28 Dec The New Age of Kitchen Cabinets
Knowing the basics of today’s cabinetry options
There is no doubt that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s often the center of attention. Home improvement expenditure reached 326.1 billion dollars in 2015, the focal point of which is usually the cabinetry. Today’s kitchens are designed to multi-task and take on all related challenges. With enough options of finishes and hardware to satisfy any taste and budget, there has never been an easier time to get the kitchen you imagine for the price that you can afford.
Currently, the market favors stock and semi-custom cabinets. There are a few obvious reasons for the popularity of the former, stock cabinets. For one thing, they’re the most affordable. For another, they can be delivered almost immediately. Also, unlike in years past, they are no longer limited in their accessory options. You have an endless variety of hardware to choose from, including furniture feet and full extension glides. Semi-Custom cabinets may still have the advantage with a wider range of sizes, finishes and styles. On the high end, custom cabinets are designed to the homeowner’s specifications. They are the ideal, but they’re also the most expensive and it could take up to twelve weeks before they’re ready to go.
Also more than ever, today’s cabinets are designed to be user-friendly. They feature options such as full extension roll-out shelves that keep you from scraping your knuckles when reaching in for items that are deeply buried. They’re great – large drawers in base cabinets can easily accommodate bulky items like pots pans and/or a wealth of dry goods. As a result of their convenience and capability, they’re also widely converted into pull-out recycling bins. Meanwhile, attractively designed open storage systems that are ‘built-in’ (such as wine racks or china displays) look great even when not in use.
In regards to picking the right cabinets for your kitchen, remember that light colored woods such as oak and maple will make your kitchen appear brighter and more spacious. On the other end of that spectrum, darker woods like cherry and mahogany appear to take up more room. To minimize the perception of space the cabinets consume, manufactures now offer turned leg pieces that imitate the look of furniture. Taking the concept even further, door trim kits for appliances are available, but compatibility should first be confirmed by the manufacturer.
The foundation of a cabinet is its box. The stronger and heavier it is, the better. Ideally, it has at least half inch thick walls or structural rails that can be attached with screws or wall studs. The box may be constructed of medium density fiberboard (MDF) but most often it is your basic variety plywood that is used. Metal braces are attached to the corners to supply additional rigidity. On higher quality models, dovetail joints are found in the drawers as well as an interior finish that matches that of the exterior.
When you are actually purchasing your cabinets at a physical location, remember to pick up a general cabinet repair kit. Typically it should include colored wax, putty or markers to set nails or repair dings. Also, pick up a few extra hinges and drawer slide systems. These items tend to be the first to wear out in cabinets. Having replacements on hand makes the already painless task of swapping them out all that easier. Naturally, you should confirm that all parts and pieces have been included before installing your cabinets to prevent any inconvenient delays.
Stock cabinets are intended to be ready to install (RTA) so the consumers can do it themselves, but it’s perfectly common to hire a professional to handle the job. Often times, it’s a practical case of better safe, than sorry.