PRODUCTS | Handle less Kitchens Explained
Today's post is exactly what it says on the tin. I'm going to explain to you the basics of the 2 main types of handle less kitchen. As with most things in the kitchen industry, the two types featured in this post today are not the only two types of handle less kitchen available; but they are the most common. These are the styles you are most likely to find in your local showrooms, whether they are independent retailers or high street nationals.
True Handle less
A true handle less kitchen refers to a kitchen cabinet that has a (usually) stainless steel profile running through it. This allows you to place your fingers over the top of the door/drawer front & pull it open from behind. The image above shows this perfectly. True handle less is typically associated with European brands, especially German kitchens, but is also widely available from British manufacturers too.
Dependent on the supplier, the stainless steel profiles can sometimes be powder coated (at a premium) in different colours to either blend in with the kitchen, or to create a cool linear contrast. There is also a large range of doors available for use with a true handle less kitchen, so it's easy to mix & match as most true handle less ranges will include various materials & textures throughout the available door collection.
Technically speaking there are a few limitations when designing a true handle less kitchen & they require to be installed in a certain way; so make sure your fitter is familiar with the product before he begins installing. The design limitations are nothing very serious that would stop you from having the kitchen of your dreams; but for instance, you can't have curved units with true handle less. There are also some built under appliances that will not fit underneath the profiles as the machines are too tall. As a client you wouldn't really have to worry about any of this as your designer should advise you on what can & cannot be achieved; but do just be aware that with true handle less not every type of unit or design is available.
A gorgeous example of a true handle less kitchen. The mix of white & winter teal here creates a cool & calm space; while the streamlined handle less profiles give a sleek & minimal finish.
The J Profile
See how in this image the door has a groove carved out of it? This is called a J profile, because if you look at the door side on, it's shaped like the letter J. In this type of handle less kitchen, you use the J groove to pull open the doors & drawers. This type of handle less door is widely available on the market, they are usually only lacquered so will either have a super glossy or a super matt finish to them; it's not too common to find a J profile with a wood grain or other texture but they can be sourced & will usually be constructed from either a vinyl wrap or a solid timber as appose to laminated.
A J profile is a very simple way of achieving a handle less kitchen, you still get that clean & contemporary look & the grooved sections in the doors are always the same colour as the door front, (unlike the stainless steel profiles in the true handle less); so you get a very contemporary monotone look throughout the kitchen; without having to upgrade to the powder coated option I mentioned earlier. A J profile kitchen is fitted the same as a regular kitchen & there aren't really any limitations to design & some suppliers even offer curved doors.
The only downside I would point out with a J profile, with the fridge freezer or dishwasher that tend to have heavy openings, if the J isn't deep enough the profile can sometimes feel difficult to get a good grip on to open them. I've found this especially with men who tend to have slightly bigger hands. However, it's not always the case, it depends on the individual door & the appliance in question. Also (this is not particularly a downside but just something I'll point out to you) if you have a keen eye for small details, if you look carefully at a J profile kitchen above, you will be able to see a small vertical seams in-between each door & at the corners. With the true handle less you get one continuous profile throughout each length of the kitchen.
Without getting too technical this should give you enough basic background on the two main handle less options that are available to you. It'll also make browsing the showrooms a little easier if you know what style of handles less you're interested in & which style you want to see more of.
See you next time,
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