KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
18th January 2019
We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Wonky walls, long lead times and heavy materials are UK kitchen installers' biggest bugbears
The top five frustrations for UK kitchen installers have been officially ranked, following research carried out by kitchen and bathroom surface specialist, Maxtop Quartz. Whether it's dealing with uneven walls or unrealistic customer expectations, many kitchen fitters face the same problems day in and day out...
The team at Maxtop aims to provide products that combat common installation problems, offering lightweight, durable worktops that are supplied straight from stock to site. However, the company wanted to highlight these frustrations to those working across the trade, in hope that the industry can work together to provide solutions.
(1) Fitting to previous kitchens and wonky walls: The reigning champion of bugbears for UK installers is fitting worktops to wonky walls or tiled surfaces, with 23% of kitchen fitters identifying this as the single biggest problem they face on a daily basis.
To provide a solution to this common problem, or at least make it as easy to overcome as possible, suppliers need to ensure they're providing the specialist equipment needed to cut and install surfaces so the worktops can be altered to fit flush to the room's walls.
(2) Damaged goods and heavy worktops: Whether the material is ruined through water damage or as a result of its own weight in transport, it's one of the most frustrating aspects of the job for almost a quarter (19%) of all kitchen fitters.
Working with extremely heavy surfaces creates a problem of its own, as it can mean materials are difficult to manoeuvre and can even cause damage to other kitchen products when being stored and prepared for installation.
All industry suppliers should be working to overcome problems like this, ensuring careful transportation to site and working on material innovation, including looking at pioneering ways to reduce the weight of popular kitchen surfaces.
(3) Material lead times: An understandably exasperating thing to deal with, long and unnecessary delays for many kitchen surfaces put a hindrance on projects across Britain, day in, day out.
The pressure is on suppliers to create an order system that ensures reliable and speedy delivery, as well as for fitters to plan ahead to ensure the material arrives in time for installation.
(4) Poor quality materials: Product transportation damage, defects, and even poor construction of work surfaces can make the installer's job much more difficult than it has to be. And after all, the materials used have a huge impact on the overall finish of an installation project. High quality products are an absolute must!
Installers also expressed their frustration with limited availability, of both styles and lengths, when it comes to worktops.
This is one for suppliers to overcome again, ensuring both quality control in the manufacturing and transportation of surface materials, as well as offering as wide a variety of designs and sizes as possible.
(5) Managing customer expectations: From customers changing their mind to expecting the highest quality surfaces for the lowest price, managing expectations is a vital part of the job, as customer satisfaction is what it's all about! Any situation where the customer changes their mind or is underwhelmed by the result is concerning for any installer.
The team at Maxtop believe this is down to education of suppliers and installers, including how they relay this education to the end customer. It's important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of different materials, as well as how to source the best products for each individual project.
This education is something Maxtop Quartz champions and has been working on over the last couple of years. The company runs monthly training courses to give delegates, including installers and distributors, a wealth of product knowledge and get valuable, first-hand feedback from their customers. This year, Maxtop has not only increased the number of courses available, but is also expanding to further locations across the UK. To find out more about Maxtop training near you, visit:
T: 0161 224 0333
30th June 2017