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The Ultimate Kitchen Glossary

Posted by: Admin Category: Kitchenroom

Have you ever started looking through a kitchen brochure or website only to feel as though they are speaking a completely different language? Gone are the days when a kitchen was simply made up on units, worktops and appliances. Now there are so many different components and options to choose from it can seem quite daunting, but fear not, we are here to help!

When you arrange your free home design visit we will be sure to explain all the different options and permutations to you, but if you want to get ahead of the game, keep on reading this blog where we will explain some of the key bits of terminology you may come across.

If there is anything we haven’t covered that has you scratching your head just let us know and we will do our best to help answer your questions.

Shaker Style

Shaker style is a commonly used kitchen term which refers to doors and drawers that feature a flat centre panel and square edges, with minimal detail. It has been around for many years and still remains a popular choice today for those seeking a classic and traditional kitchen style.

Prices for shaker style kitchens vary depending on the materials used, but we stock ranges at price points to suit most budgets.

Take a look at our selection of Shaker Style kitchens.

If you are considering a shaker style kitchen you will also come across the terms in-frame and lay-on. Keep reading to find out what these mean and how they differ.


In-frame kitchens are highly sought-after and desirable, but just what are they? An in-frame kitchen is where the door of the cabinet is inset within a frame, and the frame is fixed to the front of the kitchen cabinet. These are very popular at the moment from an aesthetic point of view, but it is worth noting that the design also adds structural support to the cabinet. In-frame kitchens have a very classic look and are usually made of solid wood. They are often pricier than lay on doors, but are timeless, elegant and highly durable. One downside of the in-frame style is that the cabinets do however offer less opening clearance, meaning there is slightly less space for getting bulky pots and pans into cupboards. In larger kitchens this is usually not a concern but may be worth bearing in mind if your kitchen is more compact.

Take a look at our selection of in-frame kitchens.

Lay on doors

Lay on doors are the most commonly used type of cabinet door and are the main type of kitchen we stock. Lay on simply means that the cabinet door in laid on the front of the cupboard carcass. The hinges on this kitchen door style are concealed, giving the opportunity for soft-close hinges to be used, which is a feature most home-improvers desire.

Lay on doors are the most popular choice with Kitchenroom customers as there are a wide variety to choose from in a great range of colours and materials, available at several different price points. Lay on doors also offer a slightly more contemporary finish than in-frame, especially when selecting a  sleek, modern style where units appear to seamlessly fit together. This gives a very striking appearance. These doors are hung using the excellent Blum hinges, which give a wonderful soft-close effect to doors and provide a fantastic level of stability.

Take a look at our selection of lay on doors.

Contemporary Kitchens

If a shaker style kitchen is not your thing, then you will be considering one of our range of contemporary kitchens. As the name suggests this style of kitchen has a very modern look, with clean lines and simplicity being the name of the game. Within the realm of contemporary kitchens there are several sub-styles from which to choose.


Handleless kitchens are an incredibly popular design choice, but some of the terminology used to describe the different types of handleless cabinets can be confusing.

A ‘true handleless’ kitchen involves the installation of a recessed rail into the cabinets. The cabinets are cut to accept the rail, which creates a recess allowing for a hand to fit in to open the kitchen. These kitchens are considered a premium product due to the amount of work that’s required to allow for the rail system to be fitted and can therefore be more expensive than other types of handleless kitchens. They do however provide a very sleek, modern, high quality finish.

J Pull

J Pull is a term used to describe another type of handleless kitchen. J Pull means a handle is cut into the cabinet door, allowing doors and drawers to be opened. This style does not require any routering to units or the fitting of rail units, which makes it an excellent cost-effective alternative to the true handleless design, which offers a very similar look.

Take a look at our selection of handleless and J Pull kitchens.


The term Slab is used to describe the flat-door, modern looking kitchens that we are so familiar with. This sleek and sophisticated design makes a contemporary statement and usually comes in either high gloss or matt colour options. Slab kitchens can usually be fitted either with or without handles, which makes this a very versatile kitchen style.

One of the things we love most about slab kitchen styles, other than the super-sleek look, is just how easy they are to keep clean, with no nooks or crannies for any dirt to cling to. They are an incredibly stylish and highly practical option.

Take a look at our selection of Slab kitchens.

The details

When we start narrowing down the overall style of kitchen you’d like to go for you may hear us refer to some of these small differences and details between the different kitchen ranges. Here is a quick breakdown of what they all mean.


Beaded is a term used to describe a piece of additional raised detail on some Shaker Style kitchens. A traditional shaker style door features a flat middle panel with square edges, but some styles include an additional thin rounded off piece of wood framing the square shaker edges. This is known as beading. It gives a slightly softer look to a shaker door and provides an additional point of interest on your cabinet.


When looking at shaker style kitchens, you will sometimes hear us talk about some of them being chamfered. This is a style choice which sees the inside edges of the shaker frame slightly bevelled or sloped.

Much like beading, having a chamfered edge adds an additional design feature to the traditional shaker door, giving it a slightly softer look. It is a popular choice for those who don’t want as traditional a look as beading gives, but prefer the slightly softer lines than a traditional shaker offers.

Matt and Gloss Finishes

We have a wide selection of kitchens available in both matt and gloss finishes – with gloss finishes having a sheen and shine, and matt finishes being a flatter, paint type look. What’s important to state here is that none of our doors are vinyl wrapped, they are all painted MDF or solid wood which offers far greater durability.

The majority of our kitchens come in a series of stock colours and finishes, with a paint to order service for any colour you’d like available for a small additional cost.

Inside the cupboards

A kitchen isn’t just what you can see on the outside these days, with the inner storage options being just as exciting as the overall look to many customers. There are many different options when it comes to what you can install inside your cupboards, but here are the most common.


A LeMans system is a great way to make use of all the space in a corner cupboard. It consists of two trays which pull out fully from within your corner cupboard to make anything you choose to store within it very easily accessible. They are a fantastic way to make use of all this otherwise wasted space, while maintaining easy access.


When we talk about wire-work we are usually referring to any kind of in-cupboard storage. This can include larder set-ups, spice racks, pull out trays etc. There is a vast array of different options for in-cupboard storage and organisation, which we will gladly talk you through at your home design visit.

First and Second Fix

One thing which is often confusing when speaking about having a new kitchen fitted is all the talk of first and second fix. This can particularly be the case if this is the first kitchen project you have embarked on before. If we are managing the fitting of your kitchen you won’t need to worry about this as we will arrange it all for you, but if you’re arranging your own fitting you will need to be aware of what it means and what’s required.

First fix refers to any plumbing, electrical or building works which needs to take place before plastering is done. From a plumbing perspective this would include moving the waste and pipes if things like sinks are being repositioned, adding radiators if applicable etc. With the electrics it would include repositioning lights, planning the placement of new sockets etc. These types of works are messy so it is important to have them planned in before anything new is in position. Second fix takes place after the plastering has been done and includes things like connecting appliances and lighting. The second fix is a much less messy operation than first fix and usually means your project is nearing completion.

If there is every anything you are unsure of when we’re planning your new kitchen together please do not be afraid to ask. We are always happy to explain and help wherever we can, and as far as we’re concerned, there’s certainly no such thing as a stupid question!

If you are looking for a new fitted kitchen in Oxford or the surround areas, including (but not restricted to) Abingdon, Didcot, Wantage, Thame, Radley, Wallingford etc, please do get in touch with us today to arrange a free home visit and new kitchen design.

Click here to see our range of fitted kitchens.

With Kitchenroom you can always be assured of:

  • First class personal service from start to finish
  • 18 mm Rigid (assembled) wall and base units with doors already fitted
  • 10 cabinet colour options (so not just white / ivory or oak) to match the colour of the kitchen
  • 2 mm ABS edged cabinets
  • Soft close Blum doors & drawers that come with a lifetime guarantee
  • 25 year guarantee on our units / 10 years on Solid wood kitchens / 7 years on MDF kitchens
  • A typical lead time of 3-4 weeks
  • We can supply only or supply and fit your new kitchen where we will take care of the whole project from start to finish

Want to know more?

Why not take a look at some of our recently completed kitchen installations?

Have a look at what our customers have to say about working with us.

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