When you first set out to buy a new kitchen, the plethora of different kitchen brands and styles can be somewhat confusing. But a kitchen is a big financial investment, as well as somewhere you will be spending a lot of your time, so it is important to make the right decision for you and your home.
Key to this is recognising early on that not all kitchen companies, and not all kitchen brands, are created equal…
For example; high-end German kitchen brands, such as Hacker, versus flat-pack self-assembly kitchens, very much differ in terms of look. Other differentials include price, quality, customer service and warranty.
Kitchen Brands with visual appeal
How something looks is firstly what attracts us to a specific brand, and the same is true of kitchen brands! It may be a particular door colour, finish or style that catches the eye.
When browsing online or perusing different company catalogues, this is usually the starting point when kitchen shopping! Following this, it is always advisable to visit a kitchen showroom in person. This way you can explore the full range, options and quality of the product for yourself.
Price- Establish your Price Point
Of course, price will always play a big part in your buying decision. There is a big price difference between the alternate types of kitchens available within the market:-
At the lower end of the market and least expensive, are flat pack kitchens for self-assembly.
Next up is standard-sized cabinetry which is bought ready-made and ready to fit. These are frequently available from well-known DIY or home improvement stores.
At a price point above this is custom kitchens which are rigidly manufactured kitchens. These kitchens will be built according to a specific client order. (This includes most German and Italian kitchen brands)
Fully bespoke kitchens
At the very top end of the market are fully bespoke kitchens. With this type of kitchen there are no limitations with regards to which materials, finishes or colours used. They may also include bespoke detail and hand finishing.
When considering which kitchen type (and price point) is right for you, it is worth remembering the well-known quote:
In other words, you get what you pay for.
And if a low price or ‘deal’ seems too good to be true then it probably is. But bearing this in mind, what you will likely find after establishing the right type of kitchen for you, is that prices may be competitive between kitchen brands of a similar calibre, or else between different companies that supply the same brand. If this is the case, try and establish why there is a price difference before discounting one option over the other. For example, it could be a difference in the quality of the finish, or that one company offers a more inclusive installation service etc.
Quality- Always go for trusted kitchen brands
Ensuring a trusted and quality product should be a major factor in your decision making process. Aside from browsing the kitchen styles you like, it is important to research different kitchen brands, and shortlist the ones you can find lots of positive information about.
This should include online customer reviews as well as pictures of real life installations by the retailer (and not solely stock brochure images!). With any purchase, large or small, quality brands will precede with a good reputation, suggesting they are a good choice for a reliable and long-lasting product.
Customer Service- People matter as much as the product
Similarly, choosing the right kitchen brand is about more than just the quality of the product. Different companies and different brands will offer varying levels of customer service, expertise and involvement throughout your kitchen’s design and installation process. It is therefore the quality of the people employed by the company that will help determine the quality of your finished kitchen. For example, with regards the design it is essential to use a highly experienced designer. Otherwise you risk a poor working layout, or worse, your kitchen not fitting on installation! Again, ‘Social proof’ such as reviews and testimonials offer a great means for getting the measure of any kitchen company. Past customers will frequently write about the quality of customer service they received, and about the quality of the product.
Finally, the strength, and length, of a kitchen’s warranty can greatly vary between different kitchen brands. This may prove quite telling about the quality of the product!
Whether it’s a flat pack or high end brand, a kitchen is still an investment. And one you want to know is fit for purpose and which will last for a significant amount of time. You’ll want the peace of mind to know that you will be well-covered if something needs repairing or replacement in the future.
Get it right
Each different kitchen company you visit should be able to guide you through their range of products and services. They should answer any and all questions you have until you are in a position to make an informed decision. But if at the end of this you still feel unsure about a specific brand or company then perhaps this isn’t the one for you… Remember it is you that has to live with and use your new kitchen, and so the look, price, quality, customer service and warranty all need to be right!
If you would like to talk to the LWK Kitchens team of experts about your plans for a new kitchen you can contact us on 020 7536 9266 or email: [email protected]
All of our designers are fully qualified, and our specialist design service is completely free of charge and with no obligation to buy.