Kitchen Cabinets: What to Know Before You Buy

August 18, 2017

Kitchen Cabinets: What to Know Before You Buy

A kitchen is probably the most important room in your home; and a kitchen’s cabinets, more than anything else, is what determines the look, feel, and function of it. So if you’re planning on replacing your cabinets, there are a few things you need to consider before making the plunge. Take a moment to think about the following:



Quality – When purchasing kitchen cabinets, be sure to look for the seal of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA). This seal ensures that the cabinets you choose have been subjected to a specific set of standards. Certified cabinets are subjected to a barrage of tests such as exposure to heat, cold, humidity and contact with normal kitchen ingredients such as vinegar, fruit juices, coffee and normal wear and tear without any sign of damage.




Balance Budget and Features  – Your kitchen’s cabinets are an important part of your home’s design and are an important part in determining its overall value. But you don’t to blow your budget without getting everything you need. After all, you still have to use the kitchen!.

Make a list of all the things you want to have in your kitchen cabinets such as any Lazy Suzan’s, appliance garages, as well as spaces needed for major appliances such as refrigerators, sinks, stoves, dishwashers and the like. Do you want your cabinets to have slide-out Shelving? Would soft close drawers be something you want? Many of these features don’t add too much expense to your final kitchen layout and can add a great deal of storage space and convenience.

Your cabinet dealer should be able to explain what available features they have in stock and have demonstration models so you can see how they would work in your kitchen.


Customization or Not – Stock cabinets aren’t necessarily worse than custom or semi-custom cabinets. In fact, they have a lot of advantages. They are less expensive and can be installed much faster. If you work with a kitchen designer you may be able to find stock cabinet options that still have all the features you want.

When choosing your cabinet finish, it is all a matter of personal taste and lifestyle. Natural wood cabinet colors are available in different wood finishes and styles. Light colored or white kitchen cabinets can make a kitchen seem larger and more spacious and add a sense of light airiness. Darker colored cabinet finishes can make them feel more furniture like. If you choose cabinets in different colors to the rest of your kitchen, you can add a beautiful decorative splash to your space.



Construction – There are a number of ways that kitchen cabinets can be constructed. The two most used ways are those that are made with a frame-less construction method and those which have a frame. When frame-less, also called full-access, cabinet construction is used, hinges are attached to the side of the cabinet. This allows complete access to the entire interior space of the cabinet.  With framed kitchen cabinets, rails and stiles are used in their construction which makes them more rigid with hinges attached to the frame.



Hardware, kitchen countertops and backsplashes – Hardware (knobs, hinges, and the like) can make a huge difference in the look of your kitchen cabinets. If you want a more modern look, select sleek stainless steel that is easy to clean and maintain. If you want something more traditional, consider half-moon cup drawer handles and door handles in cast iron or with an antiqued bronze finish.

Countertops are also a consideration in your new kitchen. While some may love the look of white subway tile, that classic default is just the tip of countertop options. If your budget allows, consider glazed or natural tile, concrete, a butcher block countertop with a thick seal of polyurethane for durability and safety, or use quartz or granite for a particularly luxurious countertop.

Like cabinets and countertops, backsplashes can also be customized to suit your taste and budget. Some popular choices include using ceramic or glass tile. One homeowner who had an incredible collection of vintage and Spanish tile incorporated them into a one-of-a-kind kitchen backsplash. Other options may include peel and stick mosaics or adapting tin ceiling tiles to make a backsplash that has a unique, vintage feel.

Start making plans today and clip pictures of styles and designs you love or check out examples on the internet on sites such as Pinterest. Once you have some ideas, contact us for a free kitchen planning guide that will walk you through step-by-step guide to make your kitchen ideas come to life.

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