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How to Choose Kitchen Units

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 15 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Kitchen Units Kitchen Design Style

Choosing the kitchen units can be a fun job or a nightmare, depending on how much you enjoy shopping. On the one hand, there are so many different levels of trim, fit and finish, not to mention price, to choose from. One the other hand, that can be the problem too, how do you choose?

Cost and Quality of Kitchen Units

This is more about the quality of the units, the features that you want, the functional aspects of the kitchen units and the storage you need, rather than the design and style. But it does help to know what you want in terms of kitchen design and style, to some extent, before you start looking at different models. Cost has to be one of the major decision factors and you can perhaps go back and revise your design ideas if you find that you can't afford what you want.

Most people will be looking for a price point that has the right balance between price and quality. You will not want to be paying over the odds but nor will you want to suffer from choosing kitchen units so cheap that they fall apart after a few years of use.

How to Spot Quality

Go through our other articles in the kitchen design section to help you to get the kitchen design and style clear in your head. Then start looking around in kitchen shops and large DIY stores to get ideas. Look at the thickness and strength of the carcasses as well as the finish. Check out different ranges to see what the features are and make a list of those that are important to you.

There are some clues to quality if you know what you are looking for. Drawers with soft-close mechanisms only used to be on the most expensive ranges but are now becoming available on lower price models. Look at the number of different holes provided for shelf positioning in base units and wall cupboards. Cheap ones may only have one or two different options, better quality ones will have more, which will allow you to make the shelves work around your storage needs, not the other way around.

Check Out the Details

Mountings for wall cabinets can give a clue to quality as well. If you see one adjusting screw then that will draw the cupboard closer to the wall. But mountings with two screws either side have height adjustment as well, which makes them easier to fit and line up. This is not a feature found on cheaper kitchen units. Check out hinges and drawer sliders as well, better quality ones will have adjusting mechanisms on those too.

If you can see demonstration models in a showroom look along the line of the kitchen units to see if they line up properly. Check that trim and laminate are still well stuck on; if they can survive in a showroom then they ought to be ok in a domestic kitchen.

Look at the Top Designs and Styles Too

One thing to remember is to go to the expensive shops as well as the cheaper ones, as long as you think you'll be strong enough to resist getting the cheque book out on the spot. You never know, you might be able to pick up design ideas that you can use on a cheaper kitchen to lift it up a league.

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