If you are thinking of putting in a new kitchen you may wonder if there is much difference between going to any of the main DIY stores. You have B&Q, Wickes and Homebase to choose from in most cities. While you may use price or availability as your main criteria for choosing, it might actually be worthwhile comparing other important issues as well.
For example if you want to buy solid oak kitchen cabinets, how do you know you are getting a good value range, how will it look in your home, how easy is it to find the prices and how easy is it to install? All three of these stores have oak kitchens for sale and in some cases there are more than one to choose from. So which did we think was the best?
In the B&Q Cooke and Lewis range it is possible to buy solid oak door and drawer fronts. With a simple style, the wood is light in colour but with a certain warmth. The design is very simple with styles and rails and a flat frontage. These doors can be put together with cornices and pelmets for a professional look.
The full price for this range is from around £85 for a plain 600mm door and about £100 for a 300mm glazed door. Despite the designer name these doors are fairly plain and ordinary looking.
It is worth noting that B&Q regularly run huge sales which will cut up to 60% from these prices.
The Verona Oak range from Homebase is once again a very plain style of kitchen cabinet, but appears to have a slightly warmer tone to it. The finish is good with the styles and rails meeting evenly. The plain central panel is set back slightly giving it a little bit of depth.
The Verona range currently comes into Homebase's price band 2 bracket. This means that you can expect to pay from £1060 for 8 cabinet units. The website offers no information on the cost of individual doors. This is a drawback as it is hard to make a fair comparison. They suggest an in-store consultation to get a quote for your needs.
Wickes offer just one range of solid oak cabinet called the Calgary This is available to order only. This means that there could be a substantial lead in time with this product.
In terms of looks the Calgary is once again a soft warm oak colour which again using plain styling to achieve a classic look. The range comes with curved corner doors for a contemporary look.
Wickes sell their kitchen cabinets as full units, so the doors are not priced individually. However a fascia for an under counter fridge is £108. A 600mm wall unit can cost as much as £500. This appears to be a luxury product based on these prices. Although once again regular sales can reduce this by as much as 50%.
All three of these kitchens seem to offer the same looks, but at quite different prices. The Cooke and Lewis range from B&Q has to be the overall winner. The fact that the doors can be combined with the standard B&Q units means that the price is kept fairly low. The doors themselves are more expensive than some others, but the quality does appear to be there. The colour is lighter, but this is more contemporary.
B&Q also has an excellent range of accessories suitable for any of their kitchens which can help to update this look from something classic to something modern.