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Would You B&Q It?
B&Q Kitchen Furniture
Member Name: rocknro11
B&Q Kitchen Furniture
Advantages: Reasonably priced, sturdy construction, off the shelf
Disadvantages: Carousel instructions badly written, standard adjustable legs not easy to fit
Iím not unaccustomed to DIY and I could not bear to pay as much as the kitchen itself for professional installation. Looking around we found MFI and B&Q both offered reasonably priced kitchens within our price range of £1500.00 and both stores had a good selection to choose from. My wife and I did actually prefer a kitchen from the MFI range but past experience of that store put me off and they did not stock any of the units. B&Q is one of only a few suppliers that offer kitchen units off the shelf without a 3 to 8 week delay for your order to turn up. So B&Q it was to be.
One benefit from buying off the shelf is I bought the kitchen units over 3 separate visits during the course of a week. This meant the hallway at home did not resemble a warehouse whilst I built the kitchen. The B&Q store was very well laid out and all the units were clearly marked up. Regardless of the style of kitchen unit you choose, the carcass of the base and wall units are the same, itís just the cupboard and draw fronts that differentiate the style of your choice. Some of the units are rather heavy and a few were placed on the racks that were shoulder height, so I would recommend having someone with you to make the job a lot easier on your back. On my second visit I was on my own and a store person was on hand to help me, which I was thankful for as on this visit I was picking up the very long and heavy worktops.
Everything I needed was in stock except for a carousel, a double revolving shelf that fitted into a corner base unit that I was told would take a week to 10 days to be delivered. One point to remember when choosing your units is the accessories need to be purchased separately, which include the draws themselves, the door handles, draw liners and any type of racking or gadget to fit inside the cupboards or draws. I was surprised at all the different gadgets available to fit inside the draws and cupboards, one such gadget my wife spotted was a pull-out ironing board that is housed in a standard 400mm draw front. At a price of £80 I thought it was quite expensive for an ironing board but I do like gadgets and my better half had waited 5 years for the kitchen so we bought it. As well as the units, I also purchased an oval shaped stainless still sink; new mixer taps and all associated plumbing accessories. B&Q is really a one-stop shop for this type of project and stock all thatís required to complete your new kitchen.
We chose from B&Qís IT range, a beech shaker style look with laminate ebony black marble effect 40mm thick high gloss work surfaces. When I got them home my wife was eager to crack the whip and get me started, supplying me with endless cups of tea, I felt like a proper tradesman!
Compared to the MFI units I had worked with in the past, the quality of the B&Q carcasses were far superior. Putting them together was simple, as with most units these days they utilised a cam locking nut system. The instructions provided were clear and concise and if followed correctly in the stages listed, you couldnít really go wrong. Each stage is also shown graphically and a full list of components that make up the carcass is provided. A tip here is to make sure the package contains all the components listed in the instructions; there is nothing worse than getting half way through and finding there is a piece missing. For me all the units were complete.
Armed with just a drill/screwdriver, a small hammer and a normal crosshead screwdriver each unit can be put together in around 40 minutes and after putting a couple together, youíll soon become familiar with the build process and can then reduce that time to around 30 minutes.
If I were to find any criticism with the build of the units it would be with the plastic adjustable legs that are supplied with the base units, as they seemed a little difficult to seat correctly in the housing on the base. I ended up tapping them in gently with a hammer as opposed to screwing them in by hand. Once in the legs are sturdy and allow for good adjustment when levelling them with the rest of the units. The legs also come with a small clip/bracket that allows you to butt up the floor plinths that negates the need for a small tack to hold the plinth in place.
The supplied wall brackets are by no means the best but they are adequate, they do allow for some adjustment but you still need to be as accurate as you can be when marking on the walls the position of the drill holes. You get 2 wall brackets per wall unit and once attached to the walls securely using the supplied raw plug and screw, you can simply lift the wall unit over the bracket and gentle slide it down the wall so it nestles nicely into the groove on the top end of the bracket. I found I could do this by myself without the need to disturb my wife from making me another all important cup of tea.
Once you have all the base and wall units in place and your worktop fitted, youíre ready to add the doors and draws. The draws to the base units are purchased separately and you can choose from 3 models, I went for the most expensive deluxe version, which were double the price of the standard draws and Iím so glad I did. They fitted together like a dream without the need for glue and when installed to the base unit glide to perfection. In use it gives you a sense of quality as opposed to a rather jerky movement of the standard draw runners. Fitting of the iron board was a little tricky and I suggest you take your time with this if you decide to buy one but once fitted is very good and people wonder how a decent sized ironing board can fit into such a small space. Everyone whoís seen the finished result of our kitchen comments on it. The hinges for the doors are supplied with the units and donít need to be purchased separately, they are of the standard snap and close type and were easy to fit.
I would suggest that everyone takes care when fitting your chosen style of handles and always purchase the universal standard template. There is nothing worse than having a fine looking kitchen with wonky handles. The template makes your life easy and will yield the results you want. Because of the numerous variety of handles the doors and draws will not have pre drilled holes so be careful when drilling and always drill from the outside in, that way any splintering that may occur will be on the inside of the door.
I received a phone call from B&Q 5 days after I had ordered the then out of stock carousel. It was perfect timing, as I was just finishing off the kitchen. Everything had gone like a dream but ironically fitting of the carousel would prove to be the hardest job of all. The instructions that accompanied the carousel were not of much use and the diagram was misleading and incorrect. After much head scratching I had the carousel in and working but it was not by following the instructions.
We have now had the kitchen 8 months and it still looks as good as it did when new, with children you have to expect the odd spillage but the units have always wiped down with no stains left. We are both very happy with the kitchen and would recommend it to all those who were thinking of purchasing from B&Q.
I cannot really quote actual prices as they fluctuate quite a bit depending upon what promotion is running but we did come under our budget of £1500, in total the whole kitchen came to just over £1300. This included 10 bases units and 9 wall units of various sizes, worktops, one and half bowl sink and mixer taps, oh and not forgetting the ironing board.
None of the units we purchased housed kitchen appliances but B&Q do offer these, as well as the appliances to go in them.
I would have to agree you can do it if you B&Q it. What was that loveÖ you donít like the bathroom and youíve put up with it for 5 Ĺ yearsÖ
Thanks for reading.
Summary: Simple to put together, good quality and units are stocked at all times
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