Yes, I did it! I fitted my own kitchen:
This was fitted a few years ago in my current home. It took me a VERY long time to do! But I’m really proud of the fact that
- I did it!
- I know HOW to do it now, and have the skills for tiling, cabinet fitting, plumbing etc
- I know what I’d do differently if I did it again
- I feel much more confident about what you need to know when fitting a kitchen! Even if I don’t do it again myself, I know what questions to ask and what problems need to be solved.
So what should you bear in mind when fitting your own kitchen?
Next time I do this, I’ll be documenting every step of the journey to share, and including how-tos along the way. This is how my kitchen looked before I got to work:
Here are my biggest learnings from my first time fitting a kitchen:
- DO put in a LOT of thought into planning! Don’t assume you can come up with the best design yourself! Plenty of companies offer a free consultation and kitchen design service, and I used one. Even if you don’t buy your kitchen from them, they will give you a lot of ideas, usually including potential layouts. This will provide a totally different perspective on your kitchen.
- DO consider practicality. Much as I loved the floor tiles, Wickes Havana, I would go for a darker tile and grouting in future, purely for practicality. I would also include under floor heating!
- DO automate jobs where possible. Mixing floor adhesive and grout by hand is ok, and I spent HOURS doing it. But next time I’ll be going for a mixing paddle I can attach to a drill, something like this mixing paddle
- DO take a shopping list when you go to purchase your kitchen. My kitchen is the Ikea Tidaholm. I spent a LONG time planning out everything I’d need before I went to the store to order it, and made up an itemised list using the Ikea catalogue numbers. I then only had to hand over an itemised list to the sales assistant.
- DO find unit carcasses that have a gap built-in at the back to cater for pipes and uneven walls. Mine didn’t. That would have saved a lot of time cutting shapes out of the back of cabinets! Ikea have changed their carcass design since I purchased this kitchen so they may now include the gap.
- DON’T skimp on the number of drawers! Drawers are much easier to find things in than cupboards. Next time around there will be a LOT more drawers. And probably a pull-out larder unit or two.
- DO take your time on the trimmings at the end. Having nicely fitted trims under the floor and wall cabinets makes all the difference. They take a long time to fit, just know it’s worth it!
- DO use a spirit level to check everything! A spirit level is the most essential bit of kit – ideally a really long one like this 120cm spirit level. Seriously – for the floor, the units, checking worktop across corners, fitting shelves, this is required!
- DO risk a bold colour! Initially I painted the kitchen a pale lilac. When I took the plunge and changed to bold purple I was nervous, but it feels lovely and welcoming. I think the colour is Wilko Grape.
- DO go for what you want! I really wanted wooden worktops, and persuaded myself they were impractical and too expensive. My next kitchen will definitely have them! I also wanted a designer radiator, and went for this Avoca column radiator from B&Q. I love it and would definitely use something similar again.
That’s my kitchen, and my learnings. What did you learn from your last kitchen?