Homeowner’s Guide to Cabinetry

The Kitchen Master

Of all the elements that go into a kitchen remodel, nothing is more important than the cabinets. They have the largest visual impact on the room, establishing the design style and serving as critical storage for your cookware, cutlery, small appliances, and so much more.

A kitchen renovation should cost between 5 and 15 percent of your home’s value, with about 30 percent of the budget dedicated to new cabinets. (If you’re only refacing rather than replacing your cabinets, the allocation can be much lower.) This is a significant portion of the cost, but high-end cabinetry will serve you well for many years to come—as long as you make the proper selection.

With this kitchen cabinetry guide, you’ll have a better idea of what cabinet doors, drawers, shelving, handles, knobs, materials, and finishes will work best in your space.

Jump to: Cabinet Door Types | Cabinet Drawer Types | Shelving Types | Handles & Knobs | Materials & Finishes

the kitchen master cabinet door types cover photo the kitchen master cabinet door types guide cover photo

When selecting cabinet boxes and doors, assess the quality by looking for these characteristics:

  • Solid wood panels
  • Easy-to-open doors
  • Adjustable hinges with a wide range of motion

In addition to quality, consider the aesthetics of your cabinet doors. Many panel types and styles are available, including:

  • Raised panels
  • Recessed panels
  • Full and partial overlays
  • Inset panels
  • Arched panels
  • Cathedral panels
  • Shaker panels
  • Flat-front or slab panels
  • Beaded inserts
  • Glass inserts
  • And much more

the kitchen master cabinet drawer types light wood cabinet drawers chrome finishes the kitchen master cabinet drawer types cover photo

Look for cabinet drawers that are sure to stand the test of time. Some characteristics of high-quality construction include:

  • Solid wood components
  • Plywood bottoms that won’t shrink or swell
  • Ball-bearing extensions for a smooth slide
  • Dovetail joints to hold the drawer firmly together

Cabinet drawer fronts should match the style of cabinet doors you choose. Then, consider the numerous configurations and features available to maximize the functionality and performance of your kitchen drawers:

  • Corner drawers for L- or U-shaped kitchens
  • Soft-closing drawers with shock absorption to prevent them from slamming shut
  • Drawer slide detents to hold the drawer open at certain intervals
  • Pull-through slides that allow drawers to open from both sides of the kitchen island
  • Specialty slides that allow the drawer to extend beyond a full extension, useful for countertops with deep overhangs
  • Self-closing drawers for added convenience when preparing food

the kitchen master shelving types cover photo the kitchen master shelving types cover photo

When you turn your attention to cabinetry shelves, look for at least three-quarter-inch plywood. Anything thinner than this may begin to sag under the weight of heavy dishes and cookware over the years. Also, avoid particleboard no matter its thickness because it lacks durability.

Many different types of cabinet shelving are available, including:

  • Movable shelves that sit on pins inserted into pre-drilled holes so you can adjust the shelf height
  • Permanent shelves that can’t be moved for maximum strength and stability
  • Rollout shelves to maximize storage space in pantries and lower cabinets
  • Lazy Susans, solutions for corner cabinets that feature round, rotating shelves for easy access

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Not all kitchen cabinets have handles and knobs. Many homeowners prefer to include them for their aesthetics and ease of use. Others skip this component to achieve a clean, minimalist look.

If you decide to include cabinet hardware, you’ll find a seemingly endless selection of styles, colors, and finishes. Consider the other elements in your kitchen to help you make the right selection. For instance:

  • If the countertops and cabinet doors have simple, clean lines, choose a similar design for your cabinet handles
  • If your cabinetry has ornate detailing, consider more elaborate knobs
  • Use a similar finish among all your kitchen fixtures and hardware, including handles, knobs, hinges, lighting, and faucets

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Kitchen cabinets are available in numerous materials, most of which are wood or engineered wood. Some popular options include:

  • Hardwood (species vary)
  • Plywood
  • Medium-density fiberboard
  • Particleboard
  • Wood veneer
  • Laminate
  • Thermofoil

Kitchen cabinet colors can go far beyond stained wood or white paint. Complete your cabinetry any way you wish, from modern shiny finishes to distressed farmhouse finishes and everything in between. Two-tone cabinets are also a popular way to incorporate multiple finishes throughout your kitchen.

Ready to begin selecting cabinetry for your kitchen renovation project? The Kitchen Master proudly sells cabinets from Omega, Dynasty by Omega, Decor, and Homecrest. Besides providing high-end products, our in-depth knowledge of kitchen cabinetry means we can guide the decision-making process to ensure you end up with the best cabinets to fit your space, style, and budget.

For help navigating the cabinet selection process, please contact us at (630) 369-0500.

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