Our German Kitchens
All our kitchen furniture is manufactured in Germany by one of Europe’s biggest, oldest and most prestigious luxury kitchen furniture companies.
Black Rok clients receive the highest quality cabinetry and hinges, stylish and hard wearing door finishes and a wide range of clever storage systems, all at competitive prices. Having spent many years in the kitchen industry we were never in any doubt about the factory we would use to build our kitchens. World renowned for both their product design and manufacturing excellence, our factory in Germany is at the cutting edge in high quality cabinet construction.
The German approach to kitchens is a little different to ours in the UK and as a result they build their furniture differently too. It is not uncommon for Germans to take their kitchen with them when they move house. The reasons why are varied, often to do with the rental agreement, but the result is that they design and build their kitchen furniture to such a high standard that it can be installed, removed and then installed again without compromising the structural integrity of the furniture. Cabinets are built from a high density fibre board, which is compressed with adhesives to produce exceptionally high levels of tensile and flexural strength.
When we talk about a ‘factory built kitchen’ that’s exactly what we mean. Our kitchens are fully assembled in our factory in Germany, doors are hung, drawers are fitted and integrated lighting is built-in. The difference this makes to the overall quality of the kitchen cannot be overstated. The combined effect of every single component being correctly installed is that the kitchen has a rigidity and luxurious feel that sets it apart from cheaper alternatives, it’s there from the day it’s installed and it stays there for years to come.
It’s the details that make the difference
One of the ‘unseen’ differences with German cabinets is the feet upon which they rest. The most important detail, apart from the size, is that they are factory installed in a way as to ensure the carcass side is bearing down upon the foot. All too often kitchen fitters misunderstand the way feet of these type work and fit them in such a way that they are only supporting the base of the unit, not the carcass side. The feet are like the foundations, if they are not rock solid then what hope does the kitchen have of lasting.
With solid feet and high strength, rigid carcasses, the next detail to consider is the hinges and drawer runners. The hardware and components in our kitchens are made by Hettich, another German company with over 125 years experience in manufacturing these types of high-quality components. They are quite simply the best on the market, soft close oil-filled dampers come as standard but where these components really excel is in the way they are fixed to the carcass substrate. All too often this is the part of the kitchen that fails first, the hinge mechanism maybe fine but over time it has pulled out of the cabinet and renders the door useless. To prevent this from happening the Hettich system uses high strength Nylon inserts that are fitted into the hinge drilling before it is screwed to the carcass. This creates an exceptionally strong and enduring fixing as the nylon expands in much the same way as a traditional masonry wall fixing.
Lighting up the kitchen
With rock solid cabinetry underpinning all our kitchens the next thing to consider is lighting. Without doubt this area of kitchen design has moved forward considerably in recent years, with developments in low energy LEDs leading the way. We love using lighting in our kitchen designs for two reasons, firstly the functionality of task-based lighting makes for a far more usable kitchen. Secondly, the visual effect is stunning. On average we spend more time in our kitchens at night time than we do in the day time, with this in mind we try to incorporate lighting schemes that will work to create a space that is both visually striking and extremely user friendly.
Our appliances are supplied by Siemens and Bosch, the ultimate in functionality and reliability. Household names synonymous with German engineering excellence, you will find that whatever the appliances you need they will be integrated beautifully into your Black Rok kitchen. They offer industry-leading after sales service and comprehensive 5-year warranties.
In choosing to work with Siemens and Bosch we have deliberately aligned ourselves with appliance manufacturers who design their products specifically to integrate seamlessly with our German kitchens. Not only are they made to the same exacting standards as our kitchens but they lead the way in product innovation and design. Both Bosch and Siemens are owned by the same company and in many ways their products are very similar, perhaps the key difference is that Siemens have a more design lead approach to their higher range offering.
For some this is not so important but for many of our customers details like matching control panels and soft close doors are important. The Siemens range gives us as designers the chance to meet the most exacting demands in terms of functionality whilst their attention to detail in terms of design raises them above the competition.
Sinks and Taps
Our sinks and taps are supplied by Blanco, manufactured in Germany to the highest standards from a variety of hard-wearing and beautiful materials.
Sinks can be high grade stainless steel, coloured ceramic or Silgranit — Blanco’s latest innovation in granite composite. Taps are available in dozens of styles and finishes, many of which can be viewed at our showroom. It’s worth remembering that many taps are now designed for high-pressure water systems. These will not necessarily work well with many of the low-pressure or tank-fed water systems in the UK.
Black Rok can supply the innovative Quooker Fusion tap. Quooker taps dispense boiling water.
Aside from the obvious convenience of making tea without boiling a kettle, the Quooker tap has numerous other uses: sterilising dummies, cleaning pans, cooking vegetables, pasta, rice, etc, skinning tomatoes.
Is it safe to have boiling water literally ‘on tap’? A kettle containing boiling water is arguably a more dangerous item to have on the worktop. The patented mechanism of the Quooker tap ensures that dexterity of an adult’s hand is required to draw boiling water; the tap is also typically installed at the back of the sink, well out of reach to tiny hands. Indeed, unlike the numerous boiling water kettle accidents, there have been no accidents reported to Quooker in over 25 years and 350,000 Quooker tap installations.
What about cost, is it expensive to keep water permanently on the boil? Quooker quote 3p per day, and of course you only heat what you need, unlike a kettle. The Quooker tap can also be fitted with a COMBI tank which supplies all hot water to the kitchen — instantly, thus removing the costly waste of drawing hot water from a remote boiler or hot tank (only to have much of it cooling down in the pipework).
One of the most important elements of your new kitchen, our worktops are available in a wide range of materials and finishes. We often tell people that the single thing that will impact on the cost of their new kitchen is the worktops. The cost of high quality laminate worktops for a typical sized kitchen could be £1000, the same kitchen finished with Quartz could be £4000. The reasons for this are durability, appearance and feel. Without doubt the best surface for a kitchen is ultra tough, super hygienic and stunningly beautiful Quartz but as we’ve seen it comes at a price.
High Pressure Laminate worktops
The most cost effective worktop solution, HPL worktops provide a durable and stylish finish to your kitchen. We hold a wide range of finishes, edge profiles and thicknesses, all manufactured in Germany to the same high standards as our furniture. HPL worktops are an excellent kitchen work surface, they are cheaper to manufacture than other substrates but should not be considered inferior.
Engineered Quartz / Stone worktops
Engineered stone is actually man-made, but contains 91%-97% natural constituents (quartz crystals, ground to a powder). Engineered stone then has dyes, binders, resins and other ingredients added for colour and consistency. Because it is made of quartz (granite) it has the same sort of feel and finish as a granite worktop but the colours are more consistent and the surface is totally non porous. We work with both Caesarstone and Silestone to ensure that you have the widest choice of colours and designs and of course the highest quality engineered stone from the two biggest names in the market.
Natural Granite/Quartz worktops
Natural Granite is mined from the Earth in huge blocks and cut into slabs. Each slab in the block is fairly similar to the ones before and after it but not identical, much like a loaf of bread. This gives the finished worktop a much wilder, organic feel as no two slabs or slices are the same and can provide a stunning contrast to the Black Rok furniture. Granite does need to be looked after however, it is a completely natural material and as such the surface is slightly porous and can be stained by strong colours or acids, red wine, lemon juice, etc.
There’s a beauty and warmth to real wood that makes it a lovely tactile surface to have within the kitchen. Hugely versatile it can also be a surprisingly affordable option. When considering wooden worktops it is important to remember that wood will require regular oiling, this is not a particularly difficult or time consuming process but it is necessary to preserve the appearance and maintain the functionality of the worktops.
Pulling it all together
We appreciate that there’s a lot to understand when it comes to kitchens these days, the endless choice can have people spinning around unsure which way to turn. We’re here to help with that so when you’re ready, come in and see us and we’ll start planning your new kitchen.
You can also see a montage video describing the installation of a Black Rok kitchen.