Best kitchen brands
By Liz Ransome-Croker
Article 3 of 13
Discover the top brands for quality kitchen installation, including customer ratings for Homebase, John Lewis, Wickes and Magnet.
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 installation, as well as the quality of their kitchen itself. We asked customers to rate everything from the speed and quality of installation, to the amount of mess and the communication with their installer.
In the table below, you'll find ratings for installation services from six big brands – B&Q, Homebase, 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 brand got a customer satisfaction score of 83%, while the bottom came 32 percentage points lower with just 51%.
Independent kitchen/DIY companies are defined as small companies not widely known outside a local area. Companies not listed here didn't have enough responses from customers for us to be able to rate them.
See how each fitted kitchen firm scored overall on measures such as quality of products and customer service by visiting our page on the best and worst kitchen brands
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 included in the cost, but not always.
38% of the people we surveyed had their kitchen installed by the same company they bought it from. However, 18% found an installer themselves, and 8% used an installer recommended by the company they'd bought the kitchen from.
The DIY route is less popular - 9% of people installed their kitchen themselves, and 7% got a friend or family member to do it.
29% of the people who didn't use the kitchen company to install their kitchen said it was because they preferred to choose their own installer, while 17% said it was because it was cheaper.
Kitchen installation problems
The majority of people (65%) didn't experience any problems with the installation of their kitchen. But of the people who did, the most common were:
- installation took longer than planned (13%)
- extra costs were incurred during the installation due to extra work (7%)
- starting the installation was delayed (6%)
- the units didn't fit as well as they should (5%)
- poor quality workmanship (5%).
We've also broken down the problems by brand, so that you can see which people people were most likely to have an issue with. Which? members can Log in to reveal the brands. Of, if you're not a member, you can join Which to instantly unlock this whole guide.
Kitchen installation checklist
Take the hassle out of having your new kitchen fitted and ensure the process goes smoothly with these tips on finding and using a good kitchen fitter:
- If the company you bought from is installing your kitchen, find out who exactly will be fitting it, as many companies sub-contract to third parties. You'll need to know who to contact if any problems or delays arise.
- If you're choosing a kitchen fitter yourself, use recommendations from previous customers and Which? ratings. Which? Trusted Traders lists tradespeople that have been through our rigorous assessment and also includes customer reviews.
- Check which technical services your kitchen fitter can provide (for example plumbing, gas and electrical work) and whether they charge extra for this.
- Ask your kitchen fitter to provide you with a work schedule, so you know what is happening on a day-to-day basis, and which traders or deliveries to expect and when.
- Find out where the installer plans to cut their materials – will they need to use space in your home, garden or garage?
- Find out if you will lose the use of your kitchen sink during the installation – how long will this be for, and will you have access to a temporary sink?
We've assessed some of the kitchen units from the brands that were rated highly overall in our survey, so we could award Best Buy status to the very best.
Only four made it through - visit our page on kitchen Best Buys to find out how they all did.
As well as looking at the units themselves, we also built (where they were flat-pack) and installed the kitchens in our lab, commenting on the clarity of the instructions, how simple it was to build the units and drawers and attach the handles, how easy they were to fix to the wall and each other (if instructions and the right equipment was provided), and how secure the fixings were.
We didn't include the installation in our overall Best Buy assessment though, as installing a flat-pack unit is quite different to installing a pre-built one, and because there are a number of different ways in which a kitchen can be installed - by the company you bought it from, by an independent installer or by you.
Which? kitchen survey and assessments
To find out which are the best and worst kitchen brands, in October and November 2017 we asked 3,443 Which? members about the kitchen they bought in the last 10 years, and their experiences with the brand they bought it from.
This included rating the quality of the kitchen itself, the brand's customer service and the kitchen installation. Overall brand and installation customer scores are based on how satisfied customers were with the brand or installation, and how likely they were to recommend it to a friend.
In 2018, we assessed three units (a base unit, wall cupboard and a drawer unit) from the kitchen brands that achieved a customer score of 70% or more, as well as four or five star ratings for all five elements we asked people about in our survey.
Find out more about exactly how we assessed the units by visiting our page on Which? Best Buy kitchens.