Buying a kitchen can be a stressful and time consuming experience. It is often a busy mum that is researching the information, trying to wade through all the sales blurb to make a decision, so where to start to make sense of what’s on offer?
Firstly remember that it is easy to make a kitchen look good in a picture and even in a showroom one door can look much the same as any other door but it is what you can’t see that matters.
The construction of the carcass, the hidden backs, the framing and the edges that can make all the difference.
The sales person that says they can better a more expensive quote with something that looks the same is probably offering a very different quality of product.
If you are looking for a quality kitchen that will last, it pays to have some knowledge of how a kitchen is made. The carcass in many kitchens will only be 16 mm thick, finding one that is 19 mm gives you a far superior product, able to withstand the normal wear and tear of family life in a kitchen much better.
The back panels to the units may be a sheet of ply stapled in, an 8 mm solid back that is screwed in is a much more robust structure.
Before the worktop is fitted, kitchens will have to be reinforced to make them rigid and strong. The most common solution would be to install cross bracing but a superior method is a solid top box. This is not only stronger but has the added benefit that it can enable the kitchen to be used whilst waiting for the worktop to be fitted. The waiting time can be up to two weeks for delivery of the worktop after templating has taken place.
The number of legs used to support the units can also make a difference to the strength and stability of a kitchen, look for at least five legs for a base and seven for corner units.
There are several areas of weakness in any kitchen and the most common problems occur when water is able to penetrate into the units. This can obviously happen around the sink area or via any exposed edges. Sealing the sink with an aluminium drip tray is effective and will stop moisture seeping in and causing the unit underneath to bubble up and eventually blow. ABS edging also prevents water ingress, making the panels strong and waterproof, some kitchens only include this to some rather than all panels.
You will not always find this information in the brochures and it is unlikely to be offered by any of the sales staff in any of the big sheds, so you may have to ask.
All of the above features can be found in a Mereway kitchen. Our British made kitchens are built here in the UK using traditional materials and methods. We are proud of our reputation for quality and are confident that our kitchens will outperform many others.