Every subject in interior design will have its unique way of coming up with terminology that may be confusing to you if you have never done this before. Therefore, I have put together a list of the most commonly used kitchen renovation terms – and there are many more unfortunately – which should help you understand what people are talking about when in the showroom and on-site with the trades.



A man-made worktop with different types made by different companies the most famous being Corian but others are available. See Schedule of Finishes.


A frame that sit around a door hiding the gap between the door lining and the wall and sits on top of a plinth or goes to the floor dependant on traditional design.


A covering to the wall generally behind the hob but across other parts of the kitchen work-tops to give a decorative and practical protection.

Belfast Sink

Sometimes called a Butlers Sink made in traditional white ceramic, deep and can be wall-mounted, floor-mounted on metal legs or built into a kitchen unit. A Country ‘look’ also good for utilities and there are now many varieties with double bowls.


A hand designed and made item for the kitchen eg bar from solid oak.


A kitchen company that could be a retail outlet or a manufacturer that makes a signature design. Eg Ebstone Kitchens (retailer in Ealing) selling Nolte a German kitchen brand plus four other different brands giving a range of options.

Magnet is a retailer and a brand in its own right selling a range of different kitchens styles called Dunham, Newberry etc.


BS = British Standard and usually a number follows which you can look up and find out what the British Standard is for many building items and other objects.


Computer Aided Design. All Kitchen companies using various software produce their plans and elevations on computers instead of at the drawing board.


The structure of a kitchen (see table of finishes).


A design that emulates classical styling with a plinth moulding at the top and details like fluting or pillars on very expensive kitchens and hand made.


A waste disposal for kitchens that has a motor and top presser to push down the materials thrown away (not for glass).  Excellent for flats and has a strong liner that takes the pressure resulting in much smaller bags of rubbish. Look up ISE.


Not a traditional look but a modern style of today eg flush doors no handles.

Country Look

An old English look with panelled doors often out of pine suiting the country cottage kitchen using old-style taps, a Belfast Sink, a traditional draining board.

Counter Top

Usually this refers to a sink that is mounted on top of the worktop with the edge of the lip sitting on the surface. Can also mean in retail the tops of the units people serve from.

Critical Path

A project management term for your kitchen installation project.  There will be milestones along the way which must be met and passed. The critical path marks its way against a time-line and the Schedule of Works needed to complete the project.


Decibels – a measurement of the sound that comes from a cooker hood motor.


The company that owns the registered trademark for Corian.


The kitchen units as seen from looking at them only in two dimensions, face on – or the walls of the room – without three-dimensional vision.


Most efficient and best use of space in that situation.


A trade term for making something usually worktops of ground quartz and resin with additional materials and sealed or laminated sections adhered together and finished.


A small piece of finished wood set back slightly on a run of units at the end to fill the gap. Used if the wall is not 100% square or the units to not totally fill the space using their standard sizes.  Handmade and fitted on site usually.

Foil Wrapped

Foil wrapped refers to a fine layer of very strong plastic applied usually to a door finish of a budget kitchen. See Schedule of Finishes.

Fused Spur

An electrical socket that is hard-wired in for an appliance with or without a light and with differing amperage depending on the appliance eg cooker needs  50amps.

Heat Detectors 

Building Regulations dictate that all kitchens install a hard-wired heat detector not just a fire alarm as with other parts of the house, especially new kitchens.

Hot plate

Usually refers to an electrical hot plate for cooking on or can be a griddle.


High Pressure Laminate.


In kitchens, it means the appliance is concealed within the carcass with a door applied to the front of the applicance that is the same as the other kitchen doors.


A kitchen island is made up of kitchen carcass units set in the middle of the kitchen with units on the floor and walls surrounding. Often has the hob with an extractor over or the sink set within the work-top that sits on top of the carcass and sometimes has a bar of a similar height or slightly lower or higher attached.


Usually a hand made wooden piece made by a Master Carpenter but also a general term for general carpentry work required to make a kitchen.


The part under the floor standing unit that steps back allowing a foot space, the door to open and cleaning the floor.  Anything from 50 mm – 150mms high dependant on the design and is a height that could be cut down if a lower finished top height is required.


See Schedule of Finishes.


The original goods storage area – generally for dry goods with the Pantry for food to be kept cold on a marble or stone slab.  A Larder Fridge does not have any form of a freezing compartment.


Lipping is the detail to the edge of a door or other.  Solid wood lipping is a strip of hardwood applied to another type of board to give a tough edge.

Mains Water

Supply of cold water for drinking directly from your water supplier and essential for the main drinking water tap. Other taps include the new chilled water taps in American Fridges, boiling water taps and other areas where people may drink water directly from a tap in a traditional house, where some water is still stored in tanks for other reasons eg. Boilers etc.


Medium Density Fibreboard. See Schedule of Finishes.


A project management term used in programming works that have certain points that are important to meet either to the deadline or a budget etc… it also marks a time when changing your mind after this milestone will be a problem in some form.


A piece of wood designed to match the style of the kitchen that covers a gap or adds a decorative detail to an edge. OGEE and Torus mouldings are often used to march in with the top of skirtings and the profile of architraves around a door frame.


Usually an ‘end panel’ is a finished piece matching the doors but fitted to the end of a run but panels can be applied in many of the work-top finishes to surround an island or units section.


An extension to a worktop with and without units under but often with a free section to allow you to sit at it like a bar.  Can be 60,90 100cms wide and more with edges profiled as the worktop allows.


This is a profile either flat with a square or rounded edge or a traditional profile that sits immediately under wall hung units and often at the top as well suited to classical and traditional looking kitchens.  Hides cables and items installed behind them eg lights etc.


See Schedule of Finishes.


A non-porous worktop is most desirable. If it is porous it allows damp to penetrate.


A moulding type manufactured to a style for an edge detail eg a fully rounded edge or a pencil edge which has the image of the side of a pencil. Can also apply to man- made or fabricated items like an integrated sink in acrylic.

Retro fitted

Fitted at a later date after the main build or fit-out.  Sometimes not very successful to do, as it shows up it has been fitted at a later date and sometimes it is impossible.


Refers to an American religious cult believing simple, honest non-lavish hand-made country style but is very similar to ours with panelled doors and T & G either painted in soft muted tones of green, blue, grey or left a protected wood finish in oak or similar. Similar ideals to our Arts and Crafts movement in material use.


An uninterrupted look – without lines eg tile grout lines, a worktop without seams showing where integrated bowls are used. A door without an obvious handle.  A current word for today’s contemporary styling.

T & G

Tongued and Grooved – panels of wood approx. 120mms wide with a lip one side that fits into a groove of the next piece so each panel has a tongue side and a groove side.


A traditional kitchen will follow a country or classical style of English imagery.


Traffic Flow

A term used by designers to consider how people use space and the areas that will become congested. The idea is always to design out this problem.  Used in commercial design and domestic. Like the roads- you always want to achieve clear, safe passages that are ergonomically friendly and make the kitchen easy to work in.


A pan stand of metal or similar to stop pans burning on work-tops.  Should always be used.

Under Counter

Typically a sink that is mounted underneath the work-top and sealed to stop water seepage and damp penetrating the worktop and below.


Made to sit out of the same material as the worktop and sit right at the back up against the wall from 500mm to 120 mms dependant on styling to protect the wall. A backsplash can sit on top of an upstand or it can be left on its own. Best used in acrylic materials giving a seamless and a very hygienic solution.


A slice of hard word applied to a base wood eg plywood and finished to look like solid wood, maybe stained and there are different types of textures available.


A planning of space principle that is the starter for the design identifying the different aspects of what happens in a kitchen. Eg preparation area, cooking area and a storage area.