UK: Kitchen Units: Kitchen Unit Manufacturers & Suppliers
ABOUT KITCHEN UNITS
High quality kitchen units are supplied as rigid pre-built items. Cheaper kitchen units are supplied in flat pack form. Most kitchen units now feature soft-close drawers and doors, and offer integrated lighting fittings. The cheapest kitchen unit doors are made of medium density fibreboard (MDF) which may have decorative grooves cut into it, giving the appearance of a wood panel door. Kitchen units of this kind are painted, or have a plastic surface (which may be coloured or wood-effect) vacuum applied. Some more expensive kitchen units have doors of solid wood such as Pine, Oak, or Beech. Leading UK suppliers of kitchen units are profiled below the panel of sponsored links.
We suggest you may wish to visit our sister website Kitchen Reviews Index, which analyses more than 4,600 actual customer reviews of UK kitchen suppliers, identifying the best and the worst suppliers in terms of customer opinion. The analysis is based on reviews at the Review Centre website.
CHOOSING KITCHEN UNITS
The three key considerations in choosing kitchen units are style, durability, and functionality.
On style, we strongly recommend keeping it simple - whether you are going for traditional or modern design. Simple traditional designs use plain doors and drawer fronts, with frame and flat panel and without any fancy mouldings. This is sometimes known as Shaker style. The simplest form of handle for traditional kitchen units of this kind is the turned wooden knob. By contrast, some traditional kitchen designs have become very complicated, with all sorts of decorative mouldings, curved panels, and fancy antique-style handles. This sort of complication will date quickly, and is in any case not very appropriate for a kitchen. The best way to make a traditional kitchen look interesting is not with complicated decorative kitchen units, but rather with interesting things around the kitchen - characterful pots and pans, trays, jugs and mugs. Simplicity should also be the watchword in modern kitchen unit designs. Simple designs and simple finishes such as solid hardwood, hardwood veneer, or neutral-colour plastic laminate are to be preferred to striking modern kitchen unit designs using shiny surfaces, glass, or metal for the doors. Complicated modern designs will date just as quickly as complicated traditional designs.
On durability, there is nothing to beat solid hardwood, in either traditional or modern design, for the doors and drawer fronts of kitchen units. A second best is good quality hardwood veneer, such as oak. In both cases the grain of the wood will absorb small scratches and dents, ageing gracefully. Beware of cheap plastic laminate finishes, which can peel away from the base through damp or wear and tear. Painted surfaces are superficially attractive, but can become shabby quite quickly. Re-painting kitchen units is a very fiddly process.
Manufacturers of kitchen units offer excellent functionality right across the price range. It used to be that cheaper kitchen units would offer only a few choices of finish, and would not offer any special features. This is no longer the case. Economical suppliers such as IKEA now offer a wide range of special features of a kind that were previously only available from expensive suppliers such as Smallbone of Devizes. These special features include deep drawers, special corner units, concealed lighting, and soft-close drawers. So while you may want to go up market for reasons of style or durability, there is no need to go up market to get all the functionality you need.
LEADING KITCHEN UNIT MANUFACTURERS & SUPPLIERS
Magnet: Kitchen Units. Magnet, which operates from Darlington, is one of the largest British makers of of joinery and kitchen products for the retail and trade markets. Magnet employs more than 1,700 in the UK, and is part of Nobia, one of Europe's leading kitchen companies. Magnet sells kitchen units online, and through almost 200 shops around the UK. Magnet offers kitchen units in three price ranges. Its cheaper Essentially Magnet kitchen unit range offers personal design, 15-year cabinet guarantee, and soft close drawers and doors. The mid-price Purely Magnet kitchen unit range offers these features, with in addition colour complimented cabinets, and framed kitchens. The premium-price Uniquely Magnet kitchen unit range also provides built-in storage solutions and built-in lighting systems. Visitors can subscribe to a free Kitchen Trends email newsletter at the Magnet website.
Kutchenhaus: Kitchen Units. Kutchenhaus, based in Trafford Retail Park, Manchester, is owned by and is the UK retail outlet for Nobilia of Germany. Operating since 1945, Nobilia is the world's largest manufacturer of kitchen furniture, including complete kitchens, kitchen units, and worktops. It sells around one in three of the kitchens sold in Germany. Kutchenhaus has showrooms in Bolton, Chester, Glasgow, Hull, Manchester, Preston, Sutton Coldfield, and York. Kutchenhaus also offers a free home visits throughout the UK. These provide consultation and design. The Kutchenhaus range of more than 100 kitchen units is organised into six categories: High Gloss Kitchens, White/Vanilla/Coffee Kitchens, Light Wood Kitchens, Medium/Dark Wood Kitchens, Coloured Kitchens, and Country Kitchens. Kutchenhaus kitchen untis are rigid and pre-built, not flat pack. This facilitates the German practice of taking your kitchen with you when you move house.
John Lewis: Kitchen Units. John Lewis offers a wide range of its own-brand kitchen cabinets on its website and through its shops. It also supplies the German Alno fitted kitchen cabinets. The John Lewis Main Collection comprises thirteen styles, including minimalist geometric designs, plain Shaker designs, and country farmhouse styles. These include doors with a hand finished aged look. The John Lewis Colour Collection provides three different door styles in a vibrant range of silks and gloss colours, as well as matt or gloss wood effects. Curved units offer a softer edge. Kitchen units can have handle-less doors and inset aluminium handles. The John Lewis First Collection is cheaper than the Main Collection. It supplies plain doors in a choice of four gloss colours: black, latte, red, and white. Other choices include wood-grain finish in walnut or light pearwood, and Shaker style doors in ivory, oak, rustic oak, or pearwood look.
OTHER PRODUCTS RELATED TO KITCHEN UNITS
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.
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