One of the most important things, you need to consider when looking to purchase a new kitchen, is whether you want a flat pack kitchen or a rigid kitchen? Flat pack kitchens are delivered as components, and require assembling on site, whereas rigid kitchens are delivered fully assembled.
The methods of assembly are different for both. Flat pack kitchens use the cam and dowel method. Flat pack kitchen units are held together, using a combination of metal cams and wooden dowels. Rigid kitchen units on the other hand, are factory assembled using the glue and dowel method. This involves the components being placed inside a jig. The jig is used to gently squeeze the components together, and hold them in place until the glue cures.
As with all proven methods of construction, there are advantages and disadvantages for both types:
Advantages of flat pack kitchens
- Cost of flat pack kitchen units is typically 10-15% less than rigid units
- You can save on assembly costs by building the kitchen yourself
- It can be cut down/modified on site if necessary
- Equally as solid as a rigid kitchen
- Well suited to properties with access restrictions e.g. flats with stairs
- You can often make arrangements to collect your kitchen in person
Disadvantages of flat pack kitchens
- Metal cams under the wall units are visible
- Often have lots of visible holes in the sides of the kitchen units
- Viewed by some people as being a “cheap” option
- Overall fit time generally increased due to the need for self-assembly
Advantages of rigid kitchens
- No visible metal cams on show
- Less visible holes in the sides of the kitchen units
- No need to assemble meaning quicker overall to fit
Disadvantages of rigid kitchens
- More expensive than flat pack kitchens
- Unable to cut down/modify on site
- Not well suited to properties that have access restrictions
- No better quality than flat pack kitchens
Both types of kitchen are equally fit for purpose, and it is often a case of personal preference. Deciding which one best suits you though will depend largely on two factors – What your budget is, and how much time you have available to put into your new kitchen.
If you have the skills to fit your own kitchen, or know someone that can help, a flat pack kitchen however could be ideal.