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The Complete Guide To Renovating A Kitchen

author image Lucy Phillips Digital Marketing Officer
The Complete Guide To Renovating A Kitchen image The Complete Guide To Renovating A Kitchen image
October 20th, 2021

Are you considering remodelling your kitchen? Or just looking for some helpful advice? Once you've finished our blog you'll know how to successfully renovate your kitchen and avoid making mistakes. So, what have you got to lose?


What areas of a kitchen need to be considered when renovating?


Kitchen Countertops - Kitchen workshops are a very important decision as they are predominantly fitted to last longer periods. They can be made from different materials to help create your perfect desired kitchen. 

Granite - Granite is one of the most popular materials of choice for kitchen worktops as its available in over 3,000 colours and is extremely durable. 

Soapstone -  A natural stone, normally in a dark grey colour with a smooth finish which is ideal for a kitchen worktop. Recently it has been chosen as an alternative to granite. This material is known for being historically well used in homes but is now commonly used as a countertop and sink material.

Marble - No marble counter is the same so each marble kitchen worktop is unique. It’s normally higher up on the price spectrum and is looked at as a luxurious material to have in your kitchen. Although it's one of the most expensive, marble can tend to stain and scratch so needs to be cared for. 

Quartz- An engineered stone material which contains as much as 93% quartz particles and other minerals. Quartz has been known as a better performing alternative to granite and marble due to the higher range of available colours and has a nonporous surface. 

Click Here To Visit Our Kitchen Worktop Page

Read our Buyers Guide on How To Buy A Kitchen Worktop


Kitchen Cabinets - What is usually the first feature that draws your attention when walking into a kitchen? That's right, it's the cabinets. Therefore, choosing their design is an important decision to make. There are many different styles which are available in different colours and materials, suited to your personal preferences.

Flat-Panel - This style is simple yet constantly stylish as a kitchen cabinet. It is normally delivered in a minimalist form and won’t have too much detail. Due to the flat-panel cabinet, they are a perfect fit for contemporary kitchens. 

Shaker - The Shaker is one of the most common styles of kitchen cabinets. They normally consist of five pieces of the flat panel creating a frame with four pieces and one flat centre panel as the fifth piece. They are ideal for traditional kitchens and they are designed to be contemporary so they’re always on-trend. 

Distressed - This is more of an antique style and comes in almost any door style with the corners sanded down to help create a more traditional well-loved feel. 


Kitchen Lighting - Within your kitchen, you will normally have general lighting and task lighting. General lighting is used to light up the whole room, whereas task lighting is used to help us see something more clearly. For instance, desk lamps are task lighting and ceiling kitchen lights are general. 

Recessed Lights - These are placed into the ceiling to help create the illusion of having more space in the kitchen. They require less cleaning as they are fitted into the ceiling and are general lighting.

Surface Lights - Based on the surface of the light, they come in different sizes and help to light wider areas of the kitchen compared to recessed lights. They are easier to clean as it’s just the dust which is collected. Surface lights are also general lighting.

Pendant Lights -  Pendant lighting is a very specialised type of surface light because of its ability to hang. They are great at bringing the light closer to areas where you need clearer visibility. Although they are able to light up larger areas of a kitchen, because they can hang low they are more for task lighting.


Hobs and Oven - Today there are many types of hobs which are designed differently to help cater to everyone’s personal preferences and needs.  

Ceramic Hob - Compared to gas hobs, ceramic hobs are electric and heat up underneath the glass surface. Once you have switched the knobs to your desired setting, the chosen hob will begin to heat and turn red as an indication of them heating up.

Domino Hob - Domino hobs are a style, rather than a type which is available in gas and ceramic. They are rectangular and acquire a domino shape. This makes them better for smaller kitchens since they only have one or two burners compared to standard hobs which have four or five. 

Gas Hob - These are mostly suited for modern and traditional style kitchens. They are extremely functional as they are quick to produce an even temperature across each hob. 

Induction Hob - One of the most recent new types of hobs. Using magnets instead of gas and electric, they are much safer and have a built-in child safety lock. They require special selected pots and pans which are magnetic. By the pots and magnetic panels fusing together, it heats up the pots and pans. 


Sink - Compared to a fixture like an oven or microwave, a sink is one of the most used aspects of the kitchen. Due to how the kitchen’s evolution into a hub of activity, choosing the right sink is now important as they are no longer just a simple washbasin. Before you make a final decision about your sink, consider your cooking patterns, cleaning preferences, style and budget.  

Farmhouse - extends over the edge of your counter. This type of sink is commonly found in more traditional, farmhouse styles of kitchens. Normally designed as a single or double bowl. 

Stainless Steel with Drainboard - Sinks fitted with drainboards are often found to be more practical as the built-in sink feature is ideal for food preparation and helps to eliminate mess. The drainboard also is a great spot to dry dishes, allowing excess water to run down the drainboard and back into the sink. 

Sink Bowl Sink -  A Single Bowl kitchen sink is brilliant for smaller spaced kitchens which have limited counter space. Single Bowl Kitchen helps to make cleaning larger cookware easier because you lay out flat at the bottom of the sink instead of having to hold them at an angle. 

Read our Buyers Guide on How To Buy a Kitchen Sink


Ovens - Ovens are a kitchen staple as they are the cookers of our favourite cakes and Sunday roasts. They are an investment and it’s vital to make sure you’ve chosen the correct oven, suited to your personal needs and preferences.

Gas ovens -  Just like hobs, they are normally categorised by 2 factors of energy sources - electric or gas. Gas ovens are sometimes a bit cheaper compared to electrical ovens and have very similar quality levels. Although you need a gas hook-up to connect it to which, if you don’t already have one, it will be an extra added cost. 

Electric Ovens -  Electric ovens work by using heating compartments which are placed on the walls of the oven. Compared to gas ovens, they tend to be more expensive and are easier to use. 


Fridge Freezers - Picking the right fridge freezers for your kitchen is important as there are various models to choose from which all have different features and prices. 

Freestanding Fridge Freezers - These are the most common and are also one of the cheapest and easiest to install. They contain a top fridge unit bottom freezer unit. 

Integrated Fridge Freezers - These are similar to freestanding fridge freezers but integrated fridge freezers are designed to be hidden by cabinets to help create a more modernised finish. 

American Style Fridge Freezers - Are often known as side-by-side models as they’re normally split vertically with one side being a freezer and a fridge. This style has a capacity of 300-600 litres.  


Dishwashers - Dishwashers are essential in most new kitchen designs and renovations. Since they have expanded, there are different types and styles which have been created to suit different preferences.  

Built-Under Dishwashers - These can be fully integrated or semi-integrated. A fully integrated dishwasher is where the whole unit is disguised with cabinetry and the front matches the rest of the kitchen. A semi-integrated dishwasher is where it fits perfectly under the benchtop with no gap, although the front of the unit has no cover. 

Small and Compact Dishwashers - In kitchens which have a smaller available space and smaller household - a compact/slimline dishwasher may be preferred. Compact dishwashers are usually half the height of free-standing dishwasher.  


Washing Machine - Today there are all types of washing machines which have different features and benefits. Choosing a model is an important decision to make as on average they will last you around 11 years. 

Front-Loading Washing Machine - Has a loading hole located at the front of the washing unit which is normally positioned lower than a top-loading washer. These are able to be stacked on top of each other without blocking doors. If you find yourself being short on space then this is a really useful feature. They are more energy-efficient as they use less water in each cycle and have higher spin cycles which exact more water from your laundry so your drying times are much shorter. 

Integrated Washing Machine - These are designed to be fitted behind a kitchen cabinet to help be disguised and blend in with the rest of the kitchen units. The design of the appliance being hidden helps to minimize vibration noises and muffles any sound that’s produced. They often use a lower spin cycle to reduce the level of noise. 

Free-Standing Washing Machine - One of the most common styles of the washing machine. It’s not connected to your kitchen units which enables it to be placed anywhere, as long as it’s connected to an electrical socket.     


On a budget? Read our Blog on Knockout Kitchen Ideas on a Budget for Inspiration


How to tell if you need to renovate your kitchen?


Renovating your kitchen isn’t a simple task, it requires a lot of time and hard work! However, if you’re considering if you need to take the plunge into renovating your kitchen, here are a few signs which show that maybe it’s time. 

Kitchen Layout - If your layout is making simple tasks such as cooking an inconvenience or possibly dangerous, it may be worth planning a different layout to the kitchen to minimize any hazardous accidents and utilise the space to its full potential. 

Need help with designing a new layout? Take a read of our Fitted Kitchen Design Checklist

Outdated Kitchen Appliances- Dated appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers use up a lot of energy which leads to higher monthly bills. If you question an increase or see just a stationary high monthly bill from kitchen appliances, it may be time to replace them. Luckily over time, new kitchen appliances can pay for themselves. 

Cleaning is a Problem - Do you find corners of your surfaces layered with mould? Or maybe you’re in a constant battle with mottled floor tiles which you can never fully scrub clean. Having a high maintenance kitchen can often be a struggle if you don’t always have the time to clean. Therefore, if you’ve constantly got a build-up of ever-growing mould and dirt, it may be time to renovate your kitchen. 

Read our Buyers Guide on How to Buy Kitchen Tiles 

Overload of Countertop Clutter - Are your countertops constantly scattered with bits and bobs and you end up having to resort to using counter space to store utensils or food? If you’re still running out of storage despite having done a recent clear out then it’s a sign that you could do with remodelling your kitchen. 

You’ve Had a go at Redecorating Yourself and it’s Gone Wrong - Have you had a go at giving your kitchen a ‘quick’ lick of paint and have failed miserably? Resulted in you covering the walls with kids paintings and postcards? Stop putting it off and consider getting your kitchen renovated. 


Top mistakes to avoid when renovating your Kitchen


Whether it’s your first or last time renovating, everyone has and will have some form of error in the process of transforming your kitchen into your desired vision. Read our list of mistakes to avoid when renovating your kitchen. 

Doing it Alone - Even if your job field is very relevant towards renovating, ensure you see a kitchen specialist or designer before actually starting the project. By seeing a professional they will be able to suggest tips and recommend ideas you hadn't even considered. Our planning service here at Gardiner Haskins is free and will guarantee expert advice to help transform your kitchen into your dream kitchen.   

Leaving Choosing your Appliances Last- If you decide to fully transform your kitchen, remember to try and not leave choosing your new appliances until last. It’s better to choose countertops and cabinetry which fits around your appliances, rather than have to choose a washing machine which will fit in with your new cupboards. This is because your cabinetry is always made according to the size of your kitchen, whereas appliances are mostly made to the same size for everyone. 

Forgetting Your Surrounding Spaces -  Remember to ensure that you protect other nearby rooms and surfaces from possible paint drippings and debris. Doing this will help to decrease the chances of damaging other appliances and walls such as splashing paint onto TVS.  

Poor lighting Plan - Ensuring you have a well-planned lighting design for your kitchen is very important as you will have different sections of the kitchen which will require more attention to lighting than others. For instance, you may need a spotlight area of lights for preparing meals and softer light for dining areas. Designing your kitchen lighting will help to balance the ambience of the room and contribute towards creating the desired finish. 

Buying Without Trying -  Requesting samples of paint and materials is vital before ordering anything especially if you’re ordering online. Go into stores and pick up various samples as colours and textures may appear differently in person compared to online. 

Choosing The Wrong Kitchen Installer -  Ensure you take time to choose which kitchen installer you decide to fit your kitchen. Here at Gardiner Haskins, our kitchen fitters are with from the start to the finish of your kitchen journey. Our kitchen installers are experienced and our service has been approved by experts. 



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