Kitchen Fitting FAQ
Our expert team share their wisdom on such topics as kitchen unit layout, sinks, materials and supply advice, white goods, certifications and skills, flooring, correcting poor fitting work, cooker extractor fans and much more.
Question: Does the cooker hob need a extractor fan?
Answer: An extractor hood is not a requirement, However it is a good way of eliminating smoke and steam when the hob is in use therefore reducing other problems in the future. Steam in particular obviously creates a very damp environment which over time can reduce the lifespan of kitchen units and worktops. Extractors can be purchased very cheap now and even a very basic one will help. I would also mention that only an extractor can be fitted above a hob, No units or shelves should ever be fitted in this space. Hope this helps you decide.
Question: Costs of fitting a kitchen?
Answer: Kitchen fitting is a specialist task and all fits are different, fitting costs by specialists are calculated on a per unit basis with additions for cutting (worktops, masons mitres and so on) alterations and appliance cutouts. The actual tarrif will vary from company to company, but if you search ‘kitchen fitting prices’ you should find a guide as many are posted. This is not something to trust to a non specialist as economy at the fitting stage can spoil the outcome.
Question: Why traditionally, are kitchen sinks fitted under a window?
Answer: There are no real guidelines for whether the sink should be fitted under a window or not, but there is one practical argument for it. Fitting a sink under a window means you can look out of the window when you do the dishes! And it will let natural light on your work, so that they get nice and clean too.
Question: Where is the best place to get kitchens from?
Answer: Magnets have the best kitchens off the shelf probably, fitted loads. Howdens have fairly good units but can be expensive with worktops, and accessories. Wickes aren’t great, cheap units made out of poor quality chipboard, worktops are probably the worst quality soft chipboard. B and Q units are ok 18mm chipboard, worktops aren’t even moisture resistant chipboard. To be honest, you’re probably best off having your kitchen supplied and fitted by a small local kitchen fitter (someone that just fits kitchens) they usually get the best prices on kitchens because they buy the most, and know which companies do the better deals on which parts. Most parts Units/Worktops you can always find cheaper online, especially higher end ranges, solid timber worktops etc. Or order direct from the manufacturer rather than through a middle man DIY retailer or Builders Merchant/ Howdens etc.
Question: At what height should the kitchen base units be set at before the worktops go on?
Answer: Measure your plinth depth, add that measurement to the height of your unit, find the lowest point of your floor and set the level from there… that way you can scribe the plinths to the floor, rather than having gappy plinths as you work around the room…top of worktop usually 900mm-910mm above finished floor. So top of unit is usually 860-870mm above your floor covering.
Question: I have oak units, can you suggest a suitable material for the worktops?
Answer: There are a few options. A different colour of wood to contrast the oak but keep it natural. Maple at the lighter end or walnut or wenga at the darker end. There are companies out there who do a granite veneer worktop which has around 5-10 mm of granite on a mdf or chipboard base making them cheaper than 40mm granite. There are also solid surface worktops which have a thinner layer of solid surface material than corian e.g. bushboard. They should work out cheaper than corian. There are also some companies that do granite worktops cheaper than the usual rates which can be found with a bit of internet searching. They may also do some alternate stone types.