How to install a kitchen
- Tools Needed
- Removing your old kitchen
- Making Good
- Marking Out
- Fitting the base units
- Fitting the wall units
- Fitting your worktops
- Fitting Sinks and Taps
- Fit your appliances
- Finishing touches (Handles, Cornice, Pelmets, Plinths)
Don’t remove your old kitchen until you are ready to fit and have received your new kitchen, when the new kitchen is delivered check that you have everything you ordered and that there are no damages.
Make sure that you have a good set of plans with your kitchen, without the plans you will end up guessing where things go which could result in an expensive mistake if you cut something wrong.
If you need to remove or Install any gas appliances or fixings, you must use a Gas Safe Engineer.
The Gas safe Engineer will issue you with a Gas Safe Certificate once they have completed the works in your kitchen.
If you need to remove or install any electrical points within your kitchen you will need to use a NICEIC Electrical Engineer. The Electrician will issue you with a NICEIC Electrical Certificate that will state what works have been done and that they have been tested.
Claw Hammer Set of Screwdrivers Measuring Tape
Short Spirit Level Long Spirit Level Hand Saw
Mitre Saw Pencil Bolster Chisel
Gloves Safety Goggles Spanners
Silicone Gun Dust Mask Speed clamps
Hammer Drill Drill Bits Mitre Chop saw
Skill Saw Jig Saw Laser Level
Router Router Bits Worktop Jig
You don’t need to have all or any of the power tools, but it can make life a lot easier if you do have them and can give you that better more professional finish.
It is possible to hire power tools from your local hire centre, if you plan it out right you may be able to just hire the tool for a half or full day.
Removing Your Old Kitchen
Remember to wear your safety equipment when removing the kitchen as there can be a lot of dust, sharp edges and objects flying through the air when removing a kitchen.
Start by removing all the doors, drawers, shelves, mouldings, appliances, plinths which should leave you with just the worktops, base units and wall units.
Removing the sink and tap, if you have isolators the hot and cold feeds turn them to 90 degrees so that the flow of water stops, if you don’t have any isolators you will have to turn the mains water tap off, this could be under the sink or possibly in the down stairs toilet, once the water is isolated you can remove the sink and tap.
To remove the worktops you will need to remove or loosen the worktop bolts where the joints are, depending on how well the joints have been glued or fixed is depending on whether they will come apart or not, don’t worry if they don’t as you can also cut through the worktop where the hob and sink were, this should allow the worktops to come out in sections.
Lastly remove the base units and walls units and you should have an empty kitchen, if there are any tiles on the walls or floor remove these which will leave you with a clean canvass to start making good.
If you need to get any other trades in now is the time to do this, have your electrician come and put any additional electrics in you need, as the electrician will probably need to chase the walls out and put holes in the ceiling you will require a plasterer to skim the kitchen out so that you have nice clean flat walls and ceiling again.
Once the plaster is dry you can paint the kitchen, it’s always easier to paint the kitchen before you fit the kitchen as you don’t have to cut in around and units. Always mist coat the first two coats, a mist coat is a watered down coat of paint by watering down the paint it will adhere to the plaster better.
Your flooring can also be done before the kitchen is fitted, it’s a lot easier to work your levels out and move units around on a finished floor than a rough floor, depending on the floor you’re fitting you may want to put some protection down just in case you drop anything, if you put the flooring down after fitting the kitchen just remember to allow for the thickness of floor when setting out your units.
Firstly make sure the floor is level, if it’s not level start your level line from the highest point, You’ll need to mark a level line around the room where you have kitchen units, the height for the base units is 870mm from the floor to the top of the carcass (720mm unit and 150mm plinth).
The height to the top of the wall units is 2120mm for Medium sized units and 2300mm for Tall wall units, medium height wall units are 720mm high and tall wall units are 900mm high, you will need to mark a level line around for the wall units and one or two level lines down from the top of the wall units for your hanging brackets.
Fitting Base Units
Always start in the corner of the room and work your way out, level your first unit in the corner making sure its touching your 870mm line you put around the wall, offer up the next unit to the corner unit you just fitted, you may need to temporarily take the doors or drawers out to connect them together, clamp the units together using the speed clamps, check with your level that both units are level on the vertical and horizontal, when they are level you can either screw them together using screws or a carcass fixing bolts.
Keep repeating this until you come to the end of the units, a good check is to put your level across the diagonal or from one side of the kitchen to the other, it’s very easy to lose your level going around a corner so by putting your long level across different directions will ensure your kitchen is level which will help when fitting the worktops.
I you have a space for a built in appliance you will need to leave a gap of say 600mm depending on your chosen appliance, this gap will need to be parallel with the units each side, put your long level across the top of the units front and back and across the front of the units top and bottom, if the gap is 600mm and all the units align through your appliance door fascia will fit nicely.
If you have any end panels these can be fitted once the units have been fitted.
Fitting Wall Units
The placing of your wall units could be decided by your hob, tower unit or a wall corner unit, You will need refer to your plans and see where the best place to start from is if you have a hob with an integrated extractor this may determine where the wall units will start from on this wall, you will need to mark some vertical lines up either side of the unit below the extractor so that the extractor sits directly over the hob unit, depending on the design of the kitchen will determine where you may have to start from,.
When fitting the wall units adjust the units so that they are on your level line you marked earlier, wall units have adjusters on the inside of the cabinet which allow you to move the units up and down by a few millimetres, as you did with the base units use your speed clamps to clamp the units together and fix using screws or cabinet fixings, check your horizontal and vertical levels use small packers behind the units if necessary to help hold the wall units level, keep repeating until you have fitted all the wall units.
If you have any end panels these can be fitted once the units have been fitted.
Fitting Your Worktops
Depending on the type of worktop you have chosen will depend on how it needs to be fitted, if you have chosen to have a Granite, Quartz or composite worktop these are normally templated and fitted by the supplier of the worktop.
However if you are having a laminate worktop this is something that you could attempt yourself if you are feeling confident or you could contact a kitchen fitter/ carpenter to come in and just fit the worktops for you.
To fit the worktops yourself there are two ways of doing the joints, one is to use a metal strip in the corners which doesn’t involve any major tooling or jigs, the second way is to use a masons mitre joint this is quite tricky and would require a router and worktop corner jig, these are available to hire but it may be less stressful and easier to pay a kitchen fitter/ carpenter to do it.
If you are going to attempt to do the worktops yourself you will need to work out the best place to have the joints so that they are supported and that you can get to the bolt fixings.
Once you have checked that your worktops fit and the joints are how you want them and before you Glue your worktop joints you can mark out and cut your sink and hob holes out, it’s normally easier to do this before gluing the worktops in place as it’s a lot easier to cut the holes out on a work bench. When the holes are cut out carefully lift the worktops back in place and glue the joints.
Fitting Your Sinks And Taps
Fit your tap and sink clips to the sink before you put the sink into place, do up all of your sink clips so that the sink stays firmly into place, the tap may come with flexible pipe tails that may connect straight on to you isolator fixings, if they don’t reach you can either use copper or plastic push fit fitting to connect up your hot and cold.
Use a waste kit suitable for the purchased sink to connect the waste to; this will probably have one or two spigots on it that you can connect dishwashers and washing machines to, when everything is connected fill the sink full of water so that it goes down the over flow this will show whether it leaks or not, then let the water go in the sinks which will then test your waste for leaks.
Fitting Your Appliances
If you need an electrician or gas engineer then call then into connect up any appliances.
Most appliances can be connected by a competent person but always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions as to whether they need a professional or not.
Time to put all the finishing touches to your kitchen, to install the cornice, pelmet and plinths you will require a Mitre saw/ Mitre Chop saw, the power tool version will give you a better cut and finish but if you can’t hire one of these don’t worry a mitre saw with a sharp blade will give good results. Measure carefully and work out your angels first always start with the longest length and work your way down, this maximises the amount you can get from your products. To fix your handles either think about making or buying a jig to set the handles out these are inexpensive and even cheaper if you make one yourself, by having a jig you know you won’t drill any holes in the wrong places. If you don’t have a jig mark out the holes you want to drill with masking tape drill through and remove the tape.
If you hold a scrap piece of wood on the back of the door/ drawer it will stop the back from splitting out.
Your kitchen should be looking great now.
Congratulations you just fitted your first Kitchen.