Many homes in the UK still have an original kitchen dating from the 1960s and 70s. By this time, natural wear and tear will make these look shabby and in need of a facelift. Moreover, it’s not only about how the kitchen looks anyway. Old kitchens tend to look and feel less hygienic than a new one, even if they’re cleaned regularly. And, as a place where you prepare your family’s food, you should have a kitchen that sets your mind at rest.
So, how do we go about fitting a kitchen, and how much will it cost?
The average cost of a new kitchen varies depending on many factors. For starters, there are flatpack cabinets at home improvement stores like B&Q to ready assembled bespoke units from a speciality kitchen manufacturer. Having said that, a small kitchen of about 8 units will provide about 10m2 of storage space and cost about £1,000. Whereas, a large kitchen of 20 units giving 30m2 could cost more than £7,000. Even when you’ve chosen the cabinets, you’ll still need to think about appliances and this will cost extra. Another thing to consider is whether you choose a kitchen through a specialist supplier and use their installation crew or buy the kitchen and hire someone yourself. You could even do the job as a DIY project, but that’s another story.
In this article, we’ll look at:
- How much kitchen installation costs. Ranging from a basic flatpack up to a luxury kitchen.
- All the factors involved in a kitchen refurb and the extras that go with it.
- How to consider the costs so you know you’re within budget.
How Much Does a New Kitchen Cost?
When remodelling a new kitchen, there are many factors to consider including those over and above kitchen cabinets. Here are just a few of them:
- Sink & taps. Depending on the type of sink and how much plumbing you need, this can cost from £400 to £600. Including an average price to buy a sink of about £250.
- Worktops can be as cheap as £500 for a laminate one or thousands of pounds for a solid wood or stone worktop.
- Appliances. A small under the counter fridge can cost as little as £150 or as much as £1,000.
- Flooring. Cheap laminate floor costs about £20 to £30 per m2. Alternatively, fitting a solid wooden floor costs from £40 to £80 per m2.
- Tiling. This will be about £20 per m2 for professional wall tiling.
- Painting & decorating. A decorator will cost between £15 to £20 per hour.
- Electrical work. More power sockets are always useful in a kitchen, especially if you have many appliances. Depending on the size of the job and how many sockets you need this can range from £300 to £1,000.
- Radiators. This will be between £150 to £250 including the cost of the radiator.
- Extra plumbing work. A plumber costs about £40 to £60 per hour. But, most kitchen fitters incorporate this work in their quotation anyway.
Example Kitchen Fitting Cost Calculations
Before we talk about the details of fitting a kitchen, let me say that the choice of cabinets, worktop, appliances and all the other items depends on your personal preference. You might have a small kitchen room yet want the very best in appliances. Or, you might have a significantly larger room, choose affordable or expensive cabinets and go for budget price appliances. It’s your choice. So, all I can do is assume you want an average priced appliance in each of these three ranges.
Basic kitchen about 10m2
- Cookers. A built-in electric, single oven costs about £150.
- Hobs. Built-in hobs start at around £150.
- Fridge freezer. This costs around £250.
- Worktops come in many different colours and textures but the cheapest laminate worktop is 2.4m long and costs about £40.
Mid-range kitchen about 20m2
- Cookers. A built-in electric, single oven costs about £400.
- Hobs. A built-in hob costs about £500.
- Fridge freezer. The range goes from about £350 to £650.
- A mid-range laminate worktop costs about £200 for 3m length.
Luxury kitchen about 30m2
- Cookers. A built-in electric, single oven costs about £1,000.
- Hobs. Built-in hobs cost about £1000.
- Fridge freezer. This costs a minimum of about £900.
- An acrylic worktop in the luxury range costs about £450 for 2.2m length.
On top of this, there are other considerations you have to take into account. If you buy a flatpack kitchen, you’ll need somewhere for the installer to assemble and store the kitchen units. Remember that electrical work such as installing additional power sockets must comply with the UK Building Regs Part P.
If you are replacing an existing kitchen with a more modern one, you’ll need to get rid of the old units. This will involve a waste skip unless you can sell or donate your old one to someone who needs one. Another idea is to use the old kitchen in a utility room or the garage as a workbench.
UK Building Regulations & Planning Permission
You won’t usually need approval for building regulations compliance when fitting a new or replacement kitchen. However, new drainage or electrical work might require approval. In particular, new work coming under Part G (Hot water safety and water efficiency, sanitation), Part H (Drainage and waste disposal), Part J (Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems), Part L (Conservation of fuel and power), or Part P (electrical safety).
This means you will have to comply with the Building Regulations if you do any of the following:
- Moving the water boiler to another location.
- Extend the flue, or install a new gas or oil appliance.
- Relocate the sink, add extra plumbing or change the drainage.
- Replace or install an external window or door.
- Install an electrical circuit, install or alter permanently wired electrical equipment.
- Install an extractor fan, including an electrical circuit and providing ventilation to the outside.
- Do any structural alterations to the room. This includes putting a kitchen into a loft conversion or extension.
You don’t usually need planning permission, except where you are intending a change of use for a room. But, if you live in a listed building it’s a good idea to contact the local authority to find out if you must comply with any planning constraints.
Top Kitchen Installation Hiring Tips
Kitchens are often the heart of a household. They are places where your family can gather, eat, entertain and do many more activities. Because of this, you need to have a kitchen that’s practical, attractive to look at and pleasant to be in. To accomplish this you need to use the services of a qualified kitchen fitter or a tradesman who has had many years of experience in that field.
So that you end up with a room you can be proud of, it’s worthwhile finding out from the professional you intend to hire, some basic information.
- Although accreditations are essential, it’s also important to have experience.
- Make sure you trust them and are comfortable to have them around the house. They will often be left alone in your home for long periods and you need to be happy about that.
- Get everything in writing. This means, not only quotes for everything but also agreed on procedures if the scope of work changes.
- Agree on how you intend to pay for the work. Are you supplying the kitchen or will you expect the installer to do this? Will you provide a deposit or the cost of materials up-front? How long after the completed job will you expect to pay the balance?
- Make sure the kitchen installer knows what Building Regulations apply to the work. If the kitchen needs inspections, who will organise this with the Building Control Office?
- What after–sales care does the installer provide?
- Is the installer qualified to do all aspects of the kitchen installation, e.g. electrics and plumbing?
- Ask for references for previous work and follow them up.
Kitchen Refurbishment FAQs
How long does a full kitchen renovation take?
This depends on the size and complexity of the kitchen. However, the majority of average-sized kitchens will take about 3 to 5 days to complete.
Can you install kitchen cabinets yourself?
Yes, you can. However, installing a kitchen isn’t only about putting together a few flatpacks. You need some serious DIY skills and some good quality tools to fit the cabinets. You also need plenty of time and some help with lifting the cabinets and worktops. There is a specific sequence you must follow when installing a kitchen. And, you must work to very tight accuracy. Everything must get fitted exactly horizontal and vertical, or else nothing will fit properly and the finished product will look terrible.
Do I need a professional kitchen designer?
If you’re buying a flatpack kitchen, you should make at least a rough plan as to how you want the kitchen layout to be, before you buy the cabinets. However, nearly all large DIY stores offer a kitchen planning service so you don’t waste your money buying items that don’t fit. And even better, the service is usually free and they’ll work with you all the way. Similarly, if you approach a specialist kitchen company, they will plan the layout too, taking into account your requirements. So, you can design your kitchen but it’s better to have professional help.
Do you put flooring under kitchen cabinets?
Sometimes. It all depends on the circumstances.
Usually, you should install the kitchen cabinets first, and then finish off with the floor covering. When cutting the flooring around the cabinets, leave a tiny gap to allow for expansion and cover this with a piece of moulding fixed to the bottom of the floor cabinets.
However, when the floor covering is excessively deep, such as when using woodblock flooring, you might want to consider laying the floor first. If you don’t, and you lay the cabinets directly onto the sub-floor, you’ll find that the worktop will be too low to use properly.
What is the most popular kitchen flooring?
The answer to this question changes over time. Not long ago, the most popular floor covering was hardwood block. However, these days, the fashion has shifted to ceramic tiles as a floor covering. To a large extent, the floor covering you use depends on the type of sub-floor you have in your kitchen. If it’s a solid floor like concrete, then ceramic tiles can be fitted directly onto the existing floor without any modifications.
However, if you have a wooden suspended floor, you will first have to do something to reduce the ‘bounce’ in the floor and take up any variations in floor height. You can do this by laying sheets of plywood of 5mm or 10mm deep and fixing them to the underlying floor joists. Although these can ‘butt joint together, it will be much better if you can get hold of some tongue and groove jointed plywood. If you choose a floor covering like ceramic tile, remember to allow for access hatches to the underfloor cavities to work on plumbing or electrical cables.
Finally, you must remember that fitting ceramic tiles isn’t a hard job and most people can learn how to do it. But, to do an excellent job, you need someone who has the skills and experience of a professional floor tiler.
Does a kitchen island have to be attached to the floor?
Preferably yes. Although a good–sized kitchen island, when filled with pots and pans and all the other items, will be pretty heavy, it might slide if someone leans against it. To be useful, a kitchen island will need to be at least 600mm x 1000mm. But even that is too small. You have to justify using up space in your kitchen so ideally, a minimum of 600mm x 2000mm will be perfect (to have a longer island will be out of most people’s range. But, if you can, you should go for it). Many people install an extra sink or electrical appliance in the kitchen island and in these cases, you will definitely have to fix the cabinets in place to prevent the plumbing or cables from becoming dangerously loose.
Fixing kitchen islands in place isn’t as difficult as it might first seem. Turn the cabinet upside down and you will find there is a cavity about 10cm deep. It should be no problem for the kitchen fitter to screw suitably sized framing timber to the floor. Place the timber just inside the inner surface of the sides, back and front of the cabinet base so that the cavity sits over the frame. It’s then a simple job to insert some screws to hold the cabinet to the frame. Don’t forget to put the plumbing and electricity cables in place before fixing the cabinet to the floor.
Find Local Professionals
Installing a new and updated kitchen in your home will not only make your life easier and more comfortable but will also be a major selling point when you decide to move house. If you want to receive 2 or 3 new kitchen quotes, complete the form on this site and you’ll be contacted by professional kitchen fitters local to where you live.