Mistral Worktops £254 - Bushboard Encore Worktops £321 - Earthstone Worktops £245 - Artis Smartstone Getacore £274 - Maia Worktops £220 - Corian Worktops £400 - Staron £255

Oak Worktops £36 - Rustic Oak Worktops £36 - Wenge Worktops £164 - Beech Worktops £32 -Iroko Worktops £59 - Cherry Worktops £189 - Zebrano Worktops £104 - Walnut Worktops £79

07527 633 056

Worktop Joining Services

Installation And Joining Price List


Please call the above number for an immediate quotation for your kitchen worktop joining and installations.

Please try to provide as many of the following details as possible to help us provide you with an accurate competitive quotation:


i) Is the worktop to be installed a new worktop as part of a new kitchen installation or a complete worktop replacement (ie old one removed first)?

ii) What is the lay out of the kitchen? ("L" Shape - 1 join,"U" Shape - 2 joins etc...)

iii) How many straight or mitre joins?

iv) How many sink or hob cut outs?

v) Under-mounted or inset sink?

vi) Do you require a carpentry only service or will you require us to fit and install any sink or hob?

vii) What type of worktop material? ( solid surface, laminate, solid wood etc..)



Because of the many factors and different designs associated with kitchen worktop joining and installations each job must be priced individually.

Worktop Joining Services are a kitchen worktop joining company providing worktop joining carpenters and installation specialists across most UK locations

Thank you














































Our professional kitchen worktop fitters installed Oak worktops cut to size - Ashford

Our kitchen worktop fitters are specialist worktop joining contractors. Our worktop installers provided a worktop replacement of solid oak. Havant, Hampshire.

Kitchen Worktop Joining installed these wooden worktops and precision fitted a butler sink. The hardwoood worktops are probably the best kitchen worktops on the market. West Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire.

Our kitchen worktop fitters trimmed to size and cut two mitre joins into an oak worksurface. Sevenoaks, Kent

Our kitchen worktop fitters in Kent fitted solid Oak and Beech worktops - Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Our specialist kitchen worktop fitters fitted a solid Oak worktop into this fine manor house kitchen - Fareham, Hampshire

Our worktop replacement service provided a specialist Oak worktop installation. The Oak worktop had drainage grooves machined into the oak on both sides of the sink - East Hampshire. Hampshire

Regular client who renovates homes. Our kitchen worktop fitters install all the solid surface worktops into this new kitchen - Wycombe, Bucks

Worktop Joining are specialists in joining kitchen worktops. We fitted this laminate worktop with 5 mitred joins in west London and Thanet, Kent

Our worktop fitters fitted replacement kitchen worktops in this luxury kitchen. Our worktop installers cut the kitchen worktop joints using router and jig technology - Waverley, Surrey

Our worktop fitters cut into a solid oak worktop to create sink drainage grooves and cut around a Belfast sink.





































































































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Diving Services


March 10, 2012

Some Of Our Kitchen Worktop Installations 

Worktop Joining Services In Sussex

This kitchen worktop installation required our assistance in professionally installing their bespoke solid wooden kitchen worktops. The unusual design was created from several lengths of hardwood worktops joined together. Worthing, Sussex / south coast.

Our Worktop Installers In Sussex

Worktop joining installed solid Oak and Walnut worktops with single mitre join and under mounted Belfast sink. Bevelled edges and drainage grooves/channels - Wealden, East Sussex.

Our quality kitchen worktop fitters provide kitchen worktop installations for a solid wood mitred worktop. South London.

Our specialist kitchen worktop fitters install a cherry wood worktop in Maidstone, Kent.

Worktop Installers In Berkshire

Our professional kitchen worktop installers fitted this high gloss worktop with undermonted sink - Windsor And Maidenhead, Berkshire.




What Our Clients Say

"Superb service will recommend to anyone!"

Peter - East Grinstead Sussex


"Great job! Thanks for the laminate replacement kitchen worktops your fitters installed in both our properties"

Jene - North London and East Midlands


"Thank you for the assistance with joining and cutting our solid wooden Oak kitchen worktops. Your service is very professional and we would recommend Worktop Joining to anyone"

Chris - Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire.


"Your kitchen worktop fitters done an absolutely fantastic job when they installed our Black Walnut solid wooden block countertops. The solid Baboo worktop in the utility room also looks great"

Mr Miles - Cherwell, Oxfordshire.


"Worktop Joining Services are a very professional service. Keep up the good work"

Raphael Simms - South London


"Worktop Joining proved to be the right choice. Nice work"

Mr Benny - Brighton, Sussex


We would like to say thanks very much indeed for all the hard work you did in helping us create curved retro style kitchen worktops. We love them! If there is anything we can do to help you with any future recommendations, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Darren - Dorking, Surrey


"Our kitchen was so dull before you replaced our solid Oak kitchen worktops. I now feel that i want to cook in my kitchen. The undermounted sink is a joy to use as shows real craftsmanship"

Lucy - Canterbury, Kent


"Your solid surface worktop fitting and joining service is the most professional worktop joining and fitting service i have used (and i have tried many!). I will contact you again on our next extension. Cheers"

Martin - M Construction UK, Brighton, Sussex


"The solid Oak and Iroko worktops that your company installed are amazing and complement the butler sink which you fitted to the underside of the worktop. Pleased we took your advice on the drainage grooves and cut them into both sides of the Belfast sink"

Helen - Reading, Berkshire


"We will be recommending your services to our friends and family. Nice job on our Iostone Worktops! Thank You"

Jerry And Kate - North London


"Trying to find good tradesmen in this day and age is difficult. Shame your company does not specialise in other areas of construction because we would use you for everything. Great job on our solid surface worktops!"

Mr and Mrs Reynolds

Eastbourne - Sussex

Show off: McCarron & Co sets up shop in the capital

Handmade furniture specialist McCarron & Co has opened the doors to its first London showroom, bringing its elegantly crafted bespoke pieces to a wider audience. The company has been experimenting with metallic finishes, intricate leatherwork and exotic veneers to create timeless pieces that will sit happily in a contemporary scheme. We love the modern, clean […]

It’s Christmas wine

With Christmas looming (I don’t mean to scare you, but it’s just 38 days away, you know), now would be the perfect time to invest in one of Haier‘s new freestanding wine cellars. Then you won’t have the annual problem of trying to decide if your turkey really needs to be in the fridge, as […]

New leaf

Our love affair with copper in the kitchen continues, and what better way to showcase the material in all its shiny, shimmering splendidness than with an eye-catching splashback? These Copper Leaf tiles by Original Style are made from copper foil encased in glass and, grouped together, will add a luxurious, cosseting feel to a space. Measuring […]

Now you see it…

With everyone embracing modern open-plan living, the boundaries between the kitchen, sitting room and dining area are forever blurring as we seek to create the ultimate multifunctional space. This concept has been taken to a whole new level by Dutch design company Miyo Studio with The Wall Kitchen. Now you don’t! Designed by Maciej Karpiak […]

Kitchen colour inspiration

If you keep putting off giving your kitchen that lick of paint it desperately needs, because you just can’t find the perfect colour, check out Valspar, a new range of paints from the US. As well a choice of over 2000 pre-selected colours (a small selection is shown above), they can create your perfect shade, thanks […]

Grey areas

  Cool grey interiors ooze elegance and sophistication, which is beautifully illustrated in Caple’s new Leigh painted kitchen collection. Although this unassuming shade, which is neither black nor white, is seen by some as safe or even drab (due to its association with industrial environments), it’s still a big hit with designers, decorators and homeowners, […]

New Stuart Frazer kitchen showroom

If you’re in the market for a new kitchen, there’s nothing like a trip to the showroom to see your dream design in the flesh. Stuart Frazer  have just opened a new showroom in Ribble Valley, Lancashire, featuring stunning kitchen designs, including five fully-operational SieMatic kitchens. Above is the S2-K/H Lotus White Matt Laminate with […]

Creating an ergonomic kitchen

Ergonomics is the study and design of equipment and devices that fit the human body and its cognitive abilities. Applied to kitchen layouts, it focuses on creating a smooth, intuitive passage through the space, as well as the most efficient and comfortable cooking environment. Worktops and cabinets are positioned to fit the physicality of the user […]

December/January 2015 issue – on sale today

Our brilliant December/January 2015 issue goes on sale today. With Christmas just a matter of weeks away the demands on your kitchen have never been greater. So, this month we’ll show you how to get the best out of an open plan layout. How to sail through the prep with the latest food mixers and […]

Side orders

The sleek Cattelan Tropez matt-lacquer sideboard, H72 x W222 x D48cm, costs £2,299, Fishpools   Bars, buffets and sideboards were all the rage in the 1960s and 70s, but they suddenly fell out of favour, only returning to our consciousness via corny TV cameos – cue Pat Butcher’s home bar! But with more of us […]

Interior design: the right ingredients for a perfect kitchen. My response.

Had to chuckle at the responses to yet another article in The Telegraph online that got my back up.

It’s worth reading only before reading my take on it below. ‘Interior design: the right ingredients for a perfect kitchen’

Who’s really got their finger on the pulse here? Is it the journalists who, at the behest of their paymasters, continue to ply us with a consistent diet of archaic designer lingo aimed predominantly at the uber rich, with a bit of “you can do it if you…..” thrown in to keep those on a lesser budget sweet? Or is it the masses who can now vent their spleens on a level online playing field that allows them to shower contempt upon the dross they’re still fed by print dinosaurs?

Truth is that even wealthy punters get a buzz out of a bit of penny pinching for the best value deal. Like the most of us, they too ignore online “brochuring” and see it for what it is, whether that be plugging a designers new book, ahem!!!! or placating the big budget advertisers by incorporating a few of their links in a home interiors article – ahem again!!!

Even the Kitchen Triangle appears to have been relegated in favour of the Kitchen Pentagon but in reality neither phrase matters to those masses who have just a single elevation for a kitchen – what phrase shall we come up with for that? How about “The Linear Culinary Zone” as if any of it matters anyway.

Put your fridge where you want it, your sink under a window if you can and your cooker on an outside wall so you can vent to outside – believe me, if your cooking was owt like mine, you want those smells shifted as quickly as possible. If the resulting placement doesn’t form 180 degrees or, in the case of a pentagon, 540 degrees., no worries, so long as it suits you and the safety guidelines, that’s all that matters.

What matters most when buying a kitchen, is the durability and resilience of the cabinets, worktops and doors, regardless of brand, that can stand up to the frequency of the user and way beyond and can be purchased at a realistic and fair price but you’ll rarely see an unbranded, unheralded yet quality kitchen manufacturer with little or no advertising budget, getting a look in.

They are out there though. Just surf outside of the Triangle or Pentagon to find’em.

The post Interior design: the right ingredients for a perfect kitchen. My response. appeared first on KitchensFitted | 0844 415 4831.

Before Embarking on that Journey for a New Kitchen………..

Today’s buyers have a wealth of research tools at their disposal as they set off on the hunt for a new kitchen and in a marketplace where there’s huge competition to win your business there’s never been a better time to make savings.

That doesn’t mean you should ever compromise on quality and with expert recommendations and advice made available to you freely at the touch of a mouse, quality products and services are much easier to identify.

The easier route for most buyers is to source everything under one roof, be it the DIY stores or an independent retailer, but if you’re prepared to put in a little more time and effort you can source many of the components separately and still barter to achieve savings.

For many bricks and mortar retailers, internet kitchen sellers have become the bain of their lives yet for consumers it’s an avenue that they are fast becoming more comfortable liaising with and buying from given the savings that they can achieve.

The simple fact is that, in many cases, quality goods are available at prices even more affordable than trade prices and that’s great news if you’re a consumer seeking a bargain.

However, to offer a word of caution, it’s as wise as it ever was to double check the knowledge and credentials of any provider whether they exist on the local High St or on the Internet Highway, so do your research just the same: pick up the phone or send an email to ask questions and decide whether you were left with confidence in the answers provided.

The role of a kitchen fitter in creating your dream kitchen cannot be overstated and finding a fitter capable of a high standard of workmanship has been made a little easier by the increasing number of registration bodies and institutes representing competent kitchen installers. The iKBBI, is one such place to find a quality installer; entering your postcode into their web search facility will help you discover a fitter in your area. You can of course go off recommendations made by friends and family but it’s imperative that whoever is charged with fitting your kitchen, they must be approved to undertake or oversee gas or electrical work in accordance with the regulations this area of work is subject to. Fitting charges too, can vary so it’s wise to obtain two or three quotes before making a decision.

Savings can be made in all areas when purchasing a new kitchen and prices of both goods and services can vary quite substantially but the criteria has to be quality and it’s more cost effective in the long term to buy quality at the best cost as opposed to purchasing based on price alone.

There are many cheap products that will look pretty in your kitchen whose performance and appearance will, in the long, or more aptly, short-term, be pretty useless. High areas of function and use such as cabinetry, doors, worktops, appliances and flooring deserve special attention when choosing but as a general rule of thumb, for all components that make up your dream kitchen, the analogy that fits best here is to choose Neff over Naff but at the most affordable cost.

(C) Tim Foley 2013

The post Before Embarking on that Journey for a New Kitchen……….. appeared first on KitchensFitted | 0844 415 4831.

Eco-Friendly Kitchen Worktop That Rivals The Best? Check Out Richlite

I’ve lost count of the number of Kitchen Worktops that were introduced into the UK market in a blaze of glory and all with claims of being the big game changer that will pose a threat to the established favourites like Corian or Silestone. More often than not, they fade from memory, not because they’re inferior to their big cousins, though many are, but because they don’t receive the same airplay or publicity drive. Big promotional budgets, without doubt, help to brand a product and maintain its position in any given sector.

Now, with greater emphasis on the environmental credentials of a surface, we see industry researchers pore through the properties of a product to try and identify those that tick the Eco box to meet the needs of those consumers seeking a sustainable product. However, in the overall reckoning it all relies on the research ability of a consumer determined to discover which product best fits and reflects their environmental persuasions.

I’ve scoured the Internet for as long as I can remember in search of products that not only tick the Eco boxes but are as hardy and resilient as those that don’t. I’ve not been very successful in that search but recently I was sent a sample box of a surface called Richlite
and I have to say I was pretty impressed by its credentials. Richlite has been around since 1943 yet only recently introduced here into the UK.

The Richlite range comprises slabs that are manufactured using 100% post-consumer recycled paper, or from FSC certified paper with 90% rapidly renewable content, which has been saturated with a thermoset resin and then pressed in a plywood press under intense pressure and heat. The result is a unique material more durable and sustainable than other bespoke alternatives. A range of 10 colours make up the Richlite palette and include the innovative CascadeSustainable Kitchen Worktops by Richlite range incorporating multi layered edges pictured here.

An example of Richlite’s great strength becomes apparent in that it can handle longer spans without the additional support that other surfaces would require and the surface won’t crack. The ability to withstand high temperatures for any kitchen surface is vital and Richlite withstand tests up to a very impressive 350°F placing the surface’s heat resistance substantially in excess of Solid Surfaces. Versatility is another of its strengths and Richlite’s varied use in the commercial sector is a good indication of this: Skate Board parks, children’s playgrounds, fast-food outlets all benefit from the surfaces safety and durability. Even notable guitar manufacturers such as Martin and Gibson are now using Richlite as an alternative to wood on their fret boards. An impressive list that inspires confidence when choosing a surface for the everyday chores a kitchen worktop will be subjected to.

Impervious to water, Richlite can also be used for outside projects and, over time, like wood, the surface will develop a patina, a natural ageing process that adds further weight to the surface’s aesthetic appeal. The surface is highly scratch-resistant yet like all surfaces it isn’t scratch-proof but my research confirmed that surface scratches can be easily removed using a Scotch Brite pad. Another plus, for fans of dark colours is that, unlike Solid Surfaces, any scratches that may occur aren’t as apparent as the colour remains consistent throughout. Slab sizes at 1525mm x 3660mm are large by industry standards and as a result can accommodate most project sizes without the need for seams aside from adjoining pieces. Where necessary, joints remain visible but can be made inconspicuous if undertaken by a quality approved fabricator.

Eco Friendly Kitchen

Richlite is available in thicknesses of 12mm, 18mm and 25 mm and it’s cost compares similarly to other bespoke surfaces at approximately £240 per linear metre for a 12mm x 600mm standard depth worktop. With a lifetime warranty for indoor residential use, 20 year warranty for commercial projects and a 10 year warranty on external use in both commercial and residential applications, Richlite offers a greater level of protection against manufacturing defects than any other surface I’m currently aware of.

I could perhaps tell you, as others who’ve reviewed the surface have concluded, that colours in the range are similar to wood, slate or leather in appearance – that’s not strictly true but Richlite does possess that earthy desirability that’s missing in many contemporary surfaces and added to its other high ranking credentials, this will, I believe, increase its appeal with buyers looking for something unique.

Taking all the properties that a good worktop should possess into consideration, Richlite fares well. Long established across the pond – along with GreenGuard certification and with exceptional ECO credentials, Richlite certainly ticks many of the boxes one would seek for a kitchen surface.

When researching any product, I always aim to seek a consensus of positive feedback from the fabricators who cut and form the surface and from buyers who’ve specified it for their project. Together their opinions provide a good barometer of the qualities of a product and Richlite scores high on this scale.

If you’d like to discover more about Richlite for consideration in your project visit www.richlite.com


The post Eco-Friendly Kitchen Worktop That Rivals The Best? Check Out Richlite appeared first on KitchensFitted | 0844 415 4831.

Which worktop should I choose for my new kitchen?

I’m a man on a mission at the moment. I’ve been scouting around the news websites such as the Guardian and the Telegraph analyzing their Home articles and in particular those that cover the subject I know a bit about – Kitchens. If the Guardian hadn’t closed their comment section on their “Which Worktop Should I Choose For My New Kitchen” article I’d have added my reply but they did so below are my thoughts on the popular choices available.

Of all the components that make up a kitchen, your worktops will be the most important choice you will have to make. Worktops will become subject to an abundance of actions as you go about your daily kitchen chores, some purposeful, such as the preparation, chopping and slicing of food and some not so intentional, like food or water spillages or the accidental dropping of utensils, dinnerware or pans.

For these reasons you need to look for all the properties that make up the best worksurfaces, such as water, stain and damage resistance and aesthetics – your choice must fit in well with the surrounding design. Unfortunately, although the choices you have are greater than ever before, Perfektatop doesn’t yet exist.

So, what choices are there and what are the Pros and Cons of each? Without doubt, the single most important factor to any worktop’s longevity is the correct installation closely followed by proper use and  good maintenance. So, the choice of installer to fit your worktop, in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, can have far reaching consequences. Your own role too, in keeping your surfaces in tip top condition is vital and no matter what anyone tells you, there are certain “no-no’s” that you must adhere to. Always use a protective board when chopping, slicing or preparing food. Never place hot pans directly on to a work surface. Use a heat resistant pan stand or consider incorporating steel trivets into your worktops. For surfaces like laminate, a portable steel trivet works well and if your surface choice allows for trivet grooves fitted during fabrication – adjacent to a hob or range is a good location for obvious reasons. And so to the choices:

Laminate Worktops

Laminate surfaces have come on a long since the days that Onyx laminates adorned most kitchens in the land and today they still remain the most popular option, particularly for those working to a tighter budget. Available in a wide variety of colours, styles and textures, some, as with all worktop choices, are better than others and if fitted with care and maintained well they can last a lifetime. Particular attention needs to be given over to vulnerable areas such as sink and hob cut-outs and the area behind a sink. These will require sealing efficiently in order to prevent water ingress which, should it occur, will spell the end for your worktop. Good choices are Duropal, Axiom and Getalit. Expect to pay between £30-60 per linear metre for standard 600mm depth – more if you choose specialist edge profiles. Needless to say, you can purchase laminate surfaces cheaper but I’m referring here to quality worktops.

Wood Worktops

I have to say I’m not a huge fan of wood yet recognise that for many, they are the preferred choice for their design. Correct fitting and proper aftercare are vital if you want to maintain the appearance because of all the worktop choices, wood surfaces are affected most by the temperature and humidity changes a modern kitchen is subject to. Movement can and will occur over time and particular attention must be given to allowing for this during installation in order to prevent warping. User maintenance renders that the worktops be sealed and protected regularly so it’s something you must take into account if wood is your choice. This may alienate the many traditionalists out there but so long as you accept the additional attention Wooden Worktops require then who am I to persuade you otherwise? Expect to pay between £60-200 per linear metre. Big variation here but all depends on the type of wood and the manufacturing method.

Granite Worktops

I mentioned that for all choices, some are better than others and for Granite, the same rule applies. From whom you source your Worktops is significant and there are good and bad quality Granites available to buyers so checking out a supplier’s credentials makes great sense. A recent introduction that offers Granite buyers more protection is the use of sealers that, when applied by your fabricator, will provide greater stain resistance to Granite, a porous surface. Ask your chosen fabricator about applying a suitable sealer before installation, it really is worth an application to prevent any staining issues in the future. Granite WorktopsGranite arrives in slabs and is a natural resource so be prepared for pattern and shade inconsistencies (although fans of the surface would perhaps say this is part of it’s attraction). Many fabricators now welcome clients visiting their premises to view the slabs before installation and it’s worth the trip if you have any concerns in this area. Worktop joints are visible as with Quartz worktops yet good installers will make them as inconspicuous as possible utilising a matching coloured resin adhesive.

Quartz Worktops

Harder still than Granite are Engineered Stone, commonly known as Quartz worktops and among examples you may be aware of are Silestone, Caesarstone and Quartz Compac.

Kitchensfitted WorktopsThere are many, many others yet they are all man-made, utilising the same manufacturing process and are primarily distinguishable by the colour palettes offered. Like Granite, Quartz surfaces are available in a reflective sheen or honed finish yet they appear more uniform in pattern and colour. Some manufacturers offer a wider choice of colours and textures than others and the surfaces are non porous. Prices can vary and as more manufacturers are keen to accommodate the growing list of UK kitchen buyers, there are bargains to be had. As a general rule you can expect to purchase at similar prices to Granite. Like Granite, slab thickness’s available are 20mm, 30mm and more recently a trend for thinner surfaces has proved strangely among buyers, no doubt fueled by some radical designer fad. I’m not a fan but each to their own and some manufacturers now accommodate this trend by offering slim slabs. Surfaces deeper than 30mm, for those who prefer a chunky appearance, can be accommodated for in both Quartz and Granite worktops and are fabricated utilising a mitred downturn method that works well to conceal the joint.

Solid Surfaces

Solid Surfaces such as Corian, HiMacs and Staron are so named because they are a solid core of predominantly Acrylic material throughout their thickness or gauge. These surfaces are the most versatile of all the bespoke offerings. Design possibilities using Solid Surfaces are virtually limitless and are a designer’s dream. They are however less resilient to scratches and heat than Granite or Quartz surfaces but their army of fans would point to assets such as seamless joints, seamlessly integrated sinks and the ability to thermoform the material to any shape as the reason they chose and continue to choose it as their preference.Corian Worktops Being fully reparable  should any damage occur, helps keep that popularity intact and the ability to have a seamless worktop in your kitchen only serves to strengthen the hygienic properties of Solid Surfaces above rival worktops. Because of their popularity there’s been a continuous attempt to muscle into this market, again with thinner alternatives yet the price differences between the real thing and the thin pretenders is pretty negligible, when all things, such as fabrication and installation are considered. For cost efficiency I’d advise you choose the real thing. For Solid Surfaces, expect to pay between £100-300 per linear metre

There are of course many more choices available such as Stainless Steel, Glass and Concrete and many will disagree with my analysis of the options above. My comment section never shuts so post your replies.

If I could impart a few important tips to worktop buyers it would be the following:

1. Carefully read the guarantees offered. To do this, as with most warranties or T&C’s, you will require a magnifying glass. Despite a popular belief that any damage is covered for by a worktop warranty, it isn’t. Worktop warranties only cover a buyer for manufacturing defects and on the rare occasion you might discover a defect, it will only be determined as such by the manufacturer. That being said, some warranties are better than others. Some transferable, others not. Make good use of that magnifying glass and read the small print.

2. For all round cover against accidental damage, I strongly advise that you tag your worktop purchase on to an existing or new household policy.

3. Consider making your purchase using a Credit Card. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, you are protected for purchases between £100 and £30,000, more than enough to cover your worktops unless you’re fitting out an area the size of a football pitch. Debit cards too may offer you some protection on purchases but check first with your provider.

4. Obtain 3 or 4 quotes after carrying out some research on the providers. Prices may vary quite significantly and that’s only to be expected at a time when there’s a greater urgency among worktop providers to secure your orders.

5. Avoid using price per square, linear or any other metre a good barometer of the overall cost from a supplier. It can bear little relevance to the overall cost of a worktop project when you take into account the varied costs of fabrication, delivery and installation.

6. Ensure each quotation you receive is like for like. You’d be surprised how many providers may overlook calculating the cost for a worktop they didn’t quite spot on your kitchen plan or sketch.

So, until Perfaktatop hits the stores and dependent on your budget, my recommendations remain as those named above and if I had to choose one surface above the rest on a cost efficiency basis, it would have to be laminate on condition it was installed, sealed and maintained correctly. That however, can prove difficult without researching and discovering a quality installer. For those with bigger budgets my choices would be Quartz, Solid Surface and Granite provided that it arrives with a quality stain protection coating.

The good news is there’s never been a better time to secure a great deal for any of the choices I’ve outlined as competition among providers is at an all time high. Good luck in your search and I hope my response proves helpful to you

The post Which worktop should I choose for my new kitchen? appeared first on KitchensFitted | 0844 415 4831.

Interior designer: “How to design a perfect kitchen on a budget” – my response

My response to a Telegraph article by an Interior Designer about  How To Design The Perfect Kitchen On A Budget 25/4/13

The designer’s points are in italics and my response follows

1.  “The critical point is that for a fitted kitchen to look fabulous you need a fabulous fitter.  Do your research and take references; you will be rewarded”.

Well ‘fabulous’ isn’t a word I’d base my research on when looking for a  ‘quality’ kitchen fitter but as it appears to be the catch-all description of most Interior Designers I work with, then I’ll forgive it’s use and agree that research and references are vital. I would add that another important consideration missing from this first point is the role of a specialist kitchen designer.

2. “Keep things simple. The most visually pleasing arrangements of cabinets consist of runs of either wide, deep drawers, or runs of floor-mounted cupboards only. But don’t mix the two in one run – it can look a mess. Likewise, beware of a jumble of full-height and wall- and floor-mounted units. Symmetry is your friend”.

The most visually pleasing arrangements are what you, as the client, convey to your kitchen designer. Of course, those in the business of design will offer their input and maybe you will buy into their visions but we must remember that one mans meat maybe another mans poison. There are no hard, fast rules on the configuration of your cupboards yet I’d prefer to use the word ‘balance’ over ‘symmetry’ and for this read ‘function over aesthetics’. It’s important to consider what cupboards you will make most use of rather than having something useless that’s pretty and that actually turns out to be pretty useless.

3 .“Never site an extractor fan between wall cabinets: it looks clumsy. Instead replace adjacent cabinets with open shelves. If the thought of all that dust brings out your OCD, conceal a canopy hood inside an adapted wall cabinet that has no bottom, rendering the appliance virtually invisible. By the way, the cheaper extractor fans are often made in the same factories as those that are more expensive, so it may not be worth spending a great deal of money on one”.

Open shelving adjacent an extractor can work well if cupboard space isn’t going to present you with much of an issue and you’re eager to find additional room for your ornamentals but to say that siting an extractor between concealed cupboards is clumsy and to then state that a better alternative is to hide it within a run of concealed cabinetry is a little contradictory. In one fell swoop, this point has reminded most kitchen owners and designers that they got it wrong and have to go back to the drawing board. It’s true that some appliances with different brand names are made in the same factory but being a little more specific on this would have proved more helpful to buyers. The website UK Whitegoods is operated by the guys on the frontline who work on repairing appliances daily. They pull no punches in telling you the best machines out there and who makes what. A visit to the site will give you a better insight and help you save a few bob in the process.

4. When selecting your appliances, choose carefully. Forget about expensive brands, just buy basic white goods with an A+++ energy efficiency rating. These can be concealed behind cabinet fronts to match the rest of your kitchen.

Again, being more specific would have helped here. Encouraging buyers to ‘just buy basic’ isn’t helpful. Customer Service, After Sales, Warranties, Reputation and perhaps most important Build Quality are the factors that matter most and if you can find all these at a good price then it will prove cost efficient in the long term.

5.  “When it comes to slick modern kitchens, the key word is concealment. Undermounting a cheaper stainless-steel sink into your worktop will make it look more stylish and more expensive”.

Non- specific once more. Concealment really isn’t the key word neither. For those of you contemplating replacing your sink with an undermount in your laminate worktops, stop right there!! It won’t work and your worktops will be reduced to a soggy weetabix state within days. Undermount sinks only work well with non-porous worktops. Sure there are those that would tell you it can work well for laminate surfaces but I’ve yet to see a method that works well and is ‘cheap’. If concealment was the key word for modern kitchens then creative kitchen designers would have a pretty mundane task hiding integrated appliances, (not cheap), behind cupboard doors as opposed to incorporating classy products that can serve to break up the boring uniformity of it all.

6. “One design trick is to fit the plinth (the ‘skirting board’ that floor units sit on) as far back as is possible. This will make your joinery appear cantilevered and ‘high-design’ “.

High design? Adapting cabinets not built for this purpose? Well I’m not sure about that but the implications of any alterations to cabinetry are worth looking into first. Most cabinets arrive with the plinth legs set an even distance from both the front and the rear of the cabinets. There’s reason for this, strength. Any further stress put upon the front end of the cabinet by resetting the legs further back will undoubtedly weaken that strength in use. Another consideration is the invalidity of any cabinet warranties that your kitchen comes with if you do.

Cantilevered cabinetry is high end and cabinetry of this ilk is high price and manufactured for the purpose of appearing unsupported.

7.  Spend your money where it counts most. Buy inexpensive carcasses from big DIY stores, Ikea or kitchen specialists such as Howdens and then have them fitted with bespoke doors and drawer fronts.

Now this is a point that interests me most. Essentially what is being encouraged here is to hang high quality doors onto cheap units. After banging my head against a brick wall after years of fitting cabinets of varying quality, I have to stress that what’s behind the doors matters more. The build quality of your cabinets is conducive to how long your kitchen will last you. Better to locate a kitchen cabinet manufacturer who builds a sturdy, solid carcass of 18/19mm construction and uses protective PVC edging to protect the vulnerable front edges. If you manage to get them at a reasonable cost – job done.

8.  A worktop is one of the most visible features so it is well worth spending money here. Honed granite (which has a flat low sheen without reflection) is both chic and durable, making it cost-effective too. To keep your top relatively lightweight order a slab that is about 20mm thick but ask for a mitred downstand (edging) of 70mm. This will make it look luxuriously thick. Consider using the same material for a splashback or choose painted glass.

It’s taken me till this point to somewhat agree and the single most important component in a kitchen is the worktop and yes, it is worth spending money here. Honed granite is one of the bespoke options available to buyers but there are many more such as Quartz, Acrylic Solid Surfaces and Stainless Steel.

However, laminates too can provide long term resilience if you bear these factors in mind. Quality – laminate worktops, like bespoke surfaces, can vary in quality. Choose a manufacturer recognised for its high quality and specification. Installation – correct installation is vital and it’s imperative that any areas vulnerable to water ingress are sealed correctly. Maintenance – never place hot pans on any surface without protection, use a chopping board and wipe up spills immediately after they occur are just some of the precautions that will extend the life of a worktop and help keep it looking good.

9. Kitchen taps need to be good quality, but don’t go mad. Hansgrohe is ideal.

In short – there are many others.

10. Sleek, modern kitchens are often ironmongery-free zones which makes them budget-friendly (beautiful handles and knobs are frequently a ‘hidden’ cost). The company Hafele (hafele.com) makes good-quality fitted closers and push catches. You can also have cupboard doors and drawer fronts constructed with integrated handles.

Handleless designs are becoming a more frequent sight in showrooms up and down the country but to equate them as being budget friendly is incorrect. What you may save on a handle is made up for in the cost of the push catch and its installation or on the fabrication of an integrated handle. Many others too, make quality kitchen fittings for this purpose.

Tim Foley


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Kitchen Design Planner That Saves Time And Money

Back in the day when tweeting was exclusive to birds only and when websites were places that flies avoided, I plied my trade up and down the nation on the hunt for the location of my next ‘fit’. In the days before Sat Nav, that meant finding a local postman who might point me in the right direction.

Invariably, on arrival, I’d discover that the soon to be recipient of my skillsets, had forked out a fair few bob already for preparatory work in readiness for their new kitchen and more often than not, the gas, water, waste and electrical services were located in the wrong place. So, to choose just a couple of regular introduction scenarios, they went as follows “I’m afraid I’m going to have to relocate your wastepipe, it’s behind the location of your new integrated dishwasher and that will prevent it from fitting correctly” or “the gas pipe for your hob needs to be cited on the opposite wall and as you’ve got a concrete floor, we’ll have to bring up the carpet and floorboards in the bedroom above so that I can install the new pipe across”.

I’m guessing by now you’re getting the picture – the proposed three or four day installation had transformed into a five, six or seven day affair through a complete lack of communication between the showroom and the client. Proper Kitchen PlanningIt’s also safe to assume that any introduction that results in one party informing the other of an unexpected, additional cost than they’d planned for isn’t tantamount to both parties forming a pleasant rapport thereafter. Let’s say, in the days before Facebook and Twitter, that an offline Anti-Social platform was trending on these particular occasions.

If I could have somehow miraculously, relocated those pipes or wires seamlessly and without cost just to avoid some clients giving me the silent treatment or scornful glances for the duration, I would and eventually I came up with a plan to prevent any further, unnecessary alienation.

Today, many showrooms offer full project management and this of course comes at an additional cost that may be above and beyond the budget of the majority of buyers but my solution accounted for all and avoided the delays and issues that plague so many installations.

I asked any kitchen showroom/provider who I’d be undertaking the install for, to forward me two A3 size copies of the design drawings showing all plan aspects, elevations, birds-eye views etc. once a client had approved the final draft. I’d label each elevation, (that’s a fancy term for a wall to those who prefer layman lingo), by numbering them, Wall 1, Wall 2 and so on. I’d then compile a list of numbers that correlated with the location of each service so, for instance, No.1 might be a 15mm cold feed pipe, No.2 might be a 42mm waste pipe.

As I had a full set of plan aspects I could simply label each number and circle it clearly in the location it needed to be on the design. To allow for even greater precision of the location of each service requirement I accompanied my labels with a document listing that correlated to each number and pinpointed the exact location by utilizing the wall numbers as my distance calculator.

So, for No.1, the document might state, 15mm gas feed pipe protruding 100mm from Wall No.2 at a height of 550mm from the floor and at a distance of 2330mm from Wall No.3. No.2 might state, A 42mm waste pipe terminating into nearest exterior gully and protruding 400mm through Wall No.3 at a height of 450mm from the floor and at a distance of 1650mm from Wall No.2.

Once I’d completed the ‘Foley First Fix’ plan it was posted off to the client followed up with a call thereafter to confirm they’d received it and to answer any questions they might have.

The result – a delay free, pleasant installation provided that the designer had sized the design up correctly. Thereafter, on arrival at the project destnation, there’d be no shocks in store for the client. Immediately I was able to get stuck into fitting the cabinetry and connect up the services. In the words of Radiohead, there were no alarms and no surprises and it all made for a pleasant atmosphere throughout.

I guess that’s my point here, in that anything that can minimize potential disruption or that can conceivably spoil what should be a pleasing experience proves worthwhile in the end. Careful and precise preparation is everything and if all four parties in this equation liaise effectively and understand their role, working together to eradicate issues, then you’ve got yourself a winning formula. The designer, to create and draw up a workable plan that fits the space they measured. The showroom, to schedule and ensure timely arrival of all the components in the design. The installer, to transfer that paper design to reality and the client, to ensure that the design space is  clear and ready for installation.

To help speed up that process, I’d certainly advise kitchen buyers to consider a first fix plan, particularly if your new kitchen is being sited in a new building or extension. Undertaking the first fix work yourself as project manager or passing this on to your builder will prevent any unexpected costs if the services are sited incorrectly. It takes knowledge of building regulations to compile a first fix preparatory plan detailing correct pipe, wire sizes but it shouldn’t be beyond a good outfit to provide you with one and should cost more than between £50-100 to purchase dependent on the size of your kitchen.

We’d certainly be happy to oblige here at Kitchensfitted if your kitchen provider appears confused by your request.

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Major Cabinet Decision

Remember the days when smoking in restaurants,  nonchalantly slinging your pocket rubbish on to the High Street without a care in the world and when dodging dog mess on the street were pretty much part of the fabric of day-to-day living? Just a few examples of  irresponsible, “unvironmental” behaviour that formed part of an ungreen and unpleasant land.

We are probably among the last generation to have acted that way. It was just the way it was and many of today’s generation frown on their forebears for their past habits. Today, even the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags can give rise to accusing glances. Tomorrow’s generation will have an even greater expectation of more responsible behaviour, there is no doubt. Ever increasing numbers of environmentalists lay testament to the responsibility we all have and this is being reflected by a changing consumer mind-set.

And so, as a result, more and more companies are going green. Some more than others, of course, and it may be to a lesser or greater extent – ranging from sending e-mail instead of letter post, all the way through to developing products that create less long term harm or are recyclable.

My issue with green products has always been that many of them aren’t as durable or resilient as existing counterparts and that the term ‘Eco’ comes with a high ticket price tag that most can’t afford.

Change usually occurs deliberately, either by government “nudging” or by a radical commercial development. Often the two rise to the fore at the same time.

The current concern for both government and consumer is that of sustainability and sometimes a trailblazer has to set the bar to lead the way, to “nudge” us down the path towards a safer environment. One sector of the home interiors market not entirely noted for its commitment to developing Eco products in an easily accessible affordable format is  my own industry, Kitchens and in particular Kitchen cabinetry.

For durability and resilience, Puustelli’s new and pioneering innovation, the Miinus range of kitchens has blown that belief out of the water: the Finnish kitchen manufacturer spent 3 years developing a ground-breaking Bio Composite carcass that ticks all the enviro-friendly boxes and more. Eco Kitchens by PustelliI first discovered this radical attempt after reading a piece about the Industrial designer Juhani Salovaara on the development that could and should spark a new era of sustainable kitchen furniture.

In May 2013, Puustelli launches its Miinus range. The material properties of their carcass is pretty revolutionary in that it is injection moulded, made up of natural fibre composites and is not only lighter but stronger than the Chipboard/MDF offerings that crowd the kitchen market at present.

Another huge advantage and one I am personally impressed with, given my own campaign against the “soggy Weetabix finish” familiar to many consumers when they inspect the bottom shelf in their sink cabinets – is that this carcass is water resistant.

Over the years, I’ve been left utterly underwhelmed at the lack of environmental ambition and new innovation shown by kitchen furniture manufacturers in the face of a changing consumer and so it’s no great shock that this innovation came from offshore.

For some months now the hot topic of debate among UK Kitchen retailers, reps and commentators has been whether a Kitchen Compare website is fulfilling the needs of consumers by drawing price comparisons from national chains and DIY stores such as Wickes and B&Q. Sustainable Kitchen CarcassesIronically, the aim of the kitchen compare website is to demystify kitchens but one thing every kitchen company that appears on the site has in common is that they are constructed using the same material, melamine faced Chipboard. Where’s the innovation in that and what about the increasing number of buyers seeking to buy more responsibly?

We don’t offer kitchens here at Kitchensfitted, just yet, but I’d like to think we could play a small part in pricking consciences by telling our visitors “there’s a cabinet material out there that halves the global harm caused by current offerings, it’s of better quality than existing offerings and it is moisture resistant”

I’d like to also tell them it’s priced at an affordable level and its available here in the UK but only time will tell on these final two points. Regardless, I’d like to applaud Puustelli for offering home buyers (albeit elsewhere in Europe at present) an innovative, environmental choice.

Maybe others will be nudged into following their lead rather than remain stagnant and  apathetic to the needs of a growing green generation.

Tim Foley © 2013

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Secret Shopper In The Kitchen

The success of Channel 4′s Britain’s Secret Shopper is indicative of our times in that the hero of the hour is the person who can teach the nation to duck and dive to drive a bargain in these times of austerity.

The latest instalment saw presenter, Justin Preston, imparting his haggling skills to help a young “first time buying” couple to get the kitchen of their dreams for only £5,500 after haggling down a whopping 60% (it was originally priced at £12,500).

Any show that hits the right note with viewers has to utilise a couple of jaw droppers to keep us glued to the TV and this was no different but already many in the kitchen industry would like to know why any kitchen retailer would allow themselves to be perceived as a company who heavily overprice their goods for the purpose of discounting down to get a sale.

It was incredible to see that the equivalent of the cost of a new Peugot 107 can be wiped off the original kitchen price. It tells us a lot about the pricing of kitchens because they’re shrouded in mystery and always have been.

In PR terms, it was a mistake I think and the Magnet Kitchens store manager would have won the confidence of the kitchen buying public if he had been able to say “This is our top of the range kitchen and it’s already great value – I’ll attempt to bring it down but it’s better quality than the other kitchen you wish us to compare against which isn’t a like for like” before going on to explain the real differences. Instead the message he may well have sent was: “we only pay pennies to make this product and make such a huge profit, we can afford to slice off £6,500!”

Let’s say I’m a store owner and I’m told that a couple will be trying to obtain a bargain price on camera for a prime time show watched by millions about shoppers trying to obtain a great deal. I’m immediately in because it’s a perfect opportunity to convey your expertise and to highlight your already competitive prices to an audience of millions. Sure, haggling’s the nature of the beast and not many will refuse to try to compete with a true like for like quote but to offer a 60% discount to close the deal makes the kitchen industry look like TITS (Trotters Independent Traders that is.)

One question I would like to learn the answer to is: why wasn’t a secret camera wasn’t used to film the pivotal deal? After all the programme is titled Britian’s Secret Shopper. Would such a huge discount have been offered if the retailer was unaware of the primetime audience awaiting his decision or, should I say, those of his manager in the back room?

I am still a fan of the programme, it doesn’t break any new ground in treading a tried and tested “save the pennies” format and it is perfectly timed for the needs of consumers but retailers should be aware of the consequences of sending out the wrong message when they take out their price axe for the cameras (secret or otherwise). Kitchen Buyers aren’t as naive as some retailers think they are and looking at the social media reaction to the size of this discount, a buyers experience spreads to an even bigger audience.


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Searching For The Green Kitchen

Did you know that the number of internet searches for “The Green Kitchen” and other Eco variables of the term are in breakout and has been a rapidly rising trend since 2004?

Well no, I guess you didn’t but take it from me, more and more of us are looking to do our bit for the planet and “Going Green” is a buyer’s best way to make their contribution.

Apart from those in climate change denial, most of us are “sort of” aware of the consequences that daily habits without a thought to sustainability will have on the planet in the long term.

Most of us “do our best” to recycle but what efforts we do make are often only undertaken because they follow local or central government regulation.

For the most part we see something we like the look of; we buy it and pay little attention to the environmental credentials of the product. We often heat a house when only a room might suffice. We leave lights on in a room no-one’s using and we buy “green” only when manufacturers offer it as a cost-compare alternative.

So what are manufacturers doing to assist us make that change? Well there’s a host of them eager to be seen doing a little, like using less paper or running their fleet of trucks less frequently than they once did.

For many, hopping on to the green bandwagon in whatever way possible seems to be a growing trend rather than making the leap of faith to a real eco commitment that it badly needed.

I’m as guilty as others in having been somewhat apathetic over the years - but acknowledge now that it’s real actions that are needed now. Looking at our sector of Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms, that has to start by the furniture manufacturers leading the way.

Sustainable kitchen products that cover most components in the kitchen are now an ethical choice but in the not too distant future they will become regulation, without doubt.

Many kitchen related products with green credentials are, of course, already available and we have a number of lighting manufacturers churning out low energy consumption designs that tick the green boxes.

We know too that appliance manufacturers offer energy saving products. but here’s the rub:  for many buyers they’re just too expensive from the outset. Ok, we know that substantial cost savings can be made over time on energy saving products but the majority of people still purchase on the initial comparison of price alone. There’s no doubt that some energy efficient appliance models are just as good if not better than wasteful counterparts yet in the kitchen sector I’m most familiar with –  cabinetry, doors and worktops - there’s lack of a green choice because there’s been too little Research & Development.

Bamboo for instance, touted as a green alternative to wood, is a move in the right direction but is it as durable and resilient as the less sustainable alternatives? No.

Invariably  kitchen furniture labelled as sustainable or Eco-friendly is just not as good as existing counterparts and what’s the economic sense in going green if you have to replace a product more frequently?

The properties required, in my opinion, for kitchen furniture to tick all the boxes for buyers looking to buy green without compromising quality, are as follows,

1. It must be recyclable

2. Its makeup must be from a sustainable resource

3. It must be as strong or as durable as existing quality products – stronger and more durable would be a bonus.

4. Just because its enviro-friendly shouldn’t mean it’s overpriced

5. It should arrive with a healthy warranty

6. It must be capable of being design led and attractive to the buyer.

7. Just have to throw this one in the hat – How about cabinets with water resistance as one of its beneficial properties?

I’ve got news for you – it’s already out there, though unfortunately it’s not yet available here yet. Do watch this space though, because one of my eco-contributions for the future of Kitchensfitted is to endeavor to make it available in the UK.


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Who Needs The Experts When Shopping For A Kitchen?

High on the agenda of daily news updates are stories about the huge swell of those now happy to buy online. However even this army of consumers are dwarfed by the tsunami of buyers who now undertake their research on the www before making a purchase.

I’ve long been a student of this sea change that’s taken place over the last decade and have, over the years, documented such in columns written for and about the Kitchen Industry. A number of well known High St brands have fallen victim to the cyber exodus, the latest being Comet but why is this radical change in buyer behaviour taking place?

I have my own theories on this and clues can be found in the conversations I have with a number of kitchen buyers who call up for advice. Some are surprised by my probing questions as to why they use the internet as their main tool when seeking suppliers and I’m left humbled by many who tell us how valuable they consider our own articles, opinions and ideas to be: it’s heartening to learn we’re offering a valuable service in the modern marketplace but as much as we ask the questions so do they and the truth is that many buyers are becoming the pioneers of a whole new way that is left largely ignored by those they wish to purchase from.

This week, a woman who called to place an order for Caesarstone worktops was one such example.

©2013  By kind permission of Red Rocket Media

©2013 By kind permission of Red Rocket Media

She was more than willing to take part in one of my mini surveys and eager to tell me how she’d used the internet to source her new kitchen after her journey to the High St left her disappointed at the poor service and lack of product knowledge. Her most telling statement was that she had become more of an expert than some of those she sought opinion from. As a result she had become an expert on products and customer service expectations after studying opinions of fellow consumers and industry insiders on the internet.

Although tempted to use an internet provider for her new kitchen she finally settled on a German make that she sourced locally after hearing good reports and positive feedback about them on, yes, you’ve guessed it, the internet.

She wasn’t averse to purchasing high-ticket items online, a fact borne out by her confirmation to place a worktop order with one of our fabricator partners but the moral of this tale is that the complacency and arrogance of  “yesteryear retailing” is dead and it’s time to re-evaluate sales methods in light of the experts now entering our showrooms both on and offline.
Twitter: @tim_foley1



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