Replacing your kitchen can be a daunting task for many, but if you’re handy with DIY projects you may be able to do so without the aid of a professional fitter. However, you will need the right tools and a range of skills including plumbing, electrics and joinery (carpentry) to complete the job safely and to a high standard. Here we’ve compiled a list of tools required, so you don’t get caught out halfway through replacing your kitchen:
The most critical tool for installing a new kitchen faucet. It is required to turn and tighten the compression nuts on the hot and cold water supply lines. Make sure the wrench is screwed to the compression nuts tightly, as too much slack could potentially strip the bolt.
Tip: If you don’t have an adjustable wrench, use ‘mole grips’ instead.
A screwdriver plays an essential role in any toolkit and is required for a variety of jobs including removal of kitchen units and various fixtures and fittings. Screwdrivers come is either flat-head or phillips-head form, or you can purchase a multi-socket screwdriver with adjustable heads for ease. You will need to screw wall plugs and screws in by hand when it comes to weaker wood – often used for doors and drawers – to eliminate the risk of the wood splitting during the task.
3. Putty Knife
A putty knife is a small tool with a plastic handle and a thin, long piece of metal at the end. Before installing new kitchen tiles or a kitchen faucet, you will need to remove any old putty from around the area so that you can start with a clean, flat surface. Additionally, once you have fitted the new tiles, you may wish to remove any excess sealant to give a perfect finish.
4. Precision Mitre Saw
If you want to go the extra mile and build specialist bespoke cabinets, you will almost certainly need a precision mitre saw. Comprising of a hand-saw fixed to an adjustable plate, which can be set to specific angles, this specialist tool is used to produce uniform, angled cuts. This tool is essential for cabinet building and achieving a good fit and high-quality finish.
5. Electric Drill
Another absolute must for all DIY’ers, these are ideal for drilling into tougher materials such as brick, stone, plaster, wood and metal. If you live in an old house with cob walls, you should use the ‘hammer setting as this will prevent the drill bit from slipping should you hit a stone or particularly hard layer. You can purchase a variety of drill bits designed for different materials, so make sure you use the correct piece to avoid damage to your drill and the surface on which you are using it.
Tip: A cordless drill will allow you more freedom and you don’t have to worry about extension leads!
6. Tape Measure
Kitchens come in a range of different sizes and there is no set format to determine the location of cabinets, fixtures or fittings. The standard height for base cabinets appears to be three inches from the floor, although this can be altered to allow for specific design aspects. Measure your kitchen walls vertically and use a spirit level and pencil to mark where you want your cabinets to be to maintain a level surface.
Tip: Re-check all surfaces with a spirit level before fixing in place to ensure a perfect finish.
7. Stud finder
A stud finder (also known as a stud detector) is a handheld device used for locating wooden framing studs hidden behind the plasterboard. Ideally your kitchen cabinets should be fixed to the framing studs, as these will support significantly more weight than drywall or plaster. However, if you cannot acquire a stud finder, you can perform the same task by hand; simply tap the wall with a small hammer and listen for sound differences indicating a solid stud or a hollow cavity. This can be tricky so you may wish to consult a professional.
8. Teflon Tape
Teflon tape (also known as Thread Seal or Plumber’s Tape) is a polytetrafluoroethylene film used for sealing pipes around the sink area and faucet shanks. It can be purchased in a variety of widths so make sure you get the right one to ensure a good seal.
Although these are the standard tools needed to replace your kitchen, it is by no means a definitive list, and you may require some specialist equipment to complete the job. You may find the expense and timescale of the work overwhelming, not to mention the inconvenience of being without your kitchen for a prolonged period. Save yourself the worry and contact CPM Kitchen Fitters today! We specialise in all aspects of kitchen refurbishment including design, planning and fitting and can turn your dream kitchen into reality.