One of your better decisions aback planning your new kitchen is the abstracts you accept – should you go for solid copse or chipboard cabinets? Granite or coat kitchen worktops?
Costs, as able-bodied as the quality, alter badly depending on what abstracts you opt for.
To admonition you accomplish the best best for your kitchen, we’ve surveyed bags of kitchen owners and beatific kitchen cabinets from big brands to our analysis lab.
Already apperceive what units and worktops you want? Head beeline to the best and affliction kitchen brands to adjudge breadth to buy them.
Your kitchen cupboards and drawers are the courage of your kitchen, giving ablaze accumulator solutions and a seamless affable acquaintance – if you get it right.
The aboriginal affair to accede is the admeasurement of the units, additionally alleged carcasses. The table below shows the ambit of accepted adapted kitchen units.
If you’re affairs a bespoke kitchen, the abstracts will be added flexible.
You can accept from a huge ambit of accumulator options, but what’s appropriate for you boils bottomward to how you use your kitchen on a circadian basis. Our folio on kitchen planning goes through this in added detail.
When you accept alleged the sizes and types of units, alpha cerebration about materials.
Laminate-covered chipboard or MDF (medium-density fibreboard) units are the best popular. You can accept from apparent matt or appearance coat finishes, or those that carbon added materials, such as wood.
Chipboard carcasses are the cheapest units, and abounding of the kitchens from big-name brands are fabricated partly of chipboard.
MDF is college body and accordingly stronger than chipboard. It tends to be added baptize resistant, so units that use it are acceptable to be hardly added big-ticket than chipboard.
Solid copse kitchen units are added big-ticket than chipboard or MDF cabinets. Best solid copse units admission pre-assembled (and alert together), authoritative them actual able and rigid.
Although solid oak may assume abundant sturdier than laminate-covered MDF or chipboard, none of the 21 broadly accessible units we adjourned from accepted brands were solid oak.
They were all fabricated from melamine-faced chipboard, and some of them went on to become Best Buys.
Which? associates can log in to acquisition out which kitchen cabinets fared best in our lab tests. Or see the best and affliction kitchen brands.
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As able-bodied as the accepted abject cupboards that anatomy the foundation of best kitchens, you can additionally accede abacus bank cabinets, drawer units and bend cabinets.
Kitchen bank cabinets admonition accomplish the best of the amplitude in your kitchen. Kitchen bank cupboards are about either distinct or bifold amplitude – and adapted with one or two doors. Two-door units are usually 90cm or 100cm wide, and single-door units ambit from 30cm to 60cm. For the best visually ambrosial and counterbalanced kitchen design, it’s best to ensure that bank units are accumbent with the attic units beneath.
Most are additionally a accepted acme of 72cm, like attic units, but you can get taller ones that go appropriate to the ceiling.
Think about what you charge and can reach. There is no point in accepting an extra-high chiffonier if it’s a absolute affliction to ability annihilation on the top shelf.
If you’re bound for space, accumulator solutions such as pull-down racks and balustrade can help. Acquisition out added about kitchen accumulator and kitchen planning in our guide.
Consider whether you appetite cornices – adorning pieces on the top of bank cabinets. They’re not essential, and are an added cost, but they can accord the units a accomplished look.
You can additionally add downlights or LED strips beneath your kitchen bank units to brighten your workspace – decidedly advantageous for cooking.
Kitchen drawer units are a advantageous way to abundance assorted types of kitchen equipment. There are a lot of altered options too:
Most kitchen companies additionally action soft-close drawers, which admonition to stop them actuality accidentally airtight shut.
A bend assemblage can about-face a ashen bend into accessible storage. But, as with alpine bank units, they’re arresting if you can’t admission annihilation at the back.
The band-aid is daybed accumulator instead of accepted shelves. Options include:
Find out added about the altered kitchen accumulator options on our kitchen planning page.
If you’re attractive to advancement your kitchen but don’t appetite to absorb the earth, there are means to accumulate costs down.
For example, you won’t see the body of your units actual much, so this is an breadth you can save on. Abounding bodies opt for cheaper units with higher-quality doors and fronts. If you appetite the attending of absolute wood, but not the cost, you could buy kitchen units in cheaper chipboard or MDF and add end panels and doors in solid wood.
You could additionally repaint your kitchen cabinets. Acquisition out how to acrylic your kitchen cabinets. Or, if you’d rather alarm in a professional, acquisition a reliable Which? Trusted Trader painter and decorator.
Laminate-covered chipboard or MDF doors are about added cost-effective. They appear in a ambit of colours and effects.
If you adulation the attending of wood, and don’t appetite to get wood-effect laminate, there are lots of solid copse options, including oak, beech, walnut and teak.
We asked kitchen owners about the buffet doors they chose, including how able-bodied they lasted and whether they were still blessed with their choice.
Which? associates can log in to see what barter told us about altered kitchen buffet aperture materials, including problems to watch out for. If you’re not a member, join Which? today for burning access.
If the blueprint of your kitchen works and your units are in acceptable condition, replacing aloof the doors and drawer fronts rather than the accomplished units, should save you a lot of money.
Doors amount from about £5 each. Abounding of the big-name kitchen companies advertise backup doors as able-bodied as absolutely adapted kitchens, but it’s additionally account attractive on buzz sites, such as eBay, for cheaper doors in the actual you want.
Find out the amount of acclimation and replacing kitchen doors.
Whether you’re affairs new or second-hand, analysis that you get the appropriate admeasurement and fittings, such as hinges, for your cupboards. Best kitchen companies accept a chargeless architecture service, so ask for admonition if you’re unsure.
The handles you accept for your buffet doors and drawers can accomplish a big aberration to the attending of your kitchen.
Standard board knobs are ideal for a rustic country look, while long, glassy metal handles are absolute for a avant-garde setup.
You can buy arrangement handles and acrylic them for a added affluence feel or to bout your design. Handles are additionally article you can calmly aces up buzz for less.
Consider how accessible they are to use. Handles that feel nice to authority and are accessible to anchor will accomplish a big aberration aback you’re application them every day.
The cheapest blazon of kitchen aperture is chipboard or MDF covered in laminate. They appear in a advanced array of colours, are awash by appealing abundant all kitchen stores, and are readily accessible second-hand.
You could additionally buy arrangement doors that are amateurish and acrylic them yourself.
However, laminate-covered and corrective doors aren’t acceptable to be as abiding as solid copse doors, depending on the abstracts used.
Read our tips on affairs a discounted or buzz kitchen or attending for kitchen ideas.
Prices ambit from about £50 to added than £500 for the aforementioned breadth of worktop, depending on the actual you choose.
Solid copse and granite are the best expensive; laminated chipboard or MDF are cheaper.
Most worktops are amid 20mm and 40mm blubbery (most frequently 28mm or 38mm) and widths of 600mm or 900mm. You can additionally get a bespoke worktop fabricated to your specifications.
We asked kitchen owners about their kitchen worktops, including how able-bodied they lasted and whether they’re still blessed with their choice.
Which? associates can log in to see what barter told us, including the problems they’ve had with altered types of kitchen worktop.
If you’re not a member, join Which? to admission this.
The blazon of kitchen worktop you accept can accomplish a big aberration to the all-embracing attending and feel of your kitchen – as able-bodied as how abundant it costs.
Choices accommodate oak, walnut, beech, birch, ash and teak.
Wooden worktops are closed so should be adequately durable, but you will charge to be added accurate than with quartz and granite to abstain scratching, staining or baking them.
That said, copse can be sanded and resealed to abolish imperfections. It’s abundant trickier to do this with quartz and granite assignment surfaces.
Wooden worktops charge blanket with oil semi-regularly aback they’re new. Ask the aggregation you buy from about how best to advance the blazon of copse you choose. For example, beech is a abundant softer copse than oak and so marks added easily.
They can bastardize if they’re stored ailing afore installation, so analysis them thoroughly aback they’re delivered and abundance them anxiously until you’re accessible to fit them.
Laminate worktops are MDF or chipboard captivated in a band of plastic, additionally alleged laminate, and sealed. This makes them baptize resistant, aseptic and durable, although they can get aching if you use knives to chop anon on them.
Advancements in press assimilate coat beggarly that they can attending actual agnate to pricier materials:
Laminate worktops additionally appear in adventurous patterns and characteristic colours and can be aerial appearance or matt.
Granite worktops appear in a ambit of colours including black, cream, red, and alike pink.
They are actual advantageous and aggressive to calefaction and scratches. However, they can still be apparent by abundant use, such as acknowledgment to calefaction and acerb chemicals for continued periods of time, or by chopping aliment anon on them.
Granite doesn’t charge abundant maintenance, although you should accumulate it clean. You can buy specialist granite cleaners and sealers to use every so often.
Fitting a granite worktop needs appropriate tools, so you’ll charge to appoint a professional. A specialist will additionally apperceive how to accomplish abiding your units are able abundant to abutment the weight of granite.
Find a reliable kitchen bigger with Which? Trusted Traders.
Quartz worktops are usually black, blah or white, although they appear in a added ambit of colours. They can appear with abundant patterns or plain.
Quartz is abiding and aggressive to calefaction and scratches, admitting not as abundant as granite. It won’t charge a lot of aliment but you should accumulate it apple-pie and assure it from boundless abrasion and tear.
Laminate worktops are the cheapest. But the array of a worktop makes a aberration too, as able-bodied as how abundant you need.
Shopping about and because affairs buzz or in the sales can admonition you aces up a bargain. Visit our adviser to kitchen sales for tips on affairs a cheaper kitchen.
Plinths are the attenuate band of copse at the basal of your kitchen attic units. They adumbrate the legs of the cabinets and stop clay and dust from accepting underneath.
When you buy a kitchen, they should be included automatically, but it’s account bifold checking, abnormally if you’re affairs second-hand.
If you charge to alter a plinth, acquaintance the aboriginal architect to see if you can get an exact match. You can additionally buy them on their own new or used, but they may not bout exactly, so ask for a sample if you can.
In March 2021, we asked 3,848 Which? associates who had bought a new kitchen in the accomplished 10 years to acquaint us about how able-bodied it has lasted. We additionally adjourned kitchen units from the big-name kitchen brands in our lab.
See the best and affliction kitchen brands, according to owners and our lab tests.