How to fit a kitchen (part 2)

Fitting your own kitchen can save you a small fortune – if you do it right. In this article we look at fitting laminate worktops, handles and plinths. See Part 1 for advice on planning a kitchen, dismantling your old kitchen, fitting cabinets, cabinet doors and drawer fronts.

How to fit a kitchen (part 2)

How to fit a kitchen


  • Screwdriver
  • Silicone sealant
  • Cordless drill with masonry bits
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure
  • L brackets
  • Wallplugs
  • Plasterboard fixings
  • Worktop
  • Jigsaw
  • Router
  • G-clamps
  • Steel rule
  • 50mm masking tape
  • Fine file
  • Worktop edging strip
  • Colourfill
  • Toggle bolts
  • Goggles and protective gear

For more general advice see Designing a kitchen layout. Read How to fit a kitchen part 1 if you've missed it.

How to fit a worktop
Lay the worktop flat and let it acclimatise to your kitchen environment for approx. 24 hours. Don’t stand them on end as this could lead to bowing.

Tip: Remember the adage: measure twice, cut once.

If you’re replacing like for like worktops your best bet is to use the existing worktops as a template to cut around.

If you’re fitting new worktops you need to carefully measure lengths and widths and cutouts for hobs and sinks using a steel rule.Use a panel saw to cut your worktop(s) to the right dimensions.

Tip: Remember that factory-cut edges will be neater and more accurate than those you cut yourself, so position your own cuts against wall junctions or under a joining strip, leaving the factory cuts in more visible spaces.

Worktop cutouts
To create the cutouts for sinks and hobs first mark the required cut out onto the worktop. Then drill holes in the corners. You can then use a jigsaw to cut out this shape. Remember to seal the edges of the worktop before fitting a sink, and use heat-resistant aluminium foil tape when fitting a hob.

Now position the worktop in place, checking it fits securely against the wall with the edges snug.

Tip: If you are fitting worktops at right angles to each other, you’ll need to use a router and worktop joint jig.

Fixing the worktops
Now you need to secure the worktop to the units from beneath with L brackets. Countersunk chipboard screws should be used through the front of the rails and metal L brackets at the back to provide extra support.

Now apply the coordinating laminate strip to any exposed worktop edges using adhesive applied to both edge and strip. Leave for a short time before sticking in place. Allow to dry then trim away excess with a sharp knife, or router and trimming bit.

How to fit a kitchen plinth
Plinths, or kickboards, conceal unsightly pipe work and fixings, giving your kitchen a neat finish. If you’ve mastered fitting a worktop this is the easy bit.

1. Measure and cut the plinths to length.
2. Lie the plinth in position on the floor then mark pencil lines level with the legs of the units.
3. Position fixing brackets between the two leg lines and fix to the bottom edge with the screws supplied.
4. Now simply slot the plinth clips on to the brackets to secure the plinth.

How to fit handles
If your handles are not pre-fitted, or have predrilled holes in the doors or drawers, the key thing is to ensure that all handles are positioned at an even and consistent height. Here's how:

1. To fit a handle to a drawer measure the width and depth of the drawer front and mark the centre point in pencil. Now position the centre of the handle on the mark and pencil in the fixing points checking they’re true with a spirit level.
2. Drill clearance holes, screw through the holes from the back and into the handle taking care not to overtighten.
3.For handles on cupboards it’s a similar procedure but we recommend creating a template or jotting down the exact depth and width of the handle’s position for consistency.