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Why community kitchens can’t rely on MDF

You know that your kitchen is at the heart of your church or community centre: that’s why it needs to be more than just functional – it’s a space for people to connect over cooking, socialise, learn new skills and make new friends.

That’s why, when many community centres opt for a kitchen, they choose one just like their home kitchen – one that’s warm and welcoming.

However, while you might think a domestic-style kitchen is the best choice, it won’t offer the hygiene or durability needed for a community kitchen that will see a lot of use.

In most domestic kitchens, MDF is the material of choice, but it simply won’t cut it for a church or community centre – here’s why you need to avoid it, and why certain other options mean you won’t have to compromise on a kitchen that’s as welcoming as it is hard-wearing.

Poor hygiene

MDF kitchens are not designed with hygiene and cleanliness in mind. When preparing food and drinks for large numbers of people, you need to be confident that your workspaces are clean and bacteria-free.

The problem with MDF worktops is that they can absorb water, oils and other spillages into the surface – becoming a breeding ground for mould and bacteria.

Even with a vinyl-wrapped surface, the coating can peel away or lift, allowing moisture to get underneath the wrap, which not only spoils the appearance, but can also allow bacteria to fester in hard-to-reach spaces.

Solution: Zintec polyester powder-coated mild steel kitchens are non-absorbent and easy to wipe down, allowing you to work on clean, dry surfaces when preparing food. With the help of semi-commercial kitchen experts like Steelplan, you can also design your kitchen in a triangular formation to limit cross-contamination and promote a more hygienic kitchen environment for your church or community centre.

Lack of durability

MDF ‘flat pack’ kitchens are a hugely popular choice for the domestic market – and for good reason. They are aesthetically-pleasing, light, and relatively easy to put together.

However, they are not the best choice for a semi-commercial kitchen.

Why? Because community kitchens experience frequent (and sometimes boisterous) use, which gradually takes its toll. MDF isn’t known for its durability, and it can easily be scratched and marked, meaning regular replacements will be needed: both of which drain time and money.

Solution: On the other hand, a mild steel semi-commercial kitchen is designed with durability in mind. It offers a tough alternative, but one that is also easy to clean with over-the-counter cleaner, without causing smears or fingerprints that can ruin the aesthetic of your kitchen.

Limited design options

Whilst MDF can be very homely from an aesthetic perspective, its limitations in terms of durability and hygiene mean that you are actually restricted into choosing a design that is bold yet wholly impractical, or slightly more practical and dull.

In effect, it gives you very little freedom to customise your kitchen to suit your church or community centre’s desired aesthetic.

Solution: Powder-coated mild steel, offers a lot of choice when it comes to the character and tone of your kitchen. You have the freedom to pick a colour that suits your community from a nearly-limitless list of RAL colours, which let you give your kitchen a fresh, welcoming appearance that both your guests and your team will love.

By partnering with Steelplan, we can help you customise and tailor your kitchen space to suit both your functionality and design preferences, whether you want a bright and vibrant kitchen or something a little more understated and minimalist, our team can help you make the right decisions for your church or community centre.

False Economy

While MDF may have low upfront costs, it’s a false economy. Since the material isn’t as long-lasting, worktops and units will deteriorate rapidly regardless of how much or little you use it, meaning it won’t be long until you need to replace it and install a new kitchen all over again.

In the long run, an MDF kitchen will likely cost you more to maintain than if you had chosen a more durable material from the outset.

Solution: That’s where mild steel kitchens differ. With a semi-commercial kitchen, the materials are designed for more frequent use than a domestic kitchen, making it more durable and therefore cost efficient, with fewer repairs needed over the course of its life.

Build your dream semi-commercial kitchen with Steelplan

If you’re looking to revamp your church or community centre kitchen this year, a semi-commercial kitchen could be exactly what you need to create a welcoming, functional and hygienic space for your community to enjoy.

If you’re curious to know how it would look in your space, why not try out our free design and consultation service for sneak preview of how your new kitchen could look? Email [email protected] to get started.

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