The right kitchen cabinets can provide beautiful and functional storage for your home for years. However, many homeowners need help with cabinet problems due to low-quality construction methods soon after purchase. Fortunately, several characteristics of high-quality kitchen cabinets will help you make the right choice.
One of the most important features of high-quality kitchen cabinets is their drawer glides. They are critical to supporting cabinet drawers’ smooth and silent movement over years of hard use. Drawer glides come in two basic types: side mount and under mount. These slides attach to either the side or underside of your drawers and require a clearance (usually about 1/2 inch) between them and your cabinet opening. The type of slide you choose depends on how you plan to use your drawers and how heavily they’ll be loaded. For instance, a drawer opened once a night with pills would need to support more than 100 pounds, while drawers opened four times a day with heavy items like tungsten cubes must keep at least 90 pounds. Some drawer slides have a soft-close feature that adds a dampening effect that closes the drawer without slamming. Others have a self-closing function that pulls the drawer in with only a slight nudge.
The hinges used in high-quality kitchen cabinets Seattle are often stainless steel. They are designed to withstand moisture and rust in an environment like a kitchen.
Choosing the right hinge for your cabinet doors is a major factor in your cabinets’ overall look and feel. It is also essential to pick the hinges that are compatible with the door style you have chosen. Four types of overlay hinges exist full overlay, partial overlay, inset and surface mount. Using a tape measure, determine the best fit for your cabinet doors and face frame openings. Partial overlay hinges cover the face frame or cabinet edge, while full overlay covers all. These hinges are available in various sizes and styles to meet your needs.
Kitchen cabinets should have interior surfaces that are non-porous, wipe-clean and tough enough to last the life of the cabinet without staining or bubbling. The most common surface materials include melamine, a smooth, tough polymer laminated to plywood or particleboard, and wood veneers. Plywood is the most durable and strongest option, making it a great choice for high-quality cabinets. It also allows for customizations, like face frames and up to 1/8-inch incremental adjustments in base box sizes, finished interiors, beadboard ends or interiors, glass-ready open-front or mullion doors, storage units and angled end cabinets. Thermofoil or PET laminate is another common kitchen cabinet material that uses a vinyl film vacuum sealed with heat over MDF to create a durable, easy-to-care-for, non-porous surface. High gloss thermofoil, in particular, creates a shiny, reflective surface that enhances the look of any kitchen.
A face frame is affixed to the front of the cabinet box in framed cabinets, sometimes called American-style cabinetry. This 1-1/2′′ frame resembles an empty picture frame and helps support the cabinet box where it is weakest: the opening. Frames can be decorated in various styles, including traditional, contemporary and transitional. They are typically available in inset, partial overlay and full overlay construction. When framed, doors and drawer fronts attach directly to the frame and are secured by hinges. This type of construction gives framed cabinets more strength and sturdiness than similar frameless options. Cabinets with this construction are pre-assembled or RTA (Ready To Assemble). Factory methods combine wood parts using dovetail joints, hot and cold glue, power fasteners, and other industrial techniques.