Kitchen Cabinet Quality Differences

Everyone has their opinions about the differences in quality/cost ratio between B&Q/Wickes, Kitchen Direct (middle of the market) and Poggenpohl (top), but what actually is the difference between the B&Q type and say a KItchens Direct. They have all thi stuff about quality of the carcase and materials but is this really so important? They have 95% density boards and claim that B&Q has 55% density. Does it really matter or not? Will a heavy door end up falliing off a B&Q cabinet if it puts strain on the carcase?
MY original view is that its how well the kitchen is installed and carcases assmebled that matters and not what material the carcase is made of, but this is probably wrong.
Any tips on where I can buy units which will be best performance/price ratio. I want a kitchen to last 10 years and had been thinking of a B&Q/Wickes level spend and getting good quality doors on a standard carcaase. Is there any good alternative or would these be good enough.
Many thanks
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I've used mid price range B&Q uints in two kitchens and have had no reason to regret the choice. The current kitchen is about 7 years old and nothing has broken / looks tatty yet.
Colin Bignell
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I am currently replacing the doors, drawers, plinths etc in my kitchen and I am using the it kitchen range from B&Q. I have also added some new carcasses which are B&Q's own. I am overall impressed with the quality and build of the B&Q carcasses and was particularly impressed with the premium drawer liners that you can buy (although they are a bugger to put together!!). I would say they are as good and if not better than the Schreiber units in the kitchen already. With B&Q's up to half price on their it doors at the moment I would hurry up if I was you. One tip though - order it online because the delivery instore is 50 quid whereas on-line its only 9.95.
I'm well impressed with all the items I have brought for the kitchen from their range.
HTH
Andrew.
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Agreed, the B&Q range are excellent value for money, zero missing parts, delivered in one drop when they said they would. I would thoroughly recommend the premium drawer system and didn't find them difficult at all. What do you see as the problem?
Delivery for web orders depends upon what you order. I paid 50. If I'd spent a bit more on the kitchen, delivery would have been free.
The only problem is that stores will no longer order non-stock items in for you - you have to accept (and possibly pay for) home delivery. If you have a B&Q warehouse nearby I believe they stock the whole range - I've never been dissappointed.
Andrew
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wrote:

No, I'm just having to order an 800mm base via the website - 31 for the base, 14.95 for delivery. I asked a very helpful guy at Chiswick whether they couldn't just put on their next requisition but he said that their system wouldn't let branches order non-stock items. It's not the cost of delivery that irks, just having to hang around on delivery day.
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Tony, I think Chiswick was telling you porkies. On Saturday I was in the Wandsworth B&Q and was able to place orders for several non-stock kitchen lines as well as stock lines. I'm collecting them all from the shop when they arrive. No delivery charges. Perhaps you could try Wandsworth next time. Will
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All carcases are made up of 5/8th chipboard. And the quality of that is pretty standard as it's all made in the same place. Kronospan more than likely.
The only differences in them are the amount of space from the back to the wall. Good units allow you about 2" from the backing hardboard to play with. The other difference is in the legs they use and the way the plynthe fits.
If vfm is a deciding factor, your best bet is to find a small firm that sells remaindered kitchens or bedrooms or both and has enough of the stuff you fancy.
If you can find doors and fittings there that you like that's all you will need. If not you will have to try a door from B&Q or wherever you find a style you like. You don't have to buy them all in one place. It's just a matter of getting replacements or extras after the initial sale that you must be careful of.
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On Fri, 23 Jan 2004 00:51:52 +0000, Michael McNeil wrote:

Sorry to disagree. The low end stuff is 16mm (5/8) bu the middle and upper end of the market is 18mm. (The abysmal end of the market is 14mm - eg Bolton & Paul from 1980s).

This depends on the manufactuer - the less space behind means more space in the cupboard! With proper planning and preparation before installing you should be able to get all the services in the plinth space.
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Michael McNeil wrote in message

Not quite. There can be a very significant difference in the grades of chipboard used. You really notice the difference in heavily loaded shelves in cabinets or cupboards. I've had to replace shelves in MFI cabinets of UK manufacture with wood to keep them from collapsing ( they suffer from increased droop with ageing!), but the old original MFI units which came from East Germany are almost indestructible. I haven't any recent experience of these products, but I have noticed that the design has changed to add central supports as a stiffening aid from a number of manufacturers. Is there a "Which" report to give a guide?
Regards Capitol
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I'm in the market and considering the same question. We're currently looking at Magnet (who we used on our last home) and considering Arena (which a friend has just had fitted). We've also looked at Alno but were frightened off by the price.
Alno is beautifully finished but a rough calculation made it about twice the price of Magnet. There was more choice of units,(depth/height etc), door finish and handles but the key parts that wear out IME (hinges and drawers) were indistiguishable.
Quality is more important than price I can't help but think that I should be able to get Magnet quality or better for less money from a company that doesnt spend so much on high street showrooms and press adverts - does anyone have any recommendations?
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anthony james wrote:

Ive used magnet and arena, and hygena QA. Hygena best of budget, areana top line of packflats IMHO.
Wouldn't touch Magnet ever again.
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Any particular reason? Our 5 year old Magnet kitchen still looked really good but they've since dropped the 'welded' plastic corners on the cabinets that made them really strong. I've always hated their sales pitch with a continuous 50% sale and rip off prices for essential small parts like end panels and plinths.
We're now looking at Arena (www.arena-kitchens.co.uk) after some friends used them. As a brief summary the carcasses appear better made being colour co-ordinated inside and out with solid tops and backs. There's a large choice of doors, pricing is consistent (3m plinths are c25 rather the c90 at magnet) and even the 'luxury' internal fittings appear reasonably priced. Some rough calculations last night made them about 75% of an equivalent Magnet kitchen for the units. However, I hadn't yet haggled or got the freebie dishwasher from Magnet so the difference is probably down to a few hundred but for better quality.
Is this the same company you're talking of - all the units are built rather than packflat.
The actual manufacturers of the Arena kitchens appear to be Mereway and Multiwood.
AJ
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I've installed 2 full IKEA kitchens and I've used a couple of Wickes units (or was it B&Q -- I forget now). The IKEA units seemed to be better made, easier to assemble, and cost less. The one disadvantage of the IKEA units is there's no space for pipework behind cupboards -- if you know this in advance, you make sure you install all the pipework at a height so it will be under the units. OTOH, you get deeper cupboards. If I was doing another kitchen, I would not hesitate to use IKEA again.
Actually, I have also used IKEA kitchen units in a bathroom. I had to cut them down as I wanted much shallower cupboards, but they worked well for that, and at a very tiny fraction of the cost of fitted bathroom units (which are ridiculously priced anyway, and crap quality in comparison).
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