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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My kitchen... well... its almost useless.

I knew I would need to work on it when I moved in, and I know I'll be making due until its done, but I'm trying to take complications out of the equation.

See, I've got baseboard hot water heat - it runs along the length of two out of my four walls, and its ruining potential cabinet space. I've considered under-floor radiant heat (expensive), a toe kick system with fans (I don't like air blowing around though), so I've now come to a new idea... standalone cabinets with high toe kicks.

The heaters are about 8.5" high. My current thinking goes like this...

I build out a typical cabinet, with the end result being a 34.5" cabinet (plus counter). The toe kick height though would be 10"ish... so a 24.5" tall cabinet. Instead of a regular toe kick though, I put the cabinets on some 10" legs - raising me up above the baseboards, allowing me to leave them in place - and let the cabinets be "freestanding".

My concerns are mainly - will a couple inches of space be ok over the baseboards? Would I need to protect the wood differently? Should I be concerned about warping?

I should also mention that since this is a traditional colonial home, I'm going for a more traditional, but simple look. I'm not sure if I want to go with a stain that will be a creamy color, then add a dark glazing to bring out simple accents (the doors mostly), or if I want to go with a natural stain on oak with a glaze. The doors would either be a straight raised panel (no applied molding) or a recessed panel - which I would probably buy from Conestoga or similar.

With regards to the build of the cabinets themselves, I'm thinking 3/4" plywood all around, and putting an 1/8" skin to finish the ends (note: cheaper). I would likely buy the drawer boxes also to get something with a nice dovetail (which I dont believe I would be able to do easily/effectively), and either salice or blum self-closer slides, hinges.

Since its not small (but not huge) at 13'x13', it will definitely mean a decent amount of cabinetry, but I think doable by myself.

So, amidst this brain dump of my general idea - any comments? Anything I should think more carefully about? Thanks in advance!
 

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I'm thinking WORST CASE..... use a coat of the fire resistant paint they make College kids paint Lofts with..... on the bottom of the cabinets.... 2" of airspace should be more than sufficient.

Ply wouldn;t be as affected by the heating as solid wood would be.........
 

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Are you needing storage area, countertop space or appliance mounting spots? I'd probably lean to using cupboards, pie safes, dry sinks, tables and wall boxes myself.

I've never dealt with baseboard hot water heat systems so don't know what the problems associated with it are. Building the boxes from good 3/4" would be fine but putting boxes on 10" legs is going to look pretty Brady Bunch if you're not careful. If you have drawer over door boxes, you'll have about a 6" drawer face over a 17-18" tall door. That's going to look odd. I'd be more inclined to use slab doors and faces and do the whole thing frameless.

I'd also want to do a 3-d rendering on this before spending a bunch of money. Since this is a somewhat complicated job, get everything right on paper and maybe even mock up a couple of boxes to get the feel for what you're doing.

I prefer the Blum hinges and sliders myself. I think they're easier to install and adjust and I like the mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you needing storage area, countertop space or appliance mounting spots? I'd probably lean to using cupboards, pie safes, dry sinks, tables and wall boxes myself.
In a word....

Yes :)

The storage is about a 5ft run of wall cabinets, a sink base/3 drawer combo below, and then a built in unit, about 66" in length. Nothing else :(

I've never dealt with baseboard hot water heat systems so don't know what the problems associated with it are. Building the boxes from good 3/4" would be fine but putting boxes on 10" legs is going to look pretty Brady Bunch if you're not careful. If you have drawer over door boxes, you'll have about a 6" drawer face over a 17-18" tall door. That's going to look odd. I'd be more inclined to use slab doors and faces and do the whole thing frameless.
Hmm... good point. I'm not a fan of slab though... I think maybe recessed with thinner stiles and rails would probably work best... maybe 1" instead of 1.5".

I'll have to play with that idea a bit more - thanks for bringing it up :)

I'd also want to do a 3-d rendering on this before spending a bunch of money. Since this is a somewhat complicated job, get everything right on paper and maybe even mock up a couple of boxes to get the feel for what you're doing.
Definitely. Started dropping the kitchen measurements into AutoCAD Architectural this morning :)

I prefer the Blum hinges and sliders myself. I think they're easier to install and adjust and I like the mechanism.
Yeah.. and the cost difference isn't so bad. I'll likely go Blumotion throughout.
 

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I am not a contractor, so this is a layman's comment.

If the baseboard heat is along the outside wall and cabinets are built above them, will your 10 inch clearance allow you access to repair and maintain the heating system at a later date?
Can you re-plum to move the unit from the wall and closer to the toe kick area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am not a contractor, so this is a layman's comment.

If the baseboard heat is along the outside wall and cabinets are built above them, will your 10 inch clearance allow you access to repair and maintain the heating system at a later date?
Can you re-plum to move the unit from the wall and closer to the toe kick area?
I'll be able to get under the cabinets without moving anything to remove the front plate, and vacuum off the fins in my once-a-year cleaning. As far as having to do something to the heaters if all goes wrong... I would have to remove the top, and pull the cabs off the wall. So maintenance is easy, problems are... well more of a problem. However, it is new pipe, and new covers, and new fins, so I shouldn't really run into anything for some time.

Plus with the other options (under floor and toe kick alike), I would run into the same issues. Good point though, when I do my mock up I should push it flush in place, and see how easy it is to get in there.
 

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I think you are asking for trouble

and considering making some very odd looking cabinetry. In your case, I think that the best fix, though pricey, is to replace the baseboard units. Get rid of the finned tubes and shrouds and replace with the low profile extruded radiators. You can then build a standard format cabinet with a deeper toe kick to accomodate the extrusion. Leaving the baseboard units under the cabinets will send most of the heat up into the cabinet and whatever it is storing so the cost of heating the volume of the room will go up significantly. Not to mention the affect that being exposed to that level of heat for extended periods will do to the wood.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
and considering making some very odd looking cabinetry.
That doesn't worry me, I could make it look ok...

Leaving the baseboard units under the cabinets will send most of the heat ... whatever it is storing
but this does worry me. Excellent point. I'll end up heating anything I'm storing in there, which would be an issue.

Hmm.... ok, time to rethink the plan. Probably will still make my own, but like you mentioned, getting rid of the baseboards is probably my best bet.

Thanks!

-Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What's on the other 2 walls? You can put small sections in where you can fit them.
Tall windows, a refrigerator, the current sink base, and a built in I hope to turn into a dining room piece.

Unfortunately, not enough worthwhile wall space to create anything decent. I'm losing about 15-16ft of wall space with these base boards, and it would just look wrong not to make use of these walls.

Fortunately, I think I may have (after some time searching for the right piece) found a solution! A Myson Decor ( http://www.mysoninc.com/Pages/Radiators/Decor.html ) radiator would fit beneath a window on one wall where there is currently base board. I have a crawl space below, so access to the plumbing isn't horrible. The unit I'd get actually puts out a bit more heat than what the baseboards do, in a fraction of the size. So.....

The new idea! I buy this bad boy, rip out the baseboard radiators, and pop it under the windows. I take my kitchen design (I've got a few worked up at the moment - should probably narrow it down), and build my own boxes anyways. With the style of this radiator, a batten, beaded, mission, or simple shaker might look pretty good. I'll have to think about that further, really flesh out the ideas... but this is probably the best alternative. Overall, not hideously expensive for the radiator either.
 

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All the flat pack kitchen units available in the UK stand on adjustable plastic legs to enable precise levelling. This space is covered by recessed skirting which is simply clipped to the legs.

There is ample room in the bottom space for piping, cables etc and fan heaters are sold to fit in this space.

Google 'mfi' to see leading UK manufacturer with lots of kitchen designs and layouts for ideas.
johnep
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There is ample room in the bottom space for piping, cables etc and fan heaters are sold to fit in this space.
Yeah, those are the toe kick heaters mentioned earlier. Normally it looks like a flat, deep radiator, with a couple fans in there. But... I don't like the air blowing around, I've always found it irritating for some reason. Also, with the way hot water radiators work, theres usually not very much cool airflow to heat up. If I can't leave this open somehow (which would be decorative legs, which I won't be doing for the whole heating-up-my-stored-stuff problem), I think moving the heat outside the cabinetry is my best bet.

Quite a bit of the cabinetry in Europe is done that way.... legs with snap on toekick / baseboards.......
Yeah, alot of the (so-called) custom cabinet guys here doing frameless use legs too. Even building my own I'll likely do the same - hell of alot nicer than dealing with shims at install imho :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm still considering my options over the sink - I'm thinking of either opening the wall into the dining room for a larger room feel, maybe wall cabinets with some undercabinet lighting - I have no clue what I'll do there just yet :D


Anyways, heres the layout so far.
 

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Going to have to replace that window so you can run the cabinetry uninterrupted. Major divedends if you do.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Going to have to replace that window so you can run the cabinetry uninterrupted. Major divedends if you do.

Ed

True, but the one window affords me a perfect location for the new radiator without interrupting the cabinetry, and if I relocate the oddly placed window near the corner, it will interrupt my run on the range wall (the wall with the doorway leads to the dining room, and the wall adjacent to that, opposite the range wall, has a mud room on the other side).

So, I'll make use of it by using it as a good location for my recycling bin, trash can, and my mini palm tree :)
 
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