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 Post subject: Howdens v Benchmarx
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:08 am 
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Hello,

I have had a quote for Benchmarx Holborn High Gloss Kitchen and a quote for Howdens Gloss Integrated Handle. Both quotes are within £100 of each other (around 4k for units - have ordered our appliances and worktop elsewhere).

I am happy with the price and the layout (again, the same from Howdens and Benchmarx) and have booked in a kitchen fitter who is happy to fit either kitchen.

I would like advice on which kitchen will last me the longest. I'm not bothered about which one is already in stock or whether they arrive flat packed, or even how easy it is to fit (our kitchen fitter is happy to work with either). I just want to know which will last me the longest. I do tend to bang doors a bit and we will be getting a puppy once the kitchen is in - not sure if this is tmi!

Please help as I am confused about foil wrap/lacquered doors/if backs are attached or not etc etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Howdens v Benchmarx
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:57 am 
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Nothing will last long with a puppy! :lol:



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 Post subject: Re: Howdens v Benchmarx
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:41 am 
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The main difference between Howdens and Benchmarx

Unit Construction - Howdens is of glued construction and Benchmarx use a cam and dowel system. Technically speaking glued is better and more ridged, however Howdens do it so badly they often have units out of square, so any benefit it did have is negated by this. So in all honesty they are probably the same quality wise.

Door finish - foil or vinyl wrap is where a vinyl layer is glued to the door (often a chipboard base) and is a very basic cheap type of finish and is one of the most prone to failure. However neither of the 2 ranges you are looking at in Howdens or Benchmarx are foil wrapped. The door you are looking at in Howdens is a PET finish which is a door coated in plastic (similar type of plastic used in making shampoo bottles). The benchmarx range is a Lacquered finish. Of the 2 Lacquered is the superior finish. It should be noted that Benchmarx lacquered finish is not as good as it could be. Take a door and look across it at a shallow angle and you will see undulations (i.e. bumpy) in the finish. Even though it's not a perfect finish, I would still say Benchmarx doors are better than Howdens (in regard to the 2 doors you are comparing)

Hinges and Drawers - Benchmarx use blum hinges and drawers as standard and this is a system that is considered one of the market leaders in the industry. You'll find the same system in kitchens costing a hell of a lot more. Howdens use a very basic hinge and drawer system as standard and really is rubbish. However Howdens do offer Blum as an upgrade. So check your quote. If you have been upgraded then there is no difference between the 2 kitchens in this regard. If you haven't then Benchmarx is far better.

Unit Sizes - Howdens use UK standard sized units and doors with regards to both height and width. Benchmarx use UK standard width sizes but their own special height of doors. Whilst this doesn't have any bearing on quailty or how long your kitchen will last, it does mean that with a Howdens kitchen if you wanted to change the doors at a later date to a different style, then you can use doors from hundreds of different manufacturers, If you wanted to replace the doors on a Benchmarx kitchen, then you are limited to only using Wickes or Benchmarx doors. So clearly Howdens wins in this department.

Personally given the choice, I would choose Benchmarx over Howdens.

All that said you say lead time may not be an issue to you. In which case I would seriously consider seeking out local independent kitchen retailers in your area. They often beat the likes of Howdens/Benchmarx/Magnet/B&Q etc etc for quality hands down. Depending on the retailer then kitchens are often delivered between 2-4 weeks after order

Alternatively you can use a large online supplier. DIY-Kitchens.com being one of the best.
The difference between a DIY-Kitchen and Howdens or Benchmarx is like night and day. They use better board on their units, they use better edging, better feet, construction method is superior, door quality is better like for like (for example a lacquered door from DIY is far better in finish than a lacquered door from benchmarx), doors come pre-hung... just better in every way. Delivery time is extended though. It changes but currently I think they are working on a 4 week lead time.

If you have the time to wait, then I would recommend DIY-Kitchens, if you don't then Benchmarx.

I sell kitchens and of course this is only my opinion, others may disagree.

Hope it helps

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 Post subject: Re: Howdens v Benchmarx
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:41 pm 
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Hi,

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have been without a kitchen since The end of October so I just want to get one in quickly now and as I have already been to Howdens and Benchmarx I am going to stick with them just to get it finished as I am so fed up with eating out!! I was all set to go with Howdens because they seemed to be cheaper but I just realised that they haven't added in sinks and taps so they ended up being the same price. thank you for mentioning the Blum hinges. I am getting them which is good so I think I'll stick with Howdens if they are both the same. So thank you for your expertise.

Now, can you recommend a good sink make or where I can get a cheap sink and tap?- I thought it was included in my original quote!


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 Post subject: Re: Howdens v Benchmarx
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:33 pm 
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No problem.

Abode Designs offer a good ratio of quality verses price. Search for 'abode taps' rather than 'Abode designs'. Many online retailers to choose from but maybe one of the biggest and most reliable is sink-taps.com

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 Post subject: Re: Howdens v Benchmarx
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:43 pm 
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Just to add to CR's excellent advice, make sure the tap you buy is suitable for the water system in your house. If a combi boiler then taps suitable for high pressure, if hot water is supplied via a hot water tank fed from a tank in the loft then you need taps suitable for high and low pressure systems.

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 Post subject: Re: Howdens v Benchmarx
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:36 pm 
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My mate owns a local company and emailed me this recently,shows the difference between a lot of the main suppliers. I'm not sure who his supplier is(color republic will probably know by looking at the table) but has said his prices are often close too or better than the likes of howdens and of much higher quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Howdens v Benchmarx
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:14 pm 
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Colour Republic wrote:
Alternatively you can use a large online supplier. DIY-Kitchens.com being one of the best.
The difference between a DIY-Kitchen and Howdens or Benchmarx is like night and day. They use better board on their units, they use better edging, better feet, construction method is superior, door quality is better like for like (for example a lacquered door from DIY is far better in finish than a lacquered door from benchmarx), doors come pre-hung... just better in every way. Delivery time is extended though. It changes but currently I think they are working on a 4 week lead time.

If you have the time to wait, then I would recommend DIY-Kitchens, if you don't then Benchmarx.

I sell kitchens and of course this is only my opinion, others may disagree.

Hope it helps

Hello I have Benchmarx kitchen myself .Whilst i was impressed at the beginning, after 5 years I have noticed some of the Blum hinges coming apart on a corner cabinet and in one case, coming off the cabinet entirely which suggested the particle board is not dense enough to hold them for any prolonged period of timed .The supplied screws dont seem long enough either
When you say better board are you implying DIY- Kitchen use high density chipboard?


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 Post subject: Re: Howdens v Benchmarx
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:11 pm 
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Hello,
Thank you to everyone who responded to my post. It was really helpful. We went with Howdens in the end. They were good when it came to changing some cupboards as we went along. I am happy with it and know that if I need to change the doors I can get them from anywhere.

Bathrooms next!!


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