So what is a modular kitchen? …. and some best practices

I recently came across a customer who was told by his “designer” (more carpenter) that the kitchen he has made for the customer is Modular because … “see it has these steel baskets and I will also put in a magic corner”. Ha, haa I thought, this needs some explanation, why don’t I use this topic as my first post in the blog. So here goes….aaaum ganeshaya namah…

With so many scrupulous and un-scrupulous designers, carpenters, interior-walas selling what they call “modular kitchens” these days it is good as a customer to know what exactly is a “Modular Kitchen”.

So here it is….

1. As the name suggests a “Modular” Kitchen consists of modules that are assembled together. Each module consisting of the Carcass (box) and the shutter is independent and can be taken in and out of the full unit separately. This also helps in repair work when the kitchen ages as for example, you can completely replace the wet unit (unit under the washbasin) if it spoils after some years of use without disrupting the rest of the kitchen.

2.  The Carcass in a Modular kitchen rests on 3-4 inch legs, typically 4 legs under each module. It does not rest on a wooden plank. The legs are hidden behind a PVC (not wood) skirting. The legs & the PVC skirting help because (a) As mentioned in point 1 earlier the unit/ module can be independently moved in & out and (2) the wood does not touch the ground, hence no chances of any damage caused by water, mop etc.

3. Height is usually more than the normal kitchen. Most designers (Carpenters) would keep the height as 32 inches and this is usually what the builder also gives. However typical Modular Kitchens will have a height around 36 inches.It is good to keep this height because (1) We Indian women are nowadays taller than in the past πŸ™‚ and therefore it is more convenient to work on a higher slab and (2) If you want to fit a dishwhasher under the slab it will not fit in 32 inches and (3) A higher height gives you more storage space underneath.

4. While steel baskets and accessories in the drawers etc. are good, they nowadays cost the same as soft closing drawers & by that I mean the same price as Hettich Innotech drawers (http://www.hettich.com/uk/carpenter/1109.php) which are considered as amongst the best drawer systems in the world. The choice is however left to the individual.

I guess thats it. I am sure this will give one enough gyan to “sound” intelligent and knowledgable to your designer/ carpenter so that he does not take you for a ride.

Happy home making

NM

PS: If you have a question to ask then please note: On Nov 15th 2017 we have launched the Q&A module on The Studio website. The Q&A interface on this blog was unable to scale to the number of questions that we have been getting – you would have noticed being unable to  scroll down to a question once the number of questions below a certain post increases beyond a certain limit. 

Hence if you have a question then please post it at  https://thestudiobangalore.com/questions-and-answers/ 

Author: Nandita Manwani

Nandita Manwani is among the most respected Interior Designers in Bangalore and is the founder of The Studio by Nandita Manwani- a design & interior-works company focused exclusively on Residential Interiors. She is the author of the most read blog on home interiors in the country (www.homedesignbangalore.com) and over the last 9 years her blog has touched over one and a half million home makers & hosts over 3500 questions and answers that real home makers have asked on different aspects of home making and design. Nandita is a regular guest columnist with Deccan Herald & her work has featured across various national and international print & digital media. She was recently ranked among the top women interior designers in Bangalore and as one of the top upcoming interior designers in India. Her work has won the Best of Houzz acclaim for the last 2 years in a row and she is recognized as amongst the top Interior Designers to follow by the magazine. Over the last decade helping people realize their dream called home has been her passion, much more than just a profession. PS: If you have a query or question regarding interiors for your home then you may please leave a comment under any of my blog posts by clicking on the "Leave a comment" link. I go through each comment that comes in from the readers and endeavour to respond asap.

254 thoughts on “So what is a modular kitchen? …. and some best practices”

  1. Hi Nandita,

    Your blog has detailed information. I appreciate your statement on knowledge sharing. I got my wood work done at elita, you should have advertased about your blog long back.

    Rgds
    Nagaraja

  2. Hi Nandita,
    Thankyou for such in-depth information on various facets of 'home-designing'. In the context of legs for carcass of a modular kitchen, I would like to know whether PVC legs (the adjustable ones) are as, if not more, durable than the s.steel (non-adjustable) ones.
    Thanks & regards,
    Shobha

  3. Shobha,
    Better to go for non adjustable legs, both PVC or steel shud be fine.
    Adjustable are not recommended as carcass alignment is a one time activity.

    Regards
    NM

  4. Hi Nandita, thank u very much for the tips. I am getting a kitchen done through a carpenter. As far as the pullouts/kitchen baskets are concerned, can you recommend few more good quality brands except blum /hettich or hafele as they are beyond our budget πŸ™
    I have gone though websites of KAFE, evershine, sleek. but i am really confused. thanks once again

  5. Dath,
    Have found Evershine to be good…they have also coe up with Evershine Next which is lower grade (not unacceptable) & cheaper.

    You can also try Cucina – Local Bangalore brand and open to some negotiation πŸ™‚

    Rgds
    NM

  6. Hi Nandita,

    i ordered a kitchen basket cabinet in SS. But my carpenter advised me to go for PVC basket units . Which one is best for cutleries item? can i expect a suggestion?

    swarna

  7. Hi Nandita,
    Lovely blog I must say. I am doing some research for my kitchen and contacting many interior designers like Nolte, interwood, aishwarya, karighars Ambiente, veneta cucine…. please can you suggest which is doing good work and are working as professionals or also tell me other one you have in mind. thanks a lot πŸ™‚

  8. Hello Nandita,

    Have just gone thru' your blogs n its really a great work i must say. can you pls suggest on home interiors, we just purchased a 3bhk duplex apartment. from where do we start for interiors

  9. Hi Nandita,

    Good peice of information, thanks.

    I am in the process of making a modular kitchen for my new home. Our carpenter suggests PU lacquer finish paint for the shutters and I did like the sample peice he had got.
    Do you recommend the same?

    thanks
    Rashmi

  10. Ok if the shutters are ready made/ factory made…if you are planning to polish these on site then make sure you have a very good polisher, else you may end up with a shoddy piece of work.
    Also know that Lacquer will develop scratches in the long run, hence good maintenance will be required

    NM

  11. Thanks Nandita.

    What is best for the shutters?
    MDF with membrane, ply with laminate, ply with polymer finish OR MDF with wood finish PU lacquer paint?
    I am looking for slight glossy finish (something like italian kitchen) and durable.

    thanks
    Rashmi

  12. Hi Nandita

    Appreciate your effort to educate customers.

    We are looking for a suitable modular kitchen manufacturer/Dealer in New Delhi. I've the following queries:

    1. Do you offer services in Delhi as well..??

    2. We have zeroed in on the option of Powder coated Galvanized Mild Steel(offered only by a few I guess) for the module carcass, Your thoughts on the same.

    3. Suitable material for shutter doors: MDF vs Marine Ply vs Powder coated MS..??

    Warm Regards

    Sushant

  13. Sushant,
    I dont have operations in Delhi. Also have not worked with Steel for kitchens…hence cannot really comment.
    Sorry that I cannot be of help

    Rgds
    NM

  14. Hi Nandita,

    Good peice of information, thanks.

    I am in the process of making a modular kitchen for my new home. I have reviewed different options available for shutters. what i have a doubt is, whether it is possible to have a membrne finish on a marine ply doors, or they are only done on MDF. and the option i am left with while going for marine ply is a laminate.

    please let me know what are the options of finish that are available with marine ply.

    thanks,
    Kulbhushan.

  15. Hi,

    Thank you for informative post/blog.

    I am trying to get interior done for my 2BHK flat and got below response from carpenter.

    1. He will use waterproof pinewood in entire kitchen [waterproof greenply pinewood brand]. Is this brand recommended? Can you suggest any other brand in medium category? Does this brand comes under low/medium category?

    2. Uses commercial quality 19mm pinewood everywhere else. Will it be ok? What to look for in this wood? any particular brand or other? I hear people saying it ranges from 35rs to bigger amount. Do you recommend any particular pinewood in medium range?

    3. He will use decalum, not sure whether its the right word, on top of wood. Will it last long or look good? Can you tell me what to look for in this? does thickness matter? 0.8mm vs 1mm? Does decalum means 'Laminate' in your post.

    4. Does decalum needs to be replaced to be anything to get the nice finish? If yes, can you suggest it and pros/cons of it wit this?

    Thanks
    Naren

  16. 1) Please go through the other posts on this blog especially http://www.homedesignbangalore.com/2010/09/so-what-is-right-material-to-choose-for.html
    Also browse through the earlier comments and Q&A's – most of your questions will be answered there.

    2) Visit your closest Ply & Veneer shop and check out the brands of wood available and the prices – the type of wood that you need for different applications is already on the post I mentioned above – more details are at http://www.homedesignbangalore.com/2012/08/types-of-wood-wood-specifications-for.html
    3) If you get any 19mm ply at Rs 35 per square feet – DONT BUY IT – decent quality ply in Bangalore starts at around Rs 65 psft and goes upto Rs 110 psft. Any brand in this range is ok provided it conforms to the specifications mentioned in the post I pointed to in point #2 above.

    4) I haven't heard of anything called Decalum

    NM

  17. Hi,

    Thanks for useful blog.
    I wanted to know the preferred brand for buying kitchen baskets out of below?

    1. Kedium
    2. In N out
    3. Jaguar
    4. Heritage
    5. King

    I can't afford hetich, so thought to check with you the best brand out of above. I guess all are Stainless Steel baskets. Thank you once again.

  18. Hi Nandita,

    Your blog is very informative. Thank you for such wonderful tips. You said at the top that Hettich Innotech drawers are the same price as the steel basket ones. Can you provide a breakdown how it is same? I called up the Hettich show room. They said Innotech costs for a set of channels and slides starts from Rs.3000. For this we need to add the additional costs of plywood that should be provided for bottom, behind and front of the carcass. Additionally, I would need to buy PVC partitions to place in these carcass. I feel the price goes up much more compared to SS baskets. I enquired SS baskets in hettich, it starts from Rs.2500, the channels and the slides for it starts from Rs.500. Additionally, it would not require plywood for bottom and behind. Don't you think Innotech costs way above than SS baskets? Please let me know if I am making sense? If you could provide a breakdown of cost for both, it would be great.

    regards,
    Yogi

  19. Yes Hettich Innotech Soft Closing drawers will be some Rs 500 – 700 higher than Mid end SS Baskets. But the quality & finish of Innotech is far superior plus the flexibility to design the drawers of any size is worth the extra.

    Rgds
    NM

  20. Impressed by your Blog,All in one Home Design.
    Thanks for the quality time spent on giving clear-cut information. also for your "mini-research" on products.
    Your blog serves the purpose.
    Thanks for the selective links
    Got a better understanding on Home Design,esply, kitchen design.
    Kindly including a "Star Rating" system for the products you recommend [ Rating on Quality and Cost ]

  21. Hi Nandita,

    Your blog is simply awesome.. I stay in Gurgaon and when we wanted to make a good wardrobe, I picked up tips from your bloh which were very useful and now we want to get a modular kitchen done and now I have changed all specs offered by my carpenter….

    Just wanted to bounce off whether i am on track

    I am using a IS 303 BWR or IS 1659 grade Marine Ply/ Block Board…understand block board is 25 % odd cheaper and probably still Boiling water proof

    Using MDF membrane as shutter

    Will use SS baskets of 304 grade steel -branded / unbranded

    Ensuring legs hidden behind PVC skirting

    Using 19mm block board ( IS 1659 BWR) for crockery and wall units in kitchen

    Also, if you can guide optimal no of drawers etc for a typical kitchen in 2 BHK apartment

  22. Hi Nandita,

    What should be the minimum thickness of kitchen countertop in modular kitchen. Is 12 mm thick engineered stone countertop, supported on a ply, strong enough. Is there any disadvantage of having plywood support for the countertop. If so, what should be the minimum thickness of kitchen countertop if there is no plywood support i.e. its installed directly on top of carcases.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

  23. Hi Nandita,

    My countertop granite is 40 mm thickness. I am going to use BWR Waterproof marine ply for carcass. Will it carry the weight of the 40mm granite countertop

  24. Hi Nandita,

    My builder says. For the kitchen he is giving 4 inches thick cement slab from the floor of kitchen.
    If we have a counter height of 36 inches for the modular kitchen, its going to be 40 inches. Is it not too tall?
    Or should we avoid the cement slab? Please suggest.

    thanks

  25. Hello Nandita,

    I have found your blog and articles to be of great help while doing my modular kitchen, so thanks a lot.

    What is your opinion of ENOX brand of kitchen accessories and would you recommend them? I am planning to get a soft closing magic corner from them as the same in Hettich/Hafele is very expensive. Have you used ENOX before in any of your projects?

    Also what brand of kitchen chimneys would you recommend among Kaff, Faber, Falmec? Is Carysil any good?

    Thanks
    Vikky.

  26. Enox is a good brand – go ahead with it if it matches your needs.
    I have used Kaff & Faber – both are fine. Its important to look for after sales network & support when choosing a chimney/hob.

    NM

  27. Hi Nandita : I'M finalizing between 2 vendors for modular kitchen and have 2 questions (i'm from Gurgaon)

    1). One of the modular kitchen designer is suggesting INOX vs hettich owing to 50% cost differential. is Inox any good and durable or should i stick to Hettich? And is the cost differential big enough (I will be getting the following fitted : Pantry, cutlery, multipurpose, grain, dustbin, detergent holder baskets etc, standard accessories for a 12 feet*7 feet parallel kitchen.

    2) While I have read your article on what materials should one choose : is additional 40k worth spending on 18 mm century ply wood with merino laminate recommended by one vendor vs what EVOK is recommending ie Particle wood with laminate

    Thanks, Vanya (Vanya.sawhney@gmail.com; Gurgaon)

  28. If you are being offered a 40% cost differential with Inox then go with it – just ensure that its 304 grade steel

    Yes 40K extra is worth spending for BWR ply carcass against a particle board carcass

    Rgds
    NM

  29. Hi Nandita,
    Hope you are doing fine.
    We are looking for an innovative design for our new home's crockery unit. We want to fix it over wall and hence dont want it to be standing over legs. I tried searching a lot over internet but they all are more or less same. Even I serach houzz and Ikea but no luck. Can you help me in giving pointers where can I find it ? The idea is to have a eye catching design with storage and elegance.

  30. Hi Nandita,
    we looking for modular kitchen in hyderabad , we seen four type kitchen
    in modular kitchen manufacture—-
    1. carcass/shutters—-
    A-plywood with laminated—————-710 ply wood ,.8mm laminated -25 years warrnty
    B- Mdf with mamberan——-prelaminated /MDF/PLYwith mdf mamberan shutter's —-25 years
    C-Blow plathfom S.S pole system /shutter's as we like material
    D-Pvc kitchen -carcass pvc ply sheet /shutter's pvc decopaint or pvc laminated –long life warrnty –
    now we seen now product in market solid pvc ply sheet or isit matiness free for 100% water proof ,no trimet ,fire prof
    finly we have two option PVC or PLYWOOD
    plz give ur valuable suggestion

    thx
    mahesh
    vanaammahesh@yahoomail.com

  31. I'm concerned about the formaldehyde emissions of engineered wood plywood(marine), MDF, etc. Centuryply website lists emission levels for formaldehyde: http://www.centuryply.com/products/laminated-plywood

    I'm a bit confused about whether I should go with the above or opt for steel/metal kitchen. Do you think the emission levels matter or should I be concerned about furniture made of these materials?

  32. I personally don't think that plywood emissions matter, however that is an individual opinion and others may beg to differ.
    There are formaldehyde free plywood options available in the market as well.

    Rgds
    NM

  33. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks for providing useful information.Can you please clarify the below queries.
    For modular kitchen am in dilemma whether to use rubberwood or ply wood (Mica pasted) .Please suggest.
    My carpenter suggesting me to go for plywood.But my friends are suggesting that it is not for long lasting.

  34. Hi Nandita,

    I have read your blogs and I must say you are doing good in helping the community.
    I've few questions related to kitchen:-
    (1) I've asked my builder to get a floor rise of 4" in the kitchen which he has already done.
    I did so because I thought that my wood would not be touched every time by a mop increasing the life of wood. So, now the modular kitchen will rest on it and not on the legs. Have i made a good/bad decision or it does not matter because there will be PVC skirting.

    (2) Regarding chimney, I've heard that Elica has some silent chimney's where the motor is outside the house. Is it really worth? How much does this cost (approx.)? How much should be the suction?

    Regards,
    Rahul

  35. Rahul,
    1) Ideally the kitchen should rest on legs and there should be no floor rise. If the boxes are kept on the floor rise then dirt & cockroaches accumulate in the tiny spaces between the floor rise & the box.

    2) The silent chimneys "are" really silent. For Non Veg Cooking the suction capacity should be above 950cum/hr.

    Rgds
    NM

  36. I believe your question is regarding the shutters. Both Rubberwood & Plywood should be fine. The decision should be based on the design & finish that appeals to you as each has its unique look and feel

    Rgds
    NM

  37. I think the factory made modular kitchen joints are star screw joints and they start slacking after a year or so. Nobody talks about the joints though. Whereas carpenters work usually has nail joints which never break.
    I have seen the slacking even in the demo kitchens and when asked nobody wants to talk/explain about it.

  38. Dear Nandita

    I am from Chennai. I am in the process of renovating my kitchen. My interior designer is currently designing the layout / plans etc. I wish to use either BLUM-Hefele (Tandem Box) or HETTICH (Innotech) for all the drawers (15 nos) in my kitchen. Which one do you personally recommend?

  39. Hi Nandita,

    Nice blog. I am from hyderabad and I have a couple of questions.
    1) Which is better factory made modular kitchen or carpenter made.
    2) Should we go with the granite slab provided by builder or have it made ourselves? I spoke to a designer and he said if the slab is provided by the builder, then he will have to work with some constraints since the RCC is already built. But if it is not there then he can design it in a better manner. Please let me know which is better because I have to inform the builder if we need it or not.
    3) Do you take up designing in hyderabad as well or will it be possible to recommend anybody you know from hyderabad?

    Thanks a ton,
    Harini

  40. Hi Nandita: Thank you for answering my previous question

    Now want your help/view in deciding which option should I go for in-terms of practicality, ease of use and functionality (the costing and weight bearing is the same on both the options below)

    Option 1: Kaff Pantry Tall Unit – KD 305 with 10 shelves
    Option 2: Regular Tall cabinet with individual 5 Hettich pull out drawers

  41. Hi Nandita,

    Thanks a lot for your reply πŸ™‚ Actually I did not mean getting the work done by a carpenter. My question was which is a better option installing a factory made woodwork or employing a interior designer who has some workers under him and they come home and work on the woodwork because some people suggest that factory made have better finish but some say factory made will not last long and will not be as strong as the ones being made at home. So I am really confused. Kindly let me know your opinion.

    Thanks a ton,
    Harini

  42. I have one question, is the soft drawers from Hettich or Hafele is just channels or does it have the side and front material (wood or metal) also included?
    In pictures, on their websites, it looks full drawer will be a unit.

    Also, in that case shutters are required only for cabinets not for drawers, is this correct assumption?

  43. The front, bottom and the back of soft closing drawers need to be made, that also gives flexibility to make the drawer in any size. Nowadays some companies have also come out with full sets albeit in standard sizes.

    Rgds
    NM

  44. The finish of factory made stuff is usually more slick, that said not all designs can be made in the factory and these need an onsite carpenter. Most good designers would do both i.e. get some stuff made in the factory and do the rest onsite.

    The impression that factory made does not last is because sometimes the right material is not used to make the stuff and there is little control/ knowledge that the end customer has of the material being used.

    Rgds
    NM

  45. Hi Nandita,

    I want to know whether we should use EBCO Plinth Fitting – Oval Base. it is Height adjustment legs with screw. is it safe to sue Height adjustment legs with screw for kitchen? Also the skirting is removable or not? could you please suggest?

  46. Hi Nandita- not related to this post but didnt know where to ask the question. For a wooden bookcase, what are the best hinges to use? My carpenter was telling me to put piano hinges but they seem quite flimsy.
    Rgds,
    Sunil

  47. Thanks Nandita. But in your previous post you had mentioned that it is not good to use height adjustable legs, so wondering that is it good to use or not?

  48. The question is whether to use adjustable legs and whether it is safe – the Answer is Yes it is fine to use them.

    If the question is whether one NEEDS to use adjustable legs – the answer is – in most cases it is not needed to do any adjustment (unless the flooring is uneven) and any minor adjustment needed can be done by giving a packing under the legs.

    Rgds
    NM

  49. Hi Nandita,

    Its a wonderful blog you have here. We have bought a new flat on hosur road and now in the process of doing interiors. Just have few questions. Please do address them when u have time.

    1. Builder has provided us with black granite. Will cherry red and white kitchen look nice with black countertop ???

    2. Also i wanted silver color skirting with my red & white kitchen. My interior guy is saying that PVC skirting is not available in silver color so he will give me silver skirting in laminate. Is laminate skirting durable ???

    3. Kindly suggest some place where i can find wall mounting pooja units in bangalore.

    Thanks in Advance..

    Arvind

  50. Colours need to be decided based on the overall theme – including tile colours etc.
    Silver colour PVC skirting is available, if you are not getting it then laminate is fine as the next option (PVC is water resistant, laminate is not)

    Pooja units are available in most ready-made furniture shops

    Rgds
    NM

  51. Hi, I am planning to Get my kitchen done. Have read so many complaints about modular kitchen, such as delayed delivery, hinges coming off, and so on that I am confused. Also, how is oren kitchen world. Please advise?

  52. If one uses the right material and workmanship there are no such issues with Modular kitchens…please also go through other Q&A above where this has been discussed before.
    I cannot comment on delayed delivery as this is a vendor specific issue

    Rgds
    NM

  53. Hi Nandita,

    There is an australian brand Grass for drawers/accessories. Would you recommend it. Also the guy at the hardware store told me that Hettich does not have some components like Grain Trolley and Bottle Rack Pullout in 304 grade stainless steel but has it in a 202 grade. Is that ok to purchase or is the 304 grade in Evershine a better buy. Please advise.

  54. Grass is fine, however I am not sure of their after sales support in case of any issues, that said its rare that one needs any after sales support for standard stuff.
    Evershine is fine to use for wire based accessories

    Rgds
    NM

  55. Hi Nandita,

    Have you heard about Stainless Steel modular kitchens? i found some links and would like to know pro's and con's of SS kitchens. Can you shed some light on this and let me know if we can you SS kitchens for indian cooking style?

    Thanks and Regards,
    Anil

  56. Hi Nandita

    I am from Bangalore . Recently I need to do interior work for my 2-BHK flat.

    I got the the following quotation from one of local carpenter.

    can u please send your feed back on the same regarding the deal & quality of material he is using.

    whether the mention cost is fair and genuine ?

    Quotation with materials
    SI.No
    Particulars
    SFT
    Rate
    Amount
    1.
    Cupboard -7’0”x7’0”-1nos
    49.00
    825.00
    40425.00
    2.
    Lopt -2’6”x13’0”-1nos
    32.50
    500.00
    16250.00

    Lopt -2’6”x10’0”-1nos
    25.00
    500.00
    12500.00

    Lopt -2’6”x3’0”-1nos
    7.500
    500.00
    3750.00

    Kitchen bottom -2’6”x16’3”-1nos
    40.63
    1025.00
    41645.00

    Kitchen top-2’6”x13’3”-1nos
    33.13
    1025.00
    33958.00

    Corckary box-7’0”x8’0”-1nos
    56.00
    900.00
    50400.00

    Tv showcase -7’0’x7’0”-1nos
    49.00
    700.00
    34300.00

    Bed -7’0”x6’0”-1nos
    42.00
    Lamsam
    20000.00

    Arch -1’6”x24’0”-1nos
    36.00
    β€œ
    15000.00

    TOTAL
    2,68,228.00

    Note:
    Β· All plywood brand national,mayor,arachit water proof kitchen & 100%commercial pine wood-deka,gally
    Β· Inside laminate white/ half white
    Β· Front door laminate price range 1000 to 1800
    Β· Basket/inches/ telescope channel brand
    Basket-unitech-1set-(1×3),kitchen-highgallocy&pvcpati finishing
    Β· Extra work extra charge

    Thanks & Regards

    Krupa Babu

  57. hello Nandita,

    Thank you for such an informative blog. In modular kitchens
    – how are each boxes connected? is nailing best way or using connector screws?
    – also the countertop has to be metal pasted on the top layer of ply boxes?
    – is it recommended to use an extra layer of ply between box and countertop?
    – all these boxes dont move by just connecting each other n using pvc legs to raise them or any recommended methods?

  58. The boxes are connected with connector screws
    There is an extra layer of ply between the counter top and the boxes…for multiple reasons, the simplest being that otherwise you cannot broaden the edges of the counter
    Once you lay the counter on the connected boxes you will need an earthquake to move it :)…else its set for life
    Rgds
    NM

  59. Thank you, makes sense πŸ™‚

    So no need to metal paste the top ply and counter? how to ensure water doesnt seep in?

    Another question is for bangalore weather, is it advisable to make box frames for lofts or leave the sides and top open to the wall (doors to close the front)?

    Thank you!

  60. Hi,
    Very informative blog, and a good brief on Modular Kitchen. Regarding Modular Kitchen , I have 2 queries :
    1. How is the width of the modules / each unit decided? Is it a multiple of the narrowest cabinet like Vertical Pullout? So that it can help change layouts?
    2. Unlike regular kitchen cabinets where each unit is separated by a ply (19 thk) , in modular kitchen each module is a complete box and the boxes are attached to each other. Don't you think each wall will be double thick (in case of 19 thk) wasting space and adding cost?
    Thanks & Regards,
    Vinod

  61. 1. The width of the module is customizable as per the design. However if you are buying an imported modular kitchen then each foreign brand has its own standard sizes
    2. Yes – that's the reason why modular kitchens are a little expensive, however having each unit as a separate component helps to remove individual units if needed in the long run. If one is making the kitchen boxes on site then you can have the wet portion modular and the rest non modular…I would call this having a Modular Finish but NOT truly Modular
    Rgds
    NM

  62. Hi Nandita,

    I am stating work on my new kitchen in Bangalore, I have most details sorted out (thanks a lot for your informative posts), but for the carcass legs.
    Hettich says they don't have the legs available in Bangalore!; Hafele is very pricey (costing thousands each!); These legs are available @ Gilma at reasonable cost, are they good enough? Are there any other brands that are good for this?

    Thanks & Regards,
    Rashmi

  63. Hi Nanditha,

    This blog is really good informative. I have few queries.
    1. Any brand SS with grade 304 is Ok for kitchen? They mention life time warranty, will they really mean it?
    2. What would be the price of hettich brand for 6 baskets (cutlery, bottle pullout, thali, plain, plate etc)
    2. Factory made cabinets are not true modular kitchens as you mentioned in the comment "January 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM"? because i see they have only one wall between adjacent cabinet.

    Thanks in advance.

  64. 1. 304 Grade will not spoil – hence you will never need the warranty
    2. Prices vary depending on where you buy
    3. A truly modular kitchen should have each unit as independent – hence double walls in between cabinets are obvious – one can question the functionality and the cost benefit of the same but if someone is selling you a Kitchen that cannot be dis-assembled piece by piece then he is not selling you a truly "Modular" Kitchen – as a customer one should be aware of this.

    Regards
    NM

  65. Hi Nandita,

    What is meant by SS ? or instance 304 Grade ? My carpenter gave me the specifications including these terms! Can you please help us understand as to on what details we need to be aware of and cross check with them in order to understand and not get fooled ?

    Also, I am getting the kitchen done entirely by BWR with laminate. Any other combination that you suggest which would be better ?

    What I would to mention if I want my carpenter to make provisions for light fittings at the cabinets ( near the skirting ) underneath the slab ? Any challenges you foresee to have this idea implemented ?

  66. SS = Stainless Steel. 304 is the grade of steel as per the International Standards Organization.
    To avoid being taken for a ride go with a branded range of Kitchen Baskets. Also know that if your carpenter wants to cheat then he fill find his ways of doing so :).

    For material recommendation visit http://www.homedesignbangalore.com/2010/09/so-what-is-right-material-to-choose-for.html.

    Lights near the skirting are very much possible – check out http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LhKuR_g1PcQ/UqQlxWCb2NI/AAAAAAAAAd8/UzdP9-aGF08/s400/DSC_0321.JPG

    Rgds
    NM

  67. hi nandita, hw mch space is reqd for a corner unit to accomodate magic units/dee trays? we have a corner cabinet of 3ft long and 2 ft wide with a 14 inch door. will anything fit in? or shd we leave it a sit is?pls advise as to hw can i utilise to the best?

  68. A Magic Corner will need a min door width of 400mm. The Kitchen needs to be designed based on the constraints of the accessories you want to accommodate.
    I cannot comment wisely on the options without a view of the overall design and changes (if any) that can be made at this stage.

    Rgds
    NM

    Rgds

  69. Hi Nandita,

    Such a wonderful resource your blog is. Thanks so much.

    Just like you have done a ball park estimate for interiors (800 per sq.ft), do you have a ball park estimate for modular kitchen? I have a kitchen approximately 10ft. in length and need to have cupboards on both sides that are running the length. I have some quotes from a couple of people, but just wanted to know if they are in the right ballpark.

    I understand it is difficult to estimate without details, but would appreciate your help – if you could provide a ballpark just like you did for overall interiors of a house.

    Thanks a lot,
    Bharath

  70. Thanks Bharath.
    Its difficult to do a ballpark for the kitchen as there is a wide variety of accessories etc. available in the market at different price points. That said, a kitchen – L shaped, 10X8 feet in size, modular & factory made, using decent quality material and accessories would typically start from a price point of approx 2.5 lac.

    Rgds
    NM

  71. Hi Nandita,
    Just wanted to check on the utility difference between a magic corner and a d tray…..is it worthwhile to invest in a magic corner…

    Tks,
    Ann

  72. Hi,

    We are renovating our modular kitchen. Earlier there were 3 boxes but now they have recommended to have one single box instead of 3since the wood can hold the granite weight. PLease suggest

  73. Hi,
    I am planning to have Kaff chimney of 100m3/hr. Will it serve my purpose if the pipe length is 18ft and has 2 bends? I am a non-vegeterian!

  74. Hi madaml
    Is ebco a good brand for ss kitchen accessories? How to ensure its grade as 304 or other? Is there any symbol for representing it? Make a comparison btwn sleek and ebco…

  75. Ebco is fine for SS accessories, however there are cheaper offerings from local vendors with equivalent quality in the market & you may want to explore.
    Unfortunately there is no "Hallmark" for steel πŸ™‚

    Rgds
    NM

  76. Hi Nandita,

    What's your opinion on Stainless steel kitchens? How much do they cost for 10*6 kitchen? Is it a better alternative to wood based kitchens in lieu of cockroaches.

    Thanks

  77. I have had a SS kitchen in one of my projects but was not really happy with the fit & finish. Some folks however prefer it over wood due to the deemed durability of steel. Personally I am not a big fan and prefer wood.
    Rgds
    NM

  78. I went through your blogs many times for deciding my kitchen
    I have a query regarding pantry unit (vertical double pull out).

    My carcass dimension is 22"x22"x80"
    Normally, I am getting panty unit of width 15'' but not getting anything of width 18 to 20".
    Please suggest some brands other than Hettich.

  79. Try in Evershine. Also local Bangalore manufacturers like Cucina may be able to make the unit as per your dimensions – you will be able to find such manufacturers on the internet.

    Rgds
    NM

  80. Hi Nandita,

    Can you provide clarity on the following:
    a) If we have prelaminated HDF and exterior grade MDF, which is better?
    b) How can one check quality and make of wood when the boxes are delivered to the site after lamination? When one pays, one wants to ensure that the word paid for is what is used.
    c) Can one do laminates on hard wood like mahagony?

    Thanks for your help!

  81. a) HDF

    b) The material is visible through the holes that will be made during assembly. Frankly there are too many ways a vendor can fool you if he wants to hence its best to find someone who you feel you can trust, trust him, and sit back

    c) Yes you can put laminate on top of hardwood – but I would not know why someone should want that because polishing the hardwood would itself give an exclusive look. If one wants to use laminates then doing that on ply will be much cheaper

    Rgds
    NM

  82. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks for the informative blog.
    I am planning to use soft closing hinges and soft closing channels from hettich for my cabinets and drawers. But accessories i am planning to use in-n-out. Will it be a lot of cost savings over hettich cargotechs??

    Also I am planning to use the carousel 3/4th corner unit from in-n-out. Can u suggest of that should be fine?? As hettich is way too expensive.

    Also planninh to ise topline 22 from hettich for my sliding door wardrobe. Is that worthwhile??

  83. If the Steel accessories are SS304 Grade then mostly any brand is fine.
    Sliding door fittings need to be from standard manufacturers (Hettich, Ebco, Blum) else you may face issues in the long run.

    Rgds
    NM

  84. Hi i have few questions related to modular kitchen kitchen hinges and drawer channels
    1) in shutter hinges "hettich" or "hafele" is better?
    2) For drawer channels whether "ozone" channels are good?
    3) For wardrobe sliding door which brand channels are recommended?

    Thanks
    Lijish

  85. 1) Both Hettich & Hafele (Blum) are fine – FYI – Hafele is just a hardware distributor the actual brand they sell is Blum from Austria
    2) I have not used Ozone brand hence cannot comment
    3) Sliding Wardrobe channels – stick to Hettich, Ebco or Blum

    Rgds
    NM

  86. Hi Nandita, yours is the most comprehensive, informative and active blog on interiors that I have come across. Keep up the good work!!

    I have a doubt about the stainless steel brands used for modular kitchen. Evershine/Hettich/Kaff – Which brand is the best? How do you compare these?

  87. Frankly anything that is SS 304 grade and mounted on branded Channels is fine. I usually limit use of SS accessories to the bottle pullout and the Corner Unit. In other places like the thali/ cutlery baskets they tend to be clumsy and give issues in the long run.

    Rgds
    NM

  88. Hi Nandita,

    Thanks for the informative article and Q&A. I would like to use hettich accessories (draws and channels) for my kitchen. Do you know any good dealers in Bangalore that offer a good price?

    Thanks,
    Sangeetha

  89. Hi Nandita,
    The carcass of my kitchen has been put in. Now we have to ask the builder to put the granite… Do we ask him to directly fix it onto the carcass or should we first attach a ply sheet over the top of the carcass and then put the granite?

  90. Hi Nandita,
    i am planning to go for Carysil Granite sink (Quartz + Granite Combo) for my kitchen instead of SS as i feel the noise is more with SS sink. I liked the product. i have few questions on that
    1. Is it durable? as good as our local vendor granite sinks?
    2. Maintanance?
    3. Is it worth for its price? I got a quote of around 6k for a single bowl sink

    Regards,
    Chaithra

  91. You cannot really compare a granite sink from the local vendor with what Carysil is selling.
    The local sink is more durable in general but scores poorly on aesthetics and maintenance.
    Value and worth are relative terms hence I cannot really comment. If I were you I would mostly go with a SS sink

    Rgds
    NM

  92. Hi Nandita,
    My carpenter has suggested "BUTTERFLY" kitchen baskets.I have not heard this brand. All i am concerned is the 304 grade SS basket to be used. Please give some information abt this brand.Should i go for this brand?

    Regards
    S Jaiz

  93. I have not used Butterfly brand. Most manufacturers usually do give what they say..hence if they have mentioned in the guarantee card that its SS304 grade then it will be.

    Rgds
    NM

  94. Hello Nandita

    Very useful blog with vital information especially for novices like me.
    I have couple of questions:-
    1) What do you think of readymade modular kitchen units from IFB, Haecker , Godrej.

    2) Which one do you recommend?
    3)Considering a basic design, are they cost effective and take lesser time when compared to building a customized one.

  95. Most international brands of Modular Kitchens come in MDF or Particle board which is not suitable for Indian conditions and usage, however the designs, finish & the look they offer are exquisite. If you have a low use Kitchen or a dual Kitchen (one for cooking and another for irregular use) then you can go with an international brand.
    I really don't recommend one brand over the other but note that IFB & Godrej are Indian Brands and Haecker is German.
    From a time perspective – most international brands are directly imported hence the lead time will be higher than that of an Indian brand
    Cost of any Factory made modular Kitchen will be higher than that of a customized one made on site assuming the same quality of material.

    Rgds
    NM

  96. Quadro is just the channels (runners) and you need to build the entire drawer around it in Wood. Innotech contains the same Quadro Channels + it has side profiles – you just need to add the base, back & front panels to this to complete the drawer.

    Rgds
    NM

  97. Hello Nandita,
    Our carpenter says Marine IS 710 plyboard is made of hardwood layers so it is difficult to put screws in them as compared to plyboard having both soft and hard consecutive layers .
    In Marine plyboard after some time it will loose.
    Hence we should not consider it.
    This plyboard is to be used in kitchen .Kindly guide which 1 to use if money is not a constraint.

  98. hi im getting modular kitchen which brand fittings are best grass or hafele or hettich plz suggest soon vry urgent

  99. IS 710 is difficult to work by hand and by carpenters on site hence for residential applications 710 is restricted to factory made furniture like modular Kitchen etc.
    Marine ply is primarily used to build boats & ships hence there will be no issues around the screws coming loose.
    You should use IS 303 Grade BWR Ply – if you don't have a budget constraint then you can look at Century or Green Ply

    Rgds
    NM

  100. HELLO NANDITA
    I have got finished with modular kitchen it the time for buying a kitchen chimney and hob budget is no issue plz suggest the best one

    THANK YOU

  101. You can choose from Elica, Kaff or Faber. The design and the size needs to be matched with your interiors hence you will need to check out their showrooms for what works best for you

    Rgds
    NM

  102. Hi Nandita, Very useful article. Where do we get good prices for Hafele kitchen hardware? We checked at Euro already. Do you know any other dealers who may offer better price?

  103. Hello Nandita,
    Thanks for the wonderful blog.
    I have some queries on below,
    1. What's ur recommendation of material either Aluminum or SS for kitchen basket?
    2. If ur suggestion is Aluminum, how to ensure the quality of aluminum material?
    3. In aluminum basket, the fiber has been used as base. How far it is durable to choose use for Indian utensils?

  104. Hi Nandita,
    I have bought 3BHK apartment with super built up area of 1311 sq.ft. Since this subject of woodwork is all greek to me , let me tell you I want to go for simple interior work primarily with the objectivity of durability and not design and ostensiblity with a budget of around 2/2.5 lacs. could you please help me out. You can also reply to me on my email id sunil.bliss.sb@gmail.com

  105. Namaskar Nanditaji,

    Your every inquires are appreciable so here I am also to get yr sincere assistance from you…

    Pls suggest is 36" height of the lower base cabinets is including Granite top…? so what will be the standard distance between lower base cabinets and wall base cabinets to install wall till (12×18) and in between the upper base cabinets I too would like to install wall tile where I install the chimney…

    With regards,

    Milan D. Shrestha

  106. Hi,

    I regularly read your blogs – it’s quite informative,.

    I am planning to use Plywood for Kitchen and MDF in Wardrobes, wardrobe lofts, TV Unit, Shoe Rack ,because of budget constraint we are using MDF except for kitchen.

    What is your opinion on using MDF for Wardrobes, TV Unit, shoe racks? Is MDF ok to go ahead with in wardrobes and TV Unit?

    Please let me know.

  107. The space between the bottom and the wall cabinets should be 2 feet, you will hence need to choose tiles that will fit correctly in that space. Two rows of 12X18 inch "horizontal" tiles should hence fit well.

    Regards
    NM

  108. Hi Nandita
    I find this blog very useful for a layman like me. I am planning to go in for modular kitchen with Marine Ply and Acrylic finish shutters. Is acrylic finish good? Else what would you suggest? Basically am looking for something with glossy finish and scratch proof.

    Regards,
    Priya

  109. Glossy in general is not scratch proof…it will always develop scratches over time similar to the ones that you see on the surface of a car. The time period will depend on your maintenance.
    For a glossy finish you may choose between Hi Gloss Laminate (MR Tuff in this has better scratch resistance), UV Coated or Acrylic

    Please also go through the other Comments on this topic above

    Rgds
    NM

  110. Hi,
    Few questions
    1.I am planning to make a modular kitchen. The selection is marine plywood for base, MDF for tall unit, overboard cupboards and shutters. Would this be good. Also when they say Marine Ply and MDF, should I ask for any particular rating or grade?
    2.Accessories selected are from EBCO. All are soft closing and have selected 1 tandem box. Should I go for Hettich. Current accessories cost if 60 K.
    3.For kids bed is MDF fine? Should I go for E1 grade?

  111. Dear Nandita,
    This was very informative. Thanks for the detailed blog.
    My interior person is charging extra for the 3 tandem box with soft close (which i feel is same as drawers with soft close). I thought this should be built-in the base cost of a standard kitchen and extra should be charged for soft close requirement. Please share your thoughts

    Regards
    Smita

  112. Hello Nandita,
    Thanks for a detailed explanation.
    I want to know ur assessment of blum tandem box versus ss basket in terms of long term durability and maintanence. somehow i like the blum tandem box look-wise. pls give ur comment.

  113. Hi
    Thanks for your informative blog.
    Could you suggest which one is better and its advantage
    Carcass with legs placed on kitchen floor or carcass without legs placed on a cement slab which is 2 or 3 inches thick from the kitchen floor?

  114. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks a lot for your patience and informative blog. Some of my queries:

    For a totally integrated kitchen, with appliances such as dish washer, job, hood, fridge, microwave, etc; what would be an overall estimate?

    If we are planning to get modular kitchen (in the true sense) done, and builder has not yet completed the granite counter, is it better to get it done ourselves? Or what could be the alternative?

    Is it a common concern that modular kitchens begin to get pest problems such as cockroaches etc. Do you suggest pest control before carpentry/furniture work is undertaken?

  115. Hi Nandita .. this is sridhar @ chennai. Very useful blog .. it came of use when we were working with our carpenter few months ago for our villa interiors, especially material procurement & design.

    I had a query about breakfast counter. We are planning for a freestanding counter (no shelf underneath) with one edge of granite clamped to the wall and the other edge resting on a SS leg.

    1. what is the ideal height to fix the breakfast counter ? We are seeing different views – to keep it at 36" or 42" ? What works in the indian hosehold scenario ?
    2. is there any risk in resting the slab on the SS leg ? any specifications to be followed while fixing, procuring the SS pipe ?
    3. where can we get good quality SS legs for this use ? I found something in the market for INR 3000 but it had only 36" height & I was not sure of quality/durability.

    Apprciate your expert comments please.

    Thanks,
    Sridhar

  116. A Hi end Modular Kitchen would typically start at around 6 lac. this includes the countertop & tiling but excludes the white goods.
    The countertop is part of the kitchen design and ideally the decision on the countertop should be made when deciding the kitchen design.

    I see no greater pest problems in Modular Kitchens than in regular kitchens. With formal pest control you will not have a single cockroach at home – unfortunately most people try to manage pests with lakshaman rekhas and homemade or herbal remedies and these don't work. Pest control can be undertaken when the kitchen is done and preferably before you start using the kitchen

    Rgds
    NM

  117. The Breakfast counter height depends on the type of chairs/ stools you plan to use. If its tall chairs then the height should be between 40" – 42" otherwise you may match the height of the bfst counter with your kitchen counter and use regular stools.

    You can mount the counter on an SS Pole though it is not my personal favourite due to its look. You can get the SS pole at any good hardware shop

    Rgds
    NM

  118. Hi Nandita,Thanks For your useful Information.I have an query.I want to use Acrylic high gloss laminate of Ciscon brand for Kitchen n Kids room.Is it durable?As laminate and acrylic both are prone to scratches.Which will you suggest you suggest between High gloss laminate and Acrylic high gloss?How is this brand Ciscon? Acrylic laminate shutter can be done by carpenter itself or It has to be done from factory.

  119. I have not used Ciscon, however I see from their web page that they make acrylic laminates – these are regular Hi Gloss Laminates. Sometimes Acrylic and Hi Gloss are used interchangeably.
    Hi Gloss Laminate shutters can be done by a carpenter

    Rgds
    NM

  120. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks for sharing useful information. Want to know your opinion on hacker, nolte german made kitchens. Are they strong and durable. We dont have two kitchens so is it okay with going with these international brands? Or shal we go with local interior designer made kitchen in terms of durability, strong and finish.
    Another query whether to use hi glosy finish or matt finish or laminates for kitchen

  121. Hi Nandita,

    it was a very informative blog. I have a question for pest control, which paint normally they provide for the inner walls of boxes ? is it used to be enamel paint or termite resistant paints >

    manav

  122. International brands definitely have a better finish than what you would generally get from local vendors, however equivalent finish can be created with an eye for detail and good craftsmanship.
    In terms of the material International Kitchens are available in HDF or MDF only and need good maintenance. If you are the Hi maintenance kind and your kitchen is not maid managed then you can go for these.

    Rgds
    NM

  123. Hi Nandita
    I am getting my kitchen renovated. The guy has suggested lift ups (for top panel) from blum aventos, which is very expensive. Can you suggest a cheaper alternative
    Also he is suggesting wooden plate racks (brand ?) which is costing me 9500 each.
    can you suggest me a cheaper alternative for these

  124. Thanks for reply. One more query, they say these german kitchens are water proof even though they use chipboard and mdf for kitchens are they really remain water proof in long run also and could you pls give some more info on high maintenance means what exactly issues we can face in long run. We are in hunt of good modular kitchen ur info will help us a lot.

  125. Chip board and MDF is not waterproof…that is what I meant by hi maintenance. One needs to protect the material from water. In Addition the screws do not grip well into chipwood/ MDF hence the hinges tend to come off with rough use
    Rgds
    NM

  126. Hi Nandita, do you also do up modular kitchens for customers? If so, do you have your own set of carpenters and tie ups for factory finished items, wood, miscellaneous items, accessories? Basically, I wish to know how you handle a project…thanks in advance!

  127. Is there any difference with respect to durability and weight capacity when using either Blum or hettich tandem boxes Vs using regular carpenter made wodden boxes with a quadra channel ? Does hettich sell quadra channel separately ? I saw Evershine has a DRSL with locking clip quadra channel available for only 1300 ? How is their quality? Also in terms of weight carying capacity is a telescopic channel better or Blum/ quadra? The specifications of Hettich telescopic channel says it can carry 45 kg of weight . whereas Evershine quadra specification says 35 kg. But my carpenter is saying quadra can carry more weight. Are there quadra channels that can carry more weight that last? Also I'm worried if I use telescopic channels and if people bang the drawers the ply structure and the granite that is stuck on top will get weak an ultimately the granite will come off. Is this a valid concern?

  128. It is recommended not to exceed the weight capacity of the channel. Also channels of different weight capacity are available from all good brands. If you are fine with the finish of the carpenter made box then you may go ahead with it. Note that the weight of the box will need to be taken into account when loading the drawers to their capacity. Evershine does not manufacture channels and would be importing, I would recommend regular brands such as Hettich, Blum or Ebco and each of these brands sell the quadro channels separately. Quadro channels are better than regular telescopic ones.

    Rgds
    NM

  129. I want to do DIY in my kitchen platform base. I have fixed granite top and supported with marble verticals. Only two open space below granite platform separated spaces with marble verticals. My question is how should I start building carcass for base putting steel baskets in that open space. only four baskets places I have , two in each vertical open space. Plz help.

  130. I would suggest removing the marble verticals and resting the counter directly on the wooden carcass/ box. That will give you more flexibility to design based on needs versus constraints.

    Rgds
    NM

  131. Hi Nandita – I want to know your opinion on Alvic (Spanish) kitchens. Are they durable? Usually most international brands like Wurfel etc offer Particle Board or MDF. One guy is offering this with Plywood. Should I go for it given that it is with ply?

  132. Most international brands offer kitchens in Chip board or Fiberboard. Chip board is definitely not recommended for Indian usage conditions unless one needs the kitchen mostly for ornamental purposes. Fiberboard is still very new & yet not proven. On the other hand the finish and look of the international brands is immaculate and most vendors who offer options in Plywood aren't able to match the finish of these international brands.

    Rgds
    NM

  133. Hi Nandita,

    First off, thank you for this blog! It's very informative and I good some new ideas as well.

    I am remodelling our kitchen and am trying to decide between Blum and Kaff drawer channels and pantry units. I have been to both showrooms and am looking for the manual soft touch drawers (not servodrive). I see that the difference in cost is about 40% and to my untrained eye, they both look good in terms of quality. Given the cost difference, I am inclined towards Kaff.

    However, I heard from someone that Kaff drawers become loose after a few years of usage. Do you agree with this? Do you have experience of using Kaff drawers for a few years and if so, what is your feedback/suggestion?

    Thank you so much for your help!
    Anand

  134. I will recommend you check out Ebco and Hettich as well and choose between these two and Blum. Ebco is more or less equal in quality & significantly cheaper while Hettich will be somewhere in the middle.

    Rgds
    NM

  135. Hi Nandita,

    Quick question about Bison board/panel – my carpenter is suggesting that i use this board below the granite counter top to protect the underlying wood wook. This is a heavy board with cement like finish. Is this really needed? Can i use granite counter top right over the wooden cabinets?

    Thanks in advance.
    Srini

  136. You do need a sheet of ply on top of the cabinets to lay the Countertop. Instead of ply you may use Bison board. Laying the countertop directly on the cabinets is not recommended

    Rgds
    NM

  137. hi nandita,wanted to know pros and cons of painting loft to match with wall colour?(instead of using laminate)

  138. It would be best to use BWR ply (IS303 Grade) or Marine Ply (IS 710 Grade) for hot and humid weather (Kerala Weather).
    MDF is not moisture proof and is hence not recommended.

    Rgds
    NM

  139. The colours/ finish will not match and you will end up with 3 finishes – that of the wardrobe, of the wall and of the loft. The other option is to use wall paint on the lofts. While wall paint may be OK on wooden wall panels it is not recommended on shutters as it may come off due to opening and shutting of the lofts.

    Rgds
    NM

  140. HI Nandita,

    I have booked a modular kitchen form some vendor…….he committed kitchen fittings but now he is asking me for evershine olive due to some design change made by Inox in their products.
    Kindly suggest.

  141. Hi,

    Would there be a significant quality difference if 16mm ply is used instead of 19mm in the kitchen? What are the disadvantages of16mm?

  142. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks for the great blog,very informative.

    I Need an urgent response.
    My carpenter Says Tandem boxes have less life compared to SS baskets and is very expensive.
    I want to ask is it really has less life compared SS Baskets.
    Three 3ft and two 2ft Wider drawers.

    He also says he use Vinay brand baskets,it is much better than Ever Shine and more expensive than evershine..is it really true.

    I am concerned quality ,look and easiness..That which i find better in Modular kitchens.

    Please please do suggest me what i need to choose for the above.
    Tandem boxes/SS baskets..and is it ok if i go with Vinay brand baskets/tandem boxes
    ..please suggest..

  143. Tandem boxes are definitely superior to SS Baskets especially for wider drawers.
    If you still plan to go with SS Baskets then just ensure that the steel is SS304 Grade and the hardware is Ebco, Hettich, Hafele or Blum

    Rgds
    NM

  144. Hi Nandita – great resource of info on interiors – kudos
    Iam planning to get modular kitchen for my independent house. I have the following queries
    1 You have mentioned that thali unit in SS is troublesome – any other alternative brands which provide thali unit to accommodate Indian stainless steel thali
    2 For shutters iam looking for scratch proof, low maintenance material – which should I opt for
    3 how to do pest control before starting the kitchen

  145. Nandita Ji, I am interested to opt for stainless steel modular kitchen. Please provide me your suggestion and sq ft cost. My budget is around 75000 to 1 Lakh

    with regrds

  146. You can keep a thali holding tray made of steel inside a tandem box based drawer. There are also specific thali holding accessories available from Ebco, Blum & Hettich which look great but are expensive

    Scratch proof low maintenance material for the shutters – I will recommend BWR Ply shutters with both side laminate and machine pressed edge banding.

    Rgds
    NM

  147. I am not a big fan of Stainless steel kitchens, have mentioned this in earlier comments as well. To me a SS kitchen feels like a railway compartment. However individual tastes vary. There should however be no issue in a SS kitchen from the point of view of durability

    Rgds
    NM

  148. Hi Nandita, thank u very much for the tips.
    I have one question :
    My kitchen is very very small in size – approximately 10 X 12
    When we bought our flat there was only one sided platform in the kitchen with white marble platform
    and storage underneath (it is some stone – I think its koba). So I added a side platform to make it 'L' shaped and did trolleys underneath

    But the problem was that there is a crack on the main platform which causes leakage beneath. So I need to change the platform

    Is there a way to get rid of the crack without having to redo the whole thing?

  149. Minor Cracks in stone based platforms can usually be repaired. Please contact someone who does slabwork, they should be able to apply a filler/ chemical and a coat of polish and you should be good to go

    Rgds
    NM

  150. Few more questions:
    1. What will be the approximate cost of redoing the kitchen with storage cabinets etc.?
    2. My kitchen window is located exactly above the stove so it gets very greasy no matter how many times you clean. What can be done about that if we decide to redo?

    Thanks,
    Sailee

  151. 1. Costs vary depending on what material, finishes and accessories one uses

    2. You can install a heavy duty hanging chimney – this will minimize the problem but not eliminate it

    Rgds
    NM

  152. Hi Nandita,

    Your expert comments have helped me a lot in deciding for my kitchen.

    We have finalized to use laminated marine plywood,SS 304 basket and Hettich soft closing channels for the drawers.
    My vendor is suggesting not to go for Hettich soft closing as it will not last for long.Instead he is suggesting for SS channels.

    Can you please help me out!
    Thanks

    Can you ple

  153. Just came across your blog today while checking for reviews on ebco. We are getting the kitchen done up in our new apt and are quite happy with the tandems from ebco, which is almost half the price of blum. Would you recommend ebco for all tandem boxes ? They give lifetime warranty, but would liek to know your opinion on it. Thanks a ton !

  154. Nandita,

    Would you know of any expert we can talk to regarding in-built appliances. There is very limited experienced information available on these. We are looking for in-built oven, microwave, chimney, and hob.
    Which one to choose between Kutchina, Faber, gilma, whirlpool, siemens, bosch, glen for both product quality and service quality and cost effectiveness.

  155. All the brands are more or less the same in terms of product quality. Its best to choose based on service support and the bigger brands usually fare better on that count compared to the local ones.

    Rgds
    NM

  156. Hi Nandita, can you comment on Hettich runners/profile vs Inox. I saw their smooth close options and I felt Inox was performing better than Hettich. Do you have any experience setting up Inox in any of your client sites?

  157. I have seen Inox runners but have not used them. They come across as comparable in quality to Hettich. Please check if they have a compatible soft close system in case you are planning to install the same

    Rgds
    NM

  158. Hi Nandita ,

    Thanks for replying back to my query about sliding wardrobe on relevant thread .
    I have question about kitchen cabinet carcasses…Recently we did woodwork for our house in Bangalore and thanks to your blog , we did carcasses first and later put Granite top and it worked well . Now while doing furniture for my Parents place , thanks to rigid rules by builder , we need to do reverse as Builder has ended up in constructing kitchen platform and also has 3-4 mm raised floor below platform . Though we had asked them not to do these things ..they mentioned common rules and all and we are now left with only possible option of building wooden carcass in 28 inches space only πŸ™ . I doubt how it will work out as we are not getting expected height . In my native ( which is hub for Indoline doors ) , there is practice to do fabrication for kitchen unit ( frame ) and later mount channels and boxes etc. My Carpenter is ready to help with wooden carcass if we are ok but I wanted your advice on the same
    1) Is it OK to consider putting up wooden box now considering low height of structure ( 28 inches – 28.5 inches height ) which also has raised floor ( 3-5 mm at bottom )
    2) Will fabricated structure instead of carcass made of wooden advisable ( I have same in my house in native but observed over year ..channels give up //drawers are not opening smoothly .

    I was dreaming about perfect kitchen for my parents as they have luxury to order Indoline doors locally there , but builder has messed up with so called rigid rules .

    could you please advice ?

    thanks
    Mandar

  159. The simplest solution would be to break the skirting that the Builder has built.
    If that is not an option I would advise not to mount the kitchen on a frame. Install a regular carcass on top of the existing skirting. And don't worry…it will still be perfect as perfect can be

    Rgds
    Nandita

  160. We are getting interiors done for our apartment. Hettich corner unit is beyond our budget. Which next brand do you recommend after Hettich which would cost less specifically for corner unit? And in Hettich, cup/saucccer and thaali baskets are only available in wire mesh. Do you know other brands having better options for them?

    Another confusion I have is for kitchen platform – which is better from maintenance perspective – granite/Quartz? Looks wise I like Quartz and it is expensive than Granite…but I have heard quartz gets scratches easily, what is your view?

    Another question – are Glen Chimneys good?

  161. I am wondering if I should get a tall unit build in my kitchen. Can you please share the pros and cons of the same. I want to use it to store all utensils in my kitchen in a single unit. Is it a good idea~ should I install steel cases for holding utensils in it or just wooden partitions are good enough. I also want a space where spices can be stacked such that individual layers can be taken out without disturbing boxes above and below. Don't think it can be part of the same tall unit

  162. A Tall Unit is useful. Wooden partitions are good enough for storing utensils. You may also consider drawers in the bottom half of the tall unit as drawers provide easy accessibility

    Rgds
    NM

  163. Hi,

    Very helpfull info to decide on interiors. I'm looking for a Modular kitchen. After thorough research, below are my specifications:
    Cabinets: BWR Plywood
    Shutters: MDF with acrylic/Membrane
    Kindly suggest are above is good consideration?

    I'm not seeing good reviews on Hometown/sleek etc. Looking for branded like Johnsons/Wurfel. Kindly give some inputs on the same?

  164. The specs look fine, you should also look for branded hardware such as Hettich, Blum or Ebco.
    I have my own brand of Modular Kitchens and hence would refrain to comment on the other brands as my opinion may be biased.
    Regards
    NM

  165. Hi Nandita,I must say a Big Thank you for such a informative post.
    I have contacted a couple of vendors for doing my Kitchen(which is a being done from scratch)
    1) I want to mix and match the fittings and accessories and play within my budget.The companies provided are Inox,Hettich,Moda.
    Help me in telling which company hinges would be good,whose accessories are good.

  166. FOr Hinges you may go with Ebco, Hettich or Blum. Accessories are available from multiple vendors and all are fine provided they meet your needs. If you are choosing SS accessories then just ensure that it is SS304 grade steel

  167. Hi Nanditha, You have been sharing very useful information and suggestions.
    I am planning for Modular kitchen. My carpenter has suggested on Indian brand PEGLAR for Hinges and tandem boxes. It works with same mechanism as Hettich, comes with much more lesser rate and 5 years of warranty. Please suggest
    Regards,
    Lakshmi

  168. I have not used Peglar brand hence cannot comment with conviction. Nowadays there are many brands in the market and even the known brands have lately started giving issues like rusting etc., the only benefit with a known brand is that they have a lifetime warranty and will replace the product with no questions asked. I would hence recommend sticking with brands like Hettich, Blum, Ebco or CNR.

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