FLAT­PACK BA­SICS

Look­ing for an af­ford­able way to up­date your home? A flat­pack kitchen could be for you

Real Living (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

DON’T AS­SUME YOUR WALLS AND FLOORS ARE SQUARE – TAKE CARE­FUL MEA­SURE­MENTS AND BE PRE­PARED TO MAKE SOME AD­JUST­MENTS

Pick your ap­pli­ances Be­fore or­der­ing your flat­pack kitchen it’s im­por­tant that you choose your ap­pli­ances first so you know the ex­act di­men­sions that need to be ac­com­mo­dated. Also think about the space and what it re­quires, such as a right- or left-hinge fridge. “Ask friends’ opin­ions and do some re­search on­line (Na­tion­al­pro­duc­tre­view.com) to help make your de­ci­sion eas­ier,” says Sofie Formica, from Na­tional Prod­uct Re­view. Draw up a de­tailed plan Now it’s time to design a kitchen lay­out that suits your space and needs, which in­cludes draw­ing up a de­tailed plan. Many sup­pli­ers have on­line tools you can use. “On­line plan­ners help you vi­su­alise what your kitchen could look like in dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions, colours and styles. You can se­lect ev­ery last de­tail so you know what to ex­pect when the real thing comes to life,” says Lisa Mayski, mar­ket­ing man­ager for Ka­boo­dle Kitchen. Pre­pare the space The next step is to make sure your old kitchen is re­moved and any dam­age re­paired, such as rough walls and un­even floors. Walls must be struc­turally sound and sturdy enough to take the weight of filled cab­i­nets, and if you have stud walls, you’ll need to mark where the studs are so you can screw com­po­nents to them. Call in a plumber and elec­tri­cian to com­plete any prepara­tory work. Mea­sure up Accuracy is key to cre­at­ing a seam­less flat­pack kitchen. Use a spirit level or laser level, tape mea­sure and pen­cil to mark a hor­i­zon­tal line on the wall where the top of the base cab­i­nets and base of the over­head cab­i­nets will sit. The rec­om­mended dis­tance be­tween the floor and the top of the bench­top is 90cm (give or take 2cm), and be­tween the bench­top and over­head cab­i­nets is a min­i­mum of 60 to 65cm. Time to in­stall Un­pack and as­sem­ble your first mod­ule. Start with an over­head cor­ner or end cab­i­net then work your way across, tak­ing time to en­sure all edges are flush and square. Con­tinue the process with your base cab­i­nets. Once all cab­i­nets are se­cure, in­stall your bench­top then fit the doors, drawers, han­dles and kick­boards. Fi­nally, get a pro­fes­sional to com­plete any ad­di­tional plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal con­nec­tions.

Flat­pack kitchens are mod­u­lar, which means they can be con­fig­ured into al­most any space. But best of all, they are easy to as­sem­ble and in­stall.

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