4. Accessories are the final basic element of kitchen cabinet design. Accessories include knobs and handles, organization customizations, accessibility options and specialty modifications. Knobs and handles should match both the style of the kitchen (rustic, worn, sleek) and the other metals used in visible places in the kitchen. For example, brushed metals work very nicely with stainless steel appliances. There are many devices and gadgets that can be installed in drawers and cabinets to organize the contents. Many custom or customized units have these items built in. Accessibility items include things like sliding trays or spinning units (lazy Susan, for example) to make things in the cabinets easier to reach. Specialty modifications are changes made to any cabinets to make them function over refrigerated drawers or bar refrigerators, etc. By understanding these basics of kitchen cabinet design, you will be better informed, better informed to ask questions, and better able to limit the number of cabinet styles you need to consider in order to choose the cabinets you will use in your kitchen remodel.
Kitchen Cabinet Quality. If you plan on living in your home for many years, do not skimp on your kitchen cabinets. They are constantly used and abused, and only the sturdiest will stand the test of time. The best kitchen cabinets employ solid frames, doors and drawers and are fully self-contained (closed backs), with reinforced corners. As I mentioned before, it is important to look for cabinets that have a plywood box versus particleboard or fiberboard. This is why it is important to look at all of the cabinet lines that are available, even cabinets that are sold on-line.
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Particleboard and Fiberboard will have a tendency to sag or warp over time from moisture. Even mid-priced RTA cabinets are available that are made from solid Plywood sides. Hardwood or veneered/laminated cabinet doors and drawer faces, are then attached via hinges and roller mechanisms to the face frame and cabinet box. Frameless (European-Style) Kitchen Cabinets. Frameless kitchen cabinet construction is becoming increasingly popular today as frameless kitchen cabinets are considered to be more contemporary. With frameless cabinets there is no face frame. The kitchen cabinet doors attach directly to the sides of the cabinet and are secured with pins and dowels. The advantages of this type of construction, is that there is wider access into the cabinet space and the hinges are completely hidden. Typically ”ready-to-install” kitchen cabinets are constructed in this manner.
Kitchen Cabinet Wood Choices. Whether you are buying custom made cabinets, stock cabinets, or RTA cabinets, they will all offer a wide range of wood choices. Solid hardwood cabinets, such as Cherry, Maple, Birch, Hickory and Oak typically cost much more than laminate or veneer finished cabinets. Face Framed Kitchen Cabinets. Face framed kitchen cabinet construction is the most prevalent kitchen cabinet construction type in the United States and usually it is lower cost. This construction technique involves the building of a kitchen cabinet face out of hardwood pieces. Typically the cabinet face is constructed using several 1” x 2” vertical and horizontal hardwood pieces. The face frame is then married to the front of a particleboard or solid plywood kitchen cabinet box. It is highly recommended that you try to find cabinets that use solid wood or solid plywood for the cabinet box.
Custom Cabinet Cost. Most people want to know how much more custom cabinetry will cost as compared to stock cabinets. This is almost impossible to answer with any degree of accuracy. The real truth of the matter is that custom cabinets are going to cost more that the lower lines of comparable stock cabinetry. But we have seen custom cabinets be very competitive with the mid to higher range stock cabinets. Despite the higher prices of custom kitchen cabinets it is almost always worth the extra cost. The cabinets are built in a much more solid fashion as well as most custom cabinetmakers will use a ¾ inch thick cabinet case material, it doesn't get much more solid than that. All cabinet shops will have varying prices, so we do recommend you always compare the same exact kitchen design from shop to shop for the most accurate estimations.