Kitchen Floors

westlake-flooring

A century ago kitchens were built with wooden floor or stone, because that was the material available at the time. The introduction of ceramic tiles and vinyl flooring changed that situation as floors could now be made waterproof. Recent design trends have seen the reintroduction of wood, along with a few other materials, that are suitable for kitchens. Modern treatments have made these materials waterproof. Giving kitchen floors that are spill resistant and lower maintenance than earlier designs.

 

Laminate wood

This is an affordable and durable option. Not only does the multilayer wood offer additional strength in its construction, but it can be padded underneath to provide a comfortable surface for feet. Both of these factors are important if the kitchen is frequently used.

With a water-proof finish the laminate wood is easy to clean under any normal circumstances.

 

Vinyl Tiles

A classic kitchen solution because it is affordable and offers the best of all options. It is easy to clean, highly water resistant, fairly long lasting, and easy to replace. It is also available in many colours and designs, including imitation wood or stone. Best of all, it is quite soft underfoot.

 

Kitchen flooring was once a matter of practicality; the floor surface had be water-proof and non-slippery to prevent accidents. Now there is a much greater choice of flooring materials, so floors can be chosen for aesthetic appeal, with all the practical features included.

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Essential Kitchen Items

Unless you are still in collage and make do with one kitchen utensil for all you needs you might want to invest in some solid and reliable kitchenware. It will last for years.

 

Measuring Spoons/cups

Super cheap, and constantly used. A matching set is quite appealing.

 

Cutting board.

Plastic boards have been popular for a generation, and some people have several plastic boards labelled to keep vegetables, fish, poultry and meat separate. But Wooden Boards are extremely usable, and bacteria are not really an issue. In a pinch a cutting board can be put over a draw for some extra kitchen space.

 

Chef’s Knife

A good knife is used at nearly every meal. Worth investing in a good knife that lasts for years.

 

The Great Frying pan/Skillet

Possible the great workhouse of the Kitchen. It is rare for us to need two at once, so one medium large pan does almost everything; Buy a small one as well only if required. As a frypan is used so frequently it is worth investing some money in. Buy some stoneware cookware, a get a matching pot or two.

 

Pots

A good pot with a lid is used with everything from boiled rice to casseroles. Some meals need more than one, so buy two, preferably that match the Skillet.

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Some Science in Cooking

Cookware imparts energy (as heat) to the food being cooked. Whether the heat is from gas or electrical elements it must be distributed evenly upon the food. With more complex cooking methods it may also be important to be able to control changes in the heat in a precise manner.

Thermal Conductivity
The jets of a gas cooker will have gaps between them, as will the elements of an electric coil. For good quality cookware this should not be an issue. The ability for the metal in cookware to absorb and transmit energy is the thermal conductivity. Cookware with high conductivity will heat quickly and evenly; a heat applied at centre of a pan will also heat the rim of the pan. High conductivity is desirable for just about all cooking applications.

Heat Capacity
Heat capacity of metal is the ability to store energy. When a pot or pan has high heat capacity it will take longer to heat up and cool down than a pan with low heat capacity. This heat capacity depends on both the metal in a cooking implement and its thickness. It is better for a cooking pot or pan to heat and cook quickly.

Thermal Diffusivity
The heat capacity and thermal conductivity are combined to give a good indication of the properties of cookware. The higher the thermal diffusivity the better the pot or pan. Unfortunalty metals with excellent thermal diffusivity, such as aluminium or copper, tend to react badly with many foods. Stainless steel, which does not affect food, has quite poor thermal diffusivity.

Stonewell & Flavorstone Cookware Pan
Combining metals and cooking surfaces can produce the best properties in cookware. Flavorstone uses aluminium and stainless steel construction with a non-stick sapphire coating. This combines the desirable thermal characteristics of aluminium with the neutral cooking surface of sapphire stone. It is the best of both worlds.

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