Over the years The Kitchen Workshop has seen quite a lot of low priced kitchens. Starting our business back in 1985 primarily as a Door and Worktop replacement company gave us quite an insight on nearly every manufacturers use of materials. Name a big company from the last 35 years and we've more likely as not to have carried out a refurbishment of one kind or another.
Cutting costs and improving profitability is what drives big business throughout the world. This usually means some low quality parts somewhere.
For the kitchen industry it more often than not meant the use of plastic parts instead of metal. Hinges that look metal can have plastic components hidden inside, just waiting to break. Plastic sided drawer boxes or worse still, plastic clips that hold the drawer fronts on. Flat pack units that utilise plastic cam and dowel fittings to hold them together, one sideways shove and it collapses like a tower made from playing cards. Moulded plastic supports for the shelves that snap under the weight of 3 cans of beans.
Whilst it is OK to use 15mm material to make the actual unit, many 'cheap' kitchens have the cupboard doors made from it as well. 18mm doors are by far the better option as they are harder wearing and resist warping.
For peace of mind it is also worth buying from an established company. The Kitchen Workshop has just entered its 21st year, is VAT registered and holds a Consumer Credit Licence. Longevity doesn't come by supplying inferior products, it comes from finding quality manufacturers that are consistant with their products and service.