CABINETS : There can be major differences between different kitchen companies, most of which are undetected by a majority of people who are looking at making the right choice.
Genuine and sincere kitchen companies will usually have printed information, which is readily available, that lists the specifications of their cabinets. A well built and solid kitchen will not only last longer but will give its owner years of pleasure and also makes a wiser investment.
What to look for : Imported kitchens must be approached with caution as cheap imported kitchens may contain high levels carcinogenic ( formaldehyde ). These can be highly dangerous and any leaching from the board, has the potential of causing cancer with prolonged exposure. These cheaper wood products, with high levels of formaldehyde emissions, are being installed by tradespeople without their knowledge.
Australian manufactured kitchens must comply with Australian standards is therefore the recommended choice.
The better kitchen companies will usually ensure their kitchens have the following :
Solid construction by way of cabinets being screwed together rather than stapled with minimal screws to hold the cabinet together.
Solid 16mm thick backs ( not masonite or 10mm thick board which reduces the strength of the cabinet structurally )
Better hinges and drawer runners. Blum and Hettich are considered amongst the best available and have a life time guarantee.
Heavy duty adjustable legs to take the weight of the cabinet. Also allows for installers to adjust the cabinet level on uneven floors.
BENCH TOPS : Popular choices include Caesar Stone ,Quantum Quartz. These are a Quartz bases surface, very hard, easy to clean, and scratch resistant and modern looking. These type of surfaces are becoming very popular.
Granite : Is a polished natural stone with stunning looks. Also very hard but does not have the colour range of Quartz bench tops. Avoid very light colours as permanent stains will be visible although this is very rare. Occasionally clean and polish with Mr. Sheen to maintain a beautiful and lasting appearance.
LAMINATE : Also very popular, particularly the new ‘stone look’ scratch resistant/hard waring laminate bench tops. Make sure you get a scratch resistant surface. Simply wipe over with a cloth or damp sponge. Dark coloured high gloss surface
SLASHBACKS : Glass splashbacks are certainly becoming increasingly popular. They provide a stunning look to any kitchen, particularly when the kitchen looks onto a family , lounge or dining room. Excellent results can also be achieved with tiles. Tiled splashbacks will cost considerably less that glass.
GUARANTEE : A good guarantee by a reputable company ensures your ‘peace of mind’. Anything over 7 years is a bonus. The decision you will need to make is, if you are going to make that all important purchase and the company has not been in business for as long as the guarantee that they are offering. A safer bet is to buy from a company who’s been in business much longer than the period of the warranty that they are offering. Ask to make sure the guarantee is in writing.
DESIGN : Good kitchen design is a very valuable requirement. A good kitchen designer will ensure that the design of your kitchen works for you. Examples of this would be the positioning of cutlery drawers so as not to interfere with your work in the kitchen when family needs to access the cutlery; fridge doors not opening against the wall and therefore not allowing you to pull out you drawers as the fridge door does not open far enough. Not enough bench space near work stations and not enough bench space between the sink and cook top. Also there are many other options such as appliance storage cabinets; Pantries; breakfast bar; island bench; pot drawer and provision for your micro wave. Buying from a company which has good designers with good design idea’s makes good sense.
WHO DO I BUY FROM : Some kitchen companies will insist that both you and your partner be present when they call to your home. In a lot of cases it is because they will want to secure your business on that first call. In most cases they will offer you a special offer to sign up straight away. Avoid doing business with any company or individual who does business this way. It would not make good business sense not to give you the same offer after a week or two when they have spent all this time all this time with you. This is simply a way of trying to avoid you of getting other companies to design and quote. Buying a kitchen should be a pleasurable experience.
Look for companies with a good reputation and who have been in business for at least 10 years. In most cases this means the business has usually got it right as many businesses go broke within the first 8 years.
You may wish to use google as a tool to find out about ‘customer satisfaction’ on the company or make a telephone call to the department of fair trading to see if there have been any complaints against the company.
Check for licence number and make sure they are licenced to specifically do kitchens. All trades people used must be insured and licened also.
When visiting their showroom check for tidiness and any reference to letters from clients that have written to express their satisfaction with the work. This should be a good indication of the level of work and tidiness in your home. There are many stories of homeowners having to wait months for their kitchen to be completed. A reputable kitchen company should allow you to have added peace of mind.
BUDGETS : This will depend on the size of your kitchen and the type of materials and appliances you use ,to how much renovation work is required. Kitchen makeovers work out less as long as you do not change the design of your kitchen and the existing cabinets are structurally sound. Not every kitchen company will do a makeover.
Laminate door kitchens with a stone look laminate bench top will usually start from $11,000 installed. Average price is $ 15,000 including sink, tap, pull out, disposal, plumber, electrician, and wall tiler .Appliances would be extra. A good quality brand oven, cook top and slide out range hood would start from $ 1800.
Expect to pay more for polyurethane, solid stone/quartz ,and glass splashbacks. Good value can be found in laminate doors with a gloss ,stipple or wood grain finish with chip resistant edges.