Kitchen Base Units …
Come in all different shapes, sizes, and types.
However, there are two distinctly different types of kitchen …
- In-Frame Kitchen (The old way of making them)
- Standard Lay-On Door Kitchen (What most people think of as a standard fitted kitchen)
Let us have a good look at the best type to buy and the most economic way of designing your new layout.
Kitchen Base Cupboards – cost …
Kitchen Base Cupboards are normally priced by their width, i.e. A 300mm wide base unit may be £180, whereas a 900mm wide base unit may be £240
Whereas a 300mm base unit maybe 1/3rd of the width of a 900mm one … it’s NOT 1/3rd of the cost … its more likely to be about 80% of the cost.
Also, as a kitchen fitters’ cost are partly made up by the number of cabinets to be fitted … why pay for 3x300mm cabinets to be fitted when you could only pay for 1x900mm
So, it will always be far more cost-effective to use as “wide” a kitchen base unit as possible.
The wider they are – the fewer you need – the cheaper the cost
This is also why “small kitchens” are not cheap in comparison to “large kitchens” (an average kitchen has 14 cabinets)
So a small kitchen is likely to have 14 small cabinets, and a large kitchen is likely to have 14 large cabinets – and, as these cabinets are all similarly priced, a small kitchen costs almost as much as a large one!
The cost of a Kitchen Base Cabinet depends upon the door type … Wooden (Panelled Door) Kitchens are more expensive than MDF Vinyl Wrapped Kitchens, which are more expensive than Flat Panel Laminated Doors. (The carcases they fit on to are normally the same cost, irrespective of the door style).
This is why there is not a massive difference in cost depending upon the range you choose (because ½ of the total cost … the carcase … is the same whichever range you pick)
Kitchen Base Units – types …
Base cabinets typically come in four configurations:
- Hi-Line Cabinet (Doors only)
- Drawer-Line Cabinet (Doors with Drawers above)
- Chest of Drawers (All drawers … 2, 3, 4, or 5)
- Base Pull-outs (Bins, Wire Trays, Spice Racks, etc.)
There are also several other Base Unit items, such as …
- Base Open Wine Racks
- Base Open Shelves
- Base Oven Housing (for Built Under Oven)
- Open Tray Space
- Base Corner Cabinets – see my separate post about | Base Corner Cabinets |
Kitchen Base Units – sizes …
Kitchen Base Units are normally sold in these standard widths:
- 260mm (To fit with curved base units)
- 700mm (Double)
- 800mm (Double)
- 900mm (Double)
- 1000mm (Double)
- 1200mm (Double)
- | Base Corner Cabinets | come in a variety of sizes, depending on their type.
Kitchen Base Units – quality …
It’s easy to spot decent quality kitchen base units, they will feature …
- 18mm Thickness Carcase
- Solid Back Panel
- Adjustable Legs
- Soft-Close Hinges
- Self-Closing Drawers with solid bases
- Drawer weight capacity at least 30kg each
- Adjustable shelves
Do not buy cabinets that feature less than this!
Kitchen Base Units – style …
So, what’s the difference between an In-Frame Kitchen, and a Standard (Lay on door) Kitchen?
Well, the main difference is cost … In-Frame kitchens require more work to produce and will always be more expensive than the same layout done with a Standard Kitchen (Lay On Doors).
In-Frame kitchens are where the door/drawer sits within an outer frame.
Standard fitted kitchens are the “Lay On Door” type – this is where the door is the same size as the carcase and sits on the front of it. (these are what most people recognise as a fitted kitchen)
In-Frame Kitchens are normally described as having a very “traditional” appearance, whereas the Lay On Door type would be considered more “modern”.
So, kitchen designs that are High Gloss Flat Slab Doors tend to be the Lay On type, whilst Painted Shaker Doors are often found to be the In-Frame Type