Measuring kitchen worktops in metres or feet and inches

26th March 2009

All our laminate worktops are available in set sizes that are measured in metres and millimeters. e.g. 4100mm length is a standard length for most Axiom, Duropal, Prima and Omega finishes.

If you are trying to calculate how many and which size worktops or breakfast bars you may require for your installation, always do this in metres and millimeters. It is probably best to try to avoid mixing metres with centimetres because this can introduce confusion.

You will always need to order slightly more worktop than you need as there will always be a certain amount of wastage when the worktops are cut to length and as the mason’s mitre joints are made.

Rough metric to imperial length measurement conversion guide:-

40mm is just over 1 and ¾ inches
100mm is just under 4 inches
305mm is almost exactly 1 foot
600mm is just over 23 ½ inches
1 metre is just over 3 feet 3 inches
4.1 metres (4.1m) (4100mm) (410cm) (410 centimetres) is just over 13 feet 5 inches
3 metres (3m) (3.0m) (3000mm) (300cm) (300centimetres) is just under 10 feet

Rough imperial to metric length measurement conversion guide:-

1 inch is around 25.4mm (2.54cm) (2.54 centimetres) (0.254 metres)
1 foot is around 305mm (30.5cm) (30.5 centimetres) (0.305 metres)
2 feet is around 610mm (61cm) (61 centimetres) (0.610 metres)
3 feet is around 915mm (91.5cm) (91.5 centimetres) (0.915 metres)
10 feet is around 3048mm (304.8cm) (304.8 centimetres) (3.048 metres)
13 feet is around 3962mm (396.2cm) (396.2 centimetres) (3.962 metres)

How to search the John Porter Worktops Website

13th March 2009

How to search the John Porter Worktops Website

Please use our search box near the top right hand corner of our website.

You can search for any word or phrase and you can be vague or specific i.e. search for black or search for  black laminate worktop.

If you know the code of the product e.g. R6216TC, this will bring up all the items in this finish and you will quickly find out that worktops, breakfast bars, upstands and splashbacks are available in this colour and finish.

You can search for particular colours e.g. blue ; this will produce a list of all our worktops with the word “blue” in the title or description. Clicking on an item from the list of products will tell you what material it is made of, sizes available and prices and delivery charges.

Try searching for the following words and see what a variety of results they produce!
Black      Shiny     Green      Pink      Red      Sparkly      White    Splashback      Mixing the search terms can produce different results, sparkly white, shiny red.

You might prefer to search for the product e.g. R6216TC this obviously produces all the items available in this colour and finish.  Similarly, the word upstand produces all the upstands available, regardless of what material they are made from.

All upstands will have corresponding worktops. However, not all worktops have corresponding upstands, so search for “upstands” if you definitely need upstands with your worktops!

Difference between Omega and Odyssey worktops

26th February 2009

Difference between Omega and Odyssey worktops

Omega worktops are 4.1m long, Odyssey worktops are 3.0m long.

This, (now), is the only difference. A few years ago, Odyssey and Omega worktops had DIFFERENT edge profiles; one was rounded and one was fairly square, so when kitchen fitters bought one of each and joined them together in an “L” shape, the profiles didn’t match. This ridiculous situation has now been resolved; both Omega and Odyssey worktops and breakfast bars now have exactly the same edge profile.

Omega and Odyssey worktops and breakfast bars are manufactured by Bushboard and are now fully compatible with each other. If you click on a particular Omega worktop item on our website for example Omega Lima Surf L032 worktop, you will see on the right hand side of that page there are links to the other sizes of worktop which are all compatible.

Omega Lima L032 Surf Finish Kitchen Worktop

Plain Black Gloss Laminate Worktops with no pattern

3rd February 2009

Plain Black Gloss Laminate Worktops with no pattern

Are you looking for plain black gloss worktops with no colour or pattern? You will probably find it really hard to locate any of these worktops. John Porter Worktops are not aware of anyone who manufactures them.

Gloss (shiny, highly reflective) laminate worktops tend to show scratches more readily than textured laminate finishes such as the Axiom crystal finish or the Duropal TC finish. The textured finishes will still scratch, but the depth of most scratches will be significantly less deep than the surface texture so they will not show up nearly so much. Any scratches on a patterned or granite effect gloss laminate worktop will show up a little more but are partly masked by the patterning, so the apparent effect of any shallow scratch will be reduced. However, even a shallow scratch on a plain, un-patterned gloss laminate worktop will show up significantly because it is not diluted or minimised by the worktop pattern, because there isn’t one.

That is why there are no Axiom, Duropal, Prima or Omega plain coloured, gloss, un-patterned worktops. An alternative, i.e. a black worktop with very little pattern in it might be Omega Noir N005.

Axiom Everest Gloss PP5568AB61 worktops and upstand       Omega Strass Noir S033 Gloss worktop

What does post-formed worktop mean?

13th January 2009

When a laminate kitchen worktop is manufactured, a curved edge is formed on the long front edge of the chipboard or MDF (medium density fibreboard) baseboard prior to the laminate being attached. As the laminate sheet is added AFTER the edge is shaped, it is described as POST formed. The laminate sheet, worktop and worktop edge are then heated, glue is added and the worktop is automatically passed through a machine inside which the laminate is attached and wrapped around the curved front edge. The laminate will usually partially wrap underneath the chipboard baseboard, by a matter of a few millimetres or a centimetre, past the point at which the curve in the chipboard ends.

A laminate worktop is post-formed on one long edge so is described as single post formed (1PF). A laminate breakfast bar is post-formed on the two long edges so is described as double post formed (2PF). The radiused curve of a textured finish laminate worktop can be tighter than that of a gloss finished laminate because gloss laminate doesn’t bend as well as textured laminate.

Axiom Eclipse edge profile with gloss laminate                 Axiom Linea edge profile with textured finish laminate

Fitting and caring for your wooden worktops

2nd January 2009

When fitting wooden worktops, it is important to carry out certain operations to ensure a long-lasting, trouble-free installation.

Cut worktops to size and shape. Join worktops using butt joint. Do not use masons mitre joint for wooden worktops.

Dry fit. Take apart. Lightly sand. Oil. Wait until dry.

Lightly sand. Oil Wait until dry. Lightly sand. Oil. Wait until dry.

Three times is really the minimum amount of oiling; we thoroughly recommend that you oil them even more times before you fit them if you have time.

Oiling wood will lift the grain slightly so it is vital to sand down between coats.

It is not recommended that you sand using wire wool as small wire wool particles break off during the sanding process. They are made of steel and will rust and can cause unsightly stains, especially with Oak worktops. This is because Oak contains tannic acid which causes steel to stain the oak black.

Oil can be Junckers oil, Rustic Oil, Danish Oil etc which are all readily available in most high streets throughout the UK.

Oil every exposed surface; top, front, back, underside, ends, inside of tap holes, worktops jointing bolt recesses. End grain really slurps up oil at a phenomenal rate so apply liberally.

When fitting wooden worktops fit the front edge of the worktop by screwing up through the front rail of the base unit using washers and an over-sized screw hole to allow for movement. Allow gap around edges of wooden worktops to allow for expansion and contraction.

Fit the back of the worktop from underneath using screws, large washers and slotted
washers to allow for expansion and contraction of the wooden worktops. The screws go through steel slotted angle brackets which are fitted to the sides of the kitchen units at the back.

After fitting, oil regularly so that when water is dripped onto the worktop it doesn't lay as a flat pool on the worktop surface. If it does lay flat, you should have re-oiled it a couple of months ago!

Make your house easier to sell in the UK housing market

15th December 2008

From a home improvements point of view, re-vamping your kitchen is probably one of the best ways of making your house more saleable if you are putting your home on the market. In the current housing market, potential buyers can be easily put off by anything, including worn out kitchen worktops. When considering a replacement, don't make the mistake of using a cut-price, low quality worktop as this can have the opposite effect and reduce the appeal of your kitchen.

Laminate worktops are the least expensive way of upgrading a kitchen and are easy to fit for any carpenter or kitchen fitter.

If you are looking for a more up-market worktop then the stunning quality of the Maia product sets it apart from the competition and is relatively easy to fit by a competent DIY enthusiast. If you prefer not to fit the Maia worktops yourself, we can recommend an experienced fitter.

Changing your worktops won’t necessarily increase the value of your house, but it can be one less thing for a potential buyer to worry about when making the decision whether or not to buy.

MFI Maia Zucchero kitchen worktops on sale here NOW!

4th December 2008

The furniture chain MFI has gone into administration, it was confirmed on the 26th November 2008, putting around 1000 jobs in jeopardy. They used to sell amongst many other things, Maia worktops in Vulcano, Vanilla, Cristallo and, exclusively from MFI, Maia Zucchero.

If you currently have a Maia Zucchero worktop installation in your own kitchen, you might be thinking, how can I add to my kitchen when MFI has stopped supplying? The answer? John Porter Worktops can now offer these Maia Zucchero solid surfaced worktops for home delivery along with the other seven colours including Ardesia, Lava, Cream and Cappuccino.

Maia are top quality solid surface worktops, ideal for people with a hectic lifestyle. Unusually, they can be repaired if they become damaged, unlike many other worktops on the market today. Please note that there are rather limited stocks of the Maia Zucchero so don't waste time, contact us now! Maia Zucchero breakfast bars and other accessories are also available. Stock of the other seven colours is no problem.

John Porter Worktops have been selling Maia worktops since June 2006.

Maia Cappuccino kitchen worktop                                   Maia Vulcano 1.5 bowl sink module

Polished Chrome Breakfast Bar Legs 710mm, 870mm, 970mm, 1000mm, 1100mm, 1200mm and 1300mm

25th November 2008

Polished Chrome Breakfast Bar Legs

710mm high legs are useful for creating a desk with typical working height of 740mm to 750mm using a 40mm thick breakfast bar as the table/work surface.

870mm breakfast bar legs are frequently used to support a breakfast bar which is fitted at the traditional worktop height which is typically between 910mm to 915mm above floor level (870mm plus 40mm worktop thickness). Breakfast bars are often fitted so they are perpendicular to and joined to the adjacent worktop. They are usually fitted onto standard base units which provide a certain amount of support. As the breakfast bars usually overhang the base units in this situation, they require a bit of additional support, and this is where breakfast bar legs come into their own.

Each leg is supplied with a metal mounting plate which attaches to the screws into the underside of the chipboard worktop base using wood screws. Make sure you select the correct length screw; a 40mm worktop doesn’t look pretty if you use a 50mm screw to secure the plate!

Laminate breakfast bars can also be fitted higher than the usual worktop height. Instead of using chairs, tall stools can be used.  Some architects design recommend using 970mm or 1000mm legs, some recommend legs as high as 1200mm. Obviously this depends upon the height of the kitchen stools you are using.

With all of our breakfast bar legs, the adjustable foot can be removed, the metal leg can be cut down to exact size required, then the foot can be replaced.

Getting access behind Omega, Odyssey or Prima laminate kitchen splashbacks

18th November 2008

Getting access behind Omega, Odyssey or Prima laminate kitchen splashbacks

In the short term, the cheapest method of fixing kitchen splashbacks to walls is to glue them using adhesive such as Gripfill, No-Nails or similar glue. In the long term, this can create a problem if

A/ you need to get access to electrics or pipework hidden beneath splashbacks after they have been fitted or

B/ you simply need to alter the existing splashback installation.

Why? Because you have to break the splashbacks apart to remove them; they just do not come off the wall in one piece. If you have not yet fitted your splashbacks the solution is to secure them in place using black or silver splashback finishing trims. These are available as jointing trims, edge trims, external corner trims or universal trims. Sections of wall fixing channels are fixed around the perimeter of the splashback. The splashbacks are cut to size and rest in wall fixing channels. Then the appropriate trims are cut and neatly clipped into place, making it very easy to remove at a later date for maintenance or alterations.

Click on this link then download our free of charge splashback fitting guide

PLEASE NOTE   With each length of trim you will require a corresponding length of wall fixing channel. Trim simply clips into wall fixing channel.

Odyssey splashback showing satin anodised trim              Prima splashback with external corner trims

Protecting the underside of your worktop from heat and moisture

7th November 2008

Heat reflective sheet. Heat reflective tape.

The underside of a worktop which is unprotected from heat and moisture will result in expansion and damage to the underneath and ultimately the worktop will fail.

JP heat reflective self adhesive aluminium sheet will protect the underside of worktops from radiant heat from built under cookers and from moisture where worktops are fitted over dishwashers or washer-dryers. The aluminium sheet reflects heat away from the worktop underside. Also, if moisture from dishwasher condenses onto the underside of a bare worktop, this will eventually break down the chipboard beneath due to absorption; the chipboard will expand and warp and the worktop is ruined. Using the sheet ensures that any moisture condenses onto, (and eventually safely evaporates from), the aluminium sheet surface so your worktop is protected. This product should always be fitted before installation of cooker, dishwasher or washer-drier.

JP Heat-reflective aluminium sheet.

This product is available with a worktop or breakfast bar purchase and is available in a 1 metre x 600mm sheet.

Instructions for use:-

1 Ensure worktop underside is clean, dry and free of dust and grease
2 Peel off backing paper and adhere to the underside of the worktop taking care to cover all exposed areas.
3 Excess sheet may be cut off and overlapped by 150mm to extend area of coverage.

JP Heat-reflective aluminium tape will protect the worktop hob cutouts from radiant heat. This product is available with a worktop or breakfast bar purchase and is available in a 3metre length.

Instructions for use

1 Ensure worktop hob cutout is clean and free of dust and grease
2 Peel off backing paper and adhere to the edge of the worktop hob cutout before installing hob
3 Fold any excess tape under worktop

Laminate worktop edging strips

28th October 2008

Don’t forget to order Duropal edging strip with your Duropal worktops or breakfast bar purchase.
Our Prima, Omega, Odyssey and Axiom worktops and breakfast bars are supplied with a half length of edging strip included with each worktop or breakfast bar. Duropal, however, is supplied differently. Duropal worktops and breakfast bars are sold without these edging strips. They are available separately as a 4.1m roll of matching laminate strip.

If you intend to cut your Duropal worktops or breakfast bars to length, this will expose the chipboard core and you will need to purchase Duropal laminate edging strip to glue on to protect the edge of the worktop from moisture ingress.

Glue them in place with impact adhesive such as Evostik Time Bond, then trim to the worktop or breakfast bar profile using block plane, file and final finishing (carefully) with 120 grit aluminium oxide paper wrapped around a sanding block.

The latest (and simplest) method of fitting edging strips is by using JP Worktop Tape which is a roll of double-sided self adhesive tape which simply sticks to the chipboard end then the laminate edging is pushed onto it. This avoids having to wait for contact adhesive to set and therefore saves time and fitting costs.

Duropal 4.1m long roll of laminate edging strip                Double sided worktop adhesive tape

What is the difference between a laminate WORKTOP and laminate BREAKFAST BAR?

22nd October 2008

What is the difference between a laminate worktop and a laminate breakfast bar?

On a laminate worktop, the laminate will wrap around, and slightly underneath, the long, front edge of the chipboard base. The back of the worktop will be flat and square and will usually be factory sealed against moisture by covering the bare chipboard with a length of waterproof tape.

Breakfast bars have the laminate wrapped around BOTH long edges for the chipboard base. This means that if the end of the breakfast bar END is fixed to a wall, both long edges can be used comfortably as a breakfast bar.

The term breakfast bar can also be used in another context; some people prefer to have breakfast whilst sitting on stools at a long, narrow worktop which has been reduced (cut) down in depth from 600mm to, say, 350mm deep. The flat, back edge of this is fixed to the wall (supported by a timber batten) and the postformed laminate front edge is retained for comfort.

Frequently, chrome polished breakfast bar legs (available in various heights) are used to support the front edge of these breakfast bars.

Kitchen splashbacks or kitchen upstands?

14th October 2008

A few weeks ago one of our customers ordered some laminate worktops from us. Our customer telephoned back the following day to add a couple of laminate splashbacks to the order. They were surprised to receive two huge splashbacks when they was expecting to receive two small upstands about 100mm high. Laminate upstands are usually 3 metres long by 100mm high by around 18mm to 20mm thick. They sit on the back of the worktop and are fitted to the wall, usually with Gripfill or No-Nails or similar products. The joint between the upstand and worktop or between the splashback and worktop is sealed using clear silicon sealant which is all that is necessary to waterproof the joint against moisture and worktop spillages. They are designed to cover any gap between worktop and walls which may occur when walls are very uneven.

Laminate splashbacks, on the other hand, are typically 3metres x 600mm  or 1200mm x 1500mm or occasionally 4m x 650mm. Splashbacks are often used in place of tiles; they are cheaper, quicker and easier to fit than ceramic tiles.


MFI worktops reduced in size

6th October 2008

MFI, Schreiber, Hygena and Howdens Joinery kitchen base units used to be 575mm deep (front to back measurement).  Their worktops were consequently manufactured to 616mm deep to provide an overhang of 40mm to 41mm past the base unit carcase.  This meant that as the drawer fronts and doors were around 20mm thick, the resultant overhang past the doors was around 20mm.

When some of our customers ordered 600mm deep worktops for their “standard depth” kitchen base units, this meant that the worktops, when fitted, did not provide the correct 20mm overhang. This is not recommended for two reasons; 1/ a 20mm overhang is aesthetically pleasing (a small overhang can look awful) 2/ a 20mm overhang means that if liquid is spilt onto the worktops, the liquid spills straight onto the floor. This is far easier to clear up than with the incorrect, small overhang, where the liquid will quickly fill up your kitchen drawers and splash into your cupboards resulting in a lot of time spent cleaning.

Howdens Joinery are now completely independent from MFI and now produce their kitchen base units to be 560mm deep which means that our 600mm deep worktops fit them perfectly.

MFI have also recently reduced the depth of their kitchen carcases to 560mm so they now take a 600mm worktop. Similarly, Ikea kitchen base units were, until recently, 570mm deep and their worktops 606mm deep. Recently there must have been a change in Ikea unit depth because their online catalogue now describes the base units as 600mm (60cm) deep including doors. This means that the worktop depth required is now 620mm to provide a 20mm overhang. To achieve the correct overhang you would need to buy a 665mm or 670mm deep breakfast bar from us, then cut it down on site to the required 620mm. Problem solved!