Saturday, August 25, 2012

Glass Door and kitchen-living window

Hi everyone, we wanted to share our feedback on the choice of a full-glass swing door for the kitchen-living room door.

Firstly, the kitchen and dinning area is connected by a door. Initially we were following the concept of a design that has a similar longish layout like ours here. It was using a wood frame-glass panel bi fold door. As the design developed, after we decided to introduce a "window" between the kitchen and living room (so we can keep an eye on the kids in the living room while cooking), the decision for the door naturally followed. see our kitchen-dining area concept below

kitchen-dining area concept with glass door

An elevation view of the "window" and glass door. If you have noticed, we put some decals and clear stickers as a few of our first time visitors did not realise the glass door and bumped into it. Using a sliding door would have compromised into our storage space to the sliding pocket and would block the "window". Another option was to use bi-fold doors but we did not like the rails especially in a heavy cooking oil environment.

The glass is made of a full piece of tempered glass, meaning that it has been strengthened by heat treatment so it is harder to break. In any case it is broken, it will shatter into harmless tiny pieces of glass. We have asked specifically for the edges of the glass door to be chamfered to remove any sharp corners.

window and glass door with decals and stickers

The glass door can open in and outwards. This allowed for some flexibility in usage.

glass door swing outwards

glass door swing inwards
Overall we are quite happy with the choice. Specific points as follows:

Plus points
1. effective keeps out kitchen oil, probably like any other systems
2. fits into our design and the adjacent window
3. in-out swing was useful when serving hot food
4. allows light sharing between the living room and kitchen which gets the evening and morning sun respectively.
5. no rails or sliding pocket

Minus points and what we could have done better
1. However, a word of caution is to train babies and toddlers not to plan in the door swing zone. The glass door edge and floor can form a nasty pinch on the little toes, which has happened twice. Besides reinforcing that this it a NO-PLAY zone, we would probaby looking into attaching a soft rubber for the lower door edge to reduce the pinching effect.

2. The glass door swing mechanism is a PH and is still working fine. It was only after it was installed before we researched that Dorma was the best brand. I would insist on a Dorma if I knew earlier.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Does the Refrigerator need a Plinth?

Do you need to create a plinth for the refrigerator? That was one of the "minor" points my ID was trying to play down and convince me to avoid the plinth. His argument was that without the plinth, it was easier to roll out the fridge to clean up the dust behind.

As the end-user, my concern was to address the case when the kitchen floor gets flooded from the washing machine malfunction, it would damage the fridge's electrical circuits. Read about front load washing machines having this risk here. "But that is a 1:1000 chance of happening", he argued back.  I figured he was trying to find the easy way out, as without the plinth, the tiler will have a much easier time. Click here to read the reasoning. Anyway, to cut the long story short, I won the debate, which I now am glad having doing so. To protect the washing machine from the flood, we have also placed the rubber blocks to raise it above the floor.

Fridge on a plinth, adjacent to stacked drier on Washing machine which is on blocks.
Washing Machine on blocks
After moving for 2 and a half years, the "1:1000" incident happened... the kitchen floor was flooded when the water discharge tube from the washing machine was accidentally pulled out of the house outlet pipe.

The fridge on the plinth and washing machine on blocks were safe from the flooding. The only thing to handle was cleaning up the flood. Snapped some photos while moving the washing machine and drier out to clean up the wet floor. All these effort to prevent permanent damage to the fridge and washing machine.... I'd say it is worth it.

1. Shifted out the drier and washing machine
2.  Create a temporary extension plinth to roll out the fridge (using newspapers and plywood shelf board)
Note the concrete tiled plinth on the left. Fridge has a white wheel and black adjustable leg. 

3. Roll out the fridge to access the kitchen outlet.

 4. Clean up the kitchen outlet
Kitchen water outlet was located under the fridge. All the flood water was discharged through this outlet. Also note the back of the fridge (on the right) has a lot of electrical works, vulnerable to flooding.

In conclusion, while making design decisions for your renovation, do consider some worst case situations, especially if they can cause some form of permanent damage to your assets.

Also see kitchen layout