The cost of installing a new fitted kitchen can easily run into thousands of pounds. So to help you keep the cost of your own renovations under control, we’ve surveyed Which? members who’ve recently overhauled their own kitchens to find out how to get the best deal.
Our survey of 2,154 Which? members, which was carried out in April and May 2016, uncovered the best fitted kitchen brands for value for money, customer satisfaction and quality. Our ratings and recommendations span big-name retailers, such as Homebase, B&Q, Howdens Joinery and Magnet, as well as independent companies.
Read on for kitchen buying tips and then visit our fitted kitchens guide to find out the best and worst brands.
1. Spending more doesn’t guarantee better quality
Our survey results show that the pricier fitted kitchen brands don’t necessarily have more satisfied customers. In fact, the top-scoring fitted kitchen company from our 2016 survey was one of the cheaper brands, and was the only big-name company awarded the maximum of five stars for value for money.
Find out which topped the table in best and worst kitchen brands.
2. Buy kitchen units that last
We also asked kitchen company customers to rate how well their kitchen cabinets and worktops have stood the test of time, whether they’re made from solid wood or granite, or laminate MDF and chipboard. The results show that the type of laminate-covered components you choose can make a difference to how well they last. Visit our page on kitchen units, doors and worktops to find out which materials were rated highest.
3. Wait for the sales if you can
After Christmas and pre-Easter are the prime times for kitchen sales. If you can wait until then to get a new kitchen, then you could save heaps.
If you’re on a tight budget, you could also consider shopping on second-hand sites, such as eBay, but do ensure you are able to thoroughly inspect the kitchen before parting with any cash.
4. Shop around for top-rated low-cost appliances
Kitchen appliances that give years of fault-free service do exist – but you’ll need to do your research to find them. Our lab tests have uncovered dozens of Best Buy appliances that won’t break the bank, including Best Buy dishwashers for £300 and cookers less than £500. At the same time, many Don’t Buy-rated models can cost a lot more.
Find out more about the cost of different kitchen appliances and how much you should expect to pay for a high quality machine.
5. Refresh and replace instead of buying new
One of the biggest expenses with a new kitchen is the units. If your current kitchen is in good enough condition, you could just replace cabinet door fronts, worktops and any broken elements to transform your kitchen without forking out a fortune.
You could also paint kitchen doors and even worktops. Just make sure you prepare the surfaces correctly and get the right paint.
Our kitchen costs page reveals how much it costs to replace and repair kitchen doors, drawers and worktops.