All-sea­sons kitchen

Firm on a win­ner with flood-proof cab­i­netry

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor - by Martin Rasini martin. rasini@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A TOWNSVILLE cab­i­netry busi­ness has flood-af­fected home-own­ers in its sights with de­vel­op­ment of a kitchen im­per­vi­ous to wa­ter.

The kitchen uses a 100 per cent r ecy­clable ma­te­rial made from house­hold and in­dus­trial waste and has been de­vel­oped by Donna Amory, who owns and op­er­ates Gar­butt cab­i­netry busi­ness Steni­bac Cab­i­nets.

Mrs Amory said yes­ter­day the pro­ject was borne of a flood­ing in­ci­dent three years ago when she and her builder hus­band, GCA Built prin­ci­pal Gary Amory, were liv­ing in Ing­ham.

‘‘ We found our­selves con­fronted by 600mm of wa­ter through­out the house,’’ Mrs Amory said.

‘ ‘ Flood waters de­stroy kitchen cab­i­netry and we de­cided af­ter our ex­pe­ri­ence that we would like to have a kitchen that was im­per­vi­ous to flood­wa­ters, and with re­mov­able kick­boards, that could be hosed out,’’ she said.

‘‘ We re­lo­cated to Townsville two years ago and es­tab­lish­ment of Steni­bac a year ago gave me the op­por­tu­nity to pi­o­neer de­vel­op­ment of the kitchen, which is some­thing en­tirely new. The fact we are build­ing a house in Ing­ham, which we want to be able to sur­vive a flood, has been an in­cen­tive.’’

Mrs Amory said she had tri­alled a num­ber of prod­ucts be­fore dis­cov­er­ing Nu­vex and gain­ing sup­port for her kitchen pro­ject from its na­tional dis­trib­u­tor.

‘‘ We re­ceived a visit one day ask­ing if we did com­mer­cial work and whether the prod­uct was of in­ter­est to us,’’ she said.

‘‘ I asked whether it could be used to make cab­i­nets, and now I know it can.’’

Mrs Amory said the were a break­through in wa­ter- proof join­ery and would not break, swell, splin­ter or rot, and are re­sis­tant to moulds, odours and stain­ing.

‘ ‘ They are solid -colour pan­els that do not re­quire paint­ing, lam­i­nat­ing, or edg­ing and there­fore will not de­lam­i­nate, peel, bub­ble or sep­a­rate,’’ she said. ‘‘ Un­like tradi tional kitchen ma - teri­als, the pan­els con­tain no volatile or­ganic com­pounds and no formalde­hyde.’’

Mrs Amory said Nu­vex came in a range of thick­nesses, panel sizes and colours and could be worked with all nor­mal cab­i­net­mak­ing saws and can be routered and drilled. Nu­vex is un­af­fected by rain or sun and takes about eight min­utes to catch fire when ex­posed to flames which, I un­der­stand, is about dou­ble the time of other kitchen cab­i­netry ma­te­ri­als.’’

Steni­bac is build­ing a dis­play unit and Mrs Amory said she ex­pected the kitchen to have wide ap­peal to in­surance com­pa­nies and home­own­ers in flood-prone and cy­clone-prone ar­eas.

‘‘ While it is hard to gen­er­alise, the cost is about 40 per cent more than for white­board cab­i­netry.

‘‘ We see that as a small price to pay for a kitchen unit that can with­stand the im­pact of flood­wa­ters,’’ Mrs Amory said.

WIDE AP­PEAL: De­signer Donna Amory with one of her flood-proof kitchens at Steni­bac Cab­i­nets

Photo: FIONA HARD­ING

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