The team at Cabinets & Designs are experts at cabinetry, but that doesn’t mean you are. Many of our clients—especially first-time homeowners or renovators—have a laundry list of questions about cabinetry when they first start shopping.

Cabinets comprise approximately 30 percent of the cost of a kitchen remodel. The better you understand the basics of kitchen cabinetry, the better you’ll feel about spending a full one-third of your budget on a single aspect of the renovation. You will want to know what you’re looking at to get the most for your money.

Standard vs. Custom
Custom cabinetry offers flexibility, and the ability to create something that suits your exact tastes. While standard cabinets are more affordable, you are more limited in terms of size and space, and possibly materials/finishes as well.

Styles, Materials, and Finishes
You’re going to get dizzy shopping for door styles, materials, and finishes, especially if you’re shopping for custom cabinetry. Working with a professional kitchen designer can help you narrow the possibilities and make the task more manageable. Know your vocabulary:
• Material refers to the type of wood or other materials your cabinets are made of.
• Door styles range from traditional to modern and are often described as “flat panel” or “raised panel”; you’ll also see words like “mullioned” “Shaker” and “louvered.”
• Finish refers to painting, staining, and other techniques (e.g. distressing) applied to the exterior of your cabinets.

Cabinetry Vocabulary
Frameless: Frameless cabinets feature full overlay doors on hinges, and often have adjustable shelving. They offer easier accessibility than their traditional framed counterparts.
Base cabinets: Base cabinets, or lower cabinets, provide storage as well as the sturdy base for your countertops.
Wall cabinets are wall-mounted upper cabinets.
Glazes: A surface treatment, applied over a base stain, that adds richness and depth.
Mitered construction: Doors with a mitered corner at the door frame corner connections.
Tall cabinets: Also known as pantry and utility storage, tall cabinets add flexibility in storage; great for kitchens, but also laundry rooms and garages.