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While choices are great, they can also be overwhelming if you don’t have a basic understanding of the products and their differences. We’ve gathered some information on key product elements to give you an overview of the details of cabinetry.
Putting Together the Pieces of a Functional Kitchen
As you begin to look at different cabinet lines, you’ll notice that they are usually classified into categories such as Wall, Tall, Base, Vanity, Other Room and Accessories. These categories are intended to provide quick reference points to help you navigate the breadth of the lines and number of options that are available to you.
- Wall category consists of cabinets that are hung on the wall, sometimes called upper cabinets
- Base, Tall, and Vanity are designed to rest on the floor, sometimes called lowers
How a cabinet is built determines how it looks and functions. Hinges, shelving and even finishing options can vary greatly depending on the type of construction used. These basics will help you determine what construction type is best for you.
Framed is the more traditional construction type, with rails and stiles forming a “frame” at the front of the cabinet box. Framed cabinets attach door hinges to frame face and wall shelves are usually adjustable. Partial, and full overlay door styles can be used with framed cabinets.
European-inspired frameless cabinetry provides a sleek, modern look, available in styles that range from traditional to contemporary. With no face frame at the front of the cabinet box, designs have a tighter, more streamlined look, and you also have greater space for content storage.
Engineered Wood Materials
Some cabinets utilize various wood materials to provide strength, durability and consistent quality.
- Particleboard/Furniture Board – Board made from a mixture of real wood shavings and binding material, such as resin, which are refined and bonded together, then compressed with high heat and pressure.
- Plywood – A panel made from an odd number of wood veneer layers which are bonded together with the grain of each layer running at right angles to the next. All plywood components meet ANSI/HPVA HP-1 standards, and may contain MDF or particleboard.
- Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) – Formed by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers. Heat and pressure are used to form a homogenous board excellent for machining and painting.
- Raised Panel - The center panel of the door is elevated
Recessed or Flat Panel
- Recessed or Flat Panel – The center panel of the door is set lower
- Full Overlay – The door of the cabinet overlays (or covers) the entire face frame
- Partial Overlay – The door of the cabinet only partially overlays, leaving part of the matching frame exposed
Decorative Surface Treatment
A glaze is a hand-applied accent over a stain or solid base coat designed to accentuate the detail of the wood and replicate the look of antique furniture. Hand application provides for natural variations from door to door, creating an individual look for your kitchen.
Authentic Ends Decorative overlay panels for cabinet sides or island backs can be factory installed or job-site installed depending upon the application. The decorative panels provide a more built-in and custom look.