For decades now, the idea of buying “German” in order to receive a better-quality product is well-known, and owning certain types of German products carries a level of prestige. This belief seems to span across all types of industries from cars to watches, appliances to engineering, and, of course, kitchens. In this blog, we explore the origins of this idea and the facts behind the thinking.
What makes a German kitchen different?
Like anything of high quality, the devil is in the detail. On the surface, any newly installed kitchen will look impressive, but the difference in quality comes from the manufacturing processes, workmanship and grade of materials. These different elements combine to ensure longevity after years of usage, which is the key to where a good quality kitchen differs from a cheaper alternative.
German or Handleless - what's the difference?
The short answer is everything! In fact, you can find a German kitchen with handles or a British kitchen without handles (handleless). Although German kitchen companies are well known for their sleek style and clean lines, the idea of “German” is more related to the quality of products and manufacture than a specific design style.
The differences between Ream Interiors and buying German
When it comes to quality, there is no difference. German kitchens are produced on mass, whereas a smaller, independent company will be producing one-off, bespoke kitchens built for each individual client. This does not mean, however, that the actual manufacturing process is much different. We use the same type of factory machinery and quality of materials to produce the “German standard” in our own factory. The only difference is simply the location.
Are German Kitchens more bespoke? Is there more choice when it comes to style?
Again, this is a common misconception. The answer is actually no, and the reason is that because German factories are producing thousands of kitchens a day, they are still manufacturing a range of ‘standard’ sizes. These sizes may include a bigger range than you will find from the standard ‘high street’ kitchen shops, but there is still a limit. And even if they do offer a bespoke option, you are going to pay a premium for this. However, with a company like Ream Interiors, who are making kitchens from scratch in their own factory, the flexibility on size, colour and design is wider than anywhere working with standard sizes, such as in a huge manufacturing line, including where these European kitchens are produced.
Which is best - Flat packed or pre-built?
Many kitchens in both Britain and Germany are supplied as a flat pack and are generally produced for the DIY market, with price in mind. They are often made with lower grade material and budget components, which can be easily transported due to their lighter weight. Kitchens that are supplied fully assembled are structurally more rigorous due to the higher quality materials used, meaning that they also stand up to a heavier level of usage and last for much longer.
The two images below show two different modern, handleless kitchens. One is German, and one is ours. Can you tell the difference?
If you’d like to explore our German quality kitchen ranges, feel free to pop into our Gillingham showroom or book a free design appointment by clicking here. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 01634 799 909 and we’ll be happy to help.