When you are in the process of buying a new kitchen, you not only need to consider where you are buying the kitchen from and what style you are going to opt for, but also who will install it.

Your choices will include:

  • a fitter from the company you are buying the kitchen from
  • a local kitchen fitter
  • a tradesperson who includes kitchen fitting in their skills
  • yourself (if you are confident in your skills)

It is likely that your joiner or builder will have the skills to fit your kitchen, but it is not unusual to find that a plumber or electrician will also have had experience in the field and might be able to do the work for you. Obviously those two trades are quite significantly involved in bringing a kitchen to life (with sinks, cookers, lighting and so on being key).

Costs

Costs involved will all depend on the size of the kitchen, as well as whether there are any factors that may make it trickier to fit, such as very uneven floors, hard to cut worktops and the like. You should also be aware that most fitters and tradespeople will charge extra to take away an old kitchen, so factor this in and consider doing it yourself if you are being budget conscious.

As a guide, though, the installation of a small kitchen (around 10 x 6ft), including removal of the old units, plus the installation of the worktop, but not including decoration, will cost you around £500-900 and take roughly two to three days.

Obviously a larger kitchen will take longer and cost more.

DIY

Should you instead decide to fit your kitchen on a DIY basis then you would certainly not be alone, as this is a task often undertaken by self-builders, renovators and remodellers alike.

Before your new kitchen is fitted, you should carry out some preparation work including:

  • removing the old units
  • disconnecting the power and waste
  • levelling and tiling the floors (although some people choose to tile the floor after the kitchen is fitted)
  • plastering.

It is also a good idea if you can paint at least an initial coat on the walls and ceilings before the units are fitted.

Step-by-Step

1. A spirit level will be used to mark on the walls where the top of the base units will be — remember to allow for the unit legs when working out height.

2. The base units are moved into place, starting in one corner. Many base unit carcasses are supplied with adjustable legs. Rotate them until the height aligns with the mark on the wall; check that units are level.

3. Fix adjoining carcasses together. How this is done will depend on the kitchen, but usually units are first clamped, then screwed together through holes that are eventually hidden behind the door hinges.

4. Unless you are using a unit designed specifically for a corner, you will need to use a corner post when you turn a corner to avoid there being a gap.

5. The base units are then fixed to the wall using brackets — you will need to use wall plugs if you are fixing to masonry, but you can use plasterboard fixings if you are going straight into plasterboard.

6. When it comes to wall units, these are usually fixed to brackets that have been fixed to the wall. Again, use a spirit level to mark a horizontal line for the bottom edge of the wall units or any wall shelves, measuring up from the top of the base units and taking into account your worktop depth.

7. Fix wall brackets to the wall (most wall units need two, one in each top corner). Hook the wall units to the brackets and make level.

8. Join adjoining wall units as per step three.

9. Fit doors and door fronts, along with plinths or kickboards.

10. Finally the worktop can be fitted. Laminate worktops are easy to cut and fit for a DIYer, but timber, stone and composites will all benefit from a professional touch.

Kitchens by Numbers

  • The standard finished height of base units is 910mm, with 150mm for plinths, 720mm for base units and 40mm for worktops
  • Units are usually 600mm deep and have widths that are multiples of 100mm or 150mm
  • Most appliances are 600mm
  • Wall-mounted units are usually 300mm deep

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