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How To Find The Right Cabinets For Your Kitchen

Remodelling the kitchen is one of the biggest and most complicated home renovations that you can undertake. There are so many factors that go into a successful kitchen remodelling – counters, cabinets, plumbing, electricity – it can seem like it takes an entire army of contractors and specialists to carry out. The trick with a kitchen remodelling project is to break the job down into its constituent parts and tackle them one at a time. Perhaps the most important, and most expensive, of these individual jobs is your kitchen cabinetry. If you are beginning your kitchen remodel or are about to enter the cabinetry phase, below are some tips to help you find the right cabinets for your new kitchen.

Choose a cabinet style

The range of materials and styles that modern kitchen cabinetry comes in is staggering. It can make it hard to narrow down the ones best suited to your tastes, budget and the overall theme of your kitchen.

  • Stock cabinets are best suited to budget renovations. They come in standard sizes, are available quickly and are the most economical choice.
  • Semi-custom cabinets are a mid-range choice budget-wise and are best suited for homeowners who want a degree of customization but who aren’t willing, or able, to pay for fully customized cabinetry.
  • Fully custom cabinets are hand-made to your specifications, including the materials, finish and design that you specify. They are generally designed to make the most of the space available, and the craftsmanship and originality that goes into these types of cabinets come with a price tag to match.

Decide on your layout

Based on your storage needs and available space, a good kitchen designer will recommend you various types of base, wall, tall cabinets and drawers, but more likely than not, some combination of all of the above.

  • Base cabinets stand on the floor and are typically used for larger kitchen items such as cook and bakeware, small appliances and may even come with pullout shelves to help you store and access all of it.
  • Wall cabinets go over your countertop and are best suited for glasses, dishware and other delicate items.
  • Tall cabinetry is most commonly used as the pantry. They stand on the floor and may reach as far up as the ceiling depending on how much space you need and want.

The construction

Remodelling is something that most people will only ever undertake once, perhaps twice during the life of their kitchen, and as such, cabinets need to be able to stand up to years, perhaps even decades worth of wear and tear. Cabinets should preferably be made of solid wood or furniture-grade plywood with solid backs and drawers on the side. Dovetail joints, strong bottom support, and a full extension that allows you to easily reach drawers are very important.

Door style

Doors are more a matter of preference than anything else, but some doors provide much better accessibility than others. Frameless cabinetry requires full overlay doors, where the door completely covers the front of your cabinet and provides a seamless modern appearance. Framed cabinets are usually fitted with partial overlay doors that show the frame around the door.

Framed cabinets have the frame located at the front of the cabinet in order to stabilize the cabinet and keep it perfectly squared. The hinges are then attached to the frame, instead of simply to the cabinet itself. It is more common in traditionally styled kitchens, but is still effective in more modern ones as well.

Frameless doors, also known as Euro-style cabinets, typically feature much thicker side panels in an attempt to compensate for a lack of a front frame. The drawers, doors and shelves generally attach right on the side of the cabinet, and allow for additional space and improved access compared to framed cabinets. They are generally considered by decorators and designers to be more contemporary options compared to framed cabinets and provide a more minimalist, more seamless look in a modern kitchen.

Sustainably sourced wood

One of the most important material decisions you can (and should) make when choosing your kitchen cabinets is choosing wood that is ethically sourced. All over the world, hard and soft woods are illegally harvested from tropical rainforests, especially in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America, and sold on markets in the developed world. The demand for beautiful woods creates a need for unethical and unsustainable harvesting practices that damage ecology, and promote habitat destruction of flora and fauna, which coexist alongside the trees. Most reputable sellers will go out of their way to ensure that they are not buying or selling wood that was unethically sourced.

Choosing kitchen cabinetry requires planning and decisiveness, but with the right information, and some objectivity about your needs and your budget, it shouldn’t be hard to choose from the range of cabinetry options on the market. Keep the above tips and steps in mind and make one of the most important remodelling decisions about your kitchen — one that you will be happy with for a long time to come.

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