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    Small kitchen / large kitchenette in city townhouse

    Kitchen time. Wife bought a townhouse next to the one I originally posted about some time ago. This will be for me to go live when she finally kicks me out of the house, but until that time it will be rented out. It originally had a Thai kitchen outside at the back, but that whole space has been nicely cleaned up now (future mini-garden / vertical garden topic) so we will need something that *JUST* passes for a "Western Kitchen" while not breaking the bank.

    Let's look at the kitchen space. I apologize for the grainy quality; used an old phone camera.









    There are a couple things to note:

    * The floor has blue tiles that are very blue. Part of me wants to rip them out, part of me wants to use blue as a feature and do a colorful blue/orange tile checkerboard for the wall space above the countertop and below the wall cabinets.
    * The windows at the back are so low down that you cannot have a kitchen counter top under them. Raising them is I think beyond the scope what I'm trying to do.
    * Probably an L-shaped kitchenette on the wall nearest to the back door will work. That will leave a dining table space in the area visible in the first picture.
    * We will need to do the plumbing to get water in and the drain out. Not sure how to best achieve that.
    * A heavy old Thai style dinner table and chairs came with the house. Not really my style bit it's functional, so I'm probably going find a wood worker dude to fix them up, sand them down and re-coat.

    Next post will be on the scope and expected budget for the kitchen.. Would 50,000 baht be completely impossible? (including built in stove and smoke extractor, but not including fridge)

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    So what things set a "Western Kitchen" apart from a Thai one. Let me take a stab at what a Thai kitchen is:

    A Thai kitchen would be a 'de-facto' kitchen.. There's no specific design or intent: all parts just ended up in this space, usually out back, that wasn't in use for anything else, so there's a separate sink, separate table-top aluminium gas stove, some piece of cabinet furniture in wood, aluminium or plastic.

    A Western Kitchen on the other hand is a 'feature' of a home also when not in use. All appliances should be built into the overall design, and it should contain cabinets for storage. I guess you could argue that in needs fancy appliances like a full size oven and dishwasher, but I don't think these are absolutely required to still have something you can call a Western Kitchen.

    I'm trying to achieve something like the following in terms of overall size, minus the oven and dishwasher. Maybe a fraction larger but not by much:



    Now to the cost cutting: Western kitchens in Thailand can still be built mostly out of brick and cement, with the lower cabinets not actually being full cabinets (which are expensive) but just the wooden (or even plastic) door-fronts to the storage space behind them. So my kitchen will be that, but the outside finish (around the doors) tile or just paint.

    Anyway, some costs I found for the budget:

    This is a built in gas stove with electrical ignition, and a smoke extractor. Together these cost 10,900 which I think is a good deal looking at what those things cost individually. And nothing quite says 'Western Kitchen' like a nice built in stove and exctractor.



    Built-in sink. I guess I can save a bit more and go with a single sink unit. Then it's not too much over 2000 baht including tap.



    The counter top should ideally be granite, but I wonder if I could just use a very nice, big granite-look floor tile. you know, the biggest sized tiles they make (60 x 60cm) would provide enough depth and I'd need just a handful of them; 6 maybe, because the built-in sink and stove also take up space. Just the tile may not be strong enough, I guess some concrete slabs are needed under them to provide strength? This would apply especially to the area where the sink and stove is, those could get heavy. Or maybe I should just stick with granite and be done with it; what does that stuff cost per sq meter?



    Then the cabinets.. Pretty nice, unpainted wood ones are 2655 baht for a double one (two doors, so 80 cm wide.) I guess I need three of those, along with some additional cheap shelving.



    The door-fronts below the counter are cheaper of course:

    Last edited by WhiteLotusLane; 05-02-2012 at 10:21 PM.

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    Budget.. Problem is I don't know what the basic materials cost, like cement, bricks, PVC tubes and so on. So I put in an estimate; can anyone say if that looks reasonable?



    If I total it all up I stay below 50K. Is that remotely realistic?

    I may be light on the number of cabinets, and I did not include any drawers; drawers are expensive I noticed, really strange. I probably need them though, need a place to put forks and knives and such.

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    Doubt you will get away with much less than 70k baht, counter will need a concrete top, ie rebar, wood form work etc, electrics you got to run a mains from your mains box to the kitchen, plus electric points for other stuff, ie electric oven, microwave, kettle etc, maybe an earth run to stop the dead bodies piling up in the kitchen, better lighting.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane
    So what things set a "Western Kitchen" apart from a Thai one
    The dishwasher and inbuilt oven you are removing.
    All you need to do now is stick the fridge in the living room

    Stick a sink and some cupboard space on the Left Hand side , then you will have a Western Kitchen

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    Not a builder or a chef,but my Mrs would be less than impressed with the lack of preparation space.

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    Don't skimp on the sink mate ,, if you do end up in there you will regret it ,, its so handy to rinse in a bowl while washing in the other ,, you know what the Thais are like with flowing water

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    Don't skimp on the sink mate ,, if you do end up in there you will regret it ,, its so handy to rinse in a bowl while washing in the other ,, you know what the Thais are like with flowing water

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    In my kitchen I used the 60 x 60 grannit tile for a countertop. Looks great and very durable. Cost 465 per meter. My vent hood above the stove (smoke extractor) with all connections was 12,000. I think you are off the mark by 3,000 on the labor. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphlsasser
    In my kitchen I used the 60 x 60 grannit tile for a countertop. Looks great and very durable
    I think that is a good way to cut costs and still get a great looking countertop

    I may well use that in my apartments, as they will be making a cement slab top for the cupboards

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    without a proper floor and wall plan, it is difficult to see the best layout

    but you could build your cabinets in front of the window anyway

    yes, it would block off the bottom of the window but, if done cleverly, it will look fine (as long as you can still open the louvres)
    I have reported your post

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphlsasser
    In my kitchen I used the 60 x 60 grannit tile for a countertop. Looks great and very durable
    I think that is a good way to cut costs and still get a great looking countertop

    I may well use that in my apartments, as they will be making a cement slab top for the cupboards
    My counter was built by my contractor, so it has a concrete base to lay the tiles. It was very easy, reasonable cost, looks great, and very durable. I priced a solid slab of grannit, but it was way too expensive. Grannit tiles is the way to go IMHO

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    When I did my kitchen with slabs of granite, they charged B7000 a metre, including cutting the holes etc

    so just tiling it with equivalent 60x30cm tiles would be 30% of that

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    [quote=ralphlsasser;2009403][quote=DrAndy;2009192]
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphlsasser
    My counter was built by my contractor, so it has a concrete base to lay the tiles. It was very easy, reasonable cost, looks great, and very durable. I priced a solid slab of grannit, but it was way too expensive. Grannit tiles is the way to go IMHO
    Just to make sure we're talking about the same thing, these are large 60x60 floor tiles that just look like granite right, not actual tiles made of real (but smaller slabs of) granite?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    without a proper floor and wall plan, it is difficult to see the best layout

    but you could build your cabinets in front of the window anyway

    yes, it would block off the bottom of the window but, if done cleverly, it will look fine (as long as you can still open the louvres)
    That's a VERY interesting idea; didn't think of that.. I guess that could take care of the ventilation of some of the lower cabinets too; those often get humid and stuffy near the sink. Or would just just brick in front of it to close it completely?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane View Post

    Would 50,000 baht be completely impossible? (including built in stove and smoke extractor, but not including fridge)
    Had this built a year ago for about 50,000 including tiling on the rear of the house 2 metres by 6 and extractor fan and granite worktops but not including fridge and oven etc



    The Kitzo cupboards were pricey but good quality. I would say that if anyone is having a kitchen built in in Bangkok its better to go the Thai way with built in ceramic counters. If you get an expensive built in kitchen made of fibreboard and the house gets flooded then you can kiss that laminate fibreboard goodbye. This happened to a couple of places in our village during the recent floods.

    When you choose your sink , get a deep one as a lot of the Thai ones are very shallow. Our is German

    Last edited by Bangyai; 06-02-2012 at 02:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailing into trouble View Post
    Not a builder or a chef,but my Mrs would be less than impressed with the lack of preparation space.
    Yeah, it would be a little bit bigger than on the sample picture I posted. Especially if I don go under (across) the windows, there will be plenty counter top space.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane View Post

    Would 50,000 baht be completely impossible? (including built in stove and smoke extractor, but not including fridge)
    Had this built a year ago for about 50,000 including tiling on the rear of the house 2 metres by 6 and extractor fan and granite worktops but not including fridge and oven etc



    The Kitzo cupboards were pricey but good quality.
    Nice! That looks just fine!

    I would say that if anyone is having a kitchen built in in Bangkok its better to go the Thai way with built in ceramic counters. If you get an expensive built in kitchen made of fibreboard and the house gets flooded then you can kiss that laminate fibreboard goodbye. This happened to a couple of places in our village during the recent floods.
    Heh, yes, being flood-resistant is a consideration. To the point that I'm really wondering if I want to use wooden door-fronts below the counter, or go with some other covering. (The plastic fronts don't look nice and aren't even that cheap, but perhaps there's some other kind of covering I could use.)

    The house is 50m from the road along the river in Chiang Mai. That's not flood-prone for things like heavy rainfall, but in those years that half the city floods (like last year) when the river bursts it's banks, the house will flood too. It will also drain away real quick as soon as the river water level drops.

    Anyway, flooding on such an epic scale doesn't happen too often, and my bet is on the situation improving in the future. But when it does happen again I want it to be as manageable as possible.

    The up-side of course is the great downtown location; on last Friday's bar crawl I parked at the house and walked; it's about 10 minutes walk to either the riverside pub/restaurants or the Loi Kroh bars. If I lived there I'd just have a bicycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane
    Just to make sure we're talking about the same thing, these are large 60x60 floor tiles that just look like granite right, not actual tiles made of real (but smaller slabs of) granite?
    no, real granite, worth the extra
    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane
    I guess that could take care of the ventilation of some of the lower cabinets too; those often get humid and stuffy near the sink. Or would just just brick in front of it to close it completely?
    I suppose you could put board with holes across to get ventilation if you feel you might benefit, but bricking them up might be difficult (dunno without seeing exactly what is what)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    I suppose you could put board with holes across to get ventilation if you feel you might benefit, but bricking them up might be difficult (dunno without seeing exactly what is what)
    I don't know if I can shed a bit of light on what the Doc is on about ,, I did this for a friend of mine who lived in a flat with a deep window in the kitchen area , without using this area she would have next to no worktop , so I made up a rectangular
    frame from 4 by2 timber , screwed it into the windowsill , even though it was tiles I drilled and plugged it in, then after the base cabinets were in I screwed and clamped the worktop onto it. As for what it looked like from outside , as the top deck of the bus was level with it , I had decorated and affixed a piece of hardboard to the frame and it looked ok !
    I'm proud of my 38" waist , also proud I have never done drugs

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    [quote=WhiteLotusLane;2009440][quote=ralphlsasser;2009403]
    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphlsasser
    My counter was built by my contractor, so it has a concrete base to lay the tiles. It was very easy, reasonable cost, looks great, and very durable. I priced a solid slab of grannit, but it was way too expensive. Grannit tiles is the way to go IMHO
    Just to make sure we're talking about the same thing, these are large 60x60 floor tiles that just look like granite right, not actual tiles made of real (but smaller slabs of) granite?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    without a proper floor and wall plan, it is difficult to see the best layout

    but you could build your cabinets in front of the window anyway

    yes, it would block off the bottom of the window but, if done cleverly, it will look fine (as long as you can still open the louvres)
    That's a VERY interesting idea; didn't think of that.. I guess that could take care of the ventilation of some of the lower cabinets too; those often get humid and stuffy near the sink. Or would just just brick in front of it to close it completely?
    No, it is real granite. Yes, floor tiles, but actual granite. To be sure I was being told the truth, I broke one to see inside and it was granite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane View Post

    Would 50,000 baht be completely impossible? (including built in stove and smoke extractor, but not including fridge)
    Had this built a year ago for about 50,000 including tiling on the rear of the house 2 metres by 6 and extractor fan and granite worktops but not including fridge and oven etc



    The Kitzo cupboards were pricey but good quality.
    Nice! That looks just fine!

    I would say that if anyone is having a kitchen built in in Bangkok its better to go the Thai way with built in ceramic counters. If you get an expensive built in kitchen made of fibreboard and the house gets flooded then you can kiss that laminate fibreboard goodbye. This happened to a couple of places in our village during the recent floods.
    Heh, yes, being flood-resistant is a consideration. To the point that I'm really wondering if I want to use wooden door-fronts below the counter, or go with some other covering. (The plastic fronts don't look nice and aren't even that cheap, but perhaps there's some other kind of covering I could use.)

    The house is 50m from the road along the river in Chiang Mai. That's not flood-prone for things like heavy rainfall, but in those years that half the city floods (like last year) when the river bursts it's banks, the house will flood too. It will also drain away real quick as soon as the river water level drops.

    Anyway, flooding on such an epic scale doesn't happen too often, and my bet is on the situation improving in the future. But when it does happen again I want it to be as manageable as possible.

    The up-side of course is the great downtown location; on last Friday's bar crawl I parked at the house and walked; it's about 10 minutes walk to either the riverside pub/restaurants or the Loi Kroh bars. If I lived there I'd just have a bicycle.
    I wasn't concerned with flooding because of where I live, but if a concern is water, use Teak. I am putting Teak cabinets in my house strickley for the look and durability. If they get wet, no problem and no termites or mold, and they'll last a life time. I used Homewood Teak cabinets because of the quality. I'm quite happy with them and they weren't but a few baht more than the high quality other cabinets I looked at.

  22. #22
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    Update.. I can't believe it's been almost 2 months, but we ran into some delays getting the financing for the whole house sorted.

    So we're getting started again. Went to Global House and got lucky with the Kitzcho people.. they have a really helpful dude there who mocks up a kitchen using Google Sketchup in no time at all. I have never seen someone work so quickly with 3D modelling software.. And of course he's using predefined cabinets and things from the Kitzcho catalog. As Bangyai mentioned earlier in this topic, Kitzcho is a little more expensive, but I liked the quality.

    What you see below costs around 21,000 baht for the all the wooden cabinets and fronts; they're the taller 80cm high cabinets. One of the lower fronts will be a slide-out drawer with a metal frame inside with an area for forks and spoons at the top. (That slide-out thing costs 1,590 baht)

    We also bought a sink (80cm, 2,290 including tap and PVC drain parts) So that means the only thing left to buy is the counter top, tiles and building materials.

    Send me a message if anyone's interested in the original editable Sketchup file.





    Last edited by WhiteLotusLane; 31-03-2012 at 07:35 PM.

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    ^ that looks pretty good.

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    Progress.. Of the variety: 5 steps back, 1 step forward.

    We bit the bullet and decided to get rid of ALL tile floors. Not just the horrible blue ones in the kitchen, but the living room tiles too (equally horrible very light blue-ish.)

    So.. destruction! Managed to upset the neighbor 2 houses down the road. Went to have a chat with him and a compromise was reached to keep it quiet on Sundays..



    We also found a guy who refurbishes furniture.. So the heavy teak table and chairs will get sanded down, repaired and will get a somewhat more modern looking oak-color. (Yes, 'oak' is a color in Thailand. Dark brown. I don't have any issues with the lighter reddish-brown 'teak color', but it's so ubiquitous that I find it a little tired looking. "But the darker color doesn't look like teak!!" Well, I said, anyone who doubts it can lift it up and determine it weights a ton.
    Last edited by WhiteLotusLane; 17-05-2012 at 04:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    but you could build your cabinets in front of the window anyway

    yes, it would block off the bottom of the window but, if done cleverly, it will look fine (as long as you can still open the louvres)

    from the looks at the first photo, the bottom of the windows looks about table top height so DrAndy may have something here.

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