Have you been shopping for kitchen cabinetry and been dissatisfied with the selection of the big box stores and import cabinet dealers? Well perhaps you should really take a close look at considering custom built kitchen cabinets as an option for your kitchen remodel project. Here I will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of both stock and custom cabinetry. Stock Kitchen Cabinetry. What are stock kitchen cabinetry? Stock kitchen cabinets are cabinetry that are pre-built to a specific size and then resold by a cabinetry dealer. Stock cabinets are typically produced in 2 inch increments. In some basic kitchen layouts such as an L shaped kitchen you can lay cabinets out without much problem. But what do you do when you are fitting cabinets between two walls? Well in this case the cabinet dealer can supply you with filler pieces to take up any large gaps that will eventually occur by using cabinets that are built within 2 inch increments. These cabinet filler pieces can be cut to fit the remaining gap relatively well. The main disadvantage with stock kitchen cabinets is the aforementioned incremental sizing but also the quality. Although as with anything the lower to mid range priced stock cabinets are typically made from thinner materials and have economy hardware such as cabinet door hinges and drawer slides. There are a few advantages with using stock cabinetry the very first one that comes to mind is cost. Since stock cabinets are mass produced they can be quite affordable. Another advantage is speed, in most cases dealers have access to larger warehouses where the cabinets are stored, and you can have your stock cabinet order within a few short weeks or in some cases days.
2. Construction. Low quality cabinets are often put together with glue or with nails or staples. This is not a good idea (if you have the choice) because under the heavy use of kitchen cabinets and drawers, they will not last. High quality cabinets will be joined with dove tail construction. This is one of the most important aspect of kitchen cabinet design. 3. Door Style. There are many types and designs in cabinet doors. The door style is the primary determiner of kitchen cabinet design. For example, a contemporary kitchen would almost demand a flat panel door design. Raised panel design, on the other hand, is the preferred door style for a traditional style kitchen. Other cabinet designs include these door styles: reveal-overlay panel, frame and panel, beaded frame and panel, square raised panel, curved raised panel, bead board panel and cathedral panel.
Kitchen Cabinet Finishes. There are many Kitchen cabinet finishes to choose from when using natural woods. Cabinet finishes include stain, paint and glazing options. In addition there are my types of distressing techniques that can also be employed on kitchen cabinet surfaces. Some options include Rasping, Antiquing and Rub-through. There are also many types of laminates that you can choose from. Kitchen Cabinet Sizes. Kitchen cabinets come in a variety of standard shapes and sizes, however custom sizes can also be easily specified and manufactured – at a price. Standards kitchen cabinet sizes, known as stock cabinets, are usually much more affordable then custom or semi-custom cabinets and usually have shorter lead times. Most manufacturers, unless custom built, stock universal sizes so if you have a kitchen designed at supply store or by a designer it will usually be transferable to another cabinet line.
Custom Kitchen Cabinets. Custom kitchen cabinets are cabinets that are built just for your kitchen layout, design taste and needs. Custom kitchen cabinetry can easily be built to fit between two walls or to match odd angles, something not possible with stock kitchen cabinets. There are many advantages with custom cabinets that can not be had with stock cabinetry. The advantages that are at the top of the list are selection. Since a custom cabinet maker will be producing your new kitchen cabinets you can have them make just about any style that is imaginable. You can also have them produce cabinets that are in rare or exotic woods. You can also have a much larger selection of cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Some custom cabinet makers do opt to outsource their doors and drawer fronts, in this case they will usually have a very large catalog of doors for you to make your selection. With custom built cabinets you can select the type of hardware such as cabinet door hinges as well as drawer slides. Most are currently opting for hinges and drawer slides with the soft close feature. This is not only very popular but I wouldn't be surprise if this becomes the standard in the next few years.
Standard cabinet doors swing, but there are also flip up doors, corner drawers, and pocket doors, can make cabinets more functional. Flip up doors use a hydraulic mechanism to raise the cabinet door up instead of opening them sideways. They are great for specialty areas. Pocket doors are used to hide the heavily used task and prep areas in the kitchen. Corner drawers are a twist on the corner cabinet that pulls out from the corner. They are fully accessible that allow the difficult corner cabinet to be opened easily.
To help you sort through the myriad of kitchen cabinet choices, it pays to consult with an expert in kitchen design. They will be familiar with all the different cabinet manufacturers, styles and finish choices, and are a real help with coordinating your new kitchen design. Working with a kitchen designer will help you maximize the cabinet storage space in your kitchen, help with the visual symmetry of the design, and assure you that you get the best value out of your kitchen cabinets. A kitchen designer will have the ability to enter your kitchen design into a computer, then alter all of the aspects of the cabinet appearance to help you make the right decision for your kitchen cabinets. You can change the style, color, type of wood, and any other aspect of the kitchen cabinets and see exactly what they will look like in your design. Sometimes you will see design flaws through this process and correct them before you order your cabinets. Take the time to explore all your options available in kitchen cabinet design and style. Picking the right kitchen cabinets will make your kitchen remodeling project a successful endeavor.
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