KITCHENS FROM £15,000
Tunbridge Wells Fitted Kitchens
Holmes Kitchens is rightly considered an expert in Tunbridge Wells fitted kitchen design and installation. If you’re interested in purchasing a new kitchen in Tunbridge Wells or the surrounding area, then we highly recommend a visit to our Tunbridge Wells fitted kitchen showroom.
Why Are Fitted Kitchens So Popular?
British homeowners and builders have been expressing a preference for fitted kitchens, over freestanding kitchen units, for many years. Fitted kitchens have been favored time and again. It is important to understand what a fitted kitchen is and the many benefits they offer. As you can see in our guide, we have a deep understanding of the requirements and design details for fitting fitted kitchens. This makes us the right choice for our clients looking for fitted kitchens in Tunbridge Wells. We can guarantee a great experience from conception to completion of your new kitchen.
What is a fitted kitchen?
A fitted kitchen is a type of kitchen where the cabinets, kitchen units, and appliances are mechanically attached to each other as well as to the walls. This will ensure a smooth, level finish with a seamless fit. Unaligned kitchen cabinets will instantly ruin the kitchen’s visual impact and impair its use. It is therefore essential that the fitted kitchen has balance and security. The kitchen is now unified, allowing for seamless kitchen design and comfortable kitchen use. This is what a skilled designer does. But it takes even more to create a flawless fitted kitchen that maximizes space and meets every kitchen owner’s individual needs.
What Are Freestanding Kitchen Units?
A freestanding kitchen unit is an alternative to a fitted one. Each kitchen unit can be placed on the floor and not attached to any walls or other units. This can lead to units falling, sagging and even failing. Fitted kitchens are far more sturdy than freestanding units. They attach to the fabric of the wall, and then each unit is screwed to its adjacent cabinets.
Design Benefits of Fitted Kitchens
Architects, interior designers, and professional kitchen designers are all likely to prefer fully-fitted kitchens for their clients’ homes, with few exceptions. Apart from the structural advantages discussed below, there are numerous design benefits to choosing a fully fitted kitchen design over a freestanding one:
- Fitted kitchens maximize space which allows for more storage and makes it easier to access kitchen storage.
- Fitted kitchens are more visually pleasing because the banks of cabinets form uninterrupted, clean sight lines.
- Fitted kitchens offer more flexibility to kitchen designers looking for features like cantilevers, overhangs, or open units.
- Fitted kitchens have greater access to specialist kitchen fittings and fixtures. Fitted kitchens can include corner units solutions, pull-out kitchen larders, and kitchen tambours.
Appliances for Fitted Kitchens
Many kitchen appliance manufacturers offer extensive ‘built-in‘ ranges that are specifically designed to integrate seamlessly into fitted kitchens. Few would argue that a dishwasher hidden behind a fitted door is more beneficial than a freestanding stainless steel or white plastic unit. There are many ergonomic reasons to integrate kitchen appliances into a fully-fitted kitchen. A mid-height oven can be accessed from the floor while standing, which is safer than one that requires you to bend to reach the floor. To reduce the chance of a pan hitting the floor, a hob that is recessed into a worksurface can also be moved back. A freestanding cooker that has a top with a hob is not adjustable in this way.
Custom Fitted Kitchens
A skilled and experienced kitchen designer will know that everyone has different needs and wants. Therefore, every kitchen should be designed individually. While space is essential in any kitchen design, it doesn’t matter how big or small a room may be. A fitted kitchen should be designed to suit the needs and tastes of the family or individual who uses it. A kitchen island or breakfast bar with seating may be the best choice for a family that needs space to relax and eat. Alternatively, a larder cupboard or wall unit with more storage might be necessary in a small kitchen. This will allow for the layout to maximize corner space. Practicality and functionality are key components of any kitchen design. However, it is equally important that the kitchen fills the floor or wall space in a seamless manner and complements all other kitchen appliances. This creates a very desirable visual aesthetic. The best fitted kitchens are highly design dependent. They rely on the skill set of an experienced designer as well as the quality of cabinetry, installation, to unify the design.
Plinth Feet for Fitted kitchen Base Cabinets
Freestanding kitchen cabinets typically have legs that are adjusted with small screws. These adjuster screws allow the cabinet to be positioned at the right height when it is seated on top of the kitchen floor. This type of kitchen does not require a kitchen plinth. There is usually a gap between the floor and the bottom of the unit. This is considered an extra storage space. However, many people worry that it will create a dust trap, or worse, or worse, a home for pests such as mice and ants. A fitted kitchen cabinet should have at least four feet that are circular, with a minimum of 50mm in diameter and Large adjustable screw threads.
The kitchen cabinet can be fixed within large load bearing bases, which means that it is supported well, and weight is distributed over a greater area compared with a freestanding unit. This helps to reduce the floor’s pressure, which makes it more resilient against cracking tiles and warping floorboards. This leg system is hidden from view by fitting a plinth. A quality kitchen plinth, such as the one used by Holmes Kitchens, has a compressive rubber tube attached to a U section that runs along the plinth’s bottom edge. This tubing prevents water from entering the plinth, which can cause swelling and distortion.
Service Voids for Fitted Kitchens
The mechanical fixings for a fitted kitchen are typically large screws or bolts that attach kitchen cabinets to the wall. Alternatively, a timber baton is used between the wall and kitchen cabinets. This is the most common method, as a cabinet is spaced off the wall creating a ‘service gap’. This allows hot and cold water pipes, gas and waste pipes to be connected to the wall. Insulating both cold-water and hot pipes is a good idea. Insulation helps to prevent condensation from building up, forming droplets, and then dripping down the pipe onto anything below. This can lead to rotten floorboards or joists over time. Insulating hot water pipes is also recommended to avoid heat loss.
Fitted kitchens should be planned with due care in every respect. This includes making sure that shutoff valves for water or gas pipes are located in an easily accessible location. If necessary, create an access panel. In the event of flooding or a leak, you may have to take out the unit(s), which could lead to damage.
Fixing Fitted kitchen Base Units and Tall Units
A fitted kitchen must be fixed to the wall, whether it is by direct fixing or using a timber baton. This is due to several reasons. First, mechanical attachments via bolts and screws to strong points within the kitchen walls transfer load into the fabric. This is why a freestanding chest with drawers can tip over when too many drawers have been opened at once. It is the mechanical fixings that prevent this from happening in a fitted kitchen design.
Second, it is important to attach kitchen cabinets to the wall by mechanically fixing them. This will ensure a level and square fitting. An experienced kitchen installer will use laser lines to determine the highest point of the floor, as floors are not always level. The kitchen installer will mark the starting point of the wall according to the specified height of the base unit. The kitchen installer will then set the laser level at this point and project it across the kitchen walls.
Fixing A Fitted Kitchen Baton
A quality fitted kitchen baton should be square, gradated, and treated such as British Standard roofing timber, which can be used by roofers to support the structure of a house. The installer must identify the right kitchen ‘anchorage’ points. Tap the plasterboard of the kitchen to detect a change in sound frequency. This indicates that there is a timber or metal beam behind the plasterboard. A multi-detector of good quality can be used to distinguish between metal studwork and a water pipe or live electrical cable. The structural fixings for the kitchen units are provided by a well-anchored, square, and level baton. There is also space for a service cavity. It provides extra support for the kitchen worktop, above and behind the sinks and hobs. A kitchen fitted with better support will last longer and be free from problems.
After the kitchen baton has been installed, the tall and base cabinets of the kitchen can be placed according to the design and adjusted in three planes to make them level. A skilled kitchen fitter will use a combination spirit levels and lasers to adjust the kitchen feet so that they are level. After clamping the kitchen cabinets together, they are attached to each other using brackets and screws. It is best to conceal the screws that are adjacent by placing them under hinge bases and behind the kitchen cabinets. After this is completed, the tall units and kitchen base are “fully fitted”, and securely attached to the wall using the baton. This spreads the mechanical burden, decreasing stress on each cabinet and increasing the kitchen’s life expectancy.
Installing Wall Units In A Fitted Kitchen
Without a floor, the mechanical load of the kitchen wall cabinets must be transmitted to the wall. The correct fixing is crucial to ensure that the fitted kitchen cabinets are stable and square throughout the entire life of the kitchen. You can purchase a pack of 10 brackets and plates online at a hardware store such as Screwfix for as low as £6.98. This means that your cabinets will be secured to the wall with fixtures starting at 69p. Far more reliable than this, Holmes Kitchens use kitchen cabinet wall hanging brackets made by top manufacturers like Blum and Grass. They come in zinc-plated steel and can load up to 100kg per pair. A continuous plate is better than a single section. This allows you to secure multiple fixings in the wall, rather than just two. This is an expensive option, but the increased kitchen stability and the reduced material and labour costs make it worth the extra cost. Hollow wall anchors are an option for those areas where it’s not possible to attach directly into brick or metal studs/wooden. This should be used in conjunction with as many solid fixings as possible in the rail, and not on their own. If this is not possible, consider removing the kitchen plasterboard and fixing solid timber nails to make a suitable fixing.
Which Fitted Kitchens Are Best?
It is difficult to say who makes the best fitted cabinets, as there are many factors that go into determining this question. High-quality kitchen manufacturers are known for using top-quality components when producing their kitchens. But this is only half of the story. The skill of the kitchen designer is what will determine the practicality, usability, and aesthetics of any kitchen design. The skill and knowledge of the kitchen fitter is crucial, as well as the tools and how they use them. This will determine how well the kitchen is fitted, how efficient mechanical loads are transferred into the walls and floors of the building and how level and square the kitchen units. It is important to look at the skills of the kitchen retailer, not just the products they sell. The outcome of any new kitchen project is dependent on the supplier’s ability not only to buy and sell, but also to source, design, and install the product.
What is the cost of a fitted kitchen?
The cost of a fitted kitchen depends on many factors, including the size of the kitchen and the choice of fittings. A cheap kitchen cabinet with low quality chipboard and cheap hinges would cost a fraction of a high-quality kitchen cabinet with a ceramic finish and a top-quality kitchen door from a well-respected manufacturer. A laminate worktop for a Chinese kitchen would be far cheaper than one made from DEKTON. This is a very compact surface from the manufacturing group, Grupo Cosentino. Whilst an expensive option, it‘s also very elegant. A good-quality fitted kitchen can be had for as low as £15,000. But add a kitchen island or kitchen appliances from a manufacturer like AEG, Siemens or Miele, Inc., as well as quartz branded worktops and you can expect to pay from £25,000 to £40,000. You can also expect to spend more if you are looking for a luxurious kitchen finish by a German or British kitchen manufacturer, with costs rising from £50,000 upwards.
Start Your Kitchen Journey
Visit Our Tunbridge Wells Fitted Kitchen Showroom
Remember, the ultimate success of your newly fitted kichen is about much more than who makes the units. We at Holmes Kitchens have years of experience designing elegant and inspiring Tunbridge Wells fitted kitchens that our clients love living with. Visit our showroom to chat with us, get expert advice and discover our fantastic British and German kitchen displays.