UK: Kitchen Cabinets: Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers & Suppliers
ABOUT KITCHEN CABINETS
Kitchen cabinets have timber frames, with doors, drawers, and worktops attached. The highest quality kitchen cabinets have glue and dowel construction for extra strength. The cheaper kitchen cabinet doors are made of medium density fibreboard (MDF) which may be supplied painted, or with a vacuum-applied vinyl sheet finish. The vinyl sheet finish can be a plain colour, such as white or ivory, or can give a wood-grain look. The highest quality kitchen cabinets have doors of solid wood such as oak, beech, or pine, and will be fitted with soft-close drawers and doors. Leading UK suppliers of kitchen cabinets are profiled below the panel of sponsored links.
CHOOSING KITCHEN CABINETS
There are three key factors to take into account when choosing kitchen cabinets: function, style, and durability.
In terms of function, there is in our view little to choose between economical kitchen cabinets, such as those supplied by IKEA, and very expensive kitchen cabinets from bespoke manufacturers such as Smallbone of Devizes. It used to be that the more economical manufacturers of kitchen cabinets produced only very simple items, with little choice and few features. That is no longer the case. Even the most economical suppliers offer a very wide range of kitchen cabinet fronts, handles, drawer arrangements, and worktops. They also offer extra features such as special corner kitchen cabinets, concealed lighting, tambour doors, stainless steel worktops with incorporated sinks, storage fittings, deep drawers, and soft-close drawer mechanisms. So do not expect that paying a lot of money for your kitchen cabinets will bring seriously additional functionality.
In terms of style, there is a wide variety of choices, which can be boiled down into four main groups: simple traditional, complicated traditional, simple modern, and complicated modern. By simple traditional, we mean kitchen cabinets that have a traditional but plain (sometimes referred to as Shaker) appearance. The kitchen cabinet doors are of simple frame and panel construction without decorative or curved mouldings. Handles are normally turned wooden knobs or simple D handles. By contrast complicated traditional kitchen cabinets have decorative or curved mouldings, often with fiddly drop-down antique-look handles. Simple modern kitchen cabinets normally have plain door and drawer fronts, either in natural wood, wood veneer, or plain laminate. Complicated modern kitchen cabinets use bright colours, or contrasting surfaces such as glossy black or glass. They will often have bold or exaggerated handles. We strongly recommend the simple approach, for both traditional and modern designs. Kitchen cabinets can last for many years, and complicated styles, whether traditional or modern, can quickly date.
In terms of durability, the most durable material for kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts is solid hardwood. Next best is good quality wood veneer. Both age gracefully, with the wood grain absorbing small dents and scratches. Painted kitchen cabinets are less practical, because they show dirt much more easily, and the paint can wear off. The least practical are plastic laminates, particularly if they are of plain and glossy. Any damage to such surfaces is very noticeable. And remember that kitchen cabinets get a lot of wear and tear.
LEADING KITCHEN CABINET MANUFACTURERS & SUPPLIERS
John Lewis: Kitchen Cabinets. John Lewis offers a wide range of its own-brand kitchen cabinets on its website and through its stores. It also sells the German Alno brand of fitted kitchen cabinets. The John Lewis Main Collection features 13 styles, ranging from minimalist geometric designs, through simple Shaker designs, to homely farmhouse styles. These include doors with a hand finished aged look. The John Lewis Colour Collection features three different door styles in an exuberant range of silks and gloss colours, as well as matt or gloss wood effects. Curved units offer a softer feel. Options include handle-less doors and inset aluminium handles. The John Lewis First Collection is cheaper than the Main Collection. It offers plain doors in a choice of four gloss colours: black, latte, red, and white. Other options include wood-grain effect in walnut or light pearwood, and Shaker style doors in ivory, oak, rustic oak, or pearwood effect.
Magnet: Kitchen Cabinets. Magnet, which is based in Darlington, is one of the UK's leading makers of of joinery and kitchen products for the trade and consumers. It employs more than 1,700 in the UK, and is owned by Nobia, one of Europe's leading kitchen companies. Magnet sells kitchen cabinets online, and through almost two hundred showrooms around the UK. Magnet offers kitchen cabinets in three price ranges. Its cheaper Essentially Magnet kitchen cabinet range offers personal design, 15-year cabinet guarantee, and soft close drawers and doors. The mid-price Purely Magnet kitchen cabinet range offers these features, with in addition colour complimented cabinets, and framed kitchens. The premium-price Uniquely Magnet kitchen cabinet range also provides built-in storage solutions and built-in lighting solutions. You can subscribe to a free Kitchen Trends e-newsletter at the Magnet website.
Moben: Kitchen Cabinets. Moben, based in Manchester, is a large UK manufacturer of kitchen cabinets. Moben supplies three ranges of kitchen cabinets: Simplicity, Impact, and Character. The Simplicity kitchen cabinets have simple door designs and are finished in wood (including Maple and Beech) or in white. The Impact kitchen cabinets are more aggressively modern, with simple styling, bright colours, and high gloss finishes. The Character kitchen cabinets are in a traditional farmhouse style, and are available in Birch or Oak finish and painted in ivory or white. Moben can also supply worktops and kitchen handles. Moben's use of the two dots (umlaut) over the o in its name has provoked complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority that the company is trying to pass itself off as a high quality German manufacturer. The ASA supported the complaint in 2001, but reversed its position in 2006, allowing Moben to continue to use the umlaut in its name.
OTHER PRODUCTS RELATED TO KITCHEN CABINETS
Kitchen Product Guides: Fitted Kitchens, Granite Worktops, Kitchen Appliances, Kitchen Cupboard Doors, Kitchen Door Handles, Kitchen Sinks, Kitchen Taps, Kitchen Tiles, Kitchen Worktops, Storage Shelves.
Publisher: Abacus Construction Index UK is a professionally edited directory of recommended construction websites, published by Extonet Ltd. It is financed only by Google advertising; no payment is received from included websites.