Glossary of Terms



3D Kitchen Design 3D kitchen design techniques use computer software to allow you to get a good idea of the look and layout of your new kitchen even before you even start building it or have to make decisions about carcass styles, appliances and finishes. Start with an empty room and add components – cabinets, worktops, appliances etc – while ironing out any potential problems as they arise. It’s an invaluable tool to help you achieve the right kitchen for your home and lifestyle.
Accessible kitchens Accessible kitchens are inclusively designed to provide independence for wheelchair users or disabled persons alongside able-bodied users in the home. Whether considering kitchen cabinets and worktops, appliances, floor surfaces or door widths, the kitchen designer will take everyone’s needs into account to produce a fully functional and accessible kitchen for everyone in your home.
Adaptive Kitchens Adaptive kitchens are built with specific modifications to address the needs of a person with limited mobility or physical disabilities in order to increase their independence at home. Adaptations may include the use of assistive devices or remote controls, the position of appliances, worktops, hobs and sinks as well as height-adjustable worktops and wall units.
Backsplash The backsplash, or splashback, is the feature or material used to protect kitchen walls from splashes and water damage. Often fitted around sinks and hobs to cover the entire exposed area between the kitchen worktop and the bottom of the wall cabinets, backsplashes can be made from a range of materials including tiles, glass or stainless steel.
‘Backsplash’ can also mean an upstand created by an elevated section of countertop material or ceramic tiles extending vertically up the wall, typically by about 10cm.
Base cabinet Base cabinets are floor-standing kitchen carcass units that sit underneath the worktop. We supply fully assembled base unit carcasses on adjustable legs, either manufactured from 18mm white MFC with 15mm thick removable panels or 18mm colour-matched MFC with solid back panels, complete with opening clip hinges.
Beech Beech is a popular hardwood that lends itself to many uses around the home. Typically a pale cream to golden colour, it’s a perfect material for kitchen furniture and worktops across many price points. Beech is a dense and relatively non-porous wood that’s also hard-wearing and shock-absorbing. Choose from beech finish wood look kitchens, beech butcher block laminate worktops or solid beech block kitchen worktops that will stand the test of time.
Belfast sink Made originally to be installed in a butler’s pantry ‘below stairs’ from the 18th century onwards, ‘Butler Sinks’ and ‘Belfast Sinks’ are traditional style, rectangular ceramic sinks that are popular in today’s farmhouse or rustic style kitchens. Belfast sinks are fitted with an overflow weir to keep water from spilling, Butler sinks are not. These ceramic sinks are easy to clean and their deep, generous bowl size makes them a practical choice for washing up pots and pans too.
Boiling water tap A boiling water tap in your kitchen gives instant hot water at the touch of a button. With no kettle to boil and no waiting time, it’s an ideal way to make tea or coffee and cook pasta or vegetables. This advanced type of kitchen tap is becoming an increasingly popular feature for all types of kitchens. Not only does it filter out impurities, but it’s also extremely energy efficient and ultra-safe to use and available in a range of designs and finishes.
Box pilasters Box pilasters are decorative and often ornate elements used in kitchen design to give the appearance of a supporting leg. They are often used as a finishing feature at the end of a cabinet run or on an island. Pilasters can be made from wood or painted and are typically found in classic and traditional kitchen design schemes.
Breakfast bar A breakfast bar is an area of countertop designed as a place to have breakfast, often seated on stools. Contemporary kitchen designs can be a useful way to incorporate an eating area into a small space, while larger kitchens can use a breakfast bar to create distinct cooking and dining spaces.
Built in In contrast to freestanding kitchen units or kitchen appliances, the concept of ‘built-in’ kitchen styles dates back to the 1940s, when major home appliances such as washing machines began to accumulate in the kitchen. Built-in or fully integrated units are fitted to form non-detachable parts of a larger unit.
Butler’s pantry A Butler’s pantry is a small service and storage room, typically situated between the kitchen and dining area. Whether the pantry incorporates no more than a simple task sink or is a big enough space for a catering station, Butler’s pantries are becoming increasingly popular.
CAD Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is the process of creating a new kitchen design using advanced computer software. In this way, changes can be made easily and layouts adjusted in order to optimise the design. As part of our customer service, we produce CAD drawings and 3D photo-realistic impressions of the proposed kitchen design to help you visualise the finished project.
Carcasses (Carcases) The carcass or carcase is the outer part or main body of the kitchen unit. Our carcasses are manufactured from 18mm white, colour complemented or colour matched MFC, and supplied fully assembled on adjustable legs (base units), with opening clip hinges. Wall units are 330mm deep as standard and supplied with 3-way adjustable hangers, 65kg loading per hanger. Optional soft close drawer boxes and hinges are available.
Classic Classic kitchen design looks to history and tradition to create a welcoming heart of the home. Natural materials including wood and natural stone are combined with classic carcass styles. Traditional features such as Belfast sinks and antique finishes are added to achieve a rustic aesthetic in warm, earthy tones. Whether you choose natural wood or a painted classic kitchen design, its timeless appeal will suit many types of property.
Composite worktop Composite worktops are man-made smooth solid surfaces, in the same way as engineered worktops, quartz worktops and, of course, Corian. Composite is very tough and more durable than many natural stones, but it has the advantage that it can be thermoformed into virtually any shape and accommodate integral sinks, drainer grooves, upstands and curves. It’s an extremely practical, easy-to-maintain material that comes in a huge range of styles and dramatic colours to suit modern and contemporary kitchens.
Contemporary Contemporary kitchen design is sleek, smooth and minimalist to reflect the demands of modern life. Often open-plan, highly functional and at the cutting edge of technology, materials are likely to be man-made rather than natural. Stainless steel, glass and composite materials can combine with bold gloss or painted colours to a stunning effect.
Contract Kitchens Contract kitchens form part of social housing and private housing developments; contracts may be commissioned by local authorities, community centres, schools or private developers. We can provide practical, affordable kitchen design solutions that take into account the particular requirements of each build, delivering to brief, time and budget.
Corian Corian® is a solid surface material made from an advanced composite of natural materials and pure acrylic polymer and backed by DuPont™ with a 10-year warranty. The stone hard surface can be shaped to meet any design or dimension, making it a fantastic choice for continuous worktops and integrated sinks. Corian won’t scratch or dent, and its non-porous surface stops dirt and stains from penetrating the material. Its sleek, luxurious design is available in a huge range of colours, making it the perfect work surface for any kitchen.
Cornice A finishing touch very much favoured with traditional and classic kitchen designs, a cornice is a horizontal decorative moulding that is fitted to the top of kitchen wall units, just below the ceiling. Depending on the exact kitchen design, cornices are available in a wide range of profiles and depths, to provide the perfect finish touch to your new kitchen.
Engineered stone Unlike natural stone surfaces, engineered stone is a composite material made from quartz and crystals held together with a resin binder. It’s similar in appearance to granite or slate though the colour is more uniform, and it comes in a wonderful array of colour options. Engineered stone countertops are virtually impervious to water, and they are stain, scratch and heat resistant too, making them a hard-wearing and practical solution for any stylish modern kitchen.
Factory Assembled All our kitchen carcasses and furniture units are manufactured using precision CNC manufacturing equipment and the latest software. We supply the complete unit, encompassing the carcass and door – not as a flat pack, but fully assembled in our Croydon factory and delivered directly to you by our own transport.
Frameless Frameless kitchen cabinets are a design style in which the front of the carcass is formed by the edges of the top, bottom and side panels. The unit door typically covers these edges when closed, having been attached directly to the carcass sides using hidden hinges. Frameless designs are used to great effect in many contemporary kitchen styles.
Freestanding Freestanding kitchens provide a flexible and modular way of designing your kitchen. As opposed to fitted units that are fixed to the wall or floor, freestanding designs consist of freely moveable worktop units, storage and display dressers, kitchen islands, sinks units and larder units. Freestanding appliances are the opposite of integrated appliances – they can be standalone units such as a fridge freezer or range cooker, or they may slot into a pre-designed space such as for an under-counter dishwasher or cooker.
Full-inset Full inset cabinet design means that the drawers and doors fit flush with the face frame rather than overlapping and sitting on top of the face frame. It’s a construction technique that requires patience and precision workmanship and is therefore usually only available in high-end custom cabinetry.
Galley Kitchens A galley kitchen design consists of two parallel runs of units forming a central corridor in which to work. The kitchen area is accessible from both sides. While a galley kitchen can be a long, narrow space with not much flexibility, many professional chefs love this type of layout because it enhances efficiency and safety during cooking.
Glass For the ultimate in style and easy-to-clean simplicity, glass as a kitchen surface is hard to beat. Whether you install a glass backsplash or kitchen worktop, the toughened glass surface is very hard-wearing, being heat, acid and water resistant. The reflective material can increase the feeling of space in small spaces. Glass works particularly well with contemporary kitchen designs; it can also be backlit for extra impact.
Gloss Kitchen cabinets are typically paint-finished in matt or gloss. The appeal of gloss kitchens lies in the polished lustre of the smooth finish which reflects and maximises the light. A wide range of colours is available, including many vibrant shades that are perfect for a contemporary kitchen design. Gloss kitchens offer a high degree of durability and are easy to maintain – just wipe clean – and can easily be combined with other colours and materials including wood, stainless steel and stone.
Granite Granite is an extremely durable and hard-wearing natural stone that has formed from the Earth’s magma and is mostly made up of quartz and feldspar. It comes in a wide range of beautiful colours and patterns, each piece being unique. Granite worktops are a very popular choice because they are easy to keep clean, water and scratch resistant and also heat-resistant up to 200C. Available in a traditional polished or honed matt finish, granite is a very practical as well as attractive kitchen surface.
Half pencil and scalloped Immaculate detailing and balanced proportion are at the heart of the 1909 Half Pencil and Scalloped inframe kitchen design painted from smooth-grained timber and featuring the distinctive half pencil and scalloped timber beading. The supremely practical design has an enduring, inviting feel and will suit any style of home.
Handleless Handleless kitchens often feature sleek, contemporary kitchen designs that are characterised by a totally smooth finish created by the absence of cabinet handles. Modern, glossy and open-plan schemes particularly benefit from this aesthetic. We offer a range of kitchen possibilities with our handless kitchen range, including a typically bevelled front that acts as a convenient handle, or a recessed handle that creates a floating workspace.
High Gloss Highly polished gloss kitchens provide a sleek and contemporary finish, while the light-reflecting properties of the gloss paint make any room look brighter and larger. High gloss kitchens are a visually striking and very practical choice and are easy to keep clean with a damp sponge. We offer high gloss kitchens in many different colours suited to your specific taste and also use high-quality lacquered and vinyl materials with our gloss kitchens.
High gloss acrylic Our easy-to-maintain high gloss acrylic kitchens provide a superior level of reflection for ultra-modern living. The mirror-like appearance is the ultimate style statement for the fashion-conscious homeowner, while at the same time maximising space and light in your kitchen area.
Infill Infill panels are designed to cover small gaps between kitchen cabinets (either wall or base units), or between the kitchen units and the wall. They are usually formed using an off-cut of plinth material so that a continuous aesthetic can be maintained in the kitchen design.
In-Frame Kitchens/Cabinets In-frame kitchens and cabinets are made with a door that sits within a frame, which is then joined to the unit behind it. In-frame constructions provide added support to the carcass, ensuring that the doors don’t sag over time. In-frame kitchens come in a wide choice of styles and colours, offering beautiful kitchens that will stand the test of time.
Integrated Integrated appliances such as ovens, microwaves, fridge freezers and dishwashers, are built into kitchen cupboard housings and are typically concealed behind cabinet doors to give a streamlined look to the kitchen design. Kitchen furniture may be freestanding and moveable or integrated as non-detachable parts of a larger unit of an overall fitted design.
Island An excellent way to add functionality, storage and style to your kitchen, an island unit is a freestanding area of base cabinets and worktops that can be accessed and walked around from all sides; it is usually placed in the centre of the kitchen. Hobs, ovens or other appliances and sinks can be integrated, as can plenty of storage and worktop space. Kitchen islands are also a perfect choice for informal entertaining, as a buffet or as a breakfast bar.
Laminate Widely available in a huge range of colours, patterns and finishes, laminate worktops offer excellent versatility and value to enhance any style of kitchen. The material consists of a hard particle board core with layers of plastic laminate bonded on top to create a tough and durable surface. Laminate is non-porous and hygienic, making it a very practical, easy-to-clean solution for your kitchen.
MFC (melamine-faced-chipboard) Melamine-faced chipboard (MFC) is made from resin-coated particles of softwood that are heat bonded together under high pressure to create a light, strong material used widely in furniture and cabinet making. The melamine face on both sides gives the board a durable and hygienic finish.
All our kitchen carcases are manufactured from MFC conforming to BS5669. Choose from MFC colour-matched carcases with soft-close drawers and doors, or our standard carcases in white with MFC colour complementary exposed end panels that come complete with metal-sided drawers with MFC backs and bases.
Modular Kitchen A modular kitchen allows you to mix and match to your heart’s content to achieve the perfect kitchen design for your taste and lifestyle, using pre-designed kitchen elements. Everything has been designed to fit together in countless combinations, with a wealth of choice when it comes to unit types, sizes, materials, colours and add-on options to produce a tailor-made, unique result without incurring the expense of a bespoke designer kitchen.
Oak Oak is a popular hardwood much loved in all kitchen styles and particularly in kitchen cabinetry. The natural beauty of an oak kitchen lies in the prominent open wood grain that ranges in hues from white to yellow to reddish brown and can be streaked with mineral deposits. Its timeless appeal blends with many different designs while its hardwearing, absorbent properties make it a very practical kitchen choice.
Overmantle Overmantles are a classic architectural and decorative feature of traditional kitchens. Perfect for positioning above-range cookers set into chimney alcoves, they are a practical and beautiful shelving solution for everything that needs to be to hand – crockery, cookware and cooking utensils. Overmantles are typically made of (painted and ornately carved) wood and evoke the ambience and grandeur of large farmhouse kitchens.
Plinth The plinth is the wooden panel that covers the area between the bottom of the base unit and the kitchen floor. It is also known as a kick plate or kickboard. A recessed plinth is set back from the front of the cabinet, making it easier to stand closer to the kitchen work surface, while an external plinth gives the appearance of freestanding kitchen furniture.
Quarter Round Exquisite detailing and balanced proportions are at the heart of our 1909 Quarter Round Kitchen painted from smooth-grained timber. Available in a choice of 24 colours, this is a supremely practical design with an enduring, inviting feel. The subtle Quarter Round timber beading helps to soften the look of this classic Shaker design, producing a subtle yet timeless effect.
Quartz Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in Earth’s crust after feldspar. Combined with a small proportion of polyester resin binder and colourings, the resulting composite material makes uniquely attractive and extremely hard-wearing kitchen worktops. Quartz countertops come in a huge range of colours, patterns, textures and finishes that are able to emulate the matte finish of limestone, the textured finish of granite or the high gloss finish of a polished stone. The hygienic surface material is scratch, chip and stain resistant and very easy to maintain.
Shaker Shaker-style kitchens are widely admired for their simplicity and classically proportioned style that has been inspired by the Shaker movement – an 18th-century American religious group whose guiding principles were simplicity, utility and honesty. Shaker kitchen designs are a popular choice for both traditional and more modern kitchen schemes; they feature plain, square-panelled doors in timber or painted finishes, and small and simple cabinet handles.
Solid Surface Kitchens Man-made ‘solid surface’ materials are perfect for hygienic applications such as kitchen worktops. Their non-porous, 100% waterproof surface means germs cannot penetrate, while their practical qualities are enhanced by the range of solid colour and stone effect finishes, and the realistic touch and feel of natural stone. Solid surface kitchen worktops are environmentally friendly, highly customisable, durable and easy to clean. Light damage and scratches are easily repaired.
Splashback see Backsplash
Stainless steel Hygienic, waterproof, heat and impact-resistant, stainless steel is the material of choice for professional kitchens everywhere. Catering-grade stainless steel is a metal alloy with a chromium content of around 10%, which makes the steel resistant to corrosion. It’s a great choice for cookware, sinks, backsplashes, worktops, kitchen appliances and much more. Available in different finishes including brushed steel, satin and antique matte, stainless steel offers unparalleled durability and will satisfy the demands for the highest standards of hygiene.
Supply only The vast majority of our kitchens are commissioned on a ‘supply only’ basis, though we can arrange for kitchen installation if requested.

After we discuss your particular requirements and choice of kitchen design, we will supply a CAD design and 3D photographic impression to help you visualise the finished result. Once you’ve decided to go ahead, our lead time for manufacture and delivery is approximately 4-8 weeks.

Timber The beauty and warmth of natural wood are hard to beat. Oak, beech, iroko, ash and walnut are among the best hardwoods to use for kitchen worktops, islands and breakfast bars. Constructed from pieces of hardwood glued together for strength and stability, timber worktops provide a warm, natural surface that helps to absorb impact as well as noise, is wallet-friendly and easy to install. After initial sealing with Danish or linseed oil and periodic maintenance to preserve the wood, timber countertops will last for a long time, and can be refinished at any time.
Timber and Timber Effect Our timber carcass doors have a solid wooden frame and drawer front, while centre panels are either solid or veneered timber. As is to be expected from a natural product, variations in grain and knotting can occur, and the colour may change over time. The timber effect is a uniform, engineered finish of foil or vinyl over a man-made core of MDF or chipboard. Timber effect carcass doors are available as component doors or one-piece doors.
Tongue and groove In artisan terms, tongue and groove panelling consists of individual planks of timber joined in such a way that a ‘tongued’ long edge of one plank slots into the ‘grooved’ long edge of the next plank, to ultimately produce a cladded wall surface. Creating a warm and cosy ambience, particularly with a painted finish, this style features heavily in traditional and farmhouse kitchen designs, including heritage and Shaker kitchens.
Undermount sink Undermount or under-counter kitchen sinks are defined by the way they are installed in relation to the kitchen worktop. Rather than being set into a pre-cut aperture in the worktop, undermount sinks are installed beneath the counter – which works particularly well for worktops made from wood, natural stone, blended stone or solid surface materials.
Vinyl Vinyl kitchens are an attractive and affordable choice for classic and contemporary kitchen schemes. The economically priced, wood-grained, flexible plastic vinyl film is moulded and bonded to preshaped MDF or MCF doors under a vacuum. Available in a wide selection of colours and styles, the material is a popular wood substitute giving a realistic finish.
Wall Cabinet Wall cabinets are part of most standard kitchen schemes, whether traditional or contemporary. As kitchen units that have been designed for mounting to a wall, they are installed at eye level or higher, usually leaving plenty of usable worktop space underneath. Depending on the cabinet width, wall cabinets may have single or double doors and are fitted with either fixed or adjustable shelves.
Wall dresser Wall dressers are short-run fitted kitchen units that typically consist of glass wall cabinets, a countertop and base units to resemble a classic Welsh kitchen dresser. Often separate from the main kitchen or near the dining area, they can be customised as required and tend to be used for storage and display of glassware, fine china cutlery and crockery. Wall dressers can be part of any kitchen scheme and can look fantastic in farmhouse kitchens and sleek contemporary spaces too.
Dan was excellent in helping choose and design our cupboards. We were also very pleased with the standard of work carried out by Reece who fitted both our kitchen and bedroom.
Survey entry