My DIY Euro Kitchen, Phase I
What Is A Euro Kitchen?
A Euro kitchen is, first of all, a cabinet system based on the European or related metric measuring parameters. Whereby American cabinets are made according to inches, millimeters control the sizing of the cabinet shell and placement of shelving and hardware.
The second parameter is the absence of a face frame. The basic cabinet is four sides and a back,. The facing edges are covered with edge banding to give a finished look. The banding is vinyl or wood pre-made with heat-sensitive glue attached. It can be applied with an iron or edge banding machine.
The standard hole size is 5 millimeters (mm). It is used for cabinet assembly, metric shelf clips (supports), drawer slides attachments. Special screws are used to connect everything to these holes. All hole spacing is uniform at 32 mm in vertical measurement. The front hole is usually around 37 mm from front face back to center of hole.
This is Part 11 in the BUDGETHOUSE RENOVATOR series that involves the search for, location of, and unique auction-style purchase of my home in the country. The series includes dealing with a foreign based auction house and escrow to help facilitate this transaction. Also, I show how I worked with a mortgage company programmed to process the “specialized” FHA 203k Program rehabilitation loans. My loan included funds to buy “and” repair my house. Part 10 is about dealing with Expanding on initial renovation steps with some trials thrown in for good measure. My next article in Part 12 is entitled “My DIY Eurokitchen, Phase II“. It will continue my work on kitchen cabinet building and related steps with some more trials thrown in for laughs.
The very first step in any kitchen remodel program is the drawing, design, layout, call it what you will. I used a computerized drawing program called Corel. There are other more suitable programs, but this is what I had and what I used.
The space I had to work with was 12′ x 16′. There is a window in the center of the 12′ wall. My design started there. I wanted the sink to be centered under the window. Next was the placement of the dishwasher to the immediate left of the sink cabinet. To the right of the sink cabinet I placed a 24″ 3-drawer cabinet.
The kitchen wall to the left side of the window was torn out. That way I was able to make room for peninsula style cabinets with an eating bar. There I designed in a large blind-base cabinet with a trash pull-out cabinet attached. That finished the peninsula.
The 16′ wall to the right of the window got the remainder of the cabinets. Another blind base was designed in with a 30″ space to the right for a slide in range. Next was a small base followed by a refrigerator panel enclosure topped off by a big overhead wall cabinet. Room was left for a “future” tall pantry unit.
Wall Cabinet Considerations
Euro cabinets made for the American market typically use the inch sizing method for outside dimensions. Standard pre-fabricated sizes use 3″ incremental graduations, starting with a minimum size of 6″.
I used this system for my cabinet sizes. When you plan for wall cabinet heights, there are 3 popular dimensions. 30″, 36″, and 42″. I chose the 42″ for my door height, but made the cabinet smaller. I will explain why later. This gave me a much nicer looking layout, and more useable storage space.
All doors would be the Shaker style door. This style embraces a square border surrounding an inset flat panel. It has an expensive look without the accompanying cost factor.
Your Material List
I must emphasize here that good cabinet grade material is costly and not something you want to over-order. It pays to take the time to prepare a cut list to best utilize the most efficient use of everything you purchase.
I did this on my computer. You can do it on graph paper if you don’t have a drawing program. I would take 1 sheet of plywood and draw in the best layout of pieces to be cut. Big pieces first, smaller pieces last.
I was fortunate enough to be subcontracting for a woodworking shop building high-end cabinetry for expensive homes. I ordered materials through their purchasing department and got their discount.
The materials I used were 3/4″ and 1/2″ maple plywood pre-finished on one side. This saved me an “enormous” amount of labor. My last included enough materials for the cabinet boxes only.
I then used the wood shop table saw system for cutting all my component pieces. Cutting plywood on a standard table saw can be very unwieldy, even with proper supports. I will show a way I did future cuts without that system.
Wrapping Up Phase I
Once I had all my pieces cut, I carefully stacked all of the flat components in the back of my Chevy Tahoe at the shop. I did not want to move them again until I travelled up to the new house up north. I covered everything with a moving blanket so that the pieces would not slide around while driving.
So now I had my design in place, my materials pre-cut and loaded, and organized list numbered for assembly.
My next blog will be Phase II. It will show how I approached the kitchen remodel activity, once I was at the job site. Till then!
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