How Do You Distinguish A Good Quality Kitchen?
A good ergonomic design is simply not enough. You must have quality. A poor quality kitchen, over time, becomes a working nuisance. If you’re planning to resell, good quality becomes a major selling point. You do not want to over-capitalise, but don’t devalue your property either. A cheaply made kitchen scares buyers away. Why should they buy your nuisance?
When planning your new kitchen, look for these key features:
- quality of internal hardware
- quality and ability of cabinet customisation
- quality of workmanship in installation
Hinges and RunnersHinges and runners are the engine of your kitchen. Each hinge and runner gets a daily workout. They must be able to stand the test of time. At Blue Tea, we use quality Blum hinges. Each basic Blum. hinge consists of 25 separate precision parts and has a lifetime guarantee. Drawers extend 100% of the way, are soft close, hold up to 80kg, and have a lifetime guarantee.
To keep costs down, many companies offer standard off-the-shelf cabinet sizes. But houses are not standard sizes. To make up the difference, they add filler panels, leaving the kitchen with wasted space. This significantly affects the way your kitchen looks and functions. Customised cabinets measure precisely for your space, with no fillers and no waste. When a kitchen designer quotes you a price, be sure to ask if that quote covers fully customised cabinetry.Made-to-measure cabinetry ensures a perfect fit. Cabinetry should be vermin-proof by means of a solid base, and sides and top that are glued and nailed together. Cabinetry doors should be made of HDMF (high moisture resistant board) to Australian standards. All internal shelving should have CAD (PVC) edging. This resists knocks and bangs and will also resist water damage. Cabinetry may look similar in appearance, but if it lacks the above features, it is of poor quality. Door surface quality can also vary dramatically. Many companies import cheap, overseas cabinetry that does not meet Australian standards. Cheap cabinetry looks great for the first year, but in time it will crack, peel and discolour. It may seem like you save money, but in the long term, cheap cabinets may be very costly.
What is the price difference?
The average price difference of a cheap kitchen compared to a quality kitchen—based on a similar design and using similar finishes—ranges from 10% to 40% of the cabinetry cost, depending on the company. Think of it this way: Investing in quality cabinetry is like getting a BMW for only $2000 more than a Hyundai.
You can easily see the features and benefits of a quality kitchen. It is durable, built to last, and looks superior. You probably use your kitchen more than you use your car. For a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on an investment, you get long-lasting durability and beauty. You do get what you pay for.