There are two ways to go about planning a kitchen. Individuals can buy all the storage spaces, furniture and appliances separately or they can opt for a fitted kitchen. In recent years, fitted kitchens have become the norm for most households. Indeed, over creating a kitchen of standalone items, fitted kitchens have a number of advantages. The following Consumer Adviser guide is designed to make your kitchen decisions easier by outlining the different types of kitchens available and the factors that you will need to take into account.
The Benefits of a Fitted Kitchen
To begin with, as fitted kitchens are specifically designed to complement the shape of your kitchen, allowing it to make a more efficient use of space than a collection of standalone items. This makes them an especially popular option for those who have small kitchens.
Another great thing about fitted kitchens is that they allow for a more coordinated look. As you will be purchasing surfaces, storage and appliances as part of a set they will all follow the same colour scheme and style.
Most companies that sell fitted kitchens will offer a fitting service as an optional extra. This takes away the stress associated with installing the kitchen yourself or having to search for a reliable fitter in your local area.
Types of Fitted Kitchens
Fitted kitchens come in a range of styles and sizes and you can even order a bespoke kitchen if you have something very specific in mind. Popular kitchen styles include galley kitchens, island kitchens and U shaped kitchens.
Galley kitchens either have all of the appliances and cupboards along one of the room’s walls (single-file) or they can have appliances and cabinets along two adjacent walls (double-file). Double-file galley kitchens are the most classical work kitchens. However, if you are limited for space or live in a studio, a single-file kitchen will be the most realistic option.
Island kitchens, sometimes called block kitchens, are a modern, open-plan style kitchen which features an island in the centre of the room. The island can simply have storage and preparation space or it can be fitted with other appliances such as a hob or sink. This style of kitchen works best in large kitchens and is great for households that enjoy cooking together.
U-shaped kitchens are another traditional type of work kitchen and, as the name suggests, the appliances and cabinets are spread out over three walls.
Fitting a Kitchen
In some cases, suppliers of fitted kitchens in the UK include the cost of fitting the kitchen in the price and will have one of their professionals fit the kitchen for you. However, many companies do not offer this service, not even as an optional extra. As a result, it may be necessary to look for a reputable fitter.
Although you can fit a kitchen yourself, if you have the necessary skills and tools. Most people will have to call in the help of a professional. Your first port of call should be asking your friends and family for a recommendation. Failing that, have a look for local fitters.
When comparing the various fitters in your local area, not only should you compare the quotations that they offer you, but you should also compare customer reviews and testimonials as these will give you a better insight into the quality of the service that they provide.
In addition, you should make sure that they kitchen fitter you decide to use has a guarantee for at least 5 years and is backed up with insurance. This means that if anything goes wrong due, they will fix it.
Comparison of Fitted Kitchen Suppliers
|Provider||Where to Buy||Cheapest Fitted Kitchen||Installation||Guarantee||Free Planning|
|B & Q||• In Store
|Homebase||• In Store||£466.00||Optional Extra||✔||✔|
|John Lewis||• In Store||£2713.00||Optional Extra||✔||✔|
|Wickes||• In Store
|Ikea||• In Store
|Magnet||• In Store||Bespoke||Optional Extra||✔||✔|
|Howdens||• Via Tradesman||Bespoke||Optional Extra||✔||✔|
*Rates verified at time of publishing, but may be subject to change.