Kitchens that are much better value than Howdens, Wickes & Wren

We’ll recommend local showrooms whose kitchens cost similar to places like Howdens, Wickes & Wren, but are higher quality & will last longer. This even applies when the chain store units are in the sale.

These showrooms also charge less than half of what the chains charge for fitting. Their average fitting price is just £1,300 which is similar to what builders charge.

“The quality is excellent & the price considerably less than Magnet”

Corinee Roberts, London N13

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They are also better value than the chains for appliances. Sometimes, they are even better value than online. For example, AEG appliances purchased online come with a 2 year guarantee. However, if you buy them from selected showrooms, you’ll pay the same as online but get a 5 year guarantee.

They are also better value for worktops. For example, their granite, quartz & Corian prices are usually less than the chains & similar to online.

Here are some of the kitchens these showrooms offer:

white gloss slab kitchen 35

light grey matt handleless kitchen 5

painted shaker kitchen 29

in frame kitchen 13


How can a small showroom be better value than the chains?

It’s all down to overheads. Small showrooms have tiny overheads compared to the chains. Unlike the chains, they don’t have huge superstores to run or multi million pound TV adverts to pay for. Therefore, they can afford to sell you a much higher quality kitchen for a similar price to the chains.

Surely the chains will be cheaper if their units are in the sale?

No, because their sales are fake. The chains artificially inflate their prices so they can then give 50% off. These large discounts are designed to mislead consumers into thinking they’re getting a bargain. This tactic, known as price anchoring, is one of the oldest sales tricks in the book & is also used by the sofa chains.

Don’t let the chains pressurise you into making a quick decision by telling you their sale ends in a few days. Remember, their sales are fake. Plus, buying a kitchen takes time & isn’t something you can do in a few days.

Why are these units higher quality than chain store units?

Gloss door material:

The gloss doors are mostly the high quality painted & lacquered or acrylic types. These have a smooth, reflective finish. In contrast, places like Howdens, Wickes & Wren mainly sell the low quality foil, PVC, PET or vinyl wrapped types. These have a bobbly, unreflective finish. The other problem with these is they peel.

quality kitchen 3 crop

Cabinet backs:

The other big difference are the backs. Showroom base cabinets have solid 18mm backs for strength & durability. In contrast, places like Howdens, Wickes & Wren tend to have thinner 3 or 6mm backs which tend to warp.

new diff 8

Cabinet edging:

Showroom cabinets have impact resistant PVC or ABS edging to protect the delicate front edges from chips & damage. In contrast, places like Howdens, Wickes & Wren come with melamine edging which offers little or no protection.

new diff 6

Density of the chipboard used to make the cabinets:

The denser the chipboard, the more durable the cabinet is. Showroom cabinets tend to be made from high density chipboard. In contrast, places like Howdens, Wickes & Wren tend to be made from cheaper, low density chipboard. The problem with low density chipboard is it tends to bow over time.