Top 6 Characteristics of a Quality Cabinet
Frame-less: This is also called “full access cabinet” or even “European style.” this type of construction relies on thicker frames for stability. By removing the frame you have easier access to items in your cabinets. With this style you are limited to the types of doors you can use, full overlay doors are used because the hinges are attached directly to the sides of the cabinets.
Framed: This is a flat piece of wood that is attached to the front of the cabinet resembling a picture frame. This is attached to the door front for added dimensions, having a frame on the front of the cabinet also adds sturdiness and strength to your cabinet. The doors of the framed cabinet attach to the face frame, creating a slightly smaller opening than a frame-less cabinet.
Plywood: Plywood is stronger and more durable than practical board, being made out of veneer sheets, laid together both horizontally and vertically than glued under heat gives the material a strong durability to nails and screws. Because of the cross-grain pattern plywood is less likely to break apart when screwing your cabinets into the walls. Not going to warp like solid wood.
Particle Board: By being made out of partials of wood chips, glued together under heat, this particular material is not as durable. When screwing, screws into the particleboard it tends to fall apart on you. (I fall apart enough already I don't need my cabinet materials doing it too). Can you guess why so many people use it thought? Since the material it is made out of tiny wood chips pressed together it tends to cost less to produce one of the downsides of particle board is it will absorb more water than plywood would.… making it a popular material for cabinets to be made out of.
Particle board vs. Plywood
Dovetailed: Dovetail joints are the most durable, when it comes to quality of the cabinet drawer; however, they can be difficult to make, but they are well worth the investment. Some cabinet companies will assemble the drawer box sides before sanding the joint to make sure that all the dovetailed joints are smooth before applying the finishing coat. Note that not all manufacturers finish the drawer after sanding and some lower end cabinet lines don't do either process.
Rabbet Joint: This joint works by having either one or both pieces of the drawers notched to fit perfectly together, then reinforced with nails or screws locking them together. The rabbet joint is far easier to assemble than the dovetail, it is also not as durable when it comes to the strength of the drawer.
If you fill you (like myself) pack your drawers full of stuff. It would be beneficial to have a stronger joint holding them together. This will also allow your drawers to stay together longer without the chances of it falling apart on you!
Rabbet Joint Vs. Dovertail Joint
Blum Under-mount: Mounted below the drawer to help provide a smooth, full access operation. by having the mount under the drawer box it provides support for heavy loads. These glides are adjustable and come with a soft close system that allows your drawers to open and close almost silently.
Other Drawer Glides: There are hundreds of glides to choose from the most common materials that are used are metal sides with plastic rollers. this material end up having a lot of wear and tear causing you to spend more money replacing them. these mounts rarely provide full access, this mean that nearly 25% of your cabinet stays in the cabinet. making it hard to reach the back, also the side mounts reduce the width of your drawers. Leaving you less space for storage.
Standard Hinges: Although they are budget friendly and can stand up to the times, they are becoming very outdated.
Soft Close: Soft close hinges are durable and offer you a smooth and silent close. Meaning no more slamming cabinet drawers, especially nice when little ones are around. The reduced speed allows some extra time to get your fingers out of the way. More often than not people are choosing soft close over standard hinges, its worth the few extra bucks.
Standard Hinge Vs. Soft Close Hinge
Type of Finish
Stains: This finish is added to cabinets to complement the natural look of the wood. There are a variety of stain colors ranging from light to dark. The light stains will show more of the woods natural beauty while the darker woods cover it up. Using the Dark stains has its advantages, this allows you to apply more dramatic looks to your kitchens.
Opaque (painted): Painted cabinets are designed to give you the color choices you desire without taking the natural wood character away from the cabinet. Applying this finish to tighter grains will give you a smooth look. While applying this finish to coarse wood will leave the grain texture exposed under the finish. This finish is normally associated with high end cabinets.
Good Finish Vs Bad Finish
Now that you have these practical tips to help make your kitchen efficient and effortless for you, drop a line and let me know if these tips helped you make your kitchen designing experience a breeze. Don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter and check out all the other helpful tips and tricks I have for your remodeling needs.
- Dakotah Herman