DIY Kitchens Useful Hints & Tips

Looking for a new kitchen? Dreading the cost involved with fitting it? Why not do it yourself?

There’s a couple of big advantages to fitting your own kitchen. The most obvious is cost: fitting a kitchen yourself means you don’t have to spend a fortune hiring people for a job you’re more than capable of. It’s also a great chance to hone your DIY skills!

Fitting a kitchen yourself can seem like a scary prospect. But it doesn’t have to be! InStock’s DIY Kitchens page is our hints-and-tips guide to fitting your kitchen… and your first port of call for any aspiring kitchen installer. It really is something anyone can do!

So save yourself a fortune and check out our complete DIY Kitchens guide. It’s the first step toward a brilliant new kitchen… and a fantastic achievement for any homeowner.

Removing Old Cabinets

Removing Cabinets

Remove everything you can from the cabinets, including cutlery, pots and pans, and even cutlery trays.

Take down wall cabinets first: this will let you use the base cabinets as a platform to rest them on.

Make sure you take doors and shelves off cabinets before removing them! This will not only make the units much lighter but it also stops the doors swinging open and injuring you in the process.

Measuring The Kitchen

Go around the room clockwise, numbering the doors and windows as you go.

Make as many measurements as you can: not just walls, doors and windows, but the distance between each one. Remember to include window and door frames in your measurements.


Think about how you’re going to use your kitchen space.

Is there anything about your old kitchen you’d like to change…or anything you’d want to preserve?

Use the working triangle to ensure your kitchen is being arranged properly: imagine your sink, cooker and fridge forming a triangle in your kitchen. This ensures your kitchen will function efficiently.

Choosing The Right Look

Traditional cabinets typically feature profiled doors, and work great with classic knobs and handles. They’re great for older or rural homes.

Contemporary kitchens use a simple, streamlined handle (or handleless designs) with flat-fronted (slab) doors for a minimalist modern look.

Try mixing and matching elements from both modern and traditional kitchen styles, to create something totally unique in your kitchen.

Layout Options

Kitchens can be typically grouped into four layouts: think about which one makes the best use of your kitchen space.

Galley Kitchens
Galley kitchens

Corridor Kitchens
Corridor kitchens

L Shaped Kitchens
L-shaped kitchens
U Shaped Kitchens
U-shaped kitchens

Ordering your Kitchen from InStock

Ordering an Instock kitchen is as easy as 1,2,3:

DIY Kitchen Step One

Decide on your door style
Will you go for a classic shaker or contemporary slab?

DIY Kitchen Step Two

Choose your finish
Instock kitchens come in a range of colours to suit every home.

DIY Kitchen Step Three

Choose your cabinets
Standard cabinets to appliance housings, we have a comprehensive range for your kitchen

Building the Cabinets


Make sure you open the package carefully, to ensure you don’t damage any components. A pair of scissors, carefully used, is recommended for opening packaging.

When it’s open, make sure that all of the parts and fittings are in the box. We use our own dedicated team of drivers to ensure your deliveries arrive in excellent condition. However, if something’s missing or damaged, let the driver know before he leaves and contact us on 0845 600 5755.

You will need a screwdriver, mallet, drill and spirit level to assemble our cabinets properly.

See our How To Fit A Kitchen section for more details on assembling InStock units

Pre-assembled Rigid cabinets are now available when ordering, saving you precious time when fitting your kitchen

Fitting Units

If you’re renovating your entire kitchen we recommend installing each part in the following order.

1. Primer and paint
2. Lay ceramic tile, vinyl or hardwood flooring
3. Fit wall cabinets
4. Fit base cabinets and islands
5. Cabinet doors, drawers and hardware
6. Fit the Worktops
7. Fit sink & fittings
8. Fit dishwasher
9. Cooker hood
10. Fit the hob
11. Fit oven and/or microwave
12. Refrigerator and freezer

Hinges and Hanging the Doors


Hinges come in two parts: the hinge, which attaches to the door, allowing them to open and close smoothly and the hinge plate, which attaches to the interior of the kitchen unit.

Both parts can be easily adjusted when fitted.

Fitting Handles


It’s important to attach handles to your doors accurately and firmly. Before you start drilling holes in your cabinets, think about where you want your handles to be positioned.

Experiment! Take a handle and try different positions on doors and drawers until you find one you’re happy with.

When you’re drilling holes in your cabinets, place an old piece of wood directly below the drilling position.

This will stop the back of the door splintering when you drill through it. Use a fine drill, i.e. less than 2.5mm, when drilling.

Installing Appliances


Installing gas appliances (like ovens) should always be done by a professional.

Before installing appliances, make sure that all gas and electrical points are fully fitted and in working order.

Appliances should typically be lifted by at least two people, to prevent injury.

Appliances may come with fixings to help better position the appliance in your kitchen. See the appliance manufacturer’s guidelines for individual appliance needs.

See our How To Fit A Kitchen section for more details on fitting appliances.

Getting Professional Help

Think about your prior DIY experience. Have you undertaken any small DIY projects, like putting up shelves or assembling flatpack furniture?

If you don’t feel confident about more technical aspects of your kitchen, there’s no shame in asking a professional. In fact, it’s an absolute must for installing gas appliances or repositioning gas outlets.

Don’t forget we offer a free kitchen planning service if you want an expert appraisal of your kitchen plans.


Fitting a Worktop

A kitchen worktop is sure to be heavy regardless of the material you’ve decided upon. Therefore, at least two people should be present to lift worktops into position safely.

You can enlist a professional to mitre worktops together for that professional look, who will also connect worktops with the aid of jointing bolts.

You can also join a worktop with a jointing strip, which goes on the outside of the worktop for a neater look.

To connect a worktop to a kitchen base unit, insert screws upwards into the worktop underside, making sure the screw passes through the unit’s crossbar.

Remember to apply plenty of sealant to worktop joints. This will prevent water from seeping into the worktop, which can, in turn, cause them to swell and warp.

For advice on measuring Kitchen Worktops please follow this link

Fitting Upstands and Splashbacks

Fitting A Splashback

A great finishing touch to worktops, upstands and splashbacks should be fitted after worktops are in place.

Use a strong fixing adhesive to keep them in place.

Upstands work well along the top of a run of kitchen base units. Splashbacks, which take up a much larger area, are ideal behind cookers where messy food preparation is likely to take place.

Fitting a Sink

Fitting a Sink

InStock’s laminate worktops are ideal for installing a sink quickly and easily. For the best fit, the template that accompanies your sink should be used: see the manufacturer’s instructions for more details.

Before using the sink for the first time, make sure it is completely sealed and the sealant has fully dried.
If you’re unsure about installing the sink or connecting it to the water mains, don’t be afraid to contact a professional.

Fitting a Hob


Your hob’s installation will vary depending on whether it’s gas or electric. Gas appliances should always be installed by a professional.

Hobs can easily be installed in our laminate worktops: consult your hob’s instructions for details on individual installations.
Make sure that the sealant around your hob is completely dry before using the hob.

Finishing Touches

DIY Kitchens SensioPod

A kitchen is more than cabinets and appliances: there’s a whole range of finishing touches you can add to your kitchen.

For a convenient power point in your kitchen, check out our selection of Sensio Pods- perfect for appliances like food mixers, or for charging electronics like mobile phones and tablets.

Other accessories like matching plinths will help conceal your cabinets’ adjustable feet.

Don’t forget about appliance doors, to help you maintain a neat run of kitchen units.