An updated kitchen can breathe fresh life into your house, but

An updated kitchen can breathe fresh life into your house, but how much does a new fitted kitchen cost? (Credit: CTJ Services Ltd)

The kitchen is the heart of every home. Renovating a dated kitchen can change the entire feel of your house, increase its resale value and generally make spending time in your kitchen a better experience. However, the cost of a fitted kitchen can appear daunting and difficult to calculate. 

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What determines the cost of a fitted kitchen?

Your kitchen cost will be determined by a number of factors, including the cabinetry you choose, the handles, the worktops, the appliances and the plumbing. Where you live can also impact the cost of materials and labour – for instance, a new kitchen installation might cost more in London than it does in the North of England. While there are budget and DIY options on the market, your kitchen should be built to last, while fulfilling your household’s requirements. 

You should also consider the size of your kitchen and the number of units you’ll need. A small galley kitchen (standard in many flats and homes across the UK) will require around 10of storage space and can start from as little as £1,000 for about eight cabinets. A larger kitchen may need 30of storage and around 20 units, pushing the price up to £7,000. You’ll still need to add worktops, installation and any additional building work to this cost, however.

It is worth noting that the scale of your project will have a huge impact on the cost, as well. A simple upgrade to your cabinets without changing the layout of your kitchen and retaining your existing floor and tiles will cost much less than a complete renovation that may include moving gas and electric points or replacing old floors.

If you’re looking to give your kitchen a totally new look rather than a kitchen cabinet upgrade, you should hire a professional builder to manage the entire process. They can take accurate measurements of your space, assess the scope of work to be completed and ensure everything is done to a high standard. Of course, all of this comes at a cost – both money and time – but it’s worth it if you have the budget.

If you are working with limited funds, you can find flat-packed kitchens from the likes of Homebase and Wickes for less than £1,000, but bear in mind that these usually exclude worktops and installation. Very few budget companies offer a fitting or measuring service – you’ll need to measure the kitchen on your own and attend a design appointment. 

A well designed fitted kitchen should have plenty of surfaces and storage space. (Credit: Coopers Design & Build Ltd)

A well designed fitted kitchen should have plenty of surfaces and storage space. (Credit: Coopers Design & Build Ltd)

When you are assessing the total cost of your kitchen, check if your supplier offers an installation service or can recommend a kitchen fitter. It’s also worth gathering quotes from other installers and building professionals, particularly if the project scope goes beyond simple installation. It’s important to make sure whether using your own installer will void or impact your warranty. 

Buying a kitchen from a budget brand doesn’t mean that your cabinets or accessories will be shoddy. IKEA offers Blum soft-close hinges with all of its cabinets, which are also a favourite among luxury brands. Do a little bit of research to find out where you can save money without compromising on quality. Some companies build carcasses using MDF or chipboard and fit quality timber doors and worktops to cut costs if you ask them to. The total cost of a new kitchen will be entirely bespoke to you and the cost of materials, rates charged by your chosen kitchen fitter and whether your project includes new flooring or tiling should all be factored in to the final costs.

Cost of the UK’s top fitted kitchen suppliers

The cost of your kitchen can vary dramatically based on the size of your kitchen, the style and material of your cabinetry, the requirement for further works such as plumbing and electrics, and whether or not you will handle the assembly and installation yourself. 

Below is a estimation of the cabinetry costs for a standard eight-unit kitchen, excluding extras and installation:

Kitchen supplierCost of cabinetry (excluding installation)
WickesFrom £835
B&QFrom £1,053
IKEAFrom £1,800
MagnetFrom £1,879
John LewisFrom £4,491
Harvey JonesFrom £18,000

Cost of flooring, tiling and painting

A new kitchen is a big investment but it can add value to your home. (Credit: Hackney Project)

A new kitchen is a big investment but it can add value to your home. (Credit: Hackney Project)

Your kitchen floors and walls can have a significant impact on the overall aesthetic and cost of your kitchen. 

According to expert sources, you can expect to pay the following prices for new flooring:

Sheet vinyl flooringFrom £7 per square metre
Luxury vinyl tileFrom £15 per square metre
LinoleumFrom £25 per square metre
CorkFrom £25 per square metre
Laminate flooringFrom £7 per square metre
Polished concreteFrom £80 per square metre

Wall and floor tiling can also have a big impact on your budget. The total cost of kitchen tiling depends on the size of your kitchen, the tiles you’ve chosen and how much your tiler charges to do the work. This price can be considerably higher in London than in other parts of the UK. 

The average cost to paint a mid-sized room will be around £350, if you use one tradesperson. It should take less than two days to complete, plus the cost of materials (the paint, brushes, rollers, painters tape, etc), which varies depending on where you live. This price has fluctuated in recent months due to increasing material prices.

Cost of installation and extras

Many homeowners make the mistake of only looking at the cost of the cabinetry when budgeting for a new kitchen. While cabinetry represents a considerable cost, it’s important to calculate the prices for installation, delivery, appliances, worktops, flooring, tiling, accessories and any other related building work you might need (such as plumbing, painting, etc) as well. According to George Forsyth of Drew Forsyth & Co, at the higher end of the market a new bespoke kitchen can cost 5-10% of the value of a home.

Below is a breakdown of what percentage of the total cost each component of a new kitchen typically is.

New kitchen componentAverage % of total cost
Furniture (base cabinets)30-35%
Plumbing (sinks and taps)3-5%
Delivery and installation15-20%

It’s important to weigh up the cost of the various extras you’ll need to purchase before arriving at a final price, such as worktops, cabinet hardware and appliances. 

When it comes to worktops, laminate worktops are the cheapest (from £30 per linear metre), followed by wood (from £150 per linear metre) and stone (from £200 per linear metre). However, unit prices will vary depending on where you live, the availability of materials and whether the pieces will need to be cut to fit into your specific space. 

The cost of installation can vary as well. Generally, when the cost of a new kitchen is advertised, it refers to the price of the units but not the various appliances, worktops or installation. According to Victoria Plum, the average price of a new kitchen installation is around £3,500 excluding the cost of the cabinets and appliances, but the costs can drop much lower or higher depending on the specifications and where you are based. You can find vetted and independently inspected builders for your kitchen renovation using our Find a Builder service.  

Appliances may also vary in cost depending on your needs. An under-counter fridge can cost as little as £190, while a large two-door fridge freezer with a water and ice dispenser could be from £1,500 upwards, for example.

Choosing a kitchen that fits your budget

When you start shopping online, you’ll notice that many kitchen suppliers offer either flat-packed or fitted options. Flatpack kitchens are generally much cheaper. Your cabinetry and accessories arrive unassembled, which means you’ll either need to hire someone to do the assembly for you or try your hand at DIY. 

If you are willing to spend the time and are adept at understanding complex instructions, taking measurements and putting together hundreds of components, buying a flatpack kitchen is a good option. The quality is usually very good: Wren Kitchens’ budget Vogue range, for example, is the same quality as their pricier Infinity range but costs much less. 

A bespoke fitted kitchen does cost more (especially if you opt for a pricier, handmade and custom-fitted brand), but it can reduce the hassle and frustration considerably. In most cases, the installer will remove the old cabinetry and appliances, connect gas and plumbing where required and, in some cases, provide the final painting and varnishing you need. You should always check with your installer what services and work is included before going ahead with a purchase.

Custom-made kitchens usually mean that you have more options in terms of designs and styles, and a designer will usually help you choose the best kitchen cabinetry and layouts for your space. 

There are also a few tips and tricks that will help you save money on your new kitchen. Handle-less cabinets are generally cheaper because handles require additional installation (and the handles themselves can be pricey). Opt for high-quality mid-range appliances instead of high-end brands, and look for package options on sinks and taps. 

Alternatively, if you are willing to shop around, a second-hand kitchen is a great way of finding your dream kitchen at a lower price. The Used Kitchen Exchange offers pre-owned kitchen cabinetry and will even purchase your old kitchen from you, which can reduce your costs considerably.

Which factors impact the cost of a kitchen?

How much does a new kitchen cost - complicated layout

A more complicated room layout will likely add costs to your kitchen renovation. (Image credit: Simona Sergi on Unsplash)

Before calculating the cost of your kitchen, it’s important to know the various elements that can push up your costs or save you money. Try not to cut corners on quality, particularly when it comes to installation. 

1. The size and layout of your kitchen

The larger your kitchen, the higher the price tag. You’ll need more cabinets, and the installation time will take longer, which pushes up your labour costs. You’ll also need to spend more on tiling and painting if the installation requires it. 

2. Your installer

Good quality installers will cost more, but they are often worth the price tag. You can use our Find a Builder tool to find a professional near you. Measuring and fitting cabinets with worktops can be difficult, and if you need gas and plumbing work done, you should always hire a qualified expert to carry out the work safely. 

3. Layout changes

Layout changes can have a big impact on your budget but also on the way you are using your kitchen. If you entertain a lot, cook a lot or just want to open up your living space or let more light into your home, you may want to consider reconfiguring your kitchen to suit your lifestyle. Bear in mind that this comes at a cost. Moving electrical outlets and water pipes, tiling and knocking through walls can make the entire installation more expensive and requires management from experienced builders, but it’s well worth redesigning your space if it’s not practical. 

4. Materials 

Every item you choose will impact the cost, from cabinets and handles to countertops, appliances and plumbing. These are the elements that make up the overall look and finish of your space, but they all come in a variety of pricing options, and the cost of materials has fluctuated greatly in recent times due to supply chain issues. MDF cabinet doors are considerably cheaper than solid oak, for example, and a quartz worktop can be much more expensive than laminate. You could compromise by using cheaper carcasses and more expensive doors or reusing your existing plumbing and appliances. Some companies will even buy back and resell your old cabinets. 

5. Appliances

Appliances will take up a considerable portion of your budget, so choose carefully. There is no need to only accept the appliances on offer by your kitchen supplier (unless their internal policies prohibit you from buying your own). Shop around for comparable items on sale but always choose appliances with solid warranties and a good reputation among consumers. Saving money in the short term on items that you’ll probably use for the next 10 or 20 years isn’t always a good idea, as you may end up having to replace them sooner than expected.

Our recommendation

Calculating the total cost of a new kitchen can be confusing and frustrating, but it’s an important step to take when deciding what will fit into your budget. Keep in mind that any average prices we’ve included in this article are just a guide to help you start the process.

The prices might be different to the quotes you’ll receive as you proceed with your project, as every one is unique and quotes can vary depending on where you live, the scope of your project, and the current market price for materials. It’s worth shopping around to find the most affordable cabinetry that doesn’t compromise on quality and gathering quotes from multiple installers or builders. This way you can benchmark the prices in your area and choose the best options for you.

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