How to Recognize Quality in Kitchen Cabinets

How to Recognize Quality in Kitchen Cabinets
The furniture industry produces little
detailed information on the quality of
kitchen cabinets, which means that
consumers have a hard time understanding
the differences. You cannot even find
technical reports in furniture magazines.
Nor do they publish quality comparisons
between different products, the way car
magazines publish buyer’s guides
comparing models. And that’s a shame,
because furniture reviews could easily use
industry information that has been
available for years. For example CATAS—
the international furniture and wood
products research center—can compare
furniture through standardized tests
without personal opinions getting in the
At Valcucine, we hope that some publisher
will hear our plea and come up with a sort
of “Auto World” for the furniture industry.
In the meantime, we’re trying to help fill
the information gap by bringing you this
Everything you read here is the fruit of 25
years of straightforward customer
relations. We have a special department for
feedback—through questionnaires and
direct conversations—from the people who
actually use our kitchens. We are anxious
learn all we can about their doubts, desires
and difficulties.
This manual was written to give you the
advantage of all of Valcucine’s technical
know-how. So that you can choose your
next kitchen knowledgably and enjoyably,
with as little hassle as possible.
Table of Contents
The Logica System Equipped Back Channel
Accessories in the Equipped Back Channel
Ergonomics of Toekicks and Legs
Logica System Outfitted Bases
Ergonomics of Logica System Storage Bins
Logica System Drawers
Ergonomics of Wall Cabinet Doors
Valcucine’s Patented Ala Wall Cabinet
Ergonomics of Pantry Cabinets
Ergonomics of Oven Cabinet
Ergonomics of Corner Cabinets
Ergonomics of Corner Base Cabinets
Lighting Your Kitchen
Proper Lighting of Your Work Area
The Right Choices for Easy Cleaning
Quality Standards
Seals of Approval
Manufacturer’s Declaration
Environmental Standards and Certification
Industry Labels
Seals of Approval Awarded Valcucine Products
Warranties: A Way of Judging Quality
Valcucine Warranties
Quality: Tested and guaranteed
Planning Your Kitchen
Modular units or Continuous Counter tops?
Toekicks, Legs or Suspended Units?
How to Choose the Right Pieces
How to Choose the Right Colors
Going Beyond the Latest Fashion
The Beauty of Hand Craftsmanship
An Eye for Detail
Skilled, Meticulous Assembly
Ergonomics? What’s That?
Ergonomics: Kitchen Cabinets Made to Fit You
Ergolabio: Adapting Your Kitchen to Your Height
“Logica System”: The Valcucine Ergonomic System
Counter top Heights: 76 cm to 100 cm
Valcucine Cabinet Depths: 60 cm - 65 cm - 80 cm
Advantages of Logica System: A Depth of 80 cm
The Materials Used
Valcucine: The Whole Story on the Material We Use
Materials Used to Build a Kitchen Cabinet
Cabinets INteriors in Melamine Board
Plywood Interiors
Is All Plywood the Same?
Other Things To Check In Cabinet Interiors
Counter tops
Laminated Counter Tops
Sealing Against Seepage
Protecting Counter Tops Water
Valcucine Laminated Counter Tops
Advantages of Ultra-Thick Laminated Counter Tops
Stainless Steel Counter Tops
Marble and Granite Counter Tops
Characteristics of Marble and Granite Counter Tops
Synthetic Counter Tops
Solid Wood Counter Tops
Door Facing
Is All Door Facing the Same?
Edged Versus Pre-glued Doors
Laminate Multy-Layer Doors
Wooden Multy-Layer Doors
Mechanical Resistance of Thin Doors
Framed Doors
Quality in Framed Doors
Lacquered Doors
Buying Ethical Products
101 Questions to Ask Before You Buy
Replacing Renewable Raw Materials
Bioforest: Four Environmental Projects
Eco-Compatible Design
Respecting Health: Controlling Toxic Gas
Kitchens without Chipboard
Water-Based Paint
Vent Hoods
Valcucine Ergonomic 80cm Deep Hoods
Important Thinghs to Remember Before You Buy
Kitchen Safety for Kids
106 Glossary
You’ll find definitions of the underlined bold words in the glossary on page 106.
Wow! A new kitchen!
Buying and installing a new kitchen is a big
event. Not all of us have the expertise to judge
the different models on the market.
Catalogues with their pretty pictures and
captivating texts do nothing to explain all of
the products in detail.
It is so easy to be swept away by enthusiasm
over your new purchase. We are taken with
the appeal of its design and the settings and
arrangements in the showrooms. We should
really be spending time studying the features
and facts we need to know to make a rational,
informed choice. So we won’t be disappointed
It’s no fun to buy a new kitchen only to realize
later that it doesn’t meet our needs. Valcucine
is here to give you some useful advice and
technical information, so that the next time
you buy a kitchen, you really know what
you’re doing.
Don’t buy based upon love at first sight. Do compare with other models and other brands.
One thing that helps you understand product
value is the presence of national or
international certification. Generally awarded
after stringent testing, certification attests to
product quality and safety.
Certification is especially important for
electrical appliances. Malfunctioning
appliances are one of the major causes of
death every year.
How can I tell one kind of certification
from another?
Consumers today are confused by the wide
variety of certification at hand. There is so
much information available that confusion can
set in. We end up making errors in judgment,
instead of recognizing product quality.
There are a bewildering number of new labels
that make it hard to distinguish between
quality standards for the manufacturing
process, trade association seals of approval and
company trademarks used for advertising.
When we took an careful look at the matter,
we found that the subject is very complicated.
We will try to summarize it for you in the next
few pages.
Certification can be divided into different
1. Standards of quality
2. Seals of approval
3. Company quality control /warranty
4. Trademarks
5. Environmental certification
Take a close look at the real guarantees and certification promises.
Quality Standards
The most important standards of quality are
those belonging to the ISO9000 family:
ISO9001, ISO9002, ISO9003, ISO9004
What do they guarantee?
They guarantee that the manufacturer follows
a standardized production system and
endeavors to improve them.
Do quality standards guarantee that I’ll get
a high quality product from a certified
No. ISO9000 (VISION2000) certification
guarantees product conformity with the “level
of quality” that the company sets. But this can
also be a low level of quality. For example:
Company A has been producing hand-made
solid wood furniture with high quality
finishing for 50 years. Company B produces
poorly made furniture in chipboard which is
not water-resistant, has high formaldehyde
emissions and is covered with wood-
patterned paper. The first is an old company
whose workers know their jobs by heart and
need no plans with specifications or
tolerances; it doesn’t even have a filing
system with the plans or a standardized
system of communication between its offices.
The second company’s production cycle is
completely standardized, its offices only
communicate with written messages and it
has all the documentation with product
designs and specifications.
Even if Company A does produce excellent
furniture, it still cannot obtain ISO9000
certification because its production process
was never standardized according to specific
Compare this to Company B which produces
in paper-covered chipboard furniture, it can
obtain ISO9000 certification because the
production system follows all the production
procedures required by ISO9000.
ISO9000 standards only examine production
system quality and not product quality. They
guarantee that a product leaves the factory
according to the specifications laid down but
at any level of quality. Suppliers buying from
them like these standards because they
assure greater product reliability and
consistency. The manufacturers like them
because ISO9000 allows them to optimize
their production system. They provide little or
no guarantee for the final user.
Who awards the certification?
Certificates are issued by certification or
registration bodies after inspection of the
Is certification subject to ongoing control?
Yes. The system calls for repeated inspection
by certification bodies.
Environmental Standards and Certification
ISO14001 is the best
known certification
standard internationally for environmental
management systems.
What does ISO14001 guarantee?
ISO14001 guarantees that the company:
- respects all environmental requirements
regarding sound, toxic discharge, dust, and
water pollution;
- has a controlled, registered waste disposal
- is committed to reducing energy
consumption and carries out projects with
this goal;
- is involved in environmental projects.
Who issues ISO14001 certification?
It is issued by independent certification
bodies after inspection of the company.
Is the company subject to planned controls?
Yes. It is subject to control by the certification
ECO-LABEL—This is the bestknown environmental label and
was established by the European
Commission. It is applied to
products meeting strict ecological and
performance criteria.
What does it guarantee?
It guarantees that throughout its life, the
product has a low environmental impact
and meets European standards.
Industry Labels
Industry labels are created and promoted by
industry associations, groups of
manufacturers with common interests who
join together to protect these interests and
increase product visibility. Member
manufacturers all contribute to expenditures
in running the council and promoting the
trademark. The companies also use the
trademark in their advertising which increases
its renown. But renown does not mean
consumer guarantee. Remember to look into
trademarks without being influenced by
Read technical product cards carefully. Chipboard is not always called chipboard. Today, the common terms are
“wood particle panel”, “agglomerate wood panel”. These and other terms are legal, but they can confuse the
Seals of Approval Awarded to Valcucine Products
UNI EN ISO 14001 : 96
Associazione per la rigenerazione
degli ambienti naturali
GS is a German seal of approval of product
quality. Valcucine was the first Italian kitchen
cabinet builder to be awarded this certification
after its products underwent strict testing and
inspection by the German institute L.G.A.
The BIOFOREST label was created by
Valcucine. We make certain that large
numbers of trees are planted, both to
absorb the carbon dioxide produced during
manufacture and to replace those cut down
for furniture production.
A balance was reached thanks to a series of
reforesting projects and BIOFOREST,
created for this purpose, is now an
independent NGO with Italian Ministry of
the Environment recognition. It is open to
anyone who thinks that commit to
improving our environment can no longer
be delayed and works mainly with
manufacturers who want to restore a
balance between the carbon dioxide they
produce and the carbon dioxide absorbed
by the trees they plant.
Valcucine has been a supporter of sustainable
development for many years and is
committed to reducing the environmental
impact of its manufacturing plant. We develop
projects for rational use of raw materials,
recycling of waste materials and reduction of
pollution, consumption and water and
promote a balance between use and replacing
of natural resources.
Our dedication to eco-friendly production
made us Italy’s first kitchen cabinet maker to
obtain UNI EN ISO 14001 certification.
Warranties: A Way of Judging Quality
What else can help me decide besides seals
of approval?
Since there are so many different seals of
approval and they evaluate so many different
elements, we’ll try to analyze the product
direct. We want to share some of our
expertise to give you technical knowledge and
a more discerning eye.
One way of judging product quality is looking
at product support, something we generally
ignore in the excitement of buying a new
The most important aspect is the length and
quality of the warranty. The more reliable a
product, the longer the warranty. But warranty
length is not enough; it is also a good idea to
study the fine print. Sometimes, warranties
are so restrictive that they do away with all
the advantages.
Do look at the length of the warranty and read the fine print carefully. That could wipe out any benefits from the
warranty itself.
Valcucine Warranties
Five-year complete guarantee
Futuro Program
All Valcucine kitchen cabinets come with a
five-year warranty. All you have to do is fill
in the marketing questionnaire.
During the warranty period, Valcucine
promises to substitute or repair free of
charge all pieces that are defective in origin,
with transport free of charge from the
The dealer promises to cover the costs of
all warranty-related transport and
The dealer’s guarantee is only valid when
stamped and signed by the same.
Styles of kitchens come and go. What
happens when you want to expand your
kitchen and the models you like are no
longer produced?
To help, at Valcucine, we give our
customers our “Futuro Program” warranty.
For at least seven years from the date of
purchase, we promise availability of all the
pieces your need to change or expand your
kitchen in the same style. If Valcucine stops
producing your model within those years,
and is unable to supply you with the pieces
you need, we promise to replace, free of
charge all the pieces that need to be
substituted because they do not match the
new kitchen cabinets. Just choose from
among the new Valcucine models.
Compare product support services carefully as well as quality and price, when deciding. And don’t forget to get a
written guarantee that spare parts will be provided if needed.
Quality: Tested and Guaranteed
Good design isn’t the only thing that
guarantees product quality and safety. All of
your kitchen’s parts and materials have to
undergo stringent, uncompromising
Standardized testing is the only way that we
can evaluate a material’s resistance to the
stress it undergoes in carrying out its
Along with control in our own testing
center, Valcucine also tests its materials at
the CATAS Furniture and Wood Products
Research and Development Center for
material quality certification.
Testing is repeatedly regularly to maintain
uphold standards. All the testing results are
included in a volume that you can look up
at any Valcucine Specialized Dealer.
Schede e collaudi CATAS
Check to make sure that the product’s claim to quality is backed up by written certification.
Planning Your Kitchen
Falling in love with a kitchen in a showroom
is easy; that’s where it shows off its best
side. But move it somewhere else and a
kitchen doesn’t have the same feel at all. So
before you buy, make sure you get an
accurate plan that makes the most rational
use of the space available. The plans should
come out of suggestions by an architect
you trust, and not an endless comparison
of prices. That only leads to standardized
solutions, and functionality suffers as a
result. A designer’s work is very delicate
and only a good professional knows how to
find the right balance that will make your
kitchen beautiful AND function.
Valcucine has a book all about designing
the kitchen environment. Ask for it at your
Valcucine Specialized Dealers. Or if you call
us, we’ll send it to you, free of charge.
Before buying a new kitchen, do have a good designer design it meet to your needs.
Modular units or Continuous Counter Units?
Modular units
Modular units are more versatile than a
kitchen with a continuous counter top..
They can be moved around in different
combinations and are easier to handle if
you move.
But there are also more places for the kind
of spills and seepage that lead to warping,
mildew and dirt. Valcucine has water-tight
seals around the sink, the cooktop and the
edges of your counter top.
Continuous counter units
A more linear style, with an unbroken work
area and a better look.
There is less of a problem of spillage at the
ends. Valcucine also puts hermetically
sealed sideguards on its continuous
counter top kitchen units.
Whether you choose modular units or a continuous unit for your kitchen, do be sure that they have efficient
sealing against seepage.
Toekicks, Legs or Suspended Units?
Kitchen units with toekicks
Kitchen units with legs
Suspended units
Advantages: You don’t see the dirt under the
units and you can use almost all the space
down to just a few inches from the ground.
And it’s easy to install a dishwasher.
Advantages: Cleaning under the units is
easier and it’s easier to keep your kitchen free
of germs. And units with legs look lighter and
more graceful.
Advantages: The unit separate from the floor
creates matchless elegance and a feeling of utter
lightness. And cleaning under the units is troublefree. Better efficiency of heating pavements.
Disadvantages: Even if you can’t see it, dirt
accumulates under the unit anyway because
the skirting isn’t sealed. Cleaning under the
units is difficult and you can’t really be sure of
hygiene in your kitchen.
Disadvantages: With 60 cm bases, there is
less space available.
Installing a dishwasher is easy with 72 cm
bases, as long as they can be adapted to the
Disadvantages: Storage space is reduced
with 60 cm bases. In addition, it is
impossible to install the outfitted back space
and use the 80 cm depth to its fullest
advantage. Dishwasher installation is limitede.
Be sure that the unit height fits your own height, whatever model you choose.
How to Choose the Right Pieces
If you want to buy a high quality kitchen,
look for units that you can adapt to your
taste, needs and space.
If you want to personalize, the range of
pieces availability is fundamental.
That’s why Valcucine lets you pick out the
colors, finishes, sizes and material just right
for you. With 2,500,000 items, there’s
plenty to choose from!
And if you still can’t find anything,
Valcucine makes “custom-built” units to
meet any need, in any style you like.
Look for a kitchen with a wide range of choices that will let you put together a personalize, exclusive kitchen.
How to Choose the Right Color
Colors bring light into the room. So choose
light colors that reflect the light—a pale
yellow or green, for example, or white. You
won’t get tired of them with time and they
make the space you have look larger.
Still, choice of color is a very personal
thing. Valcucine has a vast range of
lacquered or laminated colors, shiny or
opaque. And if you can’t find exactly what
you want, at Valcucine we will also paint
our units based on a sample that you give
Choose light colors that won’t tire your eyes and will make your kitchen look brighter and larger.
Going Beyond the Latest Fashion
The lifetime of a kitchen doesn’t only
depend is physical and technical qualities.
Sometimes, you decide to put in new a new
kitchen simply because you want a new
style. You end up throwing out products
that still work well but are no longer the
latest thing.
Try to choose a kitchen with components
that are timeless. Pick models with clean
lines, simple forms and attention to detail;
that’s what looks best as time passes.
And avoid a kitchen that is only square or
only rounded forms, just because it in
fashion. If you chose a kitchen set with
square forms, “soften” it with a few curves
here and there. If you want a refined look,
steer clear of complicated, elaborate shapes
that are tiring with time. Instead, why not
look at quality hand craftsmanship, work
like inlay. It gives warmth to a room and
creates a cozy atmosphere that will age
well, growing more precious as time goes
Evaluate a kitchen by how it looks as well as its technical qualities. And choose a product whose beauty will last
through time.
The Beauty of Hand Craftsmanship
Kitchens all look alike at first. But when you
look carefully, you realize that it’s the details
that make the difference. Valcucine
personalizes its furniture with hand-crafted
inlay, an age-old processes of
woodworking, the fruit of great experience
and skill.
These photos illustrate the patient,
laborious technique: tiny pieces of wood of
different colors are inlaid by hand in
grooves of the same shape. The piece to
insert and the base are both carefully cut to
match. The woods used for the inlay are
Take a moment to look at this page
carefully. It is also a tribute to the skilled
craftsmen who keep our artisan traditions
The thin
horizontal lines
of the Artematica
door look as
though they’ve
been silkscreened but
they are really
wood inlays.
Layers of dyed veneer are nailed together to
make a block of wood which it then cut.
Tiny pieces of wood are deftly cut out to make
shapes and grooves.
The pieces of colored wood are then inserted
by hand in the grooves.
The inlaid panel is then inserted in the sheet of
veneer applied to the door.
Examine the units you are buying carefully. Some decorations may look inlaid, but they are really done by simply
An Eye for Detail
Care for detail is one of the quality features
that is easiest to notice. Instead of a
superficial glance, examine every detail of
the cabinet, including the inside finishing.
That’s the only way of comparing quality.
You’ll see that all kitchen furniture is not the
valcucine research guided the design of a light bar with LED, to be placed under the wall units of
the kitchen or under the shelvs of the wall panel. It was designed to have a minimum cross section
of 8mm, so as to match with the other elements of the kitchen.
The “Anta alta” Artematica handle in: basically
a milled slot on the upper edge of the door that
lets the tiny lines of the aluminum border show
A turned aluminum leg: it tapers down to a
minimum point of contact with the floor.
The counter top blends in with the side of the
Artematica cabinet, eliminating overtop and
creating a single volume.
Make sure the product you are buying was produced with care by looking at the tiniest details.
Skilled, Meticulous Assembly
One feature that clearly shows the quality of
the precision of production, is the fissure
between the doors. The more precisely a
cabinet is made, the narrower the fissures.
That way, you see the cabinet as a single
volume and not as different pieces put
Doors with wide fissures and sharp corners.
Accurately made doors with rounded corners.
A car not made precisely with wide spaces
between one piece and another.
Precision-made parts turn a car into a single
To give you an idea of what we mean, think
of the improvements in car manufacturing
through the years. There is less space
around the different parts, and today you
see a single body, rather than an assembly
of parts.
Take a careful look at the reveals between the doors to judge assembly precision and quality.
Ergonomics? What’s That?
Ergonomics is another important factor in
choosing a kitchen. Ergonomics is the
science that studies our interaction with
living and work space and the objects we
use. A kitchen is the place where a great
deal of daily activity takes place: we prepare
and cook food and then we eat it. All this is
easier if we have everything at hand and we
can more freely and comfortably without
getting tired. But that is often impossible
because our kitchen furniture doesn’t meet
our physical needs.
When you buy a new kitchen, it’s easy to
get carried away by our enthusiasm at the
way it looks in a showroom. Instead, it’s a
good idea to take a closer look at other
features. That way you can choose
rationally, and you won’t be forced to spend
your life in a kitchen where incorrect
motion could cause you ham.
Ergonomics: Kitchen Cabinets Made to Fit to You
Don’t you like to taste something before you
buy? And who would ever consider buying a
car without taking it for a test drive. Or buying
a new suit without trying it on. And you can
adjust the seats in cars and the height of the
steering wheel, while a suit costs much less
than a new kitchen.
Okay. But how can I “try on” a kitchen?
Kitchen cabinets are fixed units and you can’t
change them or adapt them to your needs
after they are installed, that is not without a
lot of added cost. To help you “try on” your
kitchen, Valcucine has invented Ergolabio, a
machine that lets you see how you future
kitchen will fit.
Ergolabio lets you choose the position of
your wall cabinets and the height and depth of
the work area according to your needs.
So your kitchen is a perfect fit.
Make sure your kitchen “fits” before you buy it: that way anything you do there will be less tiring
and more fun.
Ergolabio: Adapting Your Kitchen to Your Height
Ergolabio is our new “machine” to “try on”
kitchen cabinets and you can only find it at
Valcucine Specialized Dealers. Before buying
your kitchen, try it out and adapt the
measures to your height.
Choose the best counter top height for your
own: You won’t have to stoop or stretch in
uncomfortable positions.
Choose a deeper counter top: You’ll have
great freedom of movement and great
visibility on the worktop.
Choose lower wall cabinets: You’ll be able to
see inside more easily.
Ergolabio: only at Valcucine Specialized Dealers.
Do remember that you have the right to live in a safe, comfortable, functional environment. When you buy
something, make sure it’s ergonomically right for your height.
Logica System: The Valcucine Ergonomic System
At Valcucine, we pay careful attention to your
needs. That is why we recently did a study on
the use of kitchens with traditional ergonomic
design. The videos we took showed seven
major problems:
1. Most people are taller today, so the 85 cm
standard counter top height is too low. That
makes you bend over in positions that can
eventually be bad for your back.
6. Base cabinets with shelves and doors with
hinges are a very uncomfortable system. You
have to twist around to get anything from the
back, it’s hard to see and there’s no light.
7. The toekick is not placed in far enough, so
your feet are pushed back and you have to
lean forward, straining your back. If you
cabinets have legs, they are not far enough
inside and it’s easy to trip and fall.
To solve these problems and make working in
the kitchen easier, Valcucine has a patented
ergonomic system. Our Logica System allows
you to adapt the height and depth of your
counter top, add our special Equipped Back
Channel, open your wall cabinets comfortably,
equip your cabinets with storage bins and
drawers, use corner spaces rationally, and
have proper lighting for you counter tops.
2. Wall cabinets are too close to the face
giving a closed-in feeling and obstruct your
3. The upper shelves in wall cabinets are too
high, so you can’t see what’s on them.
4. The hood is generally placed at forehead
height. That forces you to bend over in
uncomfortable positions to check pots and
pans. And—ouch—it’s also very easy to bang
your head.
5. You have to open and close the doors of
traditional wall cabinets a lot, so you often
end up leaving them open. Which leads to two
other problems:
- the door blocks your view and you feel even
more closed-in
- you can easily bang your head if you
straighten up suddenly.
Counter Top Heights: 76 cm and 100 cm
190 ÷ 200
180 ÷ 190
170 ÷ 180
160 ÷ 170
150 ÷ 160
Valcucine counter tops change their height
according to yours. So your counter top is
right for you, whether you’re short or tall.
And while people on the average are taller
today, cabinets have not changed. Many
companies continue to use a toekick height
of 10 cm for a total height of 85-86 cm.
Working at a counter top that’s too high or
too low forces you to take unnatural
positions that eventually strain your back.
While people aren’t all the same height,
most kitchen counter tops only come in
standard sizes.
Average suggested counter top height, based on how tall you are.
Do demand that your counter top is ergonomically right for you. That way, you’ll avoid unnatural positions that
can tire you out and hurt your back.
Cabinet Depths: 60 cm - 65 cm - 80 cm
Logica System 65 cm depth
Logica System 80 cm depth
With a traditional depth of 60 cm, wall
cabinets are too close to your face, giving
you a close-in feeling. Wall cabinets have to
be at least 54 cm high above the countertop
for best visibility, but that makes it hard for
you to see inside and get what you need.
The 60 cm depth is now obsolete.
Valcucine uses deeper, more ergonomic
counter tops for its base cabinets. A depth
of 65 cm gives you more freedom of
movement because you have more working
space and a better field of vision. And that
way, you can lower the wall cabinets to only
48 cm from the counter top, making it
easier to see inside.
A depth of 80 cm gives you more open
room, more freedom of movement and a
perfect line of Sight. And it lets you lower
the wall cabinets to 42 cm. That way, you
can see everything inside, even on the top
60 cm
Choose deep counter tops if you have the room. You’ll have more freedom of movement, more space to work and
you’ll be able to see better inside.
Advantages of Our Logica System: A Depth of 80 cm
Too awkward
The height of wall cabinets generally
prevents a complete view of the top
shelves—and what’s on them. And if you’re
short, reaching up is even harder.
Freedom to lower the wall cabinet
to get something or raise it to see
A depth of 80 cm lets you lower the wall
cabinet to get something easily from inside,
or push it up out of the way. And that gives
you more room to work.
Too dangerous
Freedom to move
The doors of traditional wall cabinets can
be an obstacle that gives you that closed-in
feelings. And—ouch—it’s easy to bang
your head if you leave them open. How
often does that happen?
You can leave swing-up doors open while
you work and move from side to side or
bend down without the constant risk of
banging your head.
Dishes are too high up
The dish rack in the wall cabinet over the
sink is much too high, you have to stretch
uncomfortably to put the dishes away and
the water drips onto your arm. And the
cabinet is very hard to clean.
Uncomfortable for cooking
In traditional kitchens, the hood is usually
too low. This does not leave you enough
room to see at what’s cooking.
Freedom to work without
A depth of 80 cm lets you put a draining
rack BEHIND the sink without tiring
movements or getting wet. The drying rack
leads straight to the drain. The system is
more antiseptic because otherwise,
stagnant water can breed germs and
Freedom to move easily and check
all the pots
Libera hood, swings up gracefully, opens
your line of sight and lets you get closer to
the stove to check on foods safely.
Valcucine also uses ergonomics in the
design of its Picchio, Cielo,Libellula, Colibrì
and 8 mm hood.
The Logica System Equipped Back Channel
The Logica System Equipped Back Channel
is a 20 cm wide strip inserted between the
base cabinets and the wall, along the
counter top, the sink or the cooktop. It is an
independent module and can be applied to
any model Valcucine kitchen cabinets you
choose. The space can be outfitted with a
series of containers to store items generally
spread throughout the kitchen: there are
electric sockets and gas valves, racks for
flatware and knives, trays to hold food or
dish-washing liquid and racks to drain
dishes and glasses. The Equipped Back
Channel modules can be arranged
according to your needs, letting you work
more easily, with everything within reach.
The space below the containers can be
used to run water lines, drains, electrical or
gas with ease and flexibility.
Accessories in the Equipped Back Channel
Dish rack for plates and glasses are
removable, dishwasher-safe
stainless steel grates.
The system is connected directly to
the drain so that water drains
immediately, making it easier to
keep the area germ-free.
The bin with swing-up door to store
cleaning materials. Great for
keeping detergents out of children’s
The swing-up door that lets you get
to the gas valve easily—this is
generally too hard to reach to turn
off daily.
Containers for electric sockets and
emergency switches for
appliances. They are also wide
enough to hold cables that take up
space on the counter top.
Natural wooden shelf with slots to
hold wooden or non-toxic Teflon
cutting boards. Knife racks that
keep the blades covered and
pointing downward for safety.
Stainless steel removable,
dishwasher-safe food containers in
various sizes, all with lids.
Convenient to have around when
Valcucine has also included a
vacuum food sealer in its outfitted
back space. Lets you remove air
from plastic bags, food keeps longer and tastes better.
The electronic scale weighs up to 2
kgs of food with a precision of
within 1 g. It allows for tare weight
so that you can weigh food in its
container. The scale is always there
when you need it.
Ergonomics of Toekicks and Legs
Freedom to work more comfortably
The toekick is not far enough in, so your
feet are too far from the work area. This
makes you bend over, which hurts your
The toekick is set farther back and you can
work closely to the counter top—with your
back straight!
Dangerous when you move to the
Freedom to move
When the legs are not placed back for
enough, tripping over them is easy.
The legs are farther back and don’t get in your
If you choose toekicks or legs, make sure that they are set far enough back so that you can move side to side
without tripping.
Logica System Outfitted Bases
Removing items from cabinets is
Freedom to see and access items in
Traditional base cabinets with shelves mean
that you have to kneel to get to spaces that
are almost always inaccessible and poorly lit.
With our pull-out storage drawers, you can
see everything that’s inside, neatly arranged
and easy to reach. You don’t have to twist
around in awkward positions to get to
something you need.
Drawers that do not open
all of the way
Full accessibility
Drawers and bins that only open partially
don’t allow a complete view of what’s inside.
You end up groping for what you need and
creating clutter.
Drawers and bins that pull out all the way let
you see what is in them. There really is a
place for everything and everything in its
Choose convenient storage bins and arrange them to meet your needs.
Be sure the slides let you pull them all the way out and that they can withstand heavy weights.
Ergonomics of Logica System Storage Bins
Valcucine storage bins can be outfitted with
a number of professional-style rods and
dowels in natural wood or aluminum that
keep things from moving around and the
space neater. All 90 cm and 120 cm jumbo
drawers have sturdy slides for smooth,
silent opening. And they can hold up to 70
Valcucine jumbo drawers are equipped with
a device to help you pull them out straight
and the special side boards keep things
from spilling out.
You can store dishes, pots, detergents,
utensils and food inside. You can even put
in trash cans for recycling!
Logica System Drawers
You can outfit Valcucine drawers with
accessories to divide the space so there is a
place for everything and everything within
easy reach. Valcucine puts a non-toxic
rubber mat into the drawers. This keeps
things from sliding around when you
opening or close the them.
Over time moving objects can ruin the
bottoms of drawers.
The rubber mat also makes the drawers
easier to clean. All drawers come with selfclosing mechanism. To avoid toxic
emission, all drawars are in natural wood.
Ergonomics of Wall Cabinet Doors
At Valcucine, we study the way that our wall cabinets open to make them practical and easy to use.Our carefully tested system keeps the
doors open without their interfering with your work. They become handy pantries that you can get to whenever you need them. No more
constant opening and closing of traditional doors. When you’re finished in the kitchen, just pull the door down with a flick of your wrist and
your kitchen is uncluttered once again.
Wall cabinets with lift-up doors
Wall cabinets with folding doors
Wall cabinets with sliding glass door
Practical, giving you freedom of movement,
with the door up and out of the way. Working
with the doors open is safer.
Take up less space than normal doors. A
system of hinges and slides makes them easy
to open.
More convenient than a traditional system but
half the cabinet is always covered and you
have to keep moving the door back and forth.
Valcucine’s Patented Ala Wall Cabinet
The Ala wall cabinet door opens upward
with just a flick of your wrist. Thanks to
idden counterweight, there is no need for
springs or pistons. When it’s open, the door
stays out of your way.
There is no need for an inside divider, you
have more space and a better view within in
Just lift open the door and it stays, as long
as you need it. No need to keep opening
and closing doors.
Ala wall cabinet doors can be long as you
want them, up to 2.4 meters for a single
cabinet. That way, there is no need for the
standard 15 cm module with unsightly
fillers between them.
Valcucine’s Patented Aerius Wall Cabinet
The new light and resistant unit has been
designed entirely in glass and aluminium to
be 100% recyclable. Complying with a further fundamental environmental friendliness
criterium, the unit is produced by reducing
the consumption of raw materials by 70%.
The unit is available in 15 different sizes
going from 90 to 300 cm lengths making
it possible to eliminate the use of double
side panels that is inevitable when various
modules are fitted side by side.
The new unit has also been designed to
accomodate a led lighting system and an
accessory hanging bar.
This innovation in worktop illumination
brings remarkable advantages in terms
of material and energy savings. The
8mm thickness gives the bar a linear
and minimalist line.
The new illuminating structure gives
remarkable advantages in terms of energy consumption that is exceptionally
inferior to common incandescent lamps
as well as being far more durable
(100,000 hours of constant luminosity).
Furthermore, the LED lights ensure stability
to the light even if the unit should vibrate,
no ultraviolet or infrared emissions and
does not emit heat contrarily to other lights.
To satisfy functionality requirements the
unit has been designed to have ready
access to service elements that are usually
fitted behind cabinets.
In Aerius it is possible to simply remove
the back panel, that is available in various
colours, without having to move the whole
unit. The unit has also been designed to be
illuminated on the inside by utmost
exploitation of external illumination.
This is why it is made from transparent
material so that costly interior illumination
systems become unnecessary.
The light weight of the unit is combined
with an extra-light, balanced lift-up door.
The new door features a very lightweight
honeycombed aluminium structure to which
various finishing materials can be added.
The lift-up door is fitted with a balancing
system that permits easy opening without
the use of hinges, pistons, sprockets or
springs that are all subject to wear. It is
opened by a simple upward touch of the
hand that makes the interior space immediately accessible.
It is possible to work comfortably while
leaving the door open thus avoiding the
continuous opening and closing movements that are inevitable when using traditional doors.
Ergonomics of Pantry Cabinets
Using pantry cabinets in your kitchen gives
you a lot of storage space when you have
limited room. They help you avoid wall
cabinets that would obstruct your work
area and line of sight. Functional pantry
cabinets have doors that open wide to let
you see and access ietms inside.
Valcucine makes pantry cabinets with steel
wire shelves and bins or beech wood
shelves and drawers. All drawers have full
extension runners
Pullout pantry cabinet with steel wire storage
Pullout pantry cabinet with steel wire drawers.
Pantry cabinet with steel wire shelves and
storage bins.
Include a convenient pantry cabinet pantry if you have the room in your kitchen.
Ergonomics of the Oven Cabinet
When you put your oven inside a cabinet,
you can use it more easily without having
to bend over.
Be very careful about the height: if it is too
high or too low it is hard to use.
Decide on the height when you are
choosing your cabinets.
Oven cabinet.
If you decide to install your oven in a cabinet, make sure it is placed at the height that’s best for you.
Ergonomics of Corner Cabinets
Kitchen corners have always been a
problem. You must take into account how
the cabinet opens, accessibility to items
inside and rational use of the space.
Our special, patented rotating pantry has a
curved sliding door that you can leave open
while you work.
That way you can easily get to whatever
you need inside whenever you want. The
cabinets have 5 storage shelves that rotate
independently so that you can find what
you want. The inside light turns on
automatically when you open the door.
Make sure that rotating cabinet system doors are functional and accessible. Showroom models are often empty.
Something that feels practical and light when empty can become awkward and hard to manage when full.
Ergonomics of Corner Base Cabinets
If you have traditional base cabinets with
fixed shelves or round storage baskets, you
have to bend down and twist around to get
things in the back of the cabinet.
Valcucine ergonomic and functional kitchen
cabinets let you use all the room you have
as efficently as possible.
Corner base cabinet with retractable doors and
rotating bins are morepractical than fixed shelves or
round storage baskets because they hold more.
Corner base cabinet with new pull-out storage bins:
they hold more and allow you to use the space
Corner base cabinet with curved sliding door and
rotating storage baskets. The best solution in terms
of ergonomics and rational use of space.
Lighting Your Kitchen
People often forget about installing proper
lighting when they design their kitchens. This
isunfortunate because the way lights are
arranged is very important. Not only is it a
practical problem; the right lighting makes a
big difference in the way your kitchen looks,
and feels. Much of the warm, homey
atmosphere in your kitchen comes from the
way light and shadows fall.
When a room is too bright, it flattens out
shapes and soften detail. Too much contrast
between light and dark is hard on your vision.
Use a number of light sources to highlight the
details that create an atmosphere with a
softer scattered light that doesn’t tire the eye.
The colors of your lights are important also.
Cool fluorescent lighting is too stimulating
and harsh. Warm lights are better.
Warm colors are relaxing and make the
atmosphere feel friendly and pleasant.
Be sure that the lighting in your kitchen is designed properly. Be sure to choose a low-energy system.
Proper Lighting of Your Work Area
A. Overhead lighting: This is the worst system
because your shadow falls onto the work
B. Valcucine lighting bar. Placed underneath
the wall cabinets, this lighting gives you
excellent visibility without shining in your
eyes. It balances the cone of light from
overhead lighting.
C. Spotlights on the overshelf: The light
bothers your eyes. The door underneath
might burn. You can’t use swing-up doors.
D. Fluorescent lights on the shelves with
Valcucine light shields: Only the work
surface is lit. You can leave the doors open
without the risk of their catching fire.
E. Unlit sink cabinet: It’s hard to see what’s
below the sink.
F. Lighting in the sink cabinet: a light under
the sink that turns on automatically when
you open the door. That way, you can see
G. Unlit cabinets: It’s almost impossible to
see, especially if the shelves are not
H. Lighting in the cabinets: When there is a
light in the top of the cabinet and the
selves are made of steel wire or glass, you
can see everything that is in the cabinet.
The Right Choices for Easy Cleaning
The kitchen is the place where you prepare
food, this is whre hygiene and cleanliness
count the most.
If your cabinets are not properly designed,
they can collect dirt, grease and germs that
are hard to get rid of.
Here are some suggestions to help you
choose the right cabinet for your pouposes.
Seamless surfaces
The first thing to avoid is sharp inside
corners. It’s hard for you to reach that corner
and clean it thoroughly.
A. Sink with raised borders: dirt can collect
along the edge.
B. Sink set in into the work surface: flush with
the counter top, making cleaning easier.
C. Embedded handle with overlapping edge:
dirt builds up along the edge.
D. Embedded handle flush with surface: easily
E. Right angle where counter top and front
panel meet: hard to clean.
F. Rounded angle joining front panel and
counter top: easy to clean.
Lavello “a filo”
Lavello con bordo
Maniglia con
bordo “a filo”
Maniglia con
bordo sporgente
Angolo raccordato
Spigolo vivo
Eliminating the door frame
A. Doors are often built of aluminum frames
around a panel. It is hard to clean around
the edge between the frame and the panel.
B. At Valcucine, we were the first company
ever to build a door with an aluminum
frame hidden by the panel. This means
that the outside surface is perfectly
smooth and easy to clean.
Telaio esterno
in alluminio
Telaio interno
in alluminio
Eliminating spaces
C. In your kitchen, spaces are receptacles of
dirt and germs. Check to make sure that
there are no gaps, for example between
the countertop and the front trim.
D. Valcucine puts in silicone rubber create a
seal between the countertop and the
aluminum trim so that nothing can seep in.
E. If the channels in outfitted back panels are
not closed they can collect germs and dirt.
F. Valcucine closes the spaces keeping dirt out.
Profilo in
di chiusura
Choose kitchen cabinets that you can keep clean and germ-free. Corners should be joined smoothly, without
spaces or deep-set trim.
People generally choose the facing of their
kitchen cabinets according to personal taste
and forget to consider practical aspects, such
as keeping stains and marks off the surfaces
as long as possible.
These are important factors, especially if you
have children and little time to clean up. Try to
avoid materials that scratch easily.
Often, the materials used for the facing on
kitchen cabinets pick up fingerprints (even if
your hands are clean). It is difficult to keep
fingerprints off of stainless steel. At
Valcucine, we advise against using stainless
steel for the doors that children can easily
reach (Fig. A). Instead, we have developed a
new aluminum surface, with a special
oxidation that looks like steel without the
problem of showing fingerprints (Fig. B).
Dark laminate tends to show fingerprints, so
light colors work better.
traditional steel surface
Wood varies according to the type of stain
used. Generally there is no problem with
cleaning, because its uneven surface does not
hold stains or fingerprints.
New Valcucine aluminum surface with stainless steel finish
Choose materials that don’t show fingerprints and smooth surfaces that don’t hold dirt.
Opaque surfaces attract dirt more than shiny surfaces. Scratchproof laminates have an orange peel-like uneven surface. The deeper areas are hard
to clean because dirt gets inside and is difficult to remove.
You should avoid embossed surfaces, especially if you live in an area with hard water, i.e. with a high calcium content: when the water dries, the
calcium deposits in the pores and builds up over time (/Fig. A).
Dirt and calcium are easily removed from smooth or scratchproof surfaces (Fig. B).
Ridged surfaces are often used in kitchens. Judge for yourself: the deeper the ridges, the harder it is to clean them.
Ridged surfaces with deep grooves and side frame are hard to clean. (Fig. C).
Ridged surface with shallow grooves and no side frame are easy to clean. (Fig. D).
The Materials Used
One way to judge the quality of the cabinets
you are buying is to see exactly what they
are made of and the characteristics of that
material. Until recently, all you could do
was accept the company’s word. .
You have the right to know exactly what your kitchen cabinets are made of. Ask to see the product cards and have
a copy attached to the contract. This ensures that you will receive exactly what you ordered. If something goes
wrong, your written proof is a guarantee.
We want to make it easier for you to
recognize the materials we use, so we will
describe our cabinets, dividing them into
their three main parts:
The interior
The interior
Counter tops
Take a look at them. That will give you a
better idea of the quality of the products on
the market.
Valcucine: The Whole Story on the Materials We Use
All Valcucine Specialized Dealers will give
you all of the technical information you
need, specifying the materials used for all
of the parts of its cabinets and kitchen
equipment, in the simplest language
possible chipboard is chipboard, not “wood
particle panel”). Even if you’re buying a
modular kitchen, the technical information
will help you identify all of the parts,
because there is a card for every model and
every module. We will give you a copy
when you purchase your kitchen.
This does away with the chance of fraud.
You can be sure of the quality of our raw
materials. At Valcucine, we display panels
with samples of the materials we use in our
kitchen cabinets so that you can see what
they look like inside. There are samples of
how our materials behave after resistance,
heat and water tests in comparison to other
The materials used in our kitchen
Cabinet Interiors in Melamine Board
Almost all of the interiors of kitchen
cabinets have melamine facing. Melamine
is impervious to scratching, abrasions and
stains but it is not resistant to water and
humidity because it is made from
chipboard panels.
Another important difference is the
emission of formaldehyde (a gas
suspected of being carcinogenic), which
melamine facing continues to give off for
years after it is sold.
Interiors with melamine facing can look
just like wood (Fig. C). That is another
reason to make sure that you look at the
technical data.
Interior of V100 water-repellent chipboard
after immersion in water for 1 hour. Slight,
imperceptible warping.
Interior of imitation wood facing
Is all melamine facing the same?
No. One type of facing — known as V100 —
is much more water-resistant than traditional
types. It is not completely water-proof
however and can be ruined by seepage with
time (Fig A-B).
Interior of normal chipboard after immersion
in water for 1 hour. The chipboard is warped
and detached from the edge
Before you buy, make sure you see the technical data that guarantees the use of V100 and Class E1
water-repellent facing.
Plywood Interiors
Upon request, Valcucine will use real
plywood for its interiors.
Interior in imitation plywood
Is it easy to recognize real plywood
Today, manufacturers use edging that
perfectly imitates plywood. It is easy to
mistake imitation for real plywood panels.
The best way to tell them apart is to study
the technical data.
Interior in real plywood
Keep an eye out for possible imitations. Before you decide on plywood interiors, ask to see the technical data.
Is All Plywood the Same?
The different types of plywood on the
market behave differently when they
undergo water- and heat resistance testing.
Interior of melamine faced chipboard
with imitation plywood edging.
Interior of Valcucine Class 3
After immersion in water for 1 hour: visible
warping; loose edging.
After immersion in water for 1 hour: no
After being exposed to 100°C for 10 minutes:
edging is unglued.
After being exposed to 100°C for 10 minutes:
no warping.
Valcucine uses Class 3 plywood (the best
there is). It has a much higher resistance to
water than V100 water-repellent
chipboard, it is even used for exteriors.
Valcucine’s plywood interiors use layers of
veneer bound with exceptionally waterproof
glue. The surface is composed of HPL
laminated sheets instead of the melamine
paper used in chipboard. The panel resists
scratches, abrasion, impact, steam and
Does plywood have edging that can come
The natural beauty of plywood makes
edging unnecessary. Heat and humidity can
cause edging to become unglued.
Think seriously about buying kitchen cabinets with interiors in real Class 3 plywood.
There is no comparison with normal chipboard interiors in terms of quality and durability.
Other Things To Check in Cabinet Interiors
Many of the kitchen cabinets sold are not
very deep, which means that they don’t
hold very much. The ideal depth for wall
cabinets is about 35 cm with 31 cm of
useable space. You should also check to
see that the base interiors are deep enough
to allow for a 48 cm depth for drawers.
Make sure that you can adjust the wall
fastenings from the interior and that they
are tested to withstand overloading. For
example, if a child grabs onto a cabinet to
reach something, it could become
unhooked if its fastenings are not strong
enough. Shelves shouldn’t simply lean on
their support; they should be safely
Interior walls that are 18 mm think are
stronger than those that are 16 mm thick.
There should also be facing on the back of
the interiors, at least 3 mm thick.
The glue used to attach the front edges
should have a tempering temperature of
If hot melt glues with a low tempering
temperature were used (60-60°C) and the
cabinet is placed near the oven, its front
edge could become detached.
Do check the depth of the interiors, the type of wall fastenings and material thickness when you choose. And find
out what kind of glue was used.
Counter Tops
Counter tops are one of the hardest things
to choose when you are buying kitchen
cabinets. There are so many choices
available and you don’t always get complete
information on the advantages and
disadvantages of different materials.
In the next few pages, we’ll be taking a look
at the different types of counter tops and
give an objective view of the pros and cons
of each.
Choose your counter tops based on your needs and taste. Do not forget to take a look at the advantages and
disadvantages of each material.
Laminated Counter Tops
Laminate is the most common material for
kitchen counter tops. Not all laminates are
the same.
How can I be sure of laminate quality?
First, don’t trust the words “scratchresistant” and “stain-resistant”. No laminate
is completely scratchproof or stain-proof.
However, there are European regulations
that assign the code HPL to high quality
laminate. HPL laminate meets quality
standards to resist scratches, heat, steam,
water, stains, impact and abrasion.
The support of the laminated counter top
can be made of normal chipboard or V100
water-repellent chipboard. Normal
chipboard does not resist water and even
the slightest seepage causes it to swell and
detach itself from the laminate.
Water-repellent chipboard is highly
resistant to water, though not completely
waterproof, water seepage can still cause
You can choose Valcucine kitchen cabinets
made of water-repellent V100, Class E1
chipboard. But if you don’t want chipboard
in your kitchen, we also make counter tops
in lumber-core, made with an outer layer of
plywood and a core layer of solid wood.
Ask that your counter tops have HPL laminate facing and support in water-repellent V100, Class E1 chipboard.
Sealing Against Seepage
If you want a laminate counter top to last a
lifetime, it must be properly sealed against
water seepage.
Not only will this protect the counter top, it
will also eliminate mildew and bad smells
that come from water stagnating in places
you cannot clean.
At Valcucine, we study old kitchens to
pinpoint exactly where water leaks in. Even
we were amazed at the damage we found.
Where does water seep in? And how can
we eliminate it?
At the sink, water can drip down the edge and even ruin the doors in the cabinet below.
Profilo salvagocce
Traditional system
Without any place to collect, water falls over the
edge and can seep into the underside of the
counter top and ruin the doors below.
Valcucine System
Valcucine counter tops have a drip-catching
contour that keeps water from dripping down.
Be sure that your kitchen has a practical system for preventing seepage.
If the sink is set at the end of the module, water can spill over the side.
Groove for
Traditional system
If the sideguard is simply set next to the sink,
water can seep in between the counter top and
the sideguard.
Valcucine system
The sideguard fits over the counter top and
there is a groove for the sealer. That really
keeps water out.
The water that builds up behind the sink can seep under the backsplash and splashes can leak down the wall,
seeping into the back of the cabinet.
Plastic structure
structure in
Semi-rigid PVC
Traditional system
The plastic base can bend out of shape and the
bottom does not press closely enough against
the counter top. Water can seep in under the
Soft silicone
Valcucine system
Screws keep the silicon rubber seal in place,
making the backguard water-repellent. That is
because the backguard support is in aluminum
and not plastic, so it doesn’t bend out of shape
with the pressure of the screws.
Steam from the dishwasher condenses on the bottom edge of the counter top.
Possible seepage
Traditional system
Steam penetrates where the upper and lower
laminate meet, ruining the counter top.
Valcucine system
The aluminum edging is steam-resistant,
protecting the counter top.
At a corners the two counter tops meet and must be sealed.
Possible seepage
System without tight-joint-fastener
With time, lack of sealer or tight-joint-fastener to
keep the seam stable allows water to seep in.
System with stays
Correct sealing and tight-joint-fastener ensure a
stable, tightly sealed seam over time.
Protecting Counter Tops from Water
Counter tops have to be protected from
water that seeps and spills, especially near
the sink.
Protection on the side should stop water
from dripping down along the sides. At the
front there should be a raised border to
catch drips, it should be perfectly sealed to
keep seeping water from ruining the
counter top.
Valcucine side protection: perfectly sealed to keep water from dripping down the cabinet sides.
Drip-catching border: stops water from dripping down from the counter
Sealed edge: prevents seepage and keeps water from ruining counter
Valcucine Laminated Counter Tops
Counter tops with water-repellent
Valcucine counter tops with V100, Class E1
water-repellent chipboard support are faced
with 0,8 and 2 mm thik HPL laminates.
2mm laminate allows us to install the sink
flush without the danger of water.
We use an aluminum frame to hold up the
counter top. That means thinner chipboard,
and savings of material and energy. The
aluminum extrusion is 100% recyclable.
5mm counter tops
This material has high impact resistancet
and allows us to install the sink flush
without the danger of water seepage.
Advantages of Ultra-Thick Laminate Counter Tops
There are a number of new sinks on the
market that you can set in the counter top
so that it is flush with the surface. This
does away with the raised border around
the edges. A sink set flush allows you to
move objects around without the danger of
them tipping. Cleaning is easier and more
A. Flush sinks are often mounted on 0.6
cm thick counter tops. This can allow
water seepage between the laminate
and the chipboard below.
B. Valcucine uses a 2 mm thick laminate.
This allows us to set the edge of the
sink inside a 1 mm ridge. That way, the
sink is sealed directly into the laminate
and is fully water-resistant.
Traditional sink
Sink set flush
Thin laminate
Traditional laminate
Valcucine laminate: prevents water seepage
Choose a sink set flush with your counter top. It’s easier to move things around and keep the area clean.
And be sure to find out how thick the laminate is.
Stainless Steel Counter Tops
A stainless steel counter top gives you a
more professional kitchen. But don’t expect
it to stay shiny and scratch-free. A steel
counter top is hygienic, stain resistant and
indestructible. It does get scratched and
consumers often complain because they
thought they were buying a surface that
would not show wear.
Remember that the tiny scratches on the
surface do not make the counter top look
ruined. Instead they give it a well-worn,
homey feeling, making it lovelier each day
because of the memories it holds. If you
want your kitchen to look new forever, this
is not the material you should choose. Hard
water also tends to mark steel, although
there are products available today that
remove calcium easily.
Check on steel thickness. The thicker it is,
the more it resists denting. Valcucine uses
12/10 thick sheets of steel.
One great advantage of steel counter tops is
that you can weld them directly to the sink
bowls. This gives you a clean, unbroken
line and avoids edges where dirt can build
up. You can also have the cooktop set in a
single block with the counter top, but
Valcucine advises against that. Cooktops
are shorter-lived than counter tops, so
you’ll end up having to substitute the entire
piece if you have to put in a new stove.
How can I recognize high quality steel?
Use a magnet. High quality steel is not
magnetic. Low quality steel will attract a
magnet. That means it contains iron and
might rust with time.
A stainless steel counter top is the best to use in a kitchen. But remember that you’ll have to accept the
occasional mark and tiny scratches that form on its surface.
Marble and Granite Counter Tops
What’s the difference between marble and
Marble is of sedimentary origin and it
consists mainly of calcium carbonate. It has
very little resistance to acid. Even weak acid
such as vinegar, lemon, tea and coffee
corrode it, leaving an opaque stain. Nothing
can protect marble from that kind of stain.
Granite comes from magma and it
composed primarily of quartz. It repels
acids perfectly. But along with corrosion
stains, there are other colored liquids that
penetrate inside the material’s pores. Both
marble and granite are somewhat porous
(marble even more so) and they can stain.
Even water can create a dark spot which
disappears as it evaporates. In order to
keep your granite counter tops from
staining, the surface has to be treated with
an impregnating agent that seals the pores;
this treatment needs to be repeated once or
twice a year. At Valcucine, we do lab tests
to choose the best impregnating agent, but
even that can’t guarantee total stainresistance.
Corrosion stain
from the
reaction of acid
and marble
Valcucine’s lab test to find the best impregnating agent.
Cross-section of
a marble (or
granite) pore:
the colored
liquid penetrates
the pore.
Be sure that the marble or granite you choose is treated with stain-repellent.
Remember to repeat the treatment every so often, because with it wears off with time.
Macchia di
di liquidi colorati
nei pori del
marmo o del
Sezione di un
poro di marmo
(o granito),
riempito di
impregnante: il
liquido colorato
non riesce a
Characteristics of Marble and Granite Counter Tops
Do marble and granite get scratched?
Granite is exceptionally hard and highly
scratched-resistant. Marble is less resistant
and can scratch easily.
Do marble and granite resist heat?
Both materials are very resistant to high
temperatures. Still, glass-ceramic cooktops
get very hot indeed, and can cause the
counter top to crack.
All of the defects described above should
not discourage you from buying a natural
material that is highly suited to use in the
kitchen. Just remember that, with time,
you’ll you will be able to appreciate the
well-worn, homey feeling that comes from
the tiny imperfections that only add to the
beauty of natural materials.
Marble counter top
Natural radioactivity of granite
Valcucine has tested the radioactivity in
granite, marble and Crystallite (see table).
Granite has a certain amount of natural
radioactivity, marble very little and
Crystallite almost none If you don’t want
materials with radioactivity in your home, it
would be better not to choose granite.
White stone
Grey white
Graniglia mod.
counter top
U (uranium 238)
< 38,9
< 23,1
< 30,6
< 49,4
< 11,1
not present
U (uranium 235)
< 32,7
< 18
< 24,3
< 39,5
< 9,32
Ra (radium 226)
Ra (radium 228)
< 1,28
Th (torium 228)
< 2,53
Table of radioactivity of granite, marble and synthetic counter top materials that Valcucine uses.
Synthetic counter tops
There are also synthetic counter tops made
to resemble granite and marble of such
high quality that you can be easily fooled.
This is another reason why it is important
to study the technical data describing the
material’s characteristics.
There are two main types of synthetic
materials: high-resin and low-resin
High-resin counter tops
Advantages: stain-resistant; easy to work
with because they are soft; any scratches
that form can be sanded out; easily welded
to form single counter tops without seams.
Disadvantages: not very hard, so they
scratch easily. Not very resistant to high
Given its lack of resistance to heat and
scratching, Valcucine does not make
counter tops from this material.
How can I tell the difference between a
high-resin and a low-resin material?
Try scratching them with a pointy metal
object. Low-resin material does not scratch.
High-resin material scratches easily.
Be sure that you get a long warranty for this type of counter top. That way, you’ll be protected against products
sold without testing. You will avoid unpleasant surprises.
Low-resin counter tops
A dematerialized Crystallite counter top—
manufactured with a minimum of material
and energy—weighs much less than
granite, and is easy to move and transport.
It noticeably reduces environmental impact.
Disadvantages: Low-resin synthetic
counter tops are not very resistant to heat.
Pots with temperatures of over 160°C
cannot be set down without a hotplate.
Advantages: With a 90% content of natural
quartz, low-resin counter tops are
extremely scratch-resistant and are almost
as hard as granite. They are completely
water- and humidity proof, as acid-resistant
as granite and even more stain-resistant.
In comparison to a natural counter top, our
synthetic counter tops have a lower
environmental impact since the quartz is
only used is only 11mm thick and is
produced totally without waste. This
reduces excavation of stone by 85%.
Valcucine uses Crystallite, which, unlike
granite, has almost no radioactivity.
Consider getting a Cristalite counter top. It has a high mechanical resistance and is more stain-resistant than
granite with lower environmental impact.
Glass counter tops
Glass is a material produced by melting
natural substances (silica).
The glass used by Valcucine is tempered,
which means that it is subjected to an
additional heating process until it becomes
soft and is then very quickly cooled. This
process increases its mechanical resistance five-fold and means that, if it should
break, the glass shatters into very small
pieces that are NOT SHARP.
Glass also has the advantage of being an
100% indefinitely recyclable material.
The glass used by Valcucine is available in
two finishes: etched (matt finish) and polished.
To ensure greater durability and safety to your kitchen, make sure that the glass used is tempered.
How does glass behave when used in the
Our laboratory has carried out a set of
tests to check its resistance and how easy
it is to clean.
For as much as regards resistance, it has
been ascertained that the Valcucine tempered glass does not break if hot pots and
pans are placed on it straight from the hob.
It is also extremely resistant to breakage
due to impact: a 0.5 kg sphere released at
the centre of the top at a height of 2 metres
does not break it.
The edges are more delicate and require a
bit more of attention.
For cleaning purposes it is important to
distinguish plain glass from etched glass:
plain glass is one of the easiest materials
to clean and is extremely practical while
etched glass may have some problems
with limescale.
Limescale can crystallise in the uneven
surface and this is why it is necessary to
dry it to avoid deposits. Stain resistance
tests have emphasised the great resistance
of this glass to acids to the extent that it
proved to resist to lemon and vinegar.
For as much as regards scratches, glass is
a very hard material, but harder materials
such as ceramic can scratch it. Please
note that a scratch is evident by a white
mark that shows all the more if the colour
of the glass is dark.
fiarlo. Si noti che il graffio è un segno bianco, tanto più evidente quanto più scuro
sarà il colore del vetro.
To hide typical white scratches we suggest you purchase light coloured glass.
Solid Wood Counter Tops
There is nothing quite like the beauty of a
solid wood counter top but it has its
functional limitations. Wood is a natural
product that needs to be treated like a living
thing, even after it has been processed. It
expands and contracts due to
environmental changes. At Valcucine, we
advise against using a wooden counter top
near the sink and the stove, because there
is a risk of permanent damage.
If you don’t want to give up the beauty and
warmth that a solid wood counter top can
give your entire kitchen, just use it
somewhere far from water spills, intense
heat and the steam from the dishwasher
Does wood stain?
Yes, especially if it is untreated. At
Valcucine we like it anyway. Because it is a
natural product, it wears well over time,
giving a cozy, homey feeling to your entire
Piano in legno Valcucine a tre strati incrociati per una maggiore stabilità.
Do not use wooden counter tops near the sink or other damp areas. Do buy wood if you want part of your kitchen
to be a natural product that radiates warmth.
The doors you use in your kitchen cabinets
are the most important factor in
determining your kitchen’s looks. Along
with the counter top, the doors the most
vulnerable to wear. It is important to
evaluate quality carefully before you buy. At
Valcucine, we understand your problem.
Doors are the hardest part to pick. There is
such a vast assortment of materials on the
market and not enough information on the
advantages and disadvantages of each.
In addition, there are a lot of imitations
around, which makes it harder for you to
choose the best product.
At Valcucine, our years of experience have
made us familiar with the most common
flaws and we work hard to remove them.
For example, we have found that sink
cabinet doors and those near the
dishwasher can swell with humidity while
the edges of doors near the oven can come
unglued because of the heat.
How can you tell between these and cabinet
doors without those problems? In the
pages that follow, we’ll be looking at
different types of doors. We’ll take an
objective look at the pros and cons of every
material with some brief descriptions that
will help you choose.
Choose your cabinet doors according to your own taste, but be sure to examine the advantages and
disadvantages of each material as well. Ask to see the technical data to be sure of what you’re buying. Make
sure that the doors have rounded corners.
Door Facing
Doors with facing are made of an inner core
(generally chipboard), covered with, sheets
of various materials that give the doors
their specific look.
Facing is applied to both the front and the
side of the doors.
The finish sheets can be made of:
1. Paper soaked in melamine resin, either
colored or with imitation veins like wood
(melamine paper)
2. Melamine laminate, either colored or
with imitation veins like wood
3. Thermoplastic material (generally PVC),
either colored or with imitation veins like
4. Sheets of real wood, 0.5 mm thick,
known as veneer.
What’s the best facing?
Your best choice, in terms of resistance and
functionality, is HPL quality melamine
Laminate can be easily cleaned and resists
scratching, abrasion and heat.
Of course, nothing can beat the beauty of
wood, and its ability to convey a sense of
warmth and intimacy to a kitchen.
Laminate facing
PVC facing
Veneer facing
Avoid unpleasant surprises by studying the technical data to make sure that your cabinet doors are covered with
melamine paper, melamine laminate, thermoplastic material or wood veneer.
Is All Door Facing The Same?
The edges are the most delicate part of
door facing. There are two systems to apply
1. In the edged door, the edging is applied
after the finishing, leaving a crack in the
corner where the inner support is
exposes. Dampness can seep inside,
swelling the panel and causing the
edging to become unglued. Too much
heat can also make the edging - applied
with hot melt glue - detach.
Edged door
2. In pre-glued doors, the edging is applied
before the finishing. The quality of the
pre-glued door is higher than an edged
door because finishing applied with heat
resistant hot melt glues seal all points
against water seepage and make it
impossible for the edging to come off by
exposure to heat.
How can I tell an edged door from one
that’s been pre-glued?
Look at the edge very carefully. If you can
see a line of glue and the thickness of the
edge, it’s not a pre-glued door. But look
very carefully: many manufacturers
camouflage the glue by dying it the color of
wood or the door.
Pre-glued door
Choose pre-glued cabinet doors if you choose them with facing.
Edged Versus Pre-glued Doors
Edged doors
Pre-glued doors
Hot-melt glue
Point where
The edging applied
with this technique
exposes the inside
panel at the
corners, where
water can easily
seep in.
Side veneer that
keeps water from
seeping in
Veneer applied with
glues after applying
the edging seals
the entire door
against water
seepage and keeps
it from coming
unglued due to the
Hot-melt glue protected by
the side veneer
doors (with veneer
and laminate),
edged with hot-melt
glue with a
temperature of
70°C, exposed to
steam for 30
Door in V100 preglued waterrepellent
chipboard (veneer
and laminate),
exposed to steam
for 30 minutes.
doors (with veneer
and laminate),
edged with hot-melt
glue with a
temperature of
70°C, exposed to
heat (100°C) for 10
Door in V100 preglued waterrepellent chipboard
(veneer and
laminate), exposed
to heat (100°C) for
10 minutes.
Laminate Multi-layer Doors
Multi-layer doors are made of a single piece
of multi-layered laminate. This material
has an elevated specific weight and is quite
costly. Valcucine was the first company that
used multi-layered laminate for its cabinet
doors. It has invented and patented a
process to make them thinner, by applying
a laminate panel to an aluminum frame.
That way, we can use a laminate panel
that’s only 5 mm thick for our Artematica
model and only 2 mm thick for our Ricicla
This means that our doors are lighter, the
hinges last longer and there is a lower
environmental impact (lower consumption
of materials and energy—and Ricicla allows
for a 90% reduction in the number of trees
cut down).
Valcucine multi-layered laminate doors are
100% water and heat resistant. You can
soak them in water for hours, and nothing
happens. There is no glued edging to
become detached because the panel is
completely layered in a single process.
The material inside the door panel is the same
as that used on the outside.
Back frame in aluminum.
The multi-layer door is completely waterresistant.
Heat has little effect on the multi-layer door
because there is no glued edging to come
Consider multi-layered laminate. It is the most water- and heat-resistant material there is.
Wooden Multi-layer Doors
It took us years of research and
experimenting, but Valcucine is the first
company to produce a monoblock door in
wood laminate,
We build our wood laminate monoblock
doors with the same technology that we
used for multi-layered laminate doors.
And the result is a single product that has
both the beauty of real wood and the heat
and steam resistance of laminate. There is
no glued edging to become detached
because the panel is completely layered in a
single process.. The resistance of our wood
laminate monoblock doors is unheard-of in
other kinds of wood cabinet doors.
The material inside the door panel is the same
as that used on the outside.
Back frame in aluminum.
The Valcucine wood laminate monoblock door
is completely water-resistant.
Heat has little effect on the multi-layer door
because there is no glued edging to come
Consider wood laminate monoblock doors, if you want wood. It has a much greater resistance to water and heat
than any other wooden doors.
Mechanical Resistance of Thin Doors
Do such thin wood laminate panels have
enough mechanical resistance?
In order to assure the mechanical
resistance of its micro-layered wood
laminate doors, Valcucine uses a special
technique used for car dashboards. Their
resistance is tested in crash tests and we
use the same standards to develop our
door panels. Along with the outer veneer,
the panels have special inner sheets of high
resistance fabric to give great elasticity and
strength even to the thinnest doors.
This advanced, patented technology,
Valcucine’s innovative capacity and our
concern for people and the environment
have all contributed to our company’s
prestige. Which is why we now export our
products all over the world.
Dashboard built of a micro-layered wood panel
Crash test
2 mm
Penetration resistant sheet
Door panel: only 2 mm thick!
The micro-layered panel built with high
resistance micro fabric layers.
Framed Doors
Framed doors are made of a solid wood
frame holding a panel that can be made of a
variety of materials.
There are numerous doors on the market
that look as though they have a frame, but
in actual fact, they have an imitation frame
cut from a single medium density
fiberboard panel and then covered with a
sheet of colored thermoplastic or an
imitation wood finish.
How can I tell the difference between a real
solid wood frame and a simulated frame?
Just open the door and look at the back. If
it has a real solid wood frame, you can also
see it in the back. If it’s an imitation, the
back of the door is smooth.
Front of door with imitation frame.
Back of door with imitation frame: the frame is
not visible.
Front of door with real wood frame.
Back of door with real wood frame: you can see
the raised frame.
If you want kitchen cabinets with real wood frame doors, check the inside to make sure the frame is visible.
Quality in Framed Doors
Framed doors are heat-resistant but in
some cases, the solid wood can crack.
One problem of this kind of door is that
wood is a living material. That means that it
can swell in a humid environment. Longer
frames might even start to warp.
This is why Valcucine uses plywood for the
longer doors of its Sine Tempore framed
doors. The wood is cut and then glued
together in several layers. The new solid
wood is much more stable.
Look carefully at the inside panel, which
can be made of either veneered chipboard
or plywood.
A. Traditional framed door
If the veneer-covered panel is not made
of V100 water-repellent chipboard, it
offers little resistance to dampness.
The chipboard panel makes the door
heavier and cancels out the typical
lightness of a framed door.
B. Valcucine Sine Tempore Door
The veneered plywood panel makes the
door incredibly lightweight and
increases resistance to dampness.
The result is a 100% wood door.
solid wood
Lacquered Doors
Lacquered doors are produce using a
medium density base panel covered with
polyester or polyurethane paints. If you
choose lacquered doors, you’ll have to treat
them carefully since they have a low
resistance to scratching, abrasions and
Lacquers can be opaque or shiny. There are
opaque paints on the market today that are
lovely, even to the touch, but the more
opaque the paint, the more it holds dirt.
Opaque paints also tend to get shiny when
they rub against something, and that
produces unsightly marks.
Shiny lacquering is produced in two ways:
1. Direct shine lacquer: the paint is already
shiny. The surface is not completely flat
and there can be some slight
imperfections from dust that settles on
the paint while it is drying.
Lacquered doors are heavy and can pull down on hinges and ruin alignment of the doors.
2. Brushed lacquer: the film of paint is
sanded with increasingly finer grains
until the surface is perfect smooth and
mirror-like. Traditional lacquered doors
are very heavy and can pull down on
hinges and ruin alignment of the doors.
Artematica lacquered door
At Valcucine, we have solved the problem
of the weight of lacquered doors with our
Artematica model. We made the panel only
6 mm thick and created a technologically
advanced support in aluminum. That way,
the door is 50% lighter. In our Free Play
model, we used a special panel in light MDF
that is 20% lighter than traditional panels.
Free Play lacquered door
How well do lacquered panels resist
water and heat?
If the panels are lacquered properly (with
completely sealed edges) they have
excellent water- and heat-resistance. Lightcolored panels can yellow slightly when
placed near high heat. If you put that kind
of panel in your kitchen, be sure to install
well-ventilated ovens.
Choose light lacquered doors that don’t put too much weight on the hinges.
Be careful of opaque lacquer doors: they collect dirt more easily than shiny lacquer.
The hood
Cooking produces odors, fumes and highly
toxic combustible gases such as carbon
monoxide (CO1), nitrogen oxide (NO2) and
carbon dioxide (CO2). That is why you
need a vent hood to pull odors and fumes
outside. A hood that is not connected to the
outside is practically useless at Valcucine
we definitely advise against it.
The heart of the vent hood—and what
determines the venting capacity—is its
motor. Your vent hood’s motor has to be
powerful enough to exhaust odors and
fumes regardless of the distances or angles
involved. At Valcucine, all of our hoods
have a 750 m3 motor (the volume of air
vented in an hour) and require a 12 cm
diameter aperture.That is one easy way to
tell if you’re buying a quality vent hood:
check the size of the vent duct. The
aperture of entry-level, low quality hoods is
generally only 10 cm.
Grease filters should be made of metal,
dishwasher safe and not made of polyester,
which is flammable.
We prefer fluorescent lighting to
incandescent, for work lights, it lasts longer
and consumes less energy.
At Valcucine, we have seen that many vent
hood exhaust problems crop up because
the hood was not correctly installed. Here
are a few suggestions to make sure that
your hood works properly:
A. The exhaust duct should not curve too
much (you lose about 20% of your
exhaust power with every curve).
B. The hole in the wall should not be too
small. If a 12 cm duct is squeezed into a
10 cm hole it will block air flow.
C. Make sure that the ducts curve gently
and don’t bend at sharp angles.
D. The grating on the outside duct must
have a wide mesh or open when the
hood is turned on. , Otherwise, exhaust
power can be reduced by as much as
Choose a vent hood with a powerful motor and an exhaust duct of at least 12 cm in diameter.
Remember that the hole in the wall must be 12-15 cm wide.
Valcucine Ergonomic 80 cm Deep Hoods
When your counter tops are 80 cm deep,
you need special hoods to assure that
fumes and odors coming from pots on the
outside burners do not stay in the kitchen.
Our unique outfitted back section has been
imitated by a number of companies. Their
designs do not include hoods for proper
venting of fumes.
At Valcucine, our hoods are studied to
guarantee flawless operation and proper
ergonomics, even when your cooktop is 80
cm. The hoods are designed to keep angles
away from your head. This allows you to
take a close look at what is cooking,
without getting injured.
Imitation of the Valcucine back section. Fumes
are not drawn into the vent hood.
The Libera hood
The Cielo Aspirante hood
The Picchio hood
Resin sinks
Stainless steel sinks
Embossed stainless steel sinks
There are dozens of resin sinks available on
the market, many of them of inferior quality.
With time, as you alternate pouring boiling
water down the sink and then turning on
the cold water, thermal shock makes them
dilate. They become less elastic and crack
Resin sinks are easy to clean when they are
new, with time tiny scratches form on the
surface and hold in dirt.
Of all the resin sinks we tested at Valcucine,
the only ones that satisfied us were those in
Fragranite. They resist scratching, abrasion,
stains, impact and thermal shock.
Remember that resin sinks are hard to
Stainless steel sinks are undoubtedly your
best choice. They are recyclable,
indestructible and hygienic. There are two
types: multi-layer and welded bowls. The
multi layer sinks are made from a single
sheet of steel. Their bowls are not as deep
and the steel is thinner. Welded sinks have
deeper, more square-shaped bowls that
hold more. One small problem with
stainless steel sinks is that watermarks
show up more easily to calcium deposits
today there are excellent products on the
market that remove calcium.
Embossed sinks have raised geometric
patterns on the surface. It makes them
more scratch resistant but harder to clean.
What size should I choose?
If you have a dishwasher, a double-bowl
sink is superfluous. One interesting
solution is a 1-_ bowl sink. It takes up less
room (only 60 cm). It is still available to
wash or drain something when the other
sink is full.
Enameled sinks
Enameled sinks can be ruined easily with
impacts, because the enamel is very fragile
and chips.
Be sure to get a long warranty if you buy a resin sink. You will be able to have it replaced free of charge if it
A. Be sure you check the faucet profile.
Faucets have to be high enough over the
sink to let large pots and flower vases fit
beneath them.
B. You can buy water purifiers to put under
the sink. Putting in a separate faucet for
purified water saves you money and
reduces maintenance.
C. The lever has to be long. This makes it
easier to use, when your hands are full.
Buying Ethical Products
We know that like all consumers you are
increasingly aware of how important it is to
protect our natural resources. We know
how eager you are to play an active role in
protecting the environment. You want to
know whether the product you are buying
was built respecting our environment and
Numerous companies label their products
“ecological”. But that means eliminating
environmental impact, and nothing manmade is completely without environmental
Since there are no laws that actually set
standards for what is “ecological”,
manufacturers use the word as they like,
creating confusion and doubts. You have to
study a series of factors to understand
whether what you’re about to buy was
really designed and manufactured with full
respect for the environment.
How can a manufacturer produce goods
with low environmental impact?
Well, at Valcucine, for example, we produce
eco-compatible products, replacing
renewable raw materials.
We’ll be describing that in more detail in the
following pages.
Remember that you too can make a difference in protecting the environment and our health with the products you
choose to buy.
Replacing Renewable Raw Materials
All factories producing consumer goods
use natural resources and energy, releasing
large quantities of carbon dioxide, the
prime cause of the greenhouse effect, into
the atmosphere. They all have a greater or
lesser environmental impact.
There is only one kind of factory that does
not pollute, but actually removes pollution:
Trees are factories that produce wood and
run on solar energy. They use carbon
dioxide as a raw material and release
oxygen—which we need to live—into the
At Valcucine, we sponsor a reforestation
program so that planted trees can
transform the carbon dioxide we emit into
oxygen, replacing the wood we use.
Bioforest: Four Environmental Projects
Valcucine promotes and funds BIOFOREST,
the association for regeneration of the
natural environment. We have started up
two important reforestation and biodiversity
projects in The Amazon and Ecuador, called
“Operation Living Forest” and Operation
Otonga”. We also run an environmental
education program in Italy known as
“Progetto Occhione” and another
reforestation project in the Pordenone area
of Italy where we manufacture our kitchen
Associazione per la rigenerazione
degli ambienti naturali
Operation Otonga
Occhione Project
Operation Otonga in Ecuador was set up to purchase an area of primary forest to preserve
its rich biodiversity of plant and animal life. A scientific base was built to accommodate
researchers interested in cataloguing the thousands of species still unknown. The project is
funding a nursery and reforestation of part of the perimeter to protect the forest.
The operation is coordinated by Giovanni Onore, professor of ecology at the Pontifical
Catholic University of Ecuador.
Some middle schools in the Italian province
of Pordenone have become involved in an
environmental education project. The
project includes creation of a natural
sciences laboratory to study local plant and
animal life and seeding of native trees that
will be planted in a school nursery, to be
transplanted later on in some areas made
available by BIOFOREST.
Vinchiaruzzo Project
Started up in 2004, the project calls for implementation of a plain forest in the province of
Pordenone like the forest that originally covered the entire Po Valley.
Eco-Compatible Design
Industry today has a major responsibility to
create new strategies for eco-compatible
production. We all know that any manmade object has greater or lesser
environmental impact, but we also know
that much can be done to reduce this
impact. At Valcucine, we have done
research into technological innovation for
years with the intention of reducing
environmental impact.
Our products are dematerialized
(manufactured with a minimum of material
and energy), recyclable (facilitating the
reuse of discarded and durable material
(reducing waste).
Minimum consumption of raw
materials and energy
Thanks to our extensive research into
material resistance, we have reduced the
structure of our kitchen cabinets to the
minimum. Our products are the highest
expression of design based on the
philosophy of dematerialization. The best
example is the super-light, multi-layered
door of our Ricicla model. It is made of an
aluminum frame designed with ultra-thin
walls and a front panel of 2 mm. It is made
with construction techniques borrowed
from the automotive industry.
We also design our counter tops according
to the principle of dematerialization. We
build them with an aluminum structure and
laminate, Crystallite or marble surfaces.
Their special structure allows drastic
reduction in the amount of material needed
to build the surface.
In nature, substances circulate and are
transformed. Ultimately, they are
reabsorbed and reused. One important
lesson we need to learn is to reduce the
quantity of waste. We also have to do all we
can to reuse and recycle materials, because
the resources we have available are not
unlimited. At Valcucine, we design products
that can be simply and completely recycled.
How? When our products are no longer in
use, all the parts can be easily identified
and detached. All the plastic components
are marked, so spotting them at the end of
their life-cycle is a trouble-free process.
We want to encourage recycling, so when
you’re finished with your kitchen, we will
take back the parts and reuse all of them.
The aluminum frame, for example, is 100%
recyclable. Aluminum is extremely ecocompatible; recovery consumes only 5% of
the energy used to produce the primary
metal without emission of toxic gas.
Today, Valcucine’s Research and
Development Center is studying the
transformation of discarded multi-layered
laminate panels for use as car dashboards
or containers.
Recycling cycle for a door made up of an aluminum structure and panels in multi-layered laminate.
Ricicla door. The components can easily be
separated and recycled.
Technical Durability
Thanks to the application of innovative
technologies, at Valcucine our products
have high resistance and durability.
The technology we use to manufacture our
multi-layer doors comes straight from the
technology used to build car dashboards.
Along with the outer veneer, we use special
micro fabric for the inside layers. That
means that our door panels are elastic and
Since they have no edging to become
unglued or finishing applied later, they will
never come apart, even if you soak them in
water for a long time. That’s because they
are produced in a single process using high
Our Ricicla doors are an example of how
dematerialization can still raise quality and
Durability (looks)
Using technologically advanced solutions
certainly helps prolong a product’s physical
and technical life. But our hand
craftsmanship, use of inlay and
personalized décor gives our kitchens a
lasting beauty that makes you love your
kitchen more as time passes.
Your kitchen’s life span will not be
determined by what’s in fashion. It will
reflect deeper, more concrete values.
The longer it lasts, the farther in the future
will be the consumption of more raw
materials to replace it. And that means
lower environmental impact.
Wood that’s not from primary
The primary forest is a blessing for all
humanity. A blessing that gave us immense
plant and animal biodiversity after millions
of years. Once it is destroyed, it can never
be rebuilt.
As the lumber industry penetrates the
forest, it destroys vast areas that house
plants and animals along with the culture,
food and medicinal resources of their
indigenous populations. It is also
endangered by the fires set to prepare the
terrain for other equally destructive
activities, such as livestock and agriculture,
which prevent the growth of new trees.
The primary forest is also vital for the rain
cycle and for maintaining the microclimate.
Deforestation is one of the reasons for our
accelerating global climatic change and an
increase of the greenhouse effect.
These are all the reasons to avoid use of
primary forest lumber extracted with
destructive practices. Lumber can be
obtained from special plantations.
At Valcucine, we want nothing to do with
exploitation of the primary forest. We only
use species from plantations where a
balance between cutting and planting has
been achieved.
Respecting Health: Controlling Toxic Gas
The air we breathe in our kitchen can
become polluted by the toxic emissions
from the stains and glues used to make
At Valcucine, we do sample testing to make
sure that our kitchen cabinet components
do not release volatile substances into the
air that can damage your health. We also
check to be sure that our products are not
contaminated with artificial radioactivity,
respecting German standards of
formaldehyde emissions.
Synthetic paints
Even long after we buy it, furniture treated
with synthetic paints give off volatile toxic
substances in our homes. Valcucine does
special testing to analyze the pollution
caused by these substances.
This table shows the amounts and types of
volatile organic substances in a 1 m2
surface painted with acrylic products
diluted with synthetic thinners. In our
continuous effort to avoid emission of toxic
substances from synthetic solvents, we
have developed a paint cycle where
solvents were substituted with water (see
page 94). We have also created a natural
oil- and wax-based surface finish with
orange-peel oil extract solvent.
Ethyl methyl ketone
ethyl acetate
i-Butyl acetate
n-Butyl acetate
Xylene isomers
methoxypropanol acetate
ethoxypropanol acetate
hexanoic aldehyde
Butyl Cellosolve
acetic acid
Methyl benzoate
Dimethyl hydroxyacetophenone
Total V.O.S
Air polluted by synthetic paint is injected into
the gas chromatograph to analyze its
Substances emitted in 1 m3 of air in 24 hours
by 1 m2 surface of painted panel 30 days
before testing with acrylic paints.
Artificial radioactivity
Nuclear disasters like Chernobyl create
artificial radioactivity that is absorbed by
plants (and therefore wood) and then
released into the atmosphere even after
long periods of time.
Since the quantity of toxic presence varies
according to the lumber’s place of origin,
Valcucine does sample testing to make sure
that the wood it uses does not come from
areas severely polluted by radioactivity
Analysis for control of gamma isotope pollution
at the CRAD Laboratory of Nuclear
Chipboard panels contain ureic glue, a
substance that emits formaldehyde
continuously for years. Even though it is
now known to be carcinogenic.
Regardless of the fact that Italy and many
other countries set no standards for levels
of formaldehyde emissions, Valcucine
builds there products to meet stringent
German standards for emissions.
Analysis of gases at the CATAS labs.
Kitchens without Chipboard
If you are interesting in applying the criteria
of bio-architecture in your kitchen, we at
Valcucine will manufacture completely
chipboard free cabinets.
1. Water-resistant multi-layer
2. HPL laminate
1. Laminate wood
2. Aluminum
NEW 5mm laminate top
Counter tops
1. 5mm HPL laminate
2. Plywood
2. Aluminum
1. Laminate wood
2. Steel
3. Aluminum
4. Plywood
Water-based Paint
One of the most serious pollution problems
in cabinet making is the evaporation of the
synthetic paint solvents.
A medium-sized furniture maker releases
tons of solvents into the air every day,
polluting the area around it.
Micro-evaporation of these solvents
continues afterwards for even longer
periods, polluting the area where the piece
of furniture is located (see table, page 91).
Today, our customers, workers and the
towns near our factories can all benefit
from Valcucine research. After two years of
study and testing, to limit drastically toxic
emissions, we have substituted synthetic
solvents with the world’s most natural
solvent water.
Our innovative capacity continues to pave
the way for improvement in the industry.
We have been pleased to see some of our
competitors adopt similar practices. As
the saying goes, “imitation is the sincerest
form of flattery. At Valcucine we are eager
to see all industry work for an improvement
in our environment and health.
Synthetic solvent paint
Be sure that water-based protective paint is used on your wooden cabinets.
Valcucine’s water-based paint
Important Things to Remember Before You Buy
1. Check to make sure that your cabinets have reliable seals of approval.
2. Take a good look at the length of your warranty, read the fine print carefully and get a written warranty for spare parts.
3. Be sure that you know what materials are used to build your kitchen. It is your right by law. Ask to see the product
card and have a copy attached to your contract so that you can be sure that you are getting the product you paid for.
You will have written proof should there be any disputes.
4. Before you buy cabinets built of melamine board, ask your dealer to show you written proof that they are made of
V100 water-repellent chipboard. Be sure also that the board is Class E1, respecting the strict German laws on
formaldehyde emission.
Be careful of what the material is called. The terms “wood particle panel and “agglomerate wood panel” are really
fancier names for just plain chipboard.
6. Ask to “try out” the ergonomics of your kitchen cabinets. Make sure that they fit you.
7. Ensure that you start out with accurate, well-thought out plans drawn by a good designer. Have the dealer check
site dimensions so that you are not blamed for any mistakes.
Along with technical quality, think carefully about how you want your kitchen to look and try to avoid the latest fad.
9. You should examine the product you are buying carefully to make sure that it was well made. The best way to do
that it to study the details.
10. Try to choose kitchen cabinets with real Class 3 plywood interiors. Their quality and durability are unmatched by
normal chipboard interiors. Beware of imitations.
11. Choose counter tops according to your needs and taste, Do not forget to look at the advantages and disadvantages
of the material used. You can read about them right in this booklet.
12. Choose your kitchen cabinet doors according to your taste, don’t forget to look at the advantages and disadvantages
of the material used. That information is also in this booklet.
13. When you buy your kitchen appliances, take a look at the energy consumption cards. If you want to be an ecofriendly consumer, choose low energy Class A appliances.
14. Use a magnet to check on the quality of the steel used for the cabinet parts (sides, draining racks, counter tops).
High quality steel contains little iron and only attracts the magnet slightly.
Kitchen Safety for Kids
The oven door should stay cool, when the
oven is on.
Buy a cooktop with a safety valve
Put grating around the cooktop to keep
children from reaching the pots and pans.
Keep detergents and dangerous liquids in a
locked box.
Make sure that pantry cabinets are solidly
anchored to keep them from tipping over.
Suspended bases must have a tested
system to keep them solidly anchored to
the wall.
Have a magnetic device installed in drawers
to keep them closed.
Check to be sure that handles were tested
to withstand heavy loads and that their
height and weight can be regulated.
Ask to have tempered glass installed on
shelves and doors. It is safer and more
Install a master off/on electric switch for
the oven that children can not reach.
If drawers and doors have simple slots
instead of handles, be sure that they are not
too small.
Make sure that all cabinet parts have
rounded corners.
Questions to Ask When You Buy
Does the kitchen come with an instruction
and maintenance manual?
Are the assembly instructions clear?
Does the kitchen come with at least one
product seal of approval?
Does the manufacturer try to reduce
environmental impact?
Are there systems to reduce toxic
emissions as much as possible?
Can the parts be recycled?
Do the hinges have easy three-way
adjustments? Are they coupled
automatically? Were they tested in
accordance with German standards?
Is the bottom of your sink cabinet covered
with aluminum? Is it completely sealed
against leaks? Were the legs screwed to the
bottom without putting a hole in the
Are the sides of the cabinet holding the
dish rack lined in aluminum? Were they
sealed against leaks? Are the racks in
18/8 stainless steel?
Are there bumpers on the doors?
Do the lift up doors have hydraulic opening
Is the back of the refrigerator cabinet waterrepellent with an indentation to protect the
interior from any leaks?
Do drawers come equipped with
accessories and dividers to keep contents
in place and items neater.
Do the drawer slides have a capacity of 40
kg for 60 cm drawers and 70 kg for 90 cm
and 120 cm drawers? Do they close
automatically? Are they light and
soundless? Do they have an end stop?
Do the 90 and 120 cm drawers have a
device to make sure they pull out straight?
Are the counter tops at least 65 cm deep?
Are the gaskets made of silicone rubber, a
durable material?
Are the doors padded so that they close
softly and do not bang?
Are the long shelves in wall cabinets
reinforced to prevent buckling?
Are interior walls at least 18 mm thick?
Are glass shelves at least 8-10 mm thick?
Is tempered glass used?
Are cabinets’ interiors and drawers large
enough to hold things?
Do the deep drawers have solid side panels
to keep things from falling out?
Do drawers have rubber pads on the
bottom to make cleaning easier and to keep
the bottom from being scratched?
Do the lights inside the cabinets come
equipped with sensors so that they turn off
and on automatically to save energy?
Are the bulbs marked with a double M or
the equivalent F? They can only be used
with inflammable products if they carry
those marks.
Are the toekicks in undeformable
aluminum? Do they have air vents to cool
the refrigerator? Is there a handle so that
you can remove them easily to clean under
the furniture?
Is the sealer water- and heat-resistant? Is it
the right shape and soft enough to
thoroughly seal the wall and counter top?
Does the counter top have a sideguard to
keep water from dripping down the side of
the cabinet?
Were your chairs tested by experts to be
sure that they will hold up over time, in
keeping with government standards?
Acrylic stain
greenhouse effect.
The stain with the highest resistance to light. It gives the greatest
guarantee against yellowing.
It is used in particular on light-colored woods where yellowing stain
would result in unpleasant color changes. It gives wood a very natural
appearance since it is applied in thin coats without creating a film on
the wood.
Carbon monoxide
A silvery-colored metal, soft and very light. It is the third most
abundant material found in nature. It can be die-cast or drawn and is
then painted or protected with anodic oxidation which makes the
surface scratch- and corrosion-resistant. Aluminum not treated in this
way oxidizes and thus darkens easily.
Chlorofluorocarbon, known commercially as Freon, was used widely
in the past in the refrigeration industry and as a propellant in spray
cans. Widespread use however has led to its accumulation in the
stratosphere causing a series of destructive chemical reactions. Since
Freon is partly responsible for the hole in the ozone layer, other, more
ecological gases are now being used.
Carbon monoxide is generally the result of incomplete hydrocarbon
combustion. This occurs in the home when food is cooked on gas
burners. Colorless and odorless, it is a toxic pollutant that bonds with
hemoglobin in the blood, preventing it from carrying oxygen through
the body. It can cause death by suffocation.
Carbon dioxide
Gas that forms during combustion when the carbon in fuel bonds with
two oxygen atoms in the air. Carbon dioxide is the prime culprit of the
Chipboard is made with the scrap from wood processing and residue
from trees. It is favorable ecologically because no additional trees are
cut down to make it. Chipboard is made from chips and particles of
wood that are pressed and bonded with thermo-hardening glue.
Generally, it is then covered with veneer, melamine resin paper, PVC or
laminate to give it its aesthetic qualities.
Mechanically it has great dimensional stability. This makes it extremely
useful for large surfaces where solid wood could buckle. It is not very
resistant to dampness; the problem has been partially but not
completely resolved with the creation of V100 water-repellent board.
The glues used for chipboard release formaldehyde, this has been
reduced to a minimum in board produced in accordance with strict
German standards (Category E1).
Hot-melt glue
Adhesives that are applied while hot which adhere and harden during
cooling. They are reversible because they soften when heated to
temperatures between 60°C and 100°C, temporarily losing their
adhesive power. Used almost exclusively to attach edging.
HPL laminate
Only laminate boards meeting the standards of excellence of EN
438/1 regulations are fit to be called HPL (High Pressure Laminates).
This high quality material is extremely hard and resists scratching,
wear, impact, chemical agents and fire.
Class 3 exterior plywood
Five or more layers of wood are arranged with the grain at right angles
and attached with glues that resist water and humidity. Valcucine
makes its Class 3 exterior plywood with a full 11 layers of birch wood.
Also known commercially as “Formica”, it has a base of phenol resin
and decorated melamine paper glued together to form sheets
approximately 0.6 mm think. It is used to cover lumber core. If both
sides are covered, it is called double-sided laminate.
Ergonomics studies the interaction between people, their work place
and equipment to facilitate safer use of objects.
Covering a raw wood panel with various materials, e.g. laminate, PVC,
veneer, etc.
Board of three layers of wood veneer arranged with the grain at right
angels to each other and attached with thermohardening glue. When
more than three layers are used (but always an odd number), it is
called multilayer board.
Medium density fiberboard
A pungent-smelling chemical used to make most thermohardening
glues for the furniture industry. Suspected of being cancerous, in high
concentrations, it can cause tearing and irritation of the respiratory
tract. In 1977, the B.G.A. (The Berlin Health Board) decreed that it is
dangerous in concentrations of 0.1 p.p.m. (parts per million) or 12
mg/m3. Many other countries have adopted this standard.
Greenhouse effect
During the day, the earth’s surface accumulates the heat of the sun. At
night, the heat escapes into space. Excessive concentration of carbon
dioxide in the air traps the heat from the sun’s warmth during the day
and keeps it from being expelled. The resulting effect is similar to that
of a greenhouse.
Board made with wood processing scrap. Ecologically valid because
production does not required that more trees be cut down. Wood
fiber—produced using steam and defibrators—is bound with
thermohardening glues. Once pressed, the fiber (which resembles
cotton wool) has excellent mechanical properties and dimensional
stability. It is compact along its edges making it excellent for making
lacquered panels and PVC faced board and for large surfaces where
solid wood might buckle. Fiberboard is very heavy and does not resist
humidity. There is also V100 MDF board which is designed to have a
higher resistance to humidity.
Melamine board
Chipboard faced with sheets of melamine resin-soaked paper.
Melamine paper
Paper that is soaked in melamine resin. It can be various colors or
imitate wood. Used to finish chipboard, which is then called melamine
- resilient over time
- resistant to temperatures between -100°C and +300°C
- bacterioloigcally inert (resistant to fungus and microorganisms)
- stable in the sun’s rays
- easy to clean
Multilayer laminate
Laminate with a resin base generally thicker than 1 mm. The
mechanical properties make them suitable for use alone or applied to
wooden boards. Laminate is highly resistant and is therefore excellent
for use in kitchen cabinets.
A method of printing (on metal, glass, plastic, etc.) where the ink is
passed through the mesh of silk with stencils. On glass, the silkscreen
can also be tempered by using high temperatures that melt the color
onto the glass, making it indelible.
Solid wood
Natural Oil-based Stains
Most Natural Oil-Based Stains are made from natural extracts such as
bee’s wax or linseed, rape, soybean or coconut oil. They are
completely free of phosphates, sulfates, preservatives, sealers and
formaldehyde. Solvents are produced from citrus fruit skins. Using
natural oil-based stains is benefits both workers and the environment.
Material made from veneer and an inner core of solid wood strips.
Term used to indicate furniture or furniture parts built only using wood
cut directly from tree trunks. Solid wood comes from various species:
for example walnut, beech, cherry, etc.
Stainless steel
Steel that resists corrosion and some chemical agents. It must contain
at least 12% chrome to be called stainless. Since it is very hygienic, it
is used to manufacture food containers, pots and pans, sinks and
counter tops. 18/10 stainless steel (18% chrome, 10% nickel) is
normally used for this purpose.
Polyurethane paint
The most commonly used stain in the wood sector based upon its low
cost and easy application. It is not very resistant to light and tends to
produce an unsightly yellow film with time. For that reason, it is not
suitable for light-colored wood.
Tempered glass
Glass that is particularly hard and impact resistant (5 times more than
normal glass) thanks to toughing. The glass is heated to very high
temperatures (650°C) and then cooled quickly with cold air. Tempered
glass breaks into tiny pieces rather than large sharp shards.
Polyvinyl chloride is one of the most commonly used materials in the
furniture industry and is used to cover structural components and
doors. It is considered a toxic material, but the only danger is during
production and destruction (if it is not burned in special incinerators, it
produces dioxins). It can be colored and can imitate wood grain. A
thermoplastic material, it is not heat-resistant and softens at
temperatures between 75° and 95° C.
Silicone rubber
A plastic mass of silicon and oxygen. Vulcanization makes it pliable
and produces silicone rubber. It is:
Tempering temperature
The temperature at which hot-melt glues begin to soften and liquefy,
causing edging to come off.
Thermohardening glues
Resins that join during heat-activated chemical reactions. The major
thermohardening glues used in the furniture industry are obtained
with a mixture of formaldehyde and other basic resins. Since they are
formed through chemical reactions, they are irreversible glues that
resist high temperatures.
Tree species
The different types of wood found in nature. Wood from different
species differs in appearance and physical and mechanical properties.
There are basically two categories: coniferous and broad-leafed trees.
The first group includes pine, spruce, cedar and larch. The second
group includes walnut, beech, cherry, oak and ash.
Veneer or sliced veneer is a thin sheet of wood (about 0.6 mm) made
by rotary cutting or sawing a log. Used to face wooden board, this is
known as “veneered board”.
Veneered board
Board finished with veneer.
Water-based paint
Part of the new system of ecological paint with water solvents. This
solves serious problems of environmental impact (up to 70% of most
products use polluting solvents that evaporate when drying). Waterbased paints are still in the experimental phase.
The furniture industry calls any chipboard, medium-density and
multilayered board that resists swelling caused by water seeping into
the fibers of the wood water-repellent.
Where we work
Designed by G. Centazzo
The Artematica model is Valcucine’s primary line. We have been making it for 15
years with a style and philosophy that are
still leading the industry.
Artematica’s pure volumes and clean formal lines are in keeping with the latest
trends its personalized touches make your
kitchen cabinets stand out.
Environmental friendly
traditional steel surface
New Valcucine aluminum surface with stainless steel finish
Designed by G. Centazzo
Ricicla makes the definitive statement
regarding dematerialization—manufacturing with a minimum of material and
energy. Ricicla doors utilize a highly resistant 2mm laminate, they are available in
an array of finishes. The Ricicla door is the
result of years of study and research and is
the most advanced technology. Ricicla was
designed and built to minimize environmental impact. Ricicla respects the four
principles of eco-compatibility: the least
possible consumption of raw materials and
energy, durability, recyclability and absence
of toxicity.
Innovative materials
free play
Designed by G. Centazzo
Free play: freedom from the constraints of
traditional kitchens. Free play introduces
new shapes and new accessories, all
personalized to fit you. The catalogue
contains a series of pictures with different
looks to reflect your taste. The common
denominator is freedom. Free play is the
kitchen where chores are as much a
pleasure as sitting around the table, it gives
daily routines a dash of color and a hint of
sine tempore
Designed by G. Centazzo
Sine Tempore, combines the essence of
kitchens of the past with our tradition.
Sine Tempore revives the feeling that
the warmth of wood produces without
complicated, elaborate forms. It is wood
with the lines and the feeling of modern
design. Hand craftsmanship and inlay
create a convivial environment, enriching
the cabinets and making the kitchen
a prized possession.
The Valcucine products have passed all the tests and checks mentioned in this guide. The technical qualities described refer to the Valcucine price list on the date in which the guide was drawn up (May 2005)
Valcucine is entitled to make modifications at any time to improve its products.
It is strictly prohibited to reproduce texts, photos or drawings contained in this guide, either entirely or partially, unless agreed upon with
Valcucine S.p.A..
All rights reserved.
The brands mentions in this guide belong to the respective organisations.