Whether you’re remodeling a kitchen or building one from scratch in a custom home, you’re going to spend a lot of time thinking about cabinetry. When your contractor starts rattling off all the different options, it can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with all of the lingo. Here’s your guide to the most common terms you’ll come across.
The material refers to what your cabinets are made of. If your cabinets are wood, this means that they are solid wood, but often this is reserved for the doors and drawer fronts. Particleboard is a composite material made from wood chips and particles. MDF, or medium density fiberboard, is similar to particleboard, but it is produced under pressure. The end result is a denser board that is ideal for cabinet boxes. Finally, plywood is also an engineered wood, made by compressing thin layers of wood together.
Frameless cabinets offer a sleek look and design. They are a five-sided box where the door is mounted inside the box via hinges. Face frame refers to cabinets where that box has a frame on the front that the doors are mounted to. The doors can either lie on top of the frame (overlay) or flush with the frame (inset) when they’re closed.
Preassembled cabinets are the cheapest and easiest available. They come in a variety of standard colors, shapes, and sizes, but they offer no customization. Semi-custom refers to the selection of styles, sizes and colors that you have from a cabinet maker’s catalog. You have some customization options but only within the bounds of what the maker offers. Shop made cabinets are entirely made to order and fully customizable to fit the needs of your unique kitchen.
The most common cabinetry finishes are paints or stains, but you will also likely hear about lacquer and glaze. Paint is usually oil or latex based and produces an opaque finish in a nearly unlimited variety of colors. A stain is a wood dye treatment that colors the wood and providence’s shine but. It an opaque coating. Lacquer is similar to paint, but with a much higher shine. A glaze is added over paint to give the cabinets an antique look.
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