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When a cook top is used instead of a standard range, the oven needs a place to be installed. A useful place for it to be installed is in a combination wall/base-mounted cabinet. Types of installation include a single oven, a double oven (one above and one below), and an oven/microwave combination
The standard storage space in almost all kitchens and baths is the cabinet. There are two basic types of cabinets-base cabinets and wall cabinets. Wall cabinets are mounted on the walls, suspended above the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. They are made of a wide variety of materials, the most common being either plywood or compressed particleboard. There are also two basic methods of construction-face-framed and faceless. In face-framed construction, the cabinet body has a hardwood or plywood-framed face to which the doors are attached. In frameless construction, as the name implies, there is no face and the doors are attached directly to the cabinet body. Approximately two thirds of the cabinets in the U.S. are made in the face-framed manner.
In many homes, the kitchen is considered the central meeting location for day-to-day conversation and catch-up. It is also a primary source of air pollution inside the home-airborne moisture, odors, grease and smoke. The best way to get rid of this pollution is to use a kitchen ventilator. Kitchen ventilators fall into two major categories-updraft and downdraft. Both have similar components: a range hood or downdraft grille, a blower filter or grease reservoir, and some type of blower or fan.
Downdraft ventilators are often used with cook tops or ranges located in island cabinets, and usually come pre-installed. They have grilled openings in the cook top itself that lead to a grease trap/reservoir, and ultimately lead to the exterior. Downdraft units are best used where it is impractical to use an updraft unit.
In addition to the two types of ventilators, there are also two different methods of ducting the exhaust. One method is to physically connect the exhaust from the fan to a pipe that is terminated at the exterior of the house. A second way is to pull the exhaust through a charcoal screened filter and redirect it back into the kitchen.
Current code for residential dwellings requires a permanent heat source in all liveable rooms. In most rooms, there will be either ceiling vents or floor vents. In a kitchen, however, there are usually cabinets that are going to be in the way of the normal vent openings. Typical base cabinets have an overhang at the bottom edge that allows ventilator ducts to be run.
The vegetable, or sink, sprayer is a useful convenience that is usually part of the sink faucet. It is a relatively simple attachment consisting of a lever or button-auctioned sprayhead attached to a length of reinforced hose. In some faucet assemblies, the sprayer is a direct part of the faucet in that when the sprayer function is wanted, the faucet head is simply pulled out of the faucet assembly.
In typical households, food waste and trash are usually collected in a trash can, which is then put out for trash collection. What a trash compactor does is exactly what its name implies. Instead of putting your trash into a trash can, you put it in the compactor, where it gets compressed to between 1/10 and 1/12 the space it would normally take up. The end result is the same amount of trash taking up less space; both on the curb and in the landfill. Trash compactors are available as portable units, non-portable cabinet units, and as a built-in part of a cabinet plan.
As the central item in the most common meeting area in today’s home, the kitchen sink is a very busy fixture. Every day, it is the area used in food preparation and clean-up. Accordingly, kitchen sinks need to be both attractive and extremely durable.
In the past, most sinks consisted of a single bowl and a simple faucet. Now there are a multitude of different sink designs, including two, and sometimes three, bowls of different sizes and shapes. These sinks have integral drains and sometimes have cutting boards, soap dispensers, instant-hot water attachments, sprayers and more.
They can now be found made of stainless steel, enameled metal, plastic, fiberglass, and even faux stone such as marble or quartz. A modern method is to make the sink of a solid surfacing material such as Corian ™. Some of these sinks now come molded directly into the counter top.
The stainless steel sinks are made in many sizes and several thicknesses. The thicker the material, the more resistant to dents and dings it will be. The enameled cast iron sinks also come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. They are easy to clean, but their heavier weight requires a stronger counter top material.
The solid surface materials are becoming more popular because of their capability to have a totally rimless sink basin as well as having a perfect match in color to the sink and the counter top. Also, because the color usually goes all the way through the sink basin, if the material gets a scratch or stain, it can be sanded or re-finished to look like new. The stone composite sinks, too, come in a variety of colors and styles. They can be very attractive and offer a stylish alternative to the more conventional materials. However, as with the cast iron sinks, their increased weight will require a stronger counter top material.
Refrigerators come in all different shapes and sizes. The standard shape is a vertical standing unit. Some units have just the refrigeration section while others have an integral freezer. The sizes of refrigerators can range from a small, five-cubic-foot model that fits inside a cabinet, to a 25-cubic-foot model. Many refrigerators include amenities such as ice makers and automatic ice and water dispensers on the doors. On the models that have integral freezers, the freezer can be located at the top of the unit or it can be installed on one side of the refrigerator, with vertical doors.
The range is similar to the cook top in that it has either electric elements or gas burners mounted on the surface that is used for cooking. The difference between a range and a cook top is that the range is a combination, stand-alone unit housing a cook top and an oven. Ranges can vary in size from an ultra narrow 24-inch-wide model with a small oven to a gourmet, 60-inch-wide model with six burners and two ovens.
Ranges are usually either electric or gas-operated.
In order to prevent sewer gasses and odors from entering the house, plumbing drains have devices called traps installed. Traps are merely a section of the drain pipe that has been bent and formed into a 180 degree curve followed directly by another 180 degree curve with the drain pipe going through the floor (an S-trap) or by a 90 degree curve that leads to a main drain stack that is located inside a wall (a P-trap).
It is very important that a drain pipe have a trap installed in order to prevent sewer gasses from entering the house’s breathable airspace.
Microwave ovens were once considered a technological luxury. Now, there are microwave ovens in probably 95% of America’s households. They come in various capacities, from units big enough to pop a bag of popcorn to units capable of cooking entire multi-course meals for a family of four.
There are many interesting features including buttons for the most popular microwave foods, such as pizzas, popcorn and packaged dinners. Some models even organize foods by ethnic category, such as Chinese and Italian, and cook accordingly.
The biggest differences are in the power, capacity, convection heat options and the cooking sensors. The power levels start at about 600 watts in the one-cubic-foot models, to well above 1000 watts in the family-dinner-cooking models. Many models also have built-in sensors that are able to determine the moisture content in the meal being cooked. When the moisture content gets below a certain level, the microwave cuts off. Some of the higher-end models even have the ability to cook with convection heat, so now meals can be browned without having to move it to a conventional oven before serving.
Instant-hot water dispensers are basically miniaturized hot water heaters that are designed to serve only one faucet. Unlike a typical water heater, the instant-hot dispenser does not have any kind of sizeable tank and the tank never builds up pressure. Rather, it is hooked up directly to the cold water tap, and when the hot water faucet is turned on, the incoming water travels through the body of the spout, into the small tank where it is heated up by an electric element. This heated water expands, filling the integral expansion chamber and is discharged out the spout. As the faucet is turned on, the hot water is replaced by cold, incoming water and the cycle continues.
One draw-back to this system is that the heated water is delivered slower than a typical faucet and the heated water is much hotter than what would usually come from a normal water heater. One of the positive features is that there is no warm-up period; the hot water is instantly ready.
As with any water heater, instant-hot dispensers may accumulate scale in areas that have hard water.
Freezers, like refrigerators, come in many shapes and sizes. Some are vertical standing units while others are horizontal chest units. The chest freezers are more useful for long-term cold storage. This is because they create a deep well of below-freezing temperatures that is easily maintained by thermal mass storage; if the freezer is kept full, the stored goods will stay colder longer. A negative feature of a chest type feature is the amount of floor space it takes up. Some of the larger models can take up to 18 or more square feet, or almost as much space as a twin bed.
The vertical standing units look very similar to upright refrigerators only they have just a single door. They are more utilitarian because they do not take up as much room. However, they also do not keep food as cold as long. This is because they are more prone to being opened and closed often.
Garbage disposals are mounted under the kitchen sink and are in line with the plumbing drain line. They usually need to be manually turned on and off. Their initial purpose is to grind kitchen food waste and dispose of it down the drain into the sewage system. There are several brands and makes of disposals on the market, but all of them operate in primarily the same manner. They have long knives or cutters in the bottom that spin around and chop all the solids into little bits. Actually, they are more like motorized, hi-speed cheese graters that ground up and shred the solids into small pieces that can be better decomposed in sewage treatment facilities.
Like microwave ovens, dishwashers are more and more becoming a standard feature rather than an option in today’s kitchen. Dishwashers provide the convenience of getting the dishes washed without having to physically fill up the sink and start scrubbing. Also, most newer dishwashers add the benefits of greater energy savings than washing by hand as well as doing a better job of sanitizing the dishes through the use of higher water temperatures than normal handwashing allows.
The cook top is a more modern kitchen appliance that is comprised of the surface-mounted cooking elements. In some of the newer kitchens, it has become popular to have a cook top installed in the counter top and have a single or double wall oven unit installed. Cook tops have a wide variety of cooking options including standard electric resistance coils, flat ceramic plates, glass-topped halogen cooking elements, large frying surfaces, and electric barbeque grill tops. It is common to see cook tops with down-draft, ducted ventilators.
The standard storage space in almost all kitchens and baths is the cabinet. There are two basic types of cabinets-base cabinets and wall cabinets. Base cabinets are mounted on the floor. They are made of a wide variety of materials, the most common being either plywood or compressed particleboard. The counter top is anchored to the top of the cabinets, along with any built-in appliances.
There are also two basic methods of construction-face-framed and faceless. In face-framed construction, the cabinet body has a hardwood or plywood-framed face to which the doors are attached. In frameless construction, as the name implies, there is no face and the doors are attached directly to the cabinet body. Approximately two thirds of the cabinets in the U.S. are made in the face-framed manner.
The dishwasher drain is also usually tied into the sink drain. Some dishwashers are equipped with an air gap, while others have a loop high in the drain line. The purpose of these items is to prevent wastewater from backing up into the washer.
The air gap is a turret or knob-like device that is usually located next to the faucet. The loop is literally a loop in the drain line that is secured to the underside of the counter top behind the dishwasher.