Renovating or detonating your kitchen is an exciting project for a room that is the hub of family activity, whether you have children, live by yourself, or just love to entertain. A new kitchen is a great investment for you and your home.
Before you start
Have plans drawn for your kitchen. You can draw plans yourself if you have an understanding of cabinetry, or have a professional do it for you. Plans will ensure an accurate quote; could help to eliminate potentially costly mistakes during construction; and will reflect your personal style. centre.
Existing gas or electricity
Bench height (standard 900 mm)
Is main user right or left handed
How many people will use the kitchen
Design and colour
Allow 300 mm beside cook top so pots and pans sit safely
Kitchens come in a myriad of styles and designs, but are primarily sold as separate modular units or are custom-built from scratch. Many kitchen companies are flexible and it is possible to combine both mediums.
Modular kitchen units come as a set size and are generally available off-the-shelf. The modular units are dismantled and lay flat on the shelf - commonly called a flat pack - ready for a DIYer or tradesman to build. If you have any doubt about your DIY ability, have a tradesperson install it for you, to allow for minor adjustments (if required). Installing a flat pack kitchen is the most affordable option.
Straightforward kitchen designs
Materials - Cupboards are made using moisture resistant particleboard; doors are usually made with medium density fibreboard (MDF) or melamine with PVC edging; bench tops are made from moisture resistant particleboard and can be covered with a range of finishes.
If you decide on a modular kitchen, you can add pizzazz by installing quality appliances. Make a splash with trendy taps or classy cupboard handles to enhance the look of your new kitchen.
Degree of difficulty
Competent handyperson or leave it to a tradesperson.
If your budget is not holding you back, and the sky is the limit, then a custom-built kitchen is the choice for you. Virtually any finish is available and the kitchen is made to fit your space and needs, giving renovators' limitless possibilities. If you are in a hurry, a custom-built kitchen may not be the right choice for you, as construction does not start until it is ordered.
Awkward/unusual kitchen space
Those who are not in a hurry
Materials - Can be made from a variety of materials to create the style you want, from French provincial to traditional timber. Common materials used include timber veneer; polyurethane; solid timber; metallic polyurethane; laminate; stainless steel or stone.
Degree of difficulty
Sit back and enjoy the experience while the professionals take care of it.
It is important to choose your appliances before finalising your kitchen to ensure they fit, and have clearance around them. Ensure there is adequate ventilation around appliances such as wall ovens and fridges.
Allow 300 mm beside cook tops so pots and pans can sit safely.
Avoid placing your cook top/oven next to the fridge; otherwise, it will have to work twice as hard to cool.
The other appliances/fixtures to be considered are:
With so many choices available for your new kitchen, you can also do your bit for the environment. You can start by switching to water efficient appliances and fittings. You should consider:
Durable, easy-to-clean, well ventilated gas appliances
Sustainable timber, bamboo, cork, tiles, concrete, stone or timber veneers with zero or low volatile organic compounds (VOC) sealants
No PVC edging tape
Eco-accredited laminates and particleboard
Glass and tile splashbacks with zero or low VOC adhesives
Plant and water-based paints with low VOC
Tight fitting cabinetry to limit vermin
If you opt for a 'green' modular kitchen, don't forget it comes as a package, so you will have to stipulate which components you want to replace.
If you go to the effort of installing a new kitchen, you will probably want to lay a new floor. There are many options for flooring, and your budget and personal style will be the major factors when choosing a suitable surface. Make sure the surface is hardy and able to withstand wear and tear, especially if you have children. Laying vinyl floors occurs after kitchen installation; lay all other surfaces before installation.
Check out our flooring buying guide for a range of options to suit you.
We all hear about the horror stories about people who do shoddy work, go over budget or don't live up to expectations. Those experiences deflate budgets and confidence. Word-of-mouth or recommendations from those who you know and trust are a good way to source reliable tradespeople.