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alan_fincher

Good Quality Flat Pack Kitchen Units Suitable for Boat Use.

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I thought this one would be easy, but it i proving less so!

We need good quality flat pack kitchen base units to suit a full 60cm depth.

Ideally with solid wood natural finish doors, although it seems this isn't popular any more, with almost everything being painted or foil wrapped, which we don't think half as suitable or durable for the restricted confines of a through kitchen on a boat, where knocks are inevitable.

 

Last time we used Cooke and Lewis units from B&Q, which were completely satisfactory.  However B&Q are phasing them out and replacing with an alternate that seems to be inferior in every way, and gets crap reviews on their website, (and I mean really crap reviews, not offset by any good ones.

We looked in Homebase, but quality was not great.

 

At least one CWDF member has recommended Ikea in the past, but their offerings look very limited, unless I'm misreading he website.  Not sure we can find suitable doors there at all.

Wickes make some good units, but they only seem to be sold as part of a "we quote, we fit" package - unless I'm missing something there is no pricing just to buy and fit yourselves.  (They do have a cheaper range which is sold by the unit, but the quality is far poorer).

 

So what are people's recent experiences?  Where might I be able to but what  want, flat packed, to fit myself, and at reasonable cost.  I thought it would be easy!

Thanks.

 

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I found much the same when I re-fitted a kitchen recently. Everything foil-wrapped, all the retailers want to 'send a designer' rather than give you lists of cabinet sizes and prices. The kitchen market has changed beyond recognition this last five years. 

 

There is Howdens you didn't mention. All my local Homebases are closing down (Newbury being most recent) so hurry up if you decide to use them. I found the same as you with B&Q, totally useless. I ended up letting the Travis and Perkins designer in as the staff in their showroom seemed bright and interested, unlike in Wickes, B&Q, Howdens etc. In fact the bloke in Howdens told me I couldn't buy a kitchen from them without having a designer around but all his were off sick at the moment. FFS!

 

Rant over....

 

 

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Not flat-pack, but these are solid wood (but not cheap)

eta - they do come flat-pack on request

 

https://www.solidwoodkitchencabinets.co.uk/gbu0-display/solid_wood_kitchen_cabinets.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9qTgqKmC5QIVQ0TTCh2Q2A1VEAAYASAAEgI4GPD_BwE

27 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

I found much the same when I re-fitted a kitchen recently. Everything foil-wrapped, all the retailers want to 'send a designer' rather than give you lists of cabinet sizes and prices. The kitchen market has changed beyond recognition this last five years. 

 

There is Howdens you didn't mention. All my local Homebases are closing down (Newbury being most recent) so hurry up if you decide to use them. I found the same as you with B&Q, totally useless. I ended up letting the Travis and Perkins designer in as the staff in their showroom seemed bright and interested, unlike in Wickes, B&Q, Howdens etc. In fact the bloke in Howdens told me I couldn't buy a kitchen from them without having a designer around but all his were off sick at the moment. FFS!

 

Rant over....

 

 

as a 'tradesman' you should be able to buy from Howdens at a huge discount - I did, through a mate who helped me fit them (Milton Keynes branch, if it makes a difference) - saved serious money doing it that way

Edited by Mike Tee

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44 minutes ago, Mike Tee said:

Not flat-pack, but these are solid wood (but not cheap)

eta - they do come flat-pack on request

 

https://www.solidwoodkitchencabinets.co.uk/gbu0-display/solid_wood_kitchen_cabinets.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9qTgqKmC5QIVQ0TTCh2Q2A1VEAAYASAAEgI4GPD_BwE

as a 'tradesman' you should be able to buy from Howdens at a huge discount - I did, through a mate who helped me fit them (Milton Keynes branch, if it makes a difference) - saved serious money doing it that way

The link you put up is interesting.

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I have an account with Howdens one of the kitchen designers is an ex, I am always buying kitchens for people [I should have been a kitchen fitter] I have their solid wood version in my boat very good quality but painted been a few years now and still looks like new

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I'd not heard of Howdens, but they seem to have local branches, so I'll check them out.

 

However they are yet another "book design appointment", (as so seem to be Magnet).  I don't want anybody designing my narrow boat kitchen - choices of layout are limited, and we know what we want.

 

I take Mike's comments on board, but is it really no longer possible to do your own design and go and get a price for the units / doors / draws / worktops / hardware etc that you need to fit yourself?

 

Clearly it is if you buy someone like Wickes off the shelf budget ranges, but can't you now do t for stuff of a rater better quality?

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1 hour ago, alan_fincher said:

Last time we used Cooke and Lewis units from B&Q, which were completely satisfactory.  However B&Q are phasing them out and replacing with an alternate that seems to be inferior in every way, and gets crap reviews on their website, (and I mean really crap reviews, not offset by any good ones.

 

That's a pity, the C&L weren't bad for the price. I've just fitted a couple in my house. We were lucky to have bought just in time. It's worth adding some PVA to the joints to make them sturdier.

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2 minutes ago, Onewheeler said:

That's a pity, the C&L weren't bad for the price. I've just fitted a couple in my house. We were lucky to have bought just in time. It's worth adding some PVA to the joints to make them sturdier.

Very true of flatpack generally.

 

I still have a flatpack desk which I bought for my daughter when she went to secondary school, more than 30 years ago. It's getting scruffy (has been in my shead for years) but is still sound, supports a heavy vice.

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2 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

Wickes make some good units, but they only seem to be sold as part of a "we quote, we fit" package - unless I'm missing something there is no pricing just to buy and fit yourselves. 

Oh yes there is!

We have just fitted a wickes kitchen in the house.

Went in and discussed the design with their designer.

Janice came out and measured and drew the whole design up.

Told us when to buy to get the maximum discount.

Plus an extra 10%for having a Wickes trade card

Units delivered to us an we installed the lot.

 

Easy peasy.

 

ETA the design is what I specified not what Wickes wanted to sell me.

Even I learnt from a couple of suggestions Janice made with regards to what units are available and what fits with what.

Edited by Loddon

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15 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Oh yes there is!

We have just fitted a wickes kitchen in the house.

Went in and discussed the design with their designer.

Janice came out and measured and drew the whole design up.

Told us when to buy to get the maximum discount.

Plus an extra 10%for having a Wickes trade card

Units delivered to us an we installed the lot.

 

Easy peasy.

 

ETA the design is what I specified not what Wickes wanted to sell me.

Even I learnt from a couple of suggestions Janice made with regards to what units are available and what fits with what.

But to be clear the only way you can get a price is to let them design it, and quote you?

There is no way you can just price it up yourself?

A bit of a pain if you have to go through that with several potential suppliers, if you want to compare costs, surely?

Last time I did this I could choose what I wanted with no appointments with anybody being required - I'd still prefer that.

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Just spoken to Janice at my local Wickes, if you like their kitchens and know what you want just make an instore appointment and order what you want, the only thing is you will have to sign a disclaimer saying if it doesn't fit then its your problem as they haven't been out to measure.

 

In my line of work it was a common thing to get quotes on lists of items from various suppliers, hardly difficult.

Edited by Loddon

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Howdens list price should not be taken seriously. No one's mentioned Wren yet. According to their website, Howdens average trade discount is 76 percent, and they claim to be 21 percent cheaper than that discounted price. I've never used them so I don't know what they are like regarding supply only but it would be a bit unscrupulous to advertise comparisons to a supply only company if you only sold fully fitted kitchens. 

 

https://www.wrenkitchens.com/

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5 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Just spoken to Janice at my local Wickes, if you like their kitchens and know what you want just make an instore appointment and order what you want, the only thing is you will have to sign a disclaimer saying if it doesn't fit then its your problem as they haven't been out to measure.

Very helpful thanks.

Did you think their stuff reasonable value compared to other suppliers?  The quality looked OK to us, but we had no idea of prices.

There were no beneficial deals when we talked to them the other day, as the offers were on fitting, not on what was being fitted, but we are not necessarily ready to buy yet, and I realise deals change all the time.

EDIT:

is information available about sizes of what they supply?  I ask because I based a rough design on units being 50cms wide - what both our last and our current boat has.  Some suppliers only seemed to supply in 60 cm widths, which may work less well, if only because doors will be wider, and hence block corridors even more if opened.

Edited by alan_fincher

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I took my design for NB Veto to Wickes when we were moored at Pyrford.

 

They priced it all up and then they delivered all the flat packs to Pyrford, I built them all up on the boat myself, Chris moved them to the appropriate places

 

PS I got discount that they were running at the time and it didn't only apply if they fitted it.

Edited by Marge the Barge
addition of more text

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2 minutes ago, Marge the Barge said:

I took my design for NB Veto to Wickes when we were moored at Pyrford.

 

They priced it all up and then they delivered all the flat packs to Pyrford, I built them all up on the boat myself, Chris moved them to the appropriate places

Thanks,

 

Same as Julian is saying, then - we didn't quiz them that deeply, as the only person in the kitchen department didn't normally work there.

Sounds like we need to draw our own plan, then go and talk to a local store, (possibly local to the boat, rather than to our home, in order to not have to keep driving units up several at a time!).

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Some years ago I bought solid oak doors from B&Q. They were “half price” with an extra 20% off. They were good quality and I doubt I could have bought the wood for the price.  I built the units out of 18mm ply.

 We recently looked to replace our wardrobes at home and met the same problem as Alan; generally very poor quality and ‘cheap’ - though not in price.

 We eventually went for made to order doors from an online seller and pleased with quality and price.

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19 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

is information available about sizes of what they supply?  I ask because I based a rough design on units being 50cms wide - what both our last and our current boat has.  Some suppliers only seemed to supply in 60 cm widths, which may work less well, if only because doors will be wider, and hence block corridors even more if opened.

Wickes do a paper booklet containing all the cabinet sizes which are normally dotted about the displays.

 

Used a combination of 500mm, 400mm and 300mm wide units.

The Belling oven fitted into a 700mm wide unit (I think) no just checked it was a 600mm wide unit

Edited by Marge the Barge
error

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18 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

is information available about sizes of what they supply?  I ask because I based a rough design on units being 50cms wide - what both our last and our current boat has.  Some suppliers only seemed to supply in 60 cm widths, which may work less well, if only because doors will be wider, and hence block corridors even more if opened.

Do you mean wide or deep? Our units are all 600 deep (as are almost all suppliers now) but 300,400,500,900, 1000 wide with 925 corner units.

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10 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Do you mean wide or deep? Our units are all 600 deep (as are almost all suppliers now) but 300,400,500,900, 1000 wide with 925 corner units.

Yep,

I've based original rough plans on 60cms deep, and multiple of 50cms wide, (50cms or 100cms).

Some suppliers seemed to focus on 60cms wide, but from what you are saying Wickes aren't amongst them.

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IKEA?

 

I've just used diy-kitchens.com at home. Really good quality, normally come as rigid, but they are happy to supply unglued so you can modify the carcasses. Good company to deal with, and and worth a trip to their showroom in Yorkshire, where they are just very helpful, and don't try to sell you anything. Just one online price, no stupid discounts.

 

Richard

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32 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:


is information available about sizes of what they supply?  I ask because I based a rough design on units being 50cms wide - what both our last and our current boat has.  Some suppliers only seemed to supply in 60 cm widths, which may work less well, if only because doors will be wider, and hence block corridors even more if opened.

Sounds like that might be Ikea. They went their own way on kitchens a few years ago and only supplied them in 200mm increments. So 400/600/800mm etc. Utterly stupid decision in my opinion. 

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Howdens Kitchens are good, but they are basicly Trade only, They will let potential customers look at their products, but will often refuse to sell directly to the general public. You either have to pretend that you are trade, and open an account. or find a friendly tradesman who will arrange the purchase for you.

 

When I fitted out the galley on Helvetia, I gave up on flat packs as they needed substantial modification to take account of hull tumblehome. I ended up making my own units, and bought the doors from specialits suppliers who sold individual doors for refurbishing existing installations.

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55 minutes ago, stegra said:

There's also Benchmarx:

https://www.benchmarxkitchens.co.uk/

 

And DIY Kitchens online, who seem to have very good reviews. They do a few with natural wood finish, which is quite rare these days:

https://www.diy-kitchens.com/

 

It was Benchmarx I eventually used. They did a very pedestrian kitchen design but the computa spat out all the right bits to fit it. 

 

Individual prices were not available other than by reading the list comprising my quotation. Seemed very expensive (£3k for a basic kitchen with no appliances but quite nice quality) but I'd wasted so much time trying to get enough info to design it myself and it needed to be done in a hurry, so just bought it. 

 

 

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