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Advice: Replace kitchen benchtop only or cupboards as well in my setup? See images.

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  1. #1
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    Default Advice: Replace kitchen benchtop only or cupboards as well in my setup? See images.

    Sadly, this is a question I've had for many years and just haven't got any advice on the best way to proceed so I always leave it. I think I'm quite good with DIY renovating (replaced entire bathrooms, showers, tiling, vanities, baths, toilets, etc) but kitchens with all their joinery just scare me. So it is very much likely an outsourcing job but I just need some worldly advice on how this would be done.

    Do you think it is possible to upgrade the benchtop only in my kitchen? Obviously to keep costs down. I was going to repaint cupboards and add new handles. But would it cause too many problems and be best to replace cupboards also? But does this then pose more issues with tiling? Let me explain.

    Firstly, as my current 90s style benchtop is one of those ones where the board has an overhang (***see images***), I think it would look odd to just upgrade to a modern benchtop. There would be a unsightly gap between the bench and top of cupboard doors with this overhang removed.

    What would be the option in this setup? Just increase the door height? I think once I start adding new doors on, I may as well replace the cupboards also. Am I thinking correctly here?

    Secondly, the benchtop sits right up under the lip of the metal window sill. I don't know how they would get a benchtop to be the perfect height to fit perfectly under this. What happens in this situation whether just replacing the benchtop or cupboards also?

    Thirdly, say I do replace the cupboards also. The tiling (which is relatively new), goes around the cupboards (ie. butts up to it). How does it work with placing new cupboards in? Do they need to be exactly the same size as the old ones or possibly do they make them slightly bigger so they sit on top? I do have some left over tiles FYI.

    Note: Benchtop depth = 720mm, height = 940mm

    Finally, I'm a bit worried about lack of tradies these days and time and cost it takes to do anything. Any recommendations on where do I go about getting this done? Kaboodle? Local supplier?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    1K Club Member havabeer's Avatar
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    kaboodle is convience, purely in the fact you can goto a bunnings and get one. the quality is very dubious. I've never used it and probably never will

    you can goto a cabinet maker and they'll spit you out a bunch of cabinets on the CNC with screw holes all wrapped up in shrink wrap with labels.



    if you can do bathrooms etc you can do a kitchen, its just a bunch of carcasses with a benchtop, nothing too spectacular. I've watching someone do our's there's no way i'm paying someone to ever do one again.

    Firstly: you also keep saying modern bench top, with out actually saying what material you want, you have just a laminet one now but are you planning on natural/man made stone?

    secondly: most "stone" bench tops are mitred on the front to look thicker and hide where they sit on the carcass so you can just shim it to fit (or fill under the window with tile, benchtop material or no more gaps)

    thirdly: replacing the carcasses is up to you, if you don't like their function, height or layout. there is no real standard height so you can factor in your carcass height and benchtop thickness to get your desired result. If you go for some off the shelf product like bunnings or ikea most are on adjustable feet so you can raise and lower them to help with leveling.
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by havabeer View Post
    I've watching someone do our's there's no way i'm paying someone to ever do one again.
    Ha, yeah I've said this way too many times after giving in to get the job "professionally" done. It is a pretty simple kitchen actually and I'd like to tackle it, but just not sure how to go about getting it measured up and created. I see the likes of ikea, etc have online measurement tools. Would a cabinet maker come and do their own measurements and pass the cabinets for you to install?

    Regarding modern benchtop question, I simply meant one that doesn't have a massive overhang at the front like the current one does. Material wise? I'm not sure. What do you recommend? If I do the cupboards, are benchtops best left to be professionally installed? I understand the higher end (heavy) products must be. But also, if it is not in one piece, getting those corner joins right would put me off doing that anyway I think.

  4. #4
    1K Club Member havabeer's Avatar
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    so our local kitchen installer came out measured up and talked to us about what we wanted and then gave us the option of assembling/screwing the carcasses together to save money. they then came out and did the install. they also organised the stone masons to come out and measure up and install, the kitchen installers words where "if you go through us all the warranty and defects have to be handled by us, you can get them to come out and maybe negotiate a better price but the warranty and install etc is all on you" so we went through the kitchen installers.

    our bench tops where a product call dekton as its stain proof, heat proof (can use a blow torch directly on it) and is digitally printed so you can get multiple versions of the same piece for vein matching etc. https://www.cosentino.com/en-au/dekton/benchtops/ our stone masons come out and accurately measured up for the bench top and installed it. they also did all the cut outs etc.

    but bunnings will accurately cut up a laminate benchtop for you to your (or theirs) measurements


    but don't forget you're going to need to possibly factor in plumbers/eleco's for disconnects and re-connects of appliances or moving power points etc.
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

  5. #5
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    My perspective on this is that learning to make whitewood (ie melamine faced particleboard/mdf) cabinetry is a skill that once required will serve you your entire life - so it’s worth doing it yourself even if the effort vs reward payoff isn’t quite there for this one job alone.

    I did my first kitchen about 25 years ago and since then I’ve done 4 other kitchens, several laundries, walk-in-wardrobes, and bathrooms, plus numerous other quick and cheap cabinets for my workshop, garage etc. I didn’t predict or plan any of these when I did the first kitchen - it just looked like something I should know how to do.

    Cutting the board yourself is probably not practical but do some searching and you will find cut to size services which will cut and edge each piece to your requirements. Just send them a cutting list and pick up a few days later and assemble yourself. The company I use charge same price for whiteboard as Bunnings, $15 per sheet for cutting regardless of how many cuts, s1.50 per meter for edging. They do the hinge holes for minimal price too. All amazingly accurate.

    Then I take doors etc to a spray painter who does the polyurethane coating at $90 per sq meter.

    This is not a difficult skill to learn. You are basically just assembling boxes with one side missing. The materials are relatively cheap, so don’t fear making mistakes, anything can be redone.

    So yep, I’d rip that kitchen out and replace it myself if I were you .

    And FYI. Kaboodle are dreadful cheap quality, IKEA kitchens are awful (personal experience there), your local kitchen guy may do a good job (50/50 chance) but you will pay far more for it then you need.

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