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Large open plan kitchen with pale wood units and a concrete work surface

How to prevent sound pollution in an open-plan kitchen

Design ideas to keep noise levels to a minimum in a multipurpose space

By Becca Green | 4 November 2020

Open-plan living spaces are great when you want to create a sense of easy social interaction. Knocking through smaller rooms will also make the floor plan feel bigger. As the kitchen is a social hub in many homes, it’s not surprising that the desire for opening up starts with this room.

There are several design considerations to take into account before leaping into creating an open-plan layout. One of which is how to prevent sound pollution from appliances and clattering pans travelling to the seating and dining areas. Sean O’Donnell, design consultant at Burlanes Interiors offers advice on ways to keep things quiet.

An open-plan kitchen with white units and a dining area in front of a central island

Building an extension allowed for a spacious kitchen diner. Photo: Julian Cornish-Trestrail

Choose appliance models with care

Check the decibel ratings of any new appliances, before you buy. Particularly the extractor fan as this is likely to generate the most noise. Look for products that have the Quiet Mark award, as they will have passed stringent tests for sound.

Plan the layout

Another option for how to prevent sound pollution is to design the food preparation and cooking area of your kitchen so that it is as far as possible from where you are going to be sitting and eating. Dedicating the opposite ends of your open-plan space for cooking and relaxing lessens the level of noise in your quiet zone.

Open-plan living spaces are great when you want to create a sense of easy social interaction. Knocking through smaller rooms will also make the floor plan feel bigger. As the kitchen is a social hub in many homes, it’s not surprising that the desire for opening up starts with this room.

There are several design considerations to take into account before leaping into creating an open-plan layout. One of which is how to prevent sound pollution from appliances and clattering pans travelling to the seating and dining areas. Sean O’Donnell, design consultant at Burlanes Interiors offers advice on ways to keep things quiet.

An open-plan kitchen with white units and a dining area in front of a central island

Building an extension allowed for a spacious kitchen diner. Photo: Julian Cornish-Trestrail

Choose appliance models with care

Check the decibel ratings of any new appliances, before you buy. Particularly the extractor fan as this is likely to generate the most noise. Look for products that have the Quiet Mark award, as they will have passed stringent tests for sound.

Plan the layout

Another option for how to prevent sound pollution is to design the food preparation and cooking area of your kitchen so that it is as far as possible from where you are going to be sitting and eating. Dedicating the opposite ends of your open-plan space for cooking and relaxing lessens the level of noise in your quiet zone.

Go integrated

Muffle any sound that is produced by choosing integrated appliances that are housed in good-quality cabinets and behind well-fitting doors that have soft-close hinges, so that the doors never slam shut.

Muffle the sound

Adding soundproof plasterboard such as those from JCW Acoustic Supplies to the walls and ceiling is an unobtrusive and effective noise-dampening solution. Soft furnishings and flooring such as cork or luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs) also absorb sound. They are particularly useful in a big space with high ceilings that might otherwise act like an echo chamber.

lvt kitchen flooring - how to minimise sound in an open-plan kitchen - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Create some separation

Folding screens or pocket doors help create separate zones, without losing a feeling of openness. This is a great way to create a relaxation area or quiet corner for a home office.

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