Mama's Life & Blogging

A Warm Kitchen In Winter

A Warm Kitchen In Winter

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and temperatures have definitely dropped. I have been snuggling up to Sylvia on the sofa and we have begun having more filling and heartier meals. 

I don’t spend as much time in our kitchen as I like however I have been thinking about the ways I might design my kitchen if I were to renovate and make it perfect for all seasons. How about you? Have you considered changing or renovating your kitchen? If you have you may have started to think about lighting and wall colours but the one thing that can often make or break the usability of a kitchen – particularly during the winter months – is often not given nearly enough thought. That is of course underfloor heating.

Our Kitchen is Ice cold. There is no radiator or heating in the room and going in the Kitchen in the mornings makes me feel like I icicles on my feet. How you heat your kitchen, whether it’s radiators, a cast-iron range that runs the central heating, or underfloor heating, your choice will have a huge impact not just on how you use your kitchen when it’s complete but how you design the room from its inception.

BACK TO BASICS

The key to a heating system that works efficiently is a good boiler. When you’re planning your kitchen design, it might be worth factoring in a new boiler rather than repairing it if yours is more than 15 years old as they’re not nearly as energy efficient as new models. Updating an old system to an A-rated condensing boiler could reward you with a 90% increase in efficiency. Also, replacing a boiler could free up room for more cupboards or worktops and you’ll benefit from instant hot water if you opt for a condensing combi-boiler.  We have a combi boiler and it works fantastic heating our water super fast.

CHOOSING YOUR TYPE

Radiators

For many years, central heating systems running a series of radiators have been the heating of choice. Usually already in place, updating them from dated 1970s flat panel models to one of the many stunning styles on offer from specialists such as Bisque or Aestus can completely change the look of a room. For contemporary schemes look at ladder-style vertical radiators in sleek white and steel finishes and for classic kitchens pick something a little more period in it’s look like Bisque’s Classic range, which echoes Edwardian shapes. 

If you’re particularly eco-minded then aluminium models are a good option, as they heat up and cool down much faster than traditional radiators, which will save both time and energy. 

One thing you should do if considering radiators is ensure you have just the right amount to heat the room. There are aplenty of online calculators to help you do this – just pop in the room’s dimensions, the number of windows and the calculator will give you the BTUs or wattage required.  

We don’t have a radiator in our kitchen but it’s something I would if there was enough space.

Underfloor heating

A great option if your kitchen is being designed from the floor up is underfloor heating that gives comfortable radiant heat and can deliver great savings too.

I had not heard of underfloor heating until recently but I do think it would be a great option for us especially due to the size of our kitchen area.

Depending on what type of heating you opt for, it can be used under most types of flooring, including: stone, tile, wood and vinyl. It’s best to check your floor is a suitable match before you go ahead and invest, but a large kitchen with porcelain or ceramic tiles are almost always a perfect fit with underfloor heating. 

We currently have vinyl tiles. I’d love to put a ceramic floor down at some stage.

There are two options for underfloor heating. These are electric and wet systems. Electric flooring is easier to fit, being a network of wire elements on a mesh that is placed below the flooring or wet systems, which use water pipes below the floor. An electric system is easier to lay and can be retro-fitted fairly easily if you’re laying a new floor, just check with your builder first. Wet systems require more work and are better suited to renovations such as new extensions or completely new builds. 

Personally I would prefer the electric as the less water pipes for me the better.

One of the biggest benefits of underfloor heating is that you don’t have to give over valuable wall space to radiators, meaning you can often include more cabinets for additional space and bespoke storage solutions. Having a small kitchen makes it hard to fit in a radiator so a heated floor would work best for me. If I had a heated floor I would use a timed thermostat to warm the floor before we wake in the morning. This would make it easier to step into our kitchen on a frosty winter morning. Designer Kitchens are great to have in the home and having a heated floor is one aspect I would love in the future, 

Cast-iron ranges

While an ‘always-on’ Aga is often the traditional choice in farmhouse designs, it will provide a radiant heat to warm your kitchen on a winter’s morning but it can’t run a central heating system. If you want your heat-store range to do that, then opt for models from Stanley or Rayburn, which can often run up to 20 radiators. I have never had an Aga but it does look like a great option for the traditional stone farm house. 

Go mobile

Finally, consider investing in an app-controlled heating system such as Hive or Nest so you can switch on your heating, using your phone, wherever and whenever you feel the need with great ease. We have an app to turn on our washing machine which is really handy so being able to turn the heating on from another room or while your out is a real winner in my eyes. 

Angela x

*This is a collaborative post

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