All that Jargon
What is the difference between all the
materials used in the manufacture of a kitchen?
Timber and veneer
Timber:

tec10Every piece of timber has its own character. Even amongst the same species there can be variations in the grain and colour, timber always has the occasional knotting, sometimes this is acceptable in large amounts as in Pippy oak, but normally it is chosen for the occasional knot only, although this does alter subject to fashions. Knotting in pine used to be favourable but is now out of fashion, if pine is used at all the least knots showing, the more desirable the timber.

The beauty of timber is in all the variations of colour, texture and patterns of graining, this is the reason for choosing real wood and it is important to accept that there will be variations in the doors and possibly some knotting. For the true lover of real wood/veneer furniture, this is the very reason for choosing a natural finish rather than a man-made alternative.

Where this natural variation is likely to cause a problem, we can provide a range of man made materials that will be more suitable such as vinyl & foil.

Veneers:

Veneer is applied to chipboard or an MDF base, a natural timber veneer can be applied to both sides, this is sealed with either a clear coating of oil for durability, or with kitchen doors etc, a stain and/or lacquer. The colour range is limited to the availability of the timber species, any additional colour shades required are stained in one of thousands of options.

Edges of veneer boards are square and in the same material, on wide boards a matching veneer strip is placed side-by-side, so a tiny join could be showing. Veneer is usually only applied to flat panel doors with square or bevelled edges, as bending of veneers is limited.

As wood is a natural product, it should not be exposed to air that is too humid or too dry.
For a kitchen with wooden doors air humidity of 40 to 85% is ideal, dry air with little to no humidity is undesirable.

MDF and MFC
MDF:

Medium density fiberboard, or MDF, is a composite wood product. It′s made out of wood waste fibers glued together with resin, heat, and pressure. MDF is appropriate for many applications, from cabinetry doors to cornice mouldings, because it is smooth, uniform, won′t warp, is dense, flat, stiff, has no knots and is easily machined.

MDF is stronger and denser than chipboard. Because it is made up of fine particles it does not have an easily recognisable surface grain. MDF can be painted to produce an extremely smooth quality surface. Because MDF has no grain it can be cut, drilled, machined and sanded without damaging the surface.

MDF has many advantages, it′s very smooth because the wood fibers used in its manufacture are uniform and fine. This makes it have low “tear out,” which means that when sawed, the end has a smooth cut instead of a jagged edge.

Standard MDF also has a mild reaction to moisture, meaning it won′t warp or swell in high-humidity applications like a kitchen or bathroom cabinet. There is a moisture resistant MDF that can be used in excessively damp areas. Paint, veneers and laminates are used to give the MDF a finish.

MFC:

tec11 Melamine faced Chipboard, or MFC is a common product that is made from resin coated particles of softwood. Though it is more dense than conventional wood, it is the lightest and weakest type of fiberboard, except for insulation board. The particles are evenly spread over a flat plate and heat bonded together under high pressure. The melamine face refers to the decorative finish found either side of the board, often seen in white but also in hundreds of colours and woodgrains in different textures and sheen levels from matt to gloss.

There are other types of chipboard available including flooring grade, moisture resistant, melamine veneered, plastic veneered (used on worktops), white melamine coated as well as other colours including woodgrains (as used in kitchen cabinet construction) and real wood veneered (used on cabinet doors).

Stainless steel

tec12Premium quality 18/10 stainless steel is extremely hygienic and co-ordinates with the latest trend in appliances, stainless steel is one of the hardest materials around, but it does scratch. Eventually all the scratches run together and the surface develops a softer finish. Surface scratches in stainless steel rarely have any depth and the sink will obtain a patina with time and the scratching will become less noticeable than when it is new.

Stainless steel requires minimum care. Whether you decide on a polished or a linen finish, your sink will have a very high resistance to heat and to staining, and its smooth, non-porous surface makes it totally practical and hygienic.

Browsing through our extensive range, you will find that quality stainless steel looks equally good in a traditional, modern or very high-tech setting, since it is a completely versatile material which lends itself to innovative design.

The 18/10 quoted above refers to the proportion of chromium to nickel in the stainless steel alloy.

For the technically minded

To be classified as stainless steel, an iron base alloy must contain at least 10.5% of chromium. The presence of chromium enables the steel to form an invisible layer of oxide that protects it against corrosion. If this layer is damaged, a new one forms immediately due to the oxygen content of the air. Increasing the chromium content to 18% has further increased this protection. The addition of nickel to the alloy increased its corrosion resistance while adding a bright polished appearance, hardness, and exceptional resistance to all temperatures. As the nickel level is increased, the quality of the stainless steel is increased. The “top of the line” boast 10% nickel content, is the highest quality available in stainless steel.

Laminate

Formica laminates easily meet the requirements of BS EN438 1991 Test Method 15, which specifies resistance to staining by 49 substances likely to be encountered in everyday use. Most Formica laminate products have been awarded the Certificate of Hygienic Merit by the Royal Institute of PublicHealth.

Laminates are resistant to normal everyday exposure to steam and boiling water. High Pressure Laminates, are a resin impregnated decorative paper (which is the pattern and colour of the finished worktop) covered with a final layer of plastic, scratch resistant (which is the surface and also gives texture to the worktop) decorative paper on top. These are glued to the chipboard. There is a wide range of plain colours and patterns, wood grains, stones, hand drawn graphics etc. in either gloss, matt or textured finish.

This type of surface is harder wearing, easy to maintain. and on worktops comes with post forming (bending the Laminate around the edge). Worktop ends are often made of the same material, but this may result in a thin black or cream join showing, particularly on lighter colour surfaces.

Quartz

tec13Quartz engineered stone is made from an amazing 93% quartz with the remaining 7% polymer binder. The quartz content is pure quartz. The purer the quartz the stronger it is! It will retain its diamond-polished looks for years without needing polishing.

Due to its stain resisting polymers as well as the quartz, it results in a very durable, non-porous chemical resistant worksurface, it has a slight edge for durability compared to granite, so it is extremely ideal for kitchens.

Quartz is one of the most varied minerals, occurring in different types, colours and forms, each with its own unique appearance. It is found in the ground, in sand, in rocks – in nearly every geological environment around the world. It is a crystal with many facets in its original form, giving it a radiance similar to that of diamonds.

It provides rich aesthetics coupled with extraordinary strength and durability.