Corner units are an important feature in a kitchen. They enable you to make the most of all of the space within your run of units. Yet, it can be difficult to understand how they fit into a standard kitchen plan.
To help with this we have put together a step-by-step guide to how corner units can be integrated into your kitchen. This guide will be comprehensive, but we will avoid all of the complex jargon you might see elsewhere to make it as easy as possible for you to DIY!
Step 1: What is a Kitchen Corner Unit?
A corner unit sits in the corner of your kitchen and is available in two main styles. The first option is an L-shaped corner unit, which opens on either side and allows full access to the corner. These are available as bifold with the doors hinged together or left and right-hand, where the doors are hinged independently.
The other option is a variable or ‘blind’ corner unit which is a more standard rectangular shape with a door on one side and a panel on the other. This allows for another unit to be placed next to it, running at a 90-degree angle. To provide a space for opening the door, the unit will also often include a small filler piece to provide a gap between the corner unit and the adjacent unit.
When compared to L-shaped corner units, variable corner units provide more flexibility as they require only standard-size doors with no specialist fittings or hinges. However, variable units can be a little more difficult to use due to the lack of access to the hidden corner. This can be avoided through the use of a pull-out unit which folds away neatly inside and allows you to take advantage of all of the space inside it.
Here is a link to our range of pull-out corner units
Step 2: Measuring Your Area
The first thing you must do when planning your corner unit is to measure the area it is going into. At the very minimum, you need the height, width, and depth of the area on the first wall you would like to fit your units into, and the same for the adjoining wall. This is because the depth of the kitchen corner unit will need to be taken off the total space for the adjoining wall in addition to the filler.
If you have a space of 2000mm and the depth of your corner unit is 560mm, you will need to take the 560mm from the 2000mm as well as the measurement for your filler panel. This would leave the space for the units on the adjoining wall.
To calculate the filler, you need to first identify the kitchen door style (handleless or not), then:
- If handleless then the filler would be 40mm for 18-21mm and 45mm for 22mm
- If your door is not handleless and uses handles, you would need to measure the projection of the handle from the unit and add 40mm.
This leaves you with the measurement needed.
When calculating the space on the wall that contains the corner unit, you would need to take off the depth of the adjoining units as well as the width of the door on the corner unit from the total length of the desired space.
For example, if you have a 3000mm space and are fitting a 1000mm corner unit with a 500mm door and a 500mm panel and a depth of 560mm:
- Take off the depth of the units from the total
- Take off the width of the door from the total
- Take off 100m for services
This leaves you with the space you have for the rest of your units.
We advise that you sketch this out while in progress using graphing paper, a ruler and a pencil, as it makes it much easier to visualise and plan the area. You can use our kitchen measuring guide, which also provides you with some further information.
Step 3: Choosing the Right Unit
Standard Corner Units
Corner units come in a range of different sizes to suit your needs. For example, in our standard ranges, we offer sizes between 800mm and 1200mm wide. If you have a larger area, then it is advised that you go for a wider unit as it is easier to access the hidden corner this way.
Here is the link to our standard unit
It can be useful to fit a pull-out or carousel into your corner unit. Due to the depth of these units, you may struggle to reach all the way in and adding a pull-out shelf system can allow you to reach the items at the back without having to bend. In addition to this, they are also a great convenience, allowing easy access to all items inside the cabinet.
Here is the link to our carousel unit
Step 4: Fitting the Unit
After completing your plan and having sourced all of your corner units, the final step is to fit them. This can be scary to the inexperienced, but rest assured it is much simpler than it seems.
The first thing you need to do is get your corner unit and adjoining unit in place in the desired corner of the kitchen so they can be set correctly. Due to the panel and the tolerance left earlier in the run, you can move your corner unit further into or out of the corner to suit your needs and allow for ample room to open the door.
Once this is set you can then adjust the height of the legs and fix the filler panel in line with the adjoining unit. This can be fixed in a few ways – some opt to glue it, however, this is more vulnerable to coming loose and could damage the finish. Others will screw it to the unit from inside or use L-shape brackets. It all depends on what is simpler for you.
Reasons to Use a Variable Corner Unit
There is a range of cosmetic and practical reasons why you should opt for a variable corner unit.
- Allows for a seamless corner when using handless units, as the filler can continue the groove
- Allows for wider doors in the corner, which can look better to some
- Allows for greater choice in size, to suit your vision
- Sizing is very flexible
- Allows for a large amount of adjustment
- Provides more space than an L-shape corner
- Can accommodate a pull-out system
With everything in place, our guide is complete. If you’ve followed everything in this step-by-step guide, you should hopefully have a unit allowing storage in the corner of your kitchen that makes use of all the space within it.
If there is anything you are unclear about or need further information on, we are always here to help. Our office team is able to provide technical advice and support for all of the corner unit products in this guide to help make your installation experience hassle-free.