There are many factors to consider when shopping for kitchen units, including whether you want a rigid kitchen or flat pack kitchen. While rigid kitchens come fully assembled, flat pack kitchens are purchases as components that need on-site assembly.
Every homeowner wants a kitchen design that optimises the available space, provides necessary storage, and offers room to admire the arrangement, all at a specified budget. With so many types of kitchen units and installation techniques to choose from, there are many factors to consider before settling on a specific design, including durability, space requirements, and manufacturing standards, among others. So, why would you choose to install a flat pack kitchen?
Mode of Assembly: Rigid vs. Flat Pack
Rigid kitchens are factory assembled using the cam and dowel method, whereby the unit components are placed inside a jig and squeezed together gently for several minutes, so that the glue dries in that position. This process may make rigid kitchen units more costly, but the fact that they come completely assembled with all necessary fittings, such as drawers and hinges in place, eliminates the risk of having a unit with missing components.
Flat pack kitchen units, on the other hand, come with knock down joints that are typically made of plastic and feature a bracket that is used to fix two pieces of wood together using a hammer or screw driver. Like rigid systems, these units also have to be manufactured to a high standard. The use of Knock Down joints is aimed at providing a unit that can be built up or knocked down as required without any deterioration occurring on the construction. This implies that whenever the unit is re-assembled, the construction remains as good as it was the first time around.
Features of Flat Pack Kitchens
The design of these units is such that they can be assembled by anyone without necessarily having any prior experience with woodwork or joinery techniques. The tolerances for manufacturing these units are incredibly accurate, so you can build it from scratch and get a perfect fit every time. Most manufacturers provide a specific tolerance for cutting panels and drilling holes, which is + or – 0.5mm, an extremely small measurement that leaves no room for error during on-site assembly.
How to Assemble a Small Cabinet
A cabinet is perhaps the most flexible building block for flat pack units, as you can add a shelf, drawer, or door to convert it into a cupboard, or use multiple cabinets to form a unit that provides you with the storage space that you require. When assembling a cabinet, be sure to do the following:
1. Start by laying the panels on a flat surface so you can easily see all components.
2. Fix the legs underneath the base panel into the pre-drilled holes.
3. Turn the base over so it stands on the legs, and use a screwdriver to screw the cam studs.
4. Apply PVA wood adhesive on one end of the wooden dowels and slot them into the pre-drilled holes on the base panel.
5. Tap the dowels with a hammer gently to get a snug fit.
6. Put a locking cam into the larger holes of the side panel where it will attach to the base.
7. Put some adhesive on the protruding dowels and fit the side panel to the base.
8. Secure by tightening the locking cams with a screwdriver.
9. Fit the back and side panels using steps 6-8.
There are many advantages of flat pack kitchen units, including their affordability, easy size adjustment, easy assembly, and the ability to play around with the design.