This is a groove cut into the top of the door, being a cheaper alternative to handleless. This system is very hard to open appliance doors, such as integrated dishwashers and fridges, appliances which are opened several times a day. Modern kitchens can also be designed with handles, or a mix or the two systems. Large bar handles can be used on integrated fridge and freezers and on tall units to create impact and a focal point within the design. Exciting ranges of handles are added every year, so there is always a large selection to choose from. Choosing the right system depends on your needs, cooking habits and the style you want to achieve in your new kitchen. At Kitchen Matters we go through all the options available from our German kitchen ranges to see what will best suit you.
I have a fitter I trust. Will you just supply the kitchen?
Yes. If you have confidence in your fitters ability we will supply kitchens for your installers to fit. We will be available to answer any questions they may have. We do not supply flat pack or component kitchens. Unlike most other kitchens, our kitchens are supplied rigid with doors pre-drilled for handles etc making the installers job easier. Alternatively, consider using our fitting service. Our kitchen fitters are highly experienced and receive regular training from our manufacturers ensuring they are always up to date on the installation of the product to give you the best possible end result. It is a well known industry saying – A bad fitter can make a pigs ear of an expensive kitchen.
I live quite far away from Milton Keynes but you are my closest Leicht dealer. Will you still design and install my modern kitchen?
For design and build projects we serve, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford, Ampthill, Shefford, Flitwick, Leighton Buzzard, Buckingham, Olney, Newport Pagnell, Luton & Harpenden. We are also open to projects in London, please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out if we can design and install your dream kitchen.
I know the kitchen design layout I want. Can you price it for me?
If you insist, we will price up a plan you may already have. However, unlike our competitors, we like to add value to your process. Your kitchen is a large investment and we like to make sure we get it right for you by discussing alternative kitchen design ideas with you, based on your lifestyle and cooking habits. We passionately believe that our combined experience of designing kitchens and access to a vast array of products means we can usually improve on most designs presented to us. This is backed up by what our clients tell us in their testimonials. Which is why we request you to book a meeting with one of our designers to discuss ideas and develop your kitchen design during a series of meetings. Call us at 01908 233 333 to arrange a meeting or email us.
I cook different types of food and I don’t want to be restricted by just gas or electric hobs. What should I have?
There is a solution for this called a domino hob. Domino hobs allow you to build up your cooking system to suit your lifestyle. Various options are available that include- Gas hobs featuring 2 cooking rings. Perfect if you want to make the shift to electric but want to retain the comfort of falling back to gas when required. Gas wok featuring a single large wok ring. Perfect for oriental wok cooking where fierce heat is essential for flash frying. This is a popular option with south Asian clients who use the wok ring for chapatties. Induction wok featuring a recessed wok surface. This is supplied with a matching wok and works as well as a gas wok. Ideal if you want to move away from gas to the sleek look and efficiency of induction hobs or don’t have access to gas. Induction hob featuring 2 rings. This is ideally suited for those seeking the benefits of induction but also want other flexible cooking options. Teppanyaki. This features a flat metal cooking surface as used in Japanese teppanyaki cooking. Teppan cooking is perfect for grilling meats and vegetables with minimal fat. Teppan plates feature highly in social cooking. Fat fryers & BBQ’s are also available for those that want the flexibility to integrate their fryers into the worktop or BBQ indoors all year round. Both options are recommended with powerful extractors to remove odours and smoke. Kitchen Matters demonstrates these options in our kitchen showroom in Milton Keynes. Call 01908 233 333 or email us to find out more.
What type of sink should I have?
There are broadly 3 types of sinks available for your new kitchen. Inset sinks are set into the worktop and are available with or without draining boards. Inset sinks are generally specified with laminate or wooden worktops. These are very practical but can look old fashioned with solid worktops. Undermount sinks are attached to the underside of worktops and are popular options with solid surfaces. Drainer areas are specified with grooves or recessed draining areas. These are sleek and dont have nooks and crannies where dirt could build up. Either style of sink is available in various materials. Popular sink materials are: Stainless Steel – We only recommend 18/10 stainless steel which has a high chromium content making in rust and stain proof. Stainless steel does not rust or discolour. It can scratch but these can be buffed out with a cleaning compound. Effective cleaning can be undertaken by using products such as CIF. Composite – Comprising of granite and resin and available in a myriad of colours, these are a popular choice. They are very tough and durable but should not be bleached. Ceramic – Clean hygenic surface but not very impact resistant and can chip or crack. Granite/Quartz – This is a relatively new option and quite dear but looks stunning and sophisticated. An alternate style of sink is a Belfast or butler sink. These are made from ceramic and used with traditional kitchens where they sit on top of a height reduced sink cupboard and overhung by the worktop. We will discuss your requirements with you and recommend a sink that suits your lifestyle and budget. To get more information contact Kitchen Matters at 01908 233 333 or email us.
Are induction hobs better than gas hobs?
In a single word – Yes! Induction hobs are quicker, significantly more energy efficient, safer and better looking than gas. Induction hobs require a high capacity electric supply and it may become necessary to run a feed to the hob from the mains supply. However, in operation induction hobs operate at nearly 90% efficiency compared to between 30-40% for gas and this efficiency results in cost savings over the life of the hob. Cooking on an induction hob is about twice as fast as a gas hob saving you precious time. A good quality induction hob will offer better control than a gas hob allowing you to precisely control your temperate setting from very high for flash frying or searing steaks to very low for melting chocolate. Your kitchen retailer will be able to demonstrate this. You will need to invest in a set of good quality pans suitable for induction hobs, though in reality your existing pans may be fine to use with an induction hob. Your kitchen retailer should be advise. For your free demo of an induction hob call 01908 233 333 or email us.
I have heard boiling water taps are the latest must have gadget, is it true?
It is important to differentiate between hot water taps and boiling water taps. Hot water taps are just that, typically dispensing around 1.5 litres of hot water at between 80-90 degrees. These are suitable for making 4-5 cups of tea. However the temperature of dispensed water is perhaps a bit lower than ideal of English dark tea. Moreover, these taps aren’t able to provide enough water for filling your pasta pot. If you are looking for a tap to replace your kettle, there are a credible alternative. Boiling water taps on the other hand are able to dispense water above 95 degrees. Large highly insulated tanks mean they store between 3 and 11 litres of water depending on application. Domestic versions of these taps will dispense sufficient boiling water to fill a pasta pot to boil pasta for 5-6 people or make tea for 10-12. Boiling water taps are more expensive than hot water taps but arguably offer more possibilities and better value for money. Kitchen Matters recommend Quooker boiling waters taps for their superb design, build quality and reliability. In fact we love them so much, we have them installed in the showroom and at home. To find out more about boiling water taps, call 01908 233 333 or email us.
What door finish is most suitable for kitchens?
Kitchens doors are made from various materials and some are naturally better than others for kitchens. We list some below with their pros and cons. Laminates – Extremely durable and hard wearing and available in a numbers of colours, finishes and textures. Laminates are available in matt, gloss, wood effect finishes. Kitchen Matters offers what is probably the widest choice of textured wood grain reproductions. Lacquers – These are painted doors available in matt or gloss finishes. These could be had in any colour and are a very practical surface. Lacquering is a labour intensive process and lacquered doors are generally more expensive than laminates. Kitchen Matters can offer lacquered doors in any colour of your choice. Timber – Timber doors are offered in a variety of materials including Oak, Walnut, Ash, Cherry & Maple. A quality timber door should be made from 4 solid panels and a solid or veneered centre panel. Timber should be seasoned to ensure durability in the kitchen environment. Beware of cheaper alternatives featuring lesser quality soft wood cores and Oak veneers. Vinyl/Foil Wraps – There are PVC films heat wrapped around MDF frames, finished in matt, gloss or wood effect finishes to replicate the real thing. While they offer cost effective alternatives to the real thing, they are prone to failure due to delamination from heat and humidity. We do not recommend or supply any vinyl/foil wrapped doors due to their lack of durability. Veneers – These are thin sheets of real wood applied on MDF frames. They replicate the natural beauty of wood and usually cost less than solid wood. Veneers can be book matched to ensure that the grain is continuous offering a rich finish. Acrylic – A popular option offering deep shine and a durable finish. Acrylics are available in various colours and are easy to maintain. Glass – A very popular option at Kitchen Matters, glass doors are offered in matt and polished finishes and offer very durable and hard wearing finishes. An added benefit is the option of having the door painted in a colour of your choice. Concrete – A new addition and the preserve of high quality kitchens, hand applied concrete putty ensure that your kitchen is truly unique. Each door has its own shading and texture. The tactility of a concrete door kitchen needs to be seen to be believed. If you have any further questions, contact Kitchen Matters at 01908 233 333 or email us.
How do I ensure that I have the right amount and type of lighting in my kitchen?
A well designed lighting scheme can make a simple kitchen design looks very sophisticated. Your kitchen requires 3 main types of lighting: • Ambient lighting for illuminating the kitchen. This should be uniform in the kitchen. Halogen low energy lighting is most suitable for this due to the natural colour temperature of halogen lamps. However LED lamps are getting better and should offer viable alternatives in the coming years. • Task lighting for worktops and hob areas. These should be high intensity and should be positioned to eliminate glare while working. Modern LED’s are ideally suited for this and offer colour temperature options for different styles of kitchen. • Feature lighting used to highlight design features in kitchen, backlight walls above tall and wall units, light up the plinth space to create floating effect. There are endless colour options available. A good kitchen designer will be able to advise and offer various options for your kitchen. Kitchen Matters works with one of UK’s leading lighting designers and are able to arrange an introduction to help you make the most of your new kitchen. To get more information contact Kitchen Matters at 01908 233 333 or email us.
What is the best worktop material for my kitchen?
Unfortunately there are no single answer to this. There are several options and each have their advantages and disadvantages: Quartz/Reconstituted Stone – One of the most popular worktop options, quartz is made from ground quartz, polymer resin, pigments, anti-bacterial agents, metals, glass etc. It offers very high stain, heat and scratch resistance while offering a range of over 50 colours, textures and finishes and thicknesses. Worktops can be fabricated to various thicknesses and various features can be built into worktops. Quartz worktops are particularly well suited for contemporary kitchens. Granite – Granite is a naturally occurring product and a generic name for various type of rock. Granite offers a stunning variety of colours and textures to suit most kitchen styles. Granites however suffer from natural porosity and cannot be guaranteed against staining. Care is required to seal granite worktops regularly and clean up spills on granite but when taken care of granite worktops will last a long time and are a real thing of beauty. Corian/Acrylic worktops – This is a manmade worktops built from an acrylic compound. Corian is a generic name (like Hoover) and several other brands are available. Corian worktops benefit from having near invisible joins, coved upstands, seamless sinks and are a very hygienic work surface. However, Corian has poor heat and scratch resistance so care must be taken to ensure that the worktop isn’t subjected to high temperatures. Corian can be repaired and usually restored to its original beauty should an accident occur. Wood – Naturally occurring, recyclable, renewable wood worktops are beautiful but require regular oiling to keep them looking at their best. Laminate – These are available in several plain, wood effect and stone effect finishes. Laminate worktops are inexpensive and durable but should not be subjected to heat, cutting/chopping on and standing water. To get more information contact Kitchen Matters at 01908 233 333 or email us.
I am planning to replace my kitchen, how do I go about it?
The choice of options open to you are quite simply mind boggling. In the initial phases, visit as many kitchen showrooms as you can and try and look for ideas and kitchen styles that appeal to you. Make a shortlist of showrooms that you like and revisit them, this time having a frank and friendly chat with them. You will quickly spot designers who are on your wavelength and understand your aspirations. It is very important that you are able build a good relationship with your designer based on trust. A good designer should then be able to interpret your desires and offer honest advise on what options best suit your space. During this process take notes about what styles of kitchens, colour schemes appeal to you. Think about what you want your new kitchen to do for you. Consider how you use it, what items you want storage for, seating in the kitchen etc. Your kitchen designer should ask you searching questions about your lifestyle, cooking style, shopping habits etc. You will then find a picture of your ideal kitchen emerging. Your designer should recommend appliances to suit your requirements. Don’t be afraid to discuss your ideas with your designer. There is no such thing as a ridiculous idea. In time your designer will be able to draw up plans interpreting your desires. Design is an iterative process and getting to a design that meets your requirement could take 3-4 meetings and several hours of discussions. A good designer will be happy to work with you to ensure that your goals are met. To book a design meeting call 01908 233 333 or email us.
Do I need an extractor for my kitchen?
Kitchen Matters always recommend extractors be fitted in kitchen. Extractors remove grease, odours and humidity from kitchens making your kitchen a pleasant place to be. Great attention must be paid to selecting the right type of extractor hood and the best choice will depend on your cooking habits and lifestyle. We recommend that you buy the best extractor you can afford. A good extractor will add to the aesthetic appeal of your new kitchen and also provide efficient extraction while keeping noise levels to a minimum. This is achieved by ducting an extractor using a motor of adequate capacity. Sometimes, the option to duct is not available and the extractor might have to recirculate. New technology advances use Plasma to break down odour molecules into harmless nitrogen, oxygen and carbon-dioxide. To get more information contact Kitchen Matters at 01908 233 333 or email us.
I am considering a steam oven for my new kitchen. Is this a good idea?
Steam ovens have become very popular over the past 5 years. Steam as a method of cooking is well known and its benefits are well documented. Commercial kitchens and chefs have used steam ovens for years and this technology is now available for domestic kitchens. Steam ovens used steam to cook food at lower temperatures retaining moisture and nutrients. Steam ovens are ideal for poaching chicken and fish, steaming vegetables and warming food. Combination steam ovens combine traditional oven functions with steam cooking. This allows the steam oven to be used as a traditional oven to give you additional cooking capacity for parties and Christmas dinner. However, the biggest benefit of combination steam ovens is the ability to combine steam and traditional cooking to cook perfect meals. Steam cooks food and heat from the oven provides texture so that your roasts are crisp on the outside and succulent on the inside. Combination steam ovens can also be used to bake cakes and breads. We believe combination steam ovens are perhaps the most significant advance in appliances. They allow budding chefs to deliver excellent results with ease. And for the competent cooks amongst you, combination steam ovens help take your cooking skills to the next level. Kitchen Matters are able to demonstrate the operation of a combination steam oven at our kitchen showroom in Milton Keynes. Call 01908 233 333 or email us.
Is Sous-Vide cooking just for the professional chefs or the future of home cooking?
Here at Kitchen Matters we believe sous-vide cooking is the future of home cooking, becoming more accessible and affordable as a home appliance. What is sous-vide cooking? Starting in professional kitchens, food such as chicken or fish is vacuum sealed inside a bag with seasoning or sauces. It’s then cooked in very precise temperatures in a water bath. This technique seals in the juices and moisture, that would ordinarily be lost in the oven cavity and when the door is opened. A healthier option to boiling or steaming, as extra salt and fats aren’t needed in cooking. Vital vitamins and minerals are sealed into the vegetables or meat, making healthier meals and lifestyle. Sous-vide (vacuum drawers) have been available in professional kitchens or as table top appliances for many years, featuring on TV shows such as Masterchef. Now widely available as an integrated appliance, with Siemens and Neff offering them to work alongside a compact steam oven. V-ZUG vacuum drawers allow probes to be sealed in the bag, allowing accurate cooking temperatures for larger joints of meat. Come into our showroom to see one for yourself and discuss the potential of vacuum and steam cooking.