If you are in the market to remodel your kitchen, you will be faced with lots of decisions to make. Budget, style, cabinetry, layout, appliances, lighting, increasing the footprint, countertops and many other choices.They all are important and need to be taken into consideration to achieve a world class kitchen remodel that you will enjoy for years to come.
One of the most important questions about cabinetry is Framed Cabinets or Frameless cabinets? Do you like Full overlay door or partial overlay doors? Do you want a European kitchen design or traditional American design? Do you want Ready to Assemble cabinets, Semi-custom cabinets, or custom cabinets? Do you want doors with an inset, flat panel or bevel? What type of wood species do you want your cabinets? These questions are just a sample of questions that need to answered when you are choosing your kitchen cabinets. Trust me, I know it can be a bit overwhelming if you’re just getting started on your kitchen remodel and kitchen design.
Don’t let all of these questions frighten you away, especially after looking at the various pricing of the different cabinet options. It will all make sense, if you understand the basics and can fully understand what makes one cabinet different from another one. Remember: “All cabinets are not created equal”.
Let’s begin looking at the two most popular types of cabinets: framed cabinets and frameless cabinets. The framed cabinets are a more traditional type of cabinet in a traditional style kitchen design. The framed cabinet comes with a border that has a piece of wood, which is about 1″ the framed cabinet door has a lip over the frame of the cabinet. The framed cabinet doors can come in standard overlay, full overlay and inset. In the standard or overlay, there is a partial overlay on the frame. In a full overlay door style, there is an overlap on the leaving a small portion, sometimes about 1/4″ of the face frame exposed. An Inset door style has the entire frame opening exposed and is typically installed flush within the face frame.
The frameless cabinets are most often used in a transitional or modern kitchen design. These cabinets are frequently known as “European” cabinet style. In the frameless cabinet design, you will not find a wood frame around the front, since the doors and hinges are attached directly to the walls of the cabinet. This also requires the frameless cabinets to be slightly thicker than a framed cabinet. Another feature of the frameless cabinets is that they offer a wider opening and more access to the contents inside the cabinets. When the kitchen is complete you only see cabinet doors and drawer fronts and there is no center stile coming down in the middle when there are two doors on a cabinet. You also have more room for storage, which is important if you are tight on space.
In the frameless cabinet design, you will not find a wood frame around the front, since the doors and hinges are attached directly to the walls of the cabinet. This also requires the frameless cabinets to be slightly thicker than a framed cabinet. Another feature of the frameless cabinets is that they offer a wider opening and give you more access to the contents inside the cabinets.
If you are looking for a more traditional kitchen, you may consider using a framed kitchen cabinet. If you find aesthetic features, such as crown molding that is more ornate, this may suit your design style preferences much better. If you are looking for more contemporary kitchen or have tighter space, you may want to consider using a frameless cabinet. You will also find that if you are looking for a more transitional look for your kitchen, you can find something in either cabinet style that will blend nicely in your kitchen design.
After you decide on what cabinet style works best for your kitchen remodel, you need to understand what makes up the variances in the kitchen cabinet pricing. There are so many things to look at, sometimes it can be overwhelming. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) can help you navigate through this process, by helping to understand a few fundamentals of kitchen cabinetry.
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) there are several features that are important to consider when considering the quality of kitchen cabinets, form, function and the best price. Important factors to consider when choosing a kitchen cabinet include:
- Cabinet Construction Quality
- Door Style
- Drawer Glides
- Storage Options
- Material Specifications
- Customization options
Once you understand the primary tangible and intangible differences between the various levels of kitchen cabinet quality, you will be more equipped to understand the wide variance in kitchen cabinet pricing. This will also help you work your way through a successful kitchen design process.
Remember: “You get what you pay for.” If it sounds too good to be true, most often it is. Your kitchen remodel is an important investment in your home. Don’t settle for cheap, poorly built cabinetry. Invest in the time to understand what you should be looking for in a quality kitchen cabinet that will last and look beautiful for many years for you to enjoy.