Best kitchen fitters
How your fitted kitchen is installed is just as important as the kitchen itself – if it takes ages to be fitted or the work is shoddy, you certainly won't feel as though you've got what you paid for.
That's why we've surveyed thousands of customers about their kitchen installation. We asked customers to rate everything from the speed and quality of installation, to the amount of mess left behind, to the communication with their installer.
In the table below you'll find ratings for installation services from five big brands – Ikea, John Lewis, Magnet, Wickes and Wren Kitchens – as well as local independent kitchen/DIY companies. You can also find out which kitchen firms people experienced the most installation problems with.
The top-scoring brand got a customer score for installation of 83%, while the lowest-scoring got just 58%.
Should I use a kitchen installation service?
Many kitchen companies offer a kitchen installation service, but with others you'll need to book an installer – either one recommended by the company or one you find yourself. The fitting service is sometimes, but not always, included in the cost.
Some 34% of the people we surveyed had their kitchen installed by the same company they bought it from. Another 13% used a company recommended by the brand they purchased from.
However, 19% found an installer themselves.
The DIY route is less popular. Just 8% of people installed their kitchen themselves, and 5% got a friend or family member to do it. If you’re considering installing your own kitchen, keep reading to find out how easy people found it.
Choosing your kitchen installer
More than half of people who used their kitchen retailer to install their kitchen said it was because they wanted to use the same company for both and/or because the brand offered an at-home measuring and fitting service.
Some 44% said they trusted the retailer, while 36% said it was the most convenient option. Just 3% said they had no choice but to use the same company to fit their kitchen.
The most common reason people gave for not using the kitchen retailer was that they preferred to choose their own installer; 29% said this. Another 14% said they always use the same tradesman and 9% said it was cheaper to use a different installer.
What are the most common kitchen installation problems?
Some 65% didn't experience any problems with the installation of their kitchen. Of the people who did, the most common fitting problems were:
We've also broken down likelihood of having problems by brand, so that you can see which companies people were most likely to have an issue with.
Installing your own kitchen
If you’re planning to install your own kitchen, knowing how easy – or difficult – others found it can help you plan.
We asked those who had installed their own kitchen to tell us how they found it.
Kitchen installation on test
As well as our exclusive survey of kitchen brands, we put kitchen units to the test in our lab.
Overall, five kitchen units were awarded Best Buys this year based on their quality and durability. Visit our page on the best and worst kitchen brands to find out which ones made the grade.
As part of our lab tests, we also built (where they were flat-pack) and installed each kitchens. Our lab experts assessed:
- Clarity of instructions
- Ease of building the units and drawers
- Ease of fitting handles
- Ease of fixing units to the wall and to other units
- Security of fixing the unit to the wall and other units.
We didn't include the installation process in our overall Best Buy analysis of kitchen units because there are so many variables that affect installation, including whether the units are flat-pack or pre-built and whether you use a professional to fit your kitchen.
Which? kitchen installation ratings
To find the best and worst kitchen brands for installation, in May and June 2019 we carried out an online survey of 2,228 Which? members, asking them about kitchens they'd bought in the last 10 years.
As part of this we asked then to tell us about their experiences with installing the kitchen. The overall installation customer score is based on how satisfied customers were with the installation, and how likely they would be to recommend it to a friend.
In June 2018, we also assessed three units (a base unit, wall cupboard and a drawer unit) from each kitchen brand (where possible), including how easy they were to install.
Find out more about how we assessed the units by visiting our page on how we test kitchens.