In recent times, cost has become very much linked to brand and therefore hard to quantify without talking about specific suppliers. But here are the cost components involved.
The actual end cost of a kitchen will depend on what it’s made up of; generally speaking a flat pack kitchen at the lowest end of the scale, where there is a cost per unit worked up, might only cost a couple thousand excluding appliances and accessories. A full kitchen of this type can creep up to 10k including fitting.
On the higher end of the scale, it’s common to see tens of thousands spent on a fitted kitchen. In fact, at the higher end of the market, it is not unusual to come across some kitchen companies who charge a minimum cost.
If you’re on a budget but want a designer kitchen, and if you look for long enough, you could find a second hand bargain online or buy an ex-display from a kitchen company.
1. The carcase and cabinets
The carcase is the structure onto which, doors, drawers, countertops and the likes are connected, and it is the part of the kitchen into which all items are stored.
It is generally constructed from chipboard at the lower end up to solid timber on the higher end of the financial scale. You can also find designs available in metal and other materials although these are less popular.
Within each material you will have further choices with some kitchens built with a carcase as thin as 10mm and others up to 12 and even 15mm. It is important to note that the thicker the carcase the stronger and more durable the kitchen will be on completion.
The carcase can be finished in veneer or laminate or it can be directly painted if made from MDF (medium density fibreboard) or solid timber.
The carcase will generally be produced into cabinets, generally 300mm, 450mm, 600mm, 750mm and 1000mm in width, although different manufacturers may operate different standard sizes and it is important that you check.
It is from this standard size of cabinets that most kitchen designs are developed. Any design that requires a purpose made unit will obviously add to the final cost so try where possible to stick to standard sizes.
A carcase can be finished with a single door (either a solid or glazed door), two or multiple doors, it can have a number of drawers inserted into it or it can be left open to receive an appliance or other item.
Bear in mind that a single door will obviously cost less than two or more doors and a single door will also cost less than drawers, due mainly to the additional mechanisms required.
Doors are generally constructed in MDF or solid timber (but again a variety of finishes in metal are also available) and are finished in laminate, paint or similar.
Each door or drawer will require a handle and fixing mechanism which can again work towards the actual end cost. The advances in soft closing and anti-slam devices, quick release hinges and the array of available finishes in handles, has resulted in an extensive amount of cost been taken up by ironmongery in kitchen design.
2. The countertop
The countertop is the main worksurface of your kitchen and its selection will need to take account of many factors including cost, scratch and stain resistance, heat resistance, durability and ease of cleaning.
Most common are laminate, man-made composites, solid wood, stone (quartz, marble, granite), concrete, metal and glass.
The laminate finishes would be at the lower cost end and are a plastic finished layer bonded to man-made board which mimics the appearance of hundreds of different finishes, from weathered wood to veined marble. Laminate worktops are generally available for less than €100/£80 per m for a 600mm wide 40mm thick worktop. They generally come standard in circa 3m lengths.
Natural stone (granite and marble) is one of the most popular choices for kitchen worktops. It is a stylish material that generally offers a natural beauty and is associated with luxurious kitchen designs. They are however expensive, and depend greatly on stone choice, colour, thickness and slab size. Manmade composites are often comparable in price to natural stone. Quartz, which is a crushed stone bound with plastic resin, will generally be available above €300/£280 per m for a 600mm wide length but prices vary greatly depending on quality and colour.
Solid wood worktops have been around for generations but with the increases in costs of timber they have also become more expensive. Depending on the chosen material, solid timber worktops are available in oak, 600mm widths at 40mm thickness for €120 /£100 per m and up, with iroko or walnut at prices in excess of €180/£160 per m. In recent times glass has arrived as a contemporary option in terms of worktops. They are stylish, clean and very versatile but are again expensive and need regular cleaning.
For those looking for an industrial feel in their kitchen stainless steel is a good option as it is the go-to material for most commercial kitchens, being hygienic and easy to clean.
3. Appliances, sinks and taps
Kitchen sinks can range from standard steel to ceramic Belfast sinks with taps ranging from simple turn types to pull down and flexible hose extensions.
The introduction of the boiling tap to the market in recent years has added a significant cost to the end of a kitchen with the majority of the systems retailing over 1k.
Integrated appliances, where an appliance is hidden in a cabinet and faced with a kitchen door to make it bend into the overall kitchen, are a very common theme in many kitchens but do cost more. By their nature they require a door that an unintegrated appliance does not. They are also, generally, a more expensive product to purchase than a standard prefinished appliance.
Appliances in general tend to be expensive. Including the fridge, oven, cooker and any other extras such as microwave and coffee maker you could easily be looking at 5k or more.
4. Wall and floor finishes
Historically, the kitchen splashback, the area between the top of the kitchen countertop and the underside of the high-level kitchen wall units, was an area that was painted or tiled.
In more recent times, stone upstands and glass have taken centre stage in this area. Both materials add significantly to the end cost particularly when additional costs of cutting around power points and the likes are required.
Floor finishes aren’t usually included in the kitchen cost; tiles remain the traditional floor finish but laminate flooring is fast becoming a popular alternative.
5. Lighting and accessories
The internal kitting out of your presses can quickly add up: wire baskets and drawers, corner pull out units, drawer inserts, bin inserts and the likes.
Kitchen sinks, taps, hot and boiling water taps, garbage disposal units, inbuilt hoover systems, music systems and undercounter and inbuilt lighting are just some of the other accessories you might want to add to your kitchen.
There are various inbuilt hoover systems now available to be built into the kicker of the kitchen for ease of collection of the generally sweeping brush waste. Costs on these systems can run from the low hundreds and up depending on the extent of the system selected.
Undercounter and inbuilt lighting is an integrated part of any kitchen design at present with most kitchens now including some element of lighting feature. From lights in glass door cabinets, to undercounter strip lighting to inbuilt pot lights in kickers and pelmets, lighting costs can vary greatly depending on the extend and quantity of lights designed.
It should always be kept in mind that power to and connection of these lights may well be in addition to the cost of the kitchen. Plumbing costs (connecting to waste pipes, water connections) will also cost extra.
Flat pack suppliers, e.g. Noyeks, B&Q, IKEA, can be very cost effective, setting you back less than a thousand euros/pounds for the units but depending on the number of appliances and style you choose, you could spend more in the region of four thousand. Bespoke kitchens tend to start around the 6 thousand mark.
IKEA has a ready reckoner calculator available here in GBP.
Cash & Carry Kitchens do something similar for people in ROI here.
Image credits: All images are found on the inspiration tab on selfbuild.ie