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Floor Cabinets: What Are They and Do You Need Them?

Floor Cabinets: What Are They and Do You Need Them?

While four and five–room HDB flats rank among the most popular in Singapore, 5.8 per cent of the population lives in one or two-room flats and 17.8 per cent of people live in three-room flats. These smaller and more compact residential spaces often necessitate the introduction of smart storage solutions.

If you feel that your HDB flat lacks sufficient cabinet space, you may want to consider the introduction of floor cabinets.

As the name suggests, these are concealed storage units that are accessible through the floor. Such cabinets have to be custom-made but they save a lot of space and they provide a storage solution in a flat that may be lacking a sufficient number of cupboards, cabinets or closets.

Many HDB flats already rock hidden floor cabinets and if you’re interested in such a solution for your property, you should definitely get in touch with an experienced Singapore interior designer.

The Benefits of Concealed Floor Cabinets

The first advantage of a concealed floor cabinet is obvious – it frees up a lot of space and makes a tiny HDB flat look a lot more spacious and clutter-free.

You will have much more room and each part of the apartment will feel a lot more spacious. In addition, you will utilize available space that wouldn’t have been put to a good use otherwise.

Floor cabinets are an ideal choice for overcoming clutter. Whether you have numerous clothes, knick-knacks a favourite hobby collection or a wine cellar to put away, a floor cabinet will be a good choice. Some people may opt for the storage of items that aren’t frequently used there. Depending on just how accessible the cabinet is, however, it could be turned into a storage solution for just about anything.

Finally, a concealed cabinet comes with one final added perk – it is hidden. This feature makes it a wonderful choice for the storage of valuables, documents, money and collectibles. If the cabinet is well-made and unobtrusive, you’re not going to need a safe in your HDB flat.

Getting Started with Floor Cabinet Design

As already mentioned, a floor cabinet will have to be custom-made for your HDB flat. Hence, you have the freedom to conceptualise any kind of design.

Talk to an experienced interior designer and let them know what your idea is. A professional in the field will give you valid information about the practical appeal of the ideal and whether regulatory hindrances stand in the way of bringing it to reality.

There are several key things to consider when planning the construction of floor storage units in your HDB flat.

For a start, how will you access the cabinet? Will it be a fold-out space, will there be a sliding cabinet door that’s pushed aside to reach the storage unit?

How much space do you have for storage in the floor of your HDB flat? How deep is the storage unit going to be? Answering this question will also give you an idea about how the door can be designed for maximum convenience.  A regular door, for example, isn’t a suitable choice for a larger storage unit in the floor because it will be too heavy. A sliding panel will do a much better job.

Talk to a construction contractor and an interior designer about the size of the unit you want and whether it will have to be reinforced in any way to maintain structural integrity.

You will also have to decide if the floor cabinet is going to get locked or secured in a specific way. A door that opens with a code or a small padlock, for example, would be a suitable choice for the storage of valuables.

Once you’re done with the key practical considerations, you can move on to more exciting aspects of the project like its appearance. You can, for example, choose to feature a glass cabinet in your floor. The see-through surface will reveal the storage compartments underneath – a great choice if you have a beautiful collection that you want to display in an unusual way.

Some automation or motorised elements could also be considered if you want the “wow” factor. Having the floor cabinet open up at the push of a button will obviously maximise the functional appeal of the storage unit.

HDB Regulations and Floor Cabinets

The Housing and Development Board has certain conditions and limitations in terms of HDB flat renovations and maintenance.

If you want to carry out a massive modification like the creation of a storage unit in the floor of your apartment, you’ll have to figure out whether such projects are permissible under the HDB guidelines.

A small modification of the floor isn’t going to necessitate an HDB permit and you’re free to carry the project out. If your cabinet is to extend beyond a certain depth, you’ll have to draft a project and submit it for HDB approval before you can move forward with the modification.

There isn’t a specific guideline for floor storage units but if you want to feature a pond or a fish tank in your HDB flat, you cannot go beyond a depth of 0.5 metres. A similar rule will apply to any other floor modification, regardless of the purpose.

For best results, you should work with HDB licensed interior designers and contractors. These professionals know the rules and they can guide you through the process of obtaining permits and creating a project that doesn’t violate HDB regulations.

Home Guide is an HDB certified interior design company that has executed dozens of residential interior design projects through the years. Our work brings together regulatory compliance and a contemporary, creative approach. We’re open to putting together unorthodox solutions for your HDB flat. All you have to do is contact us today, let us know what you’re willing to accomplish and how. Leave the rest to the experienced Home Guide team.

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