Fixtues and Tiles Complete Guide


Let's start

When choosing and designing your kitchen you have to keep in mind first of all the position of the fixtures (water and drainage pipes, gas pipes, electrical sockets...). We have two cases at this point:
a) fixtures are not yet present: pipes are designed in a way that perfectly fit the desired kitchen
b) fixtures are already present: the kitchen composition is designed so that it will be compatible with the position of the pipes
The information needed are the wall width and the position of the pipes, if already present. You can measure starting from the left or right side of the wall: the most intuitive solution is to start from the wall which is the closest to the element that you want to install or verify. The Measurements Survey Guide and its Measurements Grid are useful tools to use in this first step.

Kitchen Measurements Survey


How to plan the fixtures

Kitchen fixtures legend

Here's a legend of the symbols used:

A. Water pipes and waste

B. Gas connection
C. Electrical sockets
D. Exhaust hood
E. Flue pipe

Gas and water pipes scheme

- cold and hot water pipes are placed at 45 cm from the floor, whereas the waste pipe at 30 cm. In width the ideal position is in the middle of the sink cabinet: for sink cabinets measuring 60 cm the recommended range is 25 cm for each side, in case of cm 90 sink cabinets (see image) the range is 40 cm for each side.

- gas connection is placed at 45 cm from the floor, whereas in width it has to be placed inside the same range as water pipes.
If your gas connection is in a different position than the ideal one you have two solutions: you can use a flexible rubber tube (for distances up to 150 cm), a steel flexible tube (for distances up to 200 cm) or again a rigid copper tube (without restrictions on the length); the tube can pass along the whole wall up to the sink cabinet where the gas tap will be installed (it is possible to make it pass behind the cabinets or under them between the feet).

Appliances sockets scheme

- the dishwasher must be installed completely adherent to the wall, thus that proportion of wall must be completely free.
The ideal position of the socket which will power it is behind the sink cabinet at a height of 30 cm and placed on the side next to the appliance (see image); it can also be used if its position is behind other cabinets next to the dish washer. If you already have a socket behind the dish washer this can not be used.

- the sockets of oven, fridge and hob sockets are usually placed at 30 cm from the floor and their ideal position is are in the middle of the appliance itself (except with the fridge where it is better if the socket is slightly off centre due to the space taken by the engine). If the sockets are in the adjacent compartments they can still be used however in some cases an extension cable is needed.
It is important not to connect oven, fridge and dish washer to the same socket. Only oven and hob or dish washer and hob can share one.

Kitchen top sockets scheme

- the sockets above the top are usually placed at a height of 110 cm from the floor and usually in a middle position compared to the kitchen cabinet below. If the sockets are already there we recommend to avoid crossing them with the column elements of the kitchen; this situation, other than being not very pleasant from the aesthetic point of view it also restrict the use of the socket and of the worktop.
For obvious safety reasons, sockets must not be placed nest to the sink; if present they need to be closed and disconnected from the electric system.
Sockets must not be placed behind the hob; if present you need to use a lid to place on the hob that once is closed it will allow you to use the sockets with any plug, when open you can use both the hob and the socket provided you use a flat one.

Hood line and kitchen flue pipe scheme

- the position of the socket for the exhaust hood is placed at 180 cm from the floor. If you have a visible hood you need the socket to be in the middle of the hood (or in a range of 15 cm per side); if the hood is hidden inside a cabinet the socket can be placed outside that range. You can also opt for a double socket if you want to use it for the light under the wall unit which will be switched off and on through a switch placed above the worktop.

- the flue pipe is placed at a height of 221 cm for h.216 compositions and at 245 cm for h.240 compositions. If it is placed in the middle of the hood we have an ideal situation since it is mandatory by law to connect the hood to a flue pipe with a diameter of 10 / 15 cm.
The duct hole made by the constructors is not always in the best position, since it depends on different factors as the position of the kitchen compared to the outside. If for aesthetic or design reasons you do not want to connect the hood to the duct hole, there's the possibility to use a hood carbon filter that has the function of purifying the air: although we recommend using a pipe, complying to regulations, we remind you that carbon filters are widely used.

Kitchen fixtures scheme

In the image above the presence of an oven semi-column binds the position of the socket for the oven as well as the socket above the worktop: the first one has been place at around 80 cm of height whereas the second is not at the usual height of 110 cm from the floor but at 20 cm above the top (around 120 cm from the floor).

Kitchen fixtures scheme

If your kitchen is not placed next to a lateral wall: for the presence of obstructing elements (windows, doors...) you need to find the "starting point" from where starting your measuring survey and that doesn't necessary have to coincide with the wall.
For example in this image the middle of the sink cabinet is at 300 cm from the wall if you start measuring starting from the very same wall. On the other hand if the "starting point" is the kitchen composition than the middle point would be at 195 cm from the left side.

Kitchen fixtures scheme

This example shows the most frequent situation, when pre-existent fixtures are combined with a compatible kitchen composition.
The water connections are not in the middle of the sink cabinet, but they are still inside the allowed interval. The gas connection is outside the space interval and so must be connected to the tap with a flexible or rigid tube by making a hole on the back panel of the door compartment (if the cabinet had had drawers, it wouldn't have been possible).
The dishwasher socket is in the compartment on the left and it is shared with the hob. The oven column socket is conveniently placed in the middle of it. The fridge socket is visible, on the right, but can be easily connected with or without an extension cord depending on the distance. The socket above the top is behind the hob, but can be easily used thanks to the lid.
The hidden hood allows to hide the cable that connects it to its socket, placed behind the wall unit next tot it (a situation that can also be handled with visible hoods). A junction must be used to connect the fle pipe with a tube compliant with legal standard.


WARNING

If you are making the final survey and you haven't placed the tiles on the floor yet, when you decide the height of the fixtures keep in mind the thickness of the floor tiles you have chosen; the doors threshold can help you to see where to start measuring. Any modification of the gas or electric fixturesmust be carried out by professional plumbers ad electricians; we also recommend you to ask for a Declaration of Conformity to the current regulations of your country.


Where to lay down the tiles

Example of the ideal tiles covering for the entire kitchen wall

To obtain the ideal aesthetic and functional result while positioning the tiles, all you have to do is follow a simple advice: “tiles everywhere!”, so that you can entirely cover the walls the kitchen furniture will be placed against to.
The image on the left shows the ideal tiles covering for a kitchen 300 cm wide and 240 cm high with the tiles positioned so as to cover the entire wall: from 0 to 300 cm in width, and from 0 to 240 cm in height.
Positioning the tiles also on the side walls of the kitchen composition becomes also essential if sink and hob are next to them: water, vapour or splashes in fact can be easily cleaned out of tiles.

Example of tiles covering the central area of the wall kitchen

If you want to keep the tiles cost down, you have instead to consider two variables: the space and the budget available.
To mediate between looks and functionality the best solution is to cover only the wall part that remains visible, that is the central area that goes from a height of 80 to 160 cm.
In the image on the left, the right edge of the area is flush with the kitchen composition, while on the left a margin of around 10 cm is left in correspondence to the fridge column (in this specific case the interval from 0 to 50 cm is not covered).
If on one side of the composition the wall continues (and there's no side wall) the ideal thing is to cover also a vertical area placed under the worktop; this do not stand for the upper part, that does not have to be covered with tiles, because it will impede to correctly mount the wall units.

Example of tiles covering the wall of a kitchen with visible hood

If the hood is visible, you also have to cover the wall area that can be seen (between the hood and the wall units).
The image on the left shows a 360 x 240 cm composition: the tiles have been applied on an area from 80 to 160 cm in height that behind the hood reach the top of the composition (in this way, the wall area that remains visible, is completely covered in height).
The lower area is instead covered with tiles from 50 to 360 cm in width (the measurement is taken starting from the left and leaving an approximate margin of 10 cm behind the fridge column); on the right side, the tiles are flush with the side wall.
The upper part that needs to be covered takes up an area that goes from 120 to 270 cm (counting from the left), the part of the wall that remains visible. Approximately 10 cm have then been added on the side ends (thus the wall part not covered goes from 0 to 110 cm and from 280 to 360 cm).

Example of tiles covering the wall of a kitchen with a hidden hood

If you are making the final survey and you haven't placed the tiles on the floor yet please remember that they will be 10-12 mm thick, measurement that can change according to the specific tile model and to the tiler technique: this information is very important if you are thinking of placing the tiles on the side walls too and you want to insert the kitchen in a space not that bigger.
In the example on the left, in order to keep the costs down, the front wall has been covered from 80 to 160 cm in height and from 0 to 250 cm in height; the side wall the fridge lean on has not been covered for space reasons, while the one next to the sink has been covered from 0 to 160 cm in height.
The ideal solution is always to completely cover the lateral wall in height, while we advise against placing the tiles from 80 to 160 cm for aesthetic reasons.