YOUR CABINETS AT A GLANCE
Custom or Semi - Custom
- Match options, specialization and availability to your budget and timeframe.
A good starting point in selecting your cabinets is to determine the options, availability and specialization your kitchen project timeframe and budget requires, then decide if semi-custom or custom cabinetry best suit your needs.
Semi-Custom – These cabinets offer more flexible options for storage, design and style as well as a wider selection of wood and finish choices. Semi-custom cabinets offer more functionality, with enhancements such as pull-out shelves, lazy Susans and vertical dividers, to name just a few. They usually require a longer lead time for delivery and are priced in the mid-range. Available sizes are typically the same as those for stock cabinets.
Custom – These cabinets are constructed by hand to fit your kitchen to your specifications. Custom cabinets make use of all available space and are an ideal solution when non-standard sizes are needed to fit irregular-shaped spaces. Delivery time can take up to nine or more weeks, depending on the cabinet maker’s schedule. The most expensive of the cabinet options, they typically feature high-quality materials and construction features. Custom cabinets can be built in increments up to 1/32”. Price varies based on size, materials and options.
– Choose framed or frameless style, materials, laminates and veneers and understand features to look for.
Understanding cabinet construction and knowing a few basic features to look for can go a long way in helping you match cabinets to your décor, lifestyle and budget.
Framed or Frameless
The Two Major Types of Kitchen Cabinets
There are two main types of kitchen cabinetry: framed and frameless. The traditional method of American kitchen cabinetry construction is to attach hinges and a door to a 1 ½” in 2nd wide face frame around an open box. Cabinet doors designed in this style slab, or lip, over the frame either partially (“standard overlay”), fully (“full overlay”), or not at all (“inset” doors are situated within the frame and are flush with it). European style frameless cabinets, on the other hand, don’t use a face frame. With frameless kitchen cabinets the cabinet walls have to be thicker – so that there is space for the hinges and doors to be attached.
Framed cabinets, also known as face-framed cabinets, have a frame on the front of the cabinet that makes the box highly stable and helps keep it square. Door hinges attach to the frame. Framed cabinets complement both traditional and contemporary décor.
Frameless cabinets, also known as European-style cabinets, have no frame around the face of the cabinet box. Thicker side panels lend stability, and drawers and hinges attach directly to the cabinet’s side walls. Because drawers do not have to fit in a frame’s opening, they can be as wide as the cabinet, providing more storage. Frameless cabinets are often used with contemporary décor.
–Plywood, Wood Veneers, & Hardwood
(MDF, Particleboard, & Laminates are only available upon request and will not be used otherwise.)
While you might think cabinets are made solely of wood, they are often constructed from other materials or combinations of materials as well. Materials commonly used for cabinet boxes and shelves include:
Plywood – This engineered wood is composed of layers of veneers stacked and glued together with alternate layers oriented at right angles, providing strength in its length and width. Because heat and moisture cause wood to expand and contract in the direction of the grain, plywood’s cross-grain pattern makes it more stable and stronger than solid wood. Plywood is often used for cabinet boxes and shelves in higher-priced cabinetry.
Wood Veneers - are thin layers of wood sliced from trees that are adhered to plywood or particleboard and treated with a variety of stains, varnishes and other finishes. Factors to consider when choosing a veneer include grain, pattern, thickness and color. Popular choices include cherry, maple, oak, hickory, birch and pine.
Particleboard – This material is made of wood chips or shavings bonded together with resin and compressed into rigid sheets. An economical alternative to solid wood, particleboard is very stable and is often used in stock cabinets as an underlayment for plastic laminates and wood veneers in the panels for the box and shelving. Particleboard doesn’t warp. However even the slightest contact with water will compromise its strength. After water penetrates particleboard, it swells immensely if it’s not properly sealed. Particleboard is assembled using glue or mechanical fasteners.
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) – An engineered wood made from fine wood particles and glue formed into sheets, MDF is often used as a backing material for laminates and other finishes. MDF is very dense, resists warping and has a smooth surface suitable for veneers, laminates and paints. It is often used in mid-priced cabinetry. Strong and durable, MDF provides many effective benefits for limited budgets.
– Enhance your cabinet’s design with architectural details.
Accessories & Add-Ons
– Increase storage and access contents more easily.
*Please see our "Cabinet Architecture and Storage Solutions" Tab for more information.*