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The importance of backs and bottoms in kitchen design!

Chris Turnbull

The importance of backs and bottoms in kitchen design!

We were ripping out (a technical term!) a client’s current kitchen recently.  It was designed and installed not so many years ago by one of the most well-known high street retailers with a brand renowned for its quality and great value for money. Having removed many of this retailer’s – and other lower quality ones – kitchens previously we were unsurprised to find that the cabinet backs and draw bases were made of hardboard despite the fact that the work surface was granite (more of the importance of this later).

Backs of kitchen cabinets are more important than most people tend to give them credit for.  Most people focus on the elements of their new kitchen that they can see – the doors, worktops, appliances and so on.  But, just like your spine, it’s the backs that provide the rigidity and strength that underpins the whole framework and are able to support the weight of granite or oak work surfaces.  Even a 3m piece of laminate worktop – the length they’re normally delivered in – weighs an absolute ton and needs to be supported properly to ensure a correct fit and longevity of the life of your new kitchen.

And whilst drawer bottoms may not bear as much weight as the backs a quick check of ours showed cutlery in one and miscellaneous tools and appliances in another whilst today’s fashionable deep drawers can hold plates, saucepans and other necessary kitchen equipment which you really don’t want dropping out from the weight because of a piece of flimsy hardboard.

We never use hardboard.  As standard, all Nicholas Hythe kitchens’ cabinet backs and drawer bases are manufactured from the same 18mm thickness materials to match the quality of the rest of your cabinets.  It’s the same with our drawer bases which are also fitted with soft-close drawer boxes and runners so not only do they look and work great but you can be assured that they’ll do the job they’re designed to for many more years than if hardboard had been used.

For the full specification of our kitchen cabinets (and a video to prove just how strong they are) please go to

And, if you still think substituting the backs of your cabinets for hardboard is a way of saving on the cost of your kitchen (honestly, it makes very little difference) it won’t be as expensive as having to replace the whole thing years earlier than you might have had to because the backs weren’t up to scratch.  Ask our client mentioned above!

For more information about Nicholas Hythe Kitchen Design Studio please go to or telephone 01480 468598 or email us at

For hundreds of pictures of kitchens we’ve installed for delighted clients please go to