The A to Z of Kitchens
Assembled or Flatpacked Cabinets?
When choosing your kitchen you will be faced with the choice of whether to have assembled units or flatpacked. Apart from the obvious difference and the cost there is often more to it than that.
Some suppliers (like us) only provide assembled units. They are put together in the factory and delivered so that they just slot into place with everything complete. This is much more convenient and less likely to give problems than flatpacked units giving a much quicker installation. You can have the units laid out and installed in a couple of days.
With flatpacked cabinets you have all the fixings and attachments usually in the pack and most often they are all complete but sometimes parts are missing which can slow you down waiting for the extra parts to arrive.
It's hard to give an answer as to how long will it take to assemble the cabinets as a lot depends on the working space, how many units there are and who is assembling the units, but if everything has arrived with nothing missing then typically it adds between 2 and 3 days to the installation. The more drawers you have the more complex it is as these are harder to assemble than door cabinets.
Most suppliers who offer both flatpacked and ready assembled units have a different quality grade of cabinet for each. For example flatpacked cabinets are often 16mm carcass and have even thinner backs which aren't as resilient whereas fully assembled cabinets are usually 18mm thick. Ours are all 18mm including the backs which makes for a much stronger and longer lasting unit. In this aspect size and thickness really does matter!
Fixtures and fittings are often different too. The "Rolls Royce" of softclose door hinges are Blum and they come with a lifetime guarantee. We provide these as standard on all our units but many suppliers of flatpacked cabinets don't use these high quality fittings.
Flatpacked cabinets usually come in just white as a colour which is fine for most, but doesn't work so well with open units or glazed door display units.
Additionally flatpacked kitchen cabinets tend to only come in standard sizes and are usually imported. Sometimes you need a particular cabinet size or internal layout and these made to measure units are almost always (like us) already assembled.
On average from kitchen multi-store suppliers with names you would recognise, the additional cost of assembled units is around 20% extra.
For many with more time and looking for a kitchen for a buy-to-let or development then flatpacked kitchen cabinets work really well, but this saving needs to be weighed up against the additional time and disruption it will take but also against potentially the lower quality of the cabinets, more limited colours and possibly the fittings too.
At The Kitchen Workshop we pride ourselves on making every cabinet to order in our Cheltenham factory and we can accommodate custom sizes, shapes and colours and unless there are access restrictions they are delivered ready assembled for you to just slot into place!
If you have any further questions or want to know more please just get in touch.