If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, or perhaps you’re building a new home, the kitchen is one of the most important areas that need to be planned out carefully. There are many factors to consider when planning a kitchen, especially regarding the cabinets. Some of these are:
- Material. What would your kitchen cabinets be made of? Most cabinets are wood – it is a popular, all-time favorite choice – but it can also be made from laminate, stainless steel and glass.
- Placement. Where and how are you going to place your kitchen cabinets? What kind of kitchen layout would you choose? The location, space, and preferred layout will affect your kitchen cabinet choices.
- Cabinet door style. What color, style and type of finish would you like your cabinet door to have? The appearance of the cabinet doors will dictate the style of the whole kitchen. Traditional cabinets often have raised panel doors, and some may feature curves or ornamentations like wainscoting. Meanwhile, modern cabinets typically feature clean, straight and sleek lines without additional details. Are you going to match it with the interior décor style of the other parts of your home, or do you want the kitchen to stand out?
- Budget. How much is your budget for the kitchen cabinets? Some materials cost more than others. Plus, if you’re planning to have it custom-made and designed by a well-known architect, be prepared to spend more.
It can be overwhelming to choose cabinetry for your new kitchen, but it pays to have a basic understanding of the types of cabinets and doors. Here are the types of cabinets you need to familiarize yourself with, so you can confidently shop and talk to the pros:
There are five basic types of kitchen cabinets:
- Base cabinets
Base cabinets, or the lower cabinets, are the base for the countertops doubling as storage. They are supposed to be sturdy and strong to withstand any weight and force that will be placed and exerted into the countertops. Base cabinets sit low on the floor, and standard measurements are 24 inches deep and 63 inches tall. The depth may be increased up to 27 inches, and the deeper your cabinets are, the more storage you’ll have.
- Wall cabinets
Also called upper cabinets or wall-mounted cabinets, these cabinets are attached to the wall, contrasting the base cabinets. Wall cabinets complete the look of the kitchen and add functionality with the useful storage it provides. It serves as a backbone for remodeling kitchen cabinetry. The size of the wall cabinets depends on what is proportionate with the base and the available space.
- Tall cabinets
Tall cabinets, also known as pantry and utility cabinets, are full-height cabinets that rest from the floor to the ceiling. These range in 84 inches to 96 inches in height. Tall cabinets serve as storage for pantry materials and groceries, and some serve as storage for kitchen cleaning materials.
- Specialty units
Specialty units are storage areas meant to maximize space and organization efforts. These include appliance shelving, bottle racks, corner cabinets, suspended units, and hutch cabinets.
- Cabinet drawers
Cabinet drawers are very versatile. It is where small but essential kitchen tools and items are placed. Usually, it can be found as part of the base cabinets of main kitchen area and kitchen islands. Cabinets the most used part of the kitchen cabinets, so it should be durable and strong enough to last a lifetime of consistent use. To ensure durability, cabinets must use at least ½ inch thick plywood. High-end cabinet drawers are 5/8 inch thick, while you may have it custom-made up to ¾ inch to ensure maximum durability.
Cabinet types are also classified as stock, semi-custom or custom cabinets.
Stock cabinets offer the fewest options at the most affordable prices. They are mass-produced and pre-sized from the manufacturer. Stock cabinets are available in fixed sizes and styles, so they cannot be altered. They are typically made on-site on modular unit houses, making it less suitable for existing spaces. These can be made of materials like solid wood or particleboard covered in melamine or plastic laminate. They were traditionally offered with limited choices for accessories, but the choices have now expanded so owners can achieve a good-looking, personalized kitchen.
Semi-custom cabinets are offered at a mid-range price point. Manufacturers of this type of cabinetry allow size adjustments, but not depth. These are available in a wide range of styles, finishes, designs, storage solutions and decorations at a reasonable price. They can be sold as made-to-order cabinets featured from the manufacturer’s catalog of available styles, finishes, and materials, or even as stock cabinets with custom-made doors.
The high-end, ultimate made-to-order cabinetry, custom cabinets are offered with the most diverse choices in materials, styles, finishes and accessories. They can be tailored to your choices and according to the size of your kitchen. You can have cabinets custom-built with exact measurements and great precision, even down to the 32nd of an inch. You can get a cabinet that is exactly what you wanted and can be hand-built by a skilled artisan. But expect that custom-made cabinets come with a high price.
Kitchen cabinets can also be framed or frameless.
Framed or face-framed cabinet are traditional American-styled cabinetry with actual frames all around cabinet doors and drawers. The rails and stiles form a “frame” in front of the cabinet box, resembling a flat picture frame attached to the front of the door. You can ensure stability and sturdiness with framed cabinets, with door hinges secured to the frame face and shelves. However, the frames occupy space that can otherwise be used to enlarge storage space.
Frameless cabinets are becoming more popular nowadays. Also known as European-style or Euro cabinets, frameless cabinets has a sleek and contemporary design due to the absence of frames. It offers greater accessibility and relies on thicker box construction to ensure stability and sturdiness. The hinges are attached directly to the sides inside the cabinet box. It also provides 10% more storage than a framed cabinet.