Selecting your cabinets is probably the biggest and most important decision you will make during your kitchen remodel.Not only are cabinets the most expensive element in the kitchen, they really dominate the overall look of the kitchen.For those reasons, it is imperative that you do your research, and find a firm that you feel will provide you with the right cabinets.
What's your style? The first consideration when selecting cabinets is to figure out what style of kitchen you desire.A modern, contemporary kitchen will have cabinets that are quite different from a more traditional kitchen.Let us first talk about the contemporary kitchen.These cabinets will almost certainly need to be a European or frameless cabinet, also known as full access cabinets.These cabinets do not have a face frame like traditional cabinets; rather they have their doors and drawers connected to the wall side of the cabinet instead of a frame.These cabinets have more space in them, as the face frames end up taking up valuable space.Door styles include the traditional looking doors, as well as flat, more contemporary styles doors.These cabinets also have some really neat finishes available, including thermofoils, acrilux, exotic veneers, and more.The more traditional styled cabinets utilize a face frame which is attached to the front of the cabinet box.Doors and drawers are then hung on the frame of the cabinet.These cabinets are generally more popular in America, although the European styled frameless cabinets are gaining in popularity. We luckily have all these styles available in Kellerman's Baton Rouge showroom.
The finish is IMPORTANT! One of the main things you need to make sure of is that your cabinets have a nice finish.The ONLY finish we recommend is a conversion varnish finish..Conversion varnish is the standard for fine furniture as well as kitchen and bath cabinets.If someone is trying to talk you into getting shop built cabinets that are either unfinished or have any other finish than conversion varnish, you should not heed their advice!Conversion varnish is the most non-yellowing, mar resistant and moisture resistant finish available.It is considered a lifetime finish, and it feels and looks absolutely beautiful.Even for a "painted" cabinet, conversion varnish should be used.The varnish starts out clear, but for a painted cabinet, they pigment the varnish to give it an opaque look.If you are looking for a custom paint or stain color, you will have to choose a factory cabinet that does custom finishes.There is always an up charge to do custom finishing, so you might want to try and find a suitable standard finish that looks good.Most factory cabinets have plenty choices in their standard offerings.Specialty finishes such as glazed and distressed finishes have become very popular in recent times.These finishes are more complicated to produce, so of course they cost more money.Pay careful attention to the quality of these finishes, as some factories are not as good as others at achieving this special look.
Take a peek at my drawers... Cabinet drawers are an important element of your cabinets, as this must provide a solid drawer box as well as smooth action while opening and closing.The cheapest drawer slides are epoxy coated, side mounted slides.The mid-range slide is an undermount epoxy slide, and the nicest is a slide called blum-motion.This is an under mounted slide that has a mechanism that allows the drawer to softly close, even when slammed.The better the drawer slide, the more it cost.The drawer box itself can either be made of plywood or hardwood.The nicest drawer box is a hardwood drawer box with dovetail joints.Combine this drawer box with blum-motion, and you have the "mack-daddy" of all drawers.This is quickly becoming the standard drawer system in the upper end cabinets.
Door hinges Door hinges also come in a variety of styles.The cheapest and least desirable is a youngsdale hinge that is actually cut into the cabinet door, and you can actually see part of the hinge on the outside of the door.The preferred hinge is a European hinge which is totally concealed when the door is closed.These hinges are inserted in a 35mm hole that is especially bored in the cabinet door to receive the hinge.The hinges allow for three way adjustments - up and down, left and right, and in and out.This is very helpful as cabinet doors will move just a bit when adjusting to various climatic conditions.Barrel hinges are also available for inset doors.These are expensive and do not allow for a lot of adjustment.
It's more than just a box The cabinet box of any cabinet should be built of quality materials.The cabinet box refers to the wall sides, top, bottom, and back of a cabinet.Different materials and thicknesses are available - we recommend at least a 5/8" material, with ¾" material being even better.As for the material of the cabinet box, plywood and particle board are the two primary materials available.Some people have a real hang up about particle board, and we are not really sure why.Perhaps they are thinking about the particle board of long ago which was an inferior product.Today, great strides have been made with the engineered panels such as particle board.If you ever wondered why your fine, cherry, dining room table weighs so much, it's because the cherry veneer is applied to a particle board substrate.For cabinets, these panels are either overlaid with a maple type veneer or a melamine surface.Plywood panels generally are made of birch and have a clear finish.Whatever material you choose, make sure the cabinet pieces are properly joined together with either dowels or screws.The shelves inside the cabinet should definitely be ¾" thick and adjustable.
And last but certainly not least, the doors and drawer front of the cabinets are a major factor when selecting the cabinetry.Since the doors and drawers are really what you see, they really provide the overall style.A simple designed door will cost much less than a fancy looking door.Also, the overall wood type of the cabinets will greatly affect the price as well.
Now that you know more about cabinets than most people, you realize that there are many elements of a cabinet that affect the price and overall look.This is where a good kitchen professional can help you make your decision.The best firm to deal with is someone who has enough of a selection so that you can "shop within" their showroom for the right look and the right price range. At our showroom in Baton Rouge, we have factory AND custom cabinets to fit any price range. This is why it is important to have your budget worked out in advance, so that you do not waste your time looking at cabinets in the wrong price range.If you have not read the section on budgeting, now would be a good time to do so.