Common Kitchen Design Terminology Explained

Kitchen Design Terminology Explained

Looking for a new kitchen can be hard work, and if you’ve spent any length of time looking these up online you are probably baffled by all the kitchen design terminology us designers use. So, in this article we are going to be clearing up the meaning of some of the most common phrases that kitchen designers use.

Dual Fuel

This term is usually used when referring to range cookers. A dual fuel cooker consists of an electric oven and a gas hob – meaning there are two types of fuel used – Electric and Gas, hence the term “duel fuel”.

Steam Oven

Steam Ovens basically use steam to cook the food. This is done by filling the ovens “reservoir” with water, the heat from the oven then turns the water into steam that cooks the food. Food cooked in a steam oven will have more moisture and will contain more vitamins and minerals than food cooked by boiling.


Handleless doors

As the name suggests, this usually refers to doors without handles. There are two main ways you can have doors without handles. The first is “push catches”, these allow the door to be opened and closed by simply pushing the door. The second is “integrated handles”, these are handles that are actually cut out of the door itself. These can also be referred to as “J profile” handles because of their appearance.


Plinths are long pieces of panelling placed at the bottom of units to cover up the adjustable legs.

Glazed doors/units

Glazed units

Glazed doors will have one or more glass panels that allows you to see into the cabinet. This is commonly used for the cabinets you store your glass, china or ornaments in for display purposes. Glazed doors are common in Traditional Kitchens.

Soft Close

Soft close hinges basically slow down the closing process of the cabinet door, meaning even the most heavy-handed people can close the door softly (and quietly!).


A cornice is a “trim” placed at the top of your wall units & tall units for decorative purposes. It is most common in traditional kitchens and shaker kitchens.


A Pelmet is a “trim” placed at the bottom of your wall units, similar to a cornice this is also used for decorative purposes. These are also a great way to hide any downlight fixings attached to the bottom of wall units.

Integrated Appliance

Integrated Appliance

Integrated appliances have been constructed especially by the manufacturer to have a unit door attached to the front of it. This makes the whole kitchen look neat and tidy and is also a great way to save space. Some of the most common integrated appliances include: washing machines, dishwashers, fridge freezers and more.


A splashback is a piece of material placed behind the hob to protect the wall, this will usually be made of stainless steel, glass or the material used for the countertops. Usually the splashback will stretch from the bottom of the extractor fan to the top of the worktop.

Shaker Doors

A shaker door is composed of five pieces of wood. Four for the square frame, and one for the flat center panel. The enduring design of a shaker door is clean and easy on the eye.

Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is a freestanding piece of kitchen furniture usually situated in the middle of the room. With kitchen islands, the possibilities are endless – they are completely customisable based on your needs and available space – most commonly though, kitchen islands will feature some of the following:

  • Hobs
  • Sink
  • Seating areas
  • Storage areas
  • Built-in appliances and more.

They are also a great way to give you more countertop space.


Put simply, a peninsula is a connected kitchen island. Having a peninsula will create a U-shaped kitchen, and is a great way to divide the room from the dining/living room.


CAD (Computer Aided Design) is the technical software we use to create plans and designs for our customers kitchens.

Concealed Hinge

A concealed hinge is a hinge attaching the door to the cabinet on the inside, so that it is not visible from the front of the cabinet.

Need something else explained?

We hope we’ve covered the most popular kitchen design terms here but this is a growing list we plan on building upon. So, if you’ve got anything you want explained by one of our kitchen designers, ask away on twitter (@BentonsKitchens) and we’ll get back to you with a description.