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 more than a thousand 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.
Our research found big differences between the best and worst firms for kitchen installation; customer scores ranged between 81% and 54%.
Many kitchen companies offer a kitchen installation service and sometimes – but not always – it's included in the cost.
Using the installation service of the brand you buy your kitchen from can mean you'll have a single point of contact, rather than coordinating delivery times between your chosen kitchen company and a separate installer.
Consider also what other customers think of the company's installation service. Plus, if cost is an important factor and installation isn't included in the price, compare how much using an independent fitter will cost.
A few companies don't offer installation at all; if this is the case, you'll need to find a fitter separately.
Here's how those that responded to our survey told us they had their kitchen installed:
Others had their kitchens fitted by builders as part of a bigger renovation, or by joiners and carpenters.
Some 37% had a problems with the installation of their kitchen. The most common were:
Based on an online survey in March 2021 of 1,404 Which? members who bought a fitted kitchen in the last 10 years and used the company's kitchen installation service.
Kitchen owners in our survey waited an average of 3.9 weeks from when the company started work on their kitchen to when it was fully installed.
Understandably, getting a kitchen fitted has taken longer on average since March 2020.
Exactly how long it will take depends on the size and complexity of the job, whether there's additional work besides fitting the kitchen units, any delays or unexpected changes, among other factors. Ask your kitchen installer for an estimate of how long they expect it to take.
If you’re planning to install your own kitchen, knowing how easy – or difficult – others found it can help you plan.
As part of our lab assessments to uncover which brands' kitchens are built to last, we assemble (if they're flat-pack) and install each kitchen.
Specifically our lab experts rate:
Of the 21 sets of kitchen units assessed from leading brands, seven stood out as the easiest to install. Which? members can to find out which ones they were. If you're not a member, to see our results.
Ease of installation isn't factored into our overall analysis of the 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. But it's still a factor worth considering, especially if you're planning to install a kitchen yourself.
To find the best and worst kitchen brands for installation, in March 2021 we surveyed 3,848 Which? members who had bought kitchens in the past 10 years, including 1,404 who had used the company's kitchen fitting service.
We asked them 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.
We also assessed three units (a base unit, wall cupboard and a drawer unit) from each kitchen, including how easy they are to install.