Space Plugs – The Handy ‘Doofer’!

 

We’ve always make a point of keeping up to date with the latest news in the kitchen industry. So a number of month’s back we were sent some samples of a new product being introduced to the market called ‘Space Plugs’. Something the inventor un-officially refers to as ‘The Handy Little Doofer!’…

Now at first glance we almost disregarded the Space Plug as just another invention that does the same job as countless others, but this time in new packaging (yawn). In fact we weren’t the only ones who thought that Space Plugs might struggle, as the product was discussed on a professional kitchen forum well before they were tested on the market. I’m glad to say we were wrong! (well at least some of us, opps!)

I suppose the suspicion of this new product is that it is so simple. In today’s technological age we just expect new inventions to be extremely intricate in design and produced by people with devastatingly high IQ’s. So when an average Joe like most of us comes along and designs such a wonderfully simple product that just works… well, we curse our bad luck and the old clique of ‘Why the hell didn’t I think of that!!’ springs to mind. It is safe to say we are still licking our wounds.

So let me introduce to you the ‘Space Plug’. Now if all goes well this is the only time you should see it, as it is designed to be a hidden kitchen cabinet fixing.

It’s not much to look at but this ‘Handy Little Doofer’ has a few tricks up its sleeve. Benefits for both the installer and the home owner.

In order to appreciate the benefits, you have to understand a few downfalls of its predecessor the humble ‘L’ bracket. The ‘L’ bracket has been serving the kitchen fitter and carpenter well enough for decades. In much the same way vacuum bags have been serving the stereotypical housewife until the bagless Dyson came along.

Space Plugs fights it out with the humble ‘L’ bracket

The ‘L’ bracket in terms of kitchen fitting is simply used to fix base units to walls, an easy task you’d think? Walls in houses are very rarely straight and that poses problems, those 3/4/5mm deviations all matter in kitchen fitting, even more so in Regency Brighton where walls can drift whole postcodes away and back. So units are often packed out or scribed to the wall in order to give you clean lines and avoid that rustic look. With ‘L’ brackets this all takes time as they are one dimensional. Pack the unit out too much and the bracket doesn’t work, too little and you struggle with your drill to fix the damn things. This is how it’s always been and we just accepted it as our lot. Not so with the Space Plug, these give us easy adjustment and take up the slack in just a few simple turns of a threaded core. We place the unit where we want it and adjust the Space Plug to suit. No more messing about with plastic packers trying out the various different sizes or moving the unit back and forth in order to get a firm fixing.

In addition to taking up divations in walls, there are also times when you want to move kitchen units off the wall in order to give a slightly increased depth of work surface. In fact we have a project coming up that requries the worktop depth to be incresed to 621mm as opposed to the standard 600mm, the reason for moving the units out is so we can do away with filler panels and have the kitchen fit wall to wall perfectly. In the past we would either make up an additional timber frame to bring the units off the wall or make the units a special size. Again the Space Plugs do away with both those requirements.

Cost Savings

Whilst this is great for the kitchen fitter and saves him time and money, therefore the home owner too. For us that isn’t Space Plugs biggest draw. By far the biggest downfall of the ‘L’ bracket is that once the worktops are fitted it is completely inaccessible, meaning that the unit is permanently fixed until either A) the worktops are removed or B) the unit is butchered until you can get at the fixing again.

You would be surprised at how many times we are asked to remove or replace units in old kitchens for one reason or another. With the Space Plug fixing we can remove that unit in minutes without disturbing or damaging any units or worktop around it. In real terms that means substantial savings in labour cost to the home owner and less headache for the tradesman yet again. A win-win you might say.

Flaws?

So what are the downsides? It’s only fair we pick a few holes in order to give a balanced view. Well for starters they are 15 times more expensive than traditional fixings. An ‘L’ bracket will set you back 3 pence each, so the average sized kitchen using Space Plugs will add a whopping £7.50 to the budget… hmmmm maybe not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things. How about they are orange? Not a personal problem for me as I quite like the colour, besides these are hidden fixings so I doubt many could complain… I’m clutching at straws here… No. the only real criticism I could level at them is that they only come in 2 sizes, standard 30-50mm and XL 50-80mm. I can think of plenty of other applications to use them (and already have) if they came in certainly bigger sizes but also smaller.

My guess though is that these will be so successful it is only a matter of time the range expands and becomes the norm, for not only kitchen fitters, but the whole construction trade in general. You heard it here first (well sort of)

For more information watch the video below or visit www.space-plug.com