Cheap Kitchen Units Archives – “Kitchen Units”

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There are two kitchen ranges in B and Q – the (mostly) off-the-shelf, pick it up yourself “IT” range and Cooke and Lewis, marketed as being more upmarket and certainly the Cooke and Lewis kitchen range is more comprehensive, with in-frame and curved doors.

Doors in the IT range are regularly heavily discounted, with between 50 – 75% off list price and the discounted ranges seem to be cycled regularly.

IT Kitchen cabinets are made from MFC (Melamine Faced Chipboard) and are constructed using industry standard cam and dowel fixings.

In the IT Kitchens carcasses horizontal boards are 18mm, vertical boards are 16mm thickness, with visible edges melamine faced (other edges are bare). Cabinet backs extend full length and are 3mm hardboard melamine faced on one side. Cabinet feet are adjustable plastic. All melamine is in a white finish with small printed “coffee-bean” logos.

Wall units are 290mm deep and there is a useful 75mm service gap behind base units which also allows for easily fitting straight runs along uneven and bowed walls.

Cabinets are available in all standard widths.

Edging quality and overall finish is average with some of the cabinets we examined showing inconsistent taping and damaged melamine to edges and around fixing holes.

Standard drawer sets and runners are very basic and we’d recommend upgrading to the premium drawers.

Cooke and Lewis Kitchens (23 door styles)

Cooke and Lewis Kitchen cabinets are made from MFC (Melamine Faced Chipboard) and are constructed using industry standard cam and dowel fixings.

In Cooke and Lewis Kitchens, carcasses are 18mm thickness in a higher grade of MFC than the IT range, with visible edges ABS plastic faced for impact damage resistance.

Cabinet backs again extend full length and are 8mm chipboard melamine faced on both sides. Cabinet feet are adjustable plastic. All cabinets come in a choice of three melamine finishes, white, birch and oak.

Wall units are 335mm deep and there is a useful 70mm service gap behind base units.

Edging quality and overall finish is good and the fixtures and fittings are of a much better quality than IT Kitchens fittings, with soft close hinges and full extension premium drawers as standard.

A good solution from ikea, more information:

and official site:

Our Choice?

Despite the lower quality of the IT Kitchens cabinets, we prefer these to Cooke and Lewis for one major reason – being able to pick them up directly from larger stores.

Getting involved with B&Q Kitchen’s sometimes problematic delivery system can leave unexpected gaps in your kitchen and impact on fitting times and project duration. With IT Kitchens, if it’s on the shelf it can be in your van and on site that day.

Both IT Kitchens and Cooke and Lewis kitchens provide enough choice in door design to satisfy anyone’s tastes.

IT Kitchens offer 29 styles of door – 25 regular doors and 4 in-frame doors (where the door is fixed within a frame that is attached to the cabinet)

Cooke and Lewis have 23 styles, with 14 regular doors and 9 in-frame doors.

In general Cooke and Lewis doors are significantly better quality than IT Kitchens doors, with some genuinely beautiful doors in high-gloss piano finish, skillfully produced curved doors and top-notch solid wood in-frame doors. When coupled with a solid surface worktop and some good appliances a top-end Cooke and Lewis kitchen can look like a bespoke kitchen costing three or four times more than it did.

IT Kitchen’s doors are more basic, made from lower quality materials – and some of the designs are now woefully dated, especially when compared with other companies in the same price range.

With the Cooke and Lewis brand B&Q have hit mid-market brands such as Magnet hard, but the IT range is sorely needing an update – especially the doors most commonly available off the shelf.

Our Choice?

We may prefer the IT range of cabinets for ease of purchase – but on the doors front we’re a big fan of the polished high-gloss ranges from Cooke and Lewis.

Experience has shown us kitchen deliveries can be problematic, so if we’re using B&Q we’ll go for IT Kitchens for cabinetry, (meaning the furniture can be built without a hitch) but order Cooke and Lewis doors.