As the center of your home, your kitchen is one of the most vital spaces. You cook meals, gather with your family, and entertain your friends all in the same room.
Since the kitchen gets the most action of any room in the house, it has to work efficiently. That means the proper layout, design, and features. The one detail that controls all three of those is kitchen cabinets.
There’s more to choosing kitchen cabinets than the stain color and door style. The right cabinets create a better space to work. If you’re looking to buy kitchen cabinets, here are a few points to consider.
The Three Kitchen Cabinet Options
There are three types of cabinet constructions you can buy. These categories are how manufacturers label their cabinets.
Found at most home improvement stores, these cabinets are produced en-mass. Usually, they’re sold pre-assembled, so they’re ready for installation upon delivery. Some style, however, may need some assembly.
This is the least expensive cabinet option, with prices ranging from $100 to $300 per linear square foot. Because they’re mass-made, they usually come in limited colors, materials, and styles. Expect delivery within a few weeks.
These are stock cabinets but come with the option to add details that allow you to personalize the style and storage. With semi-custom cabinets, you have the freedom to add new features but only to a certain extent.
With semi-custom, you’ll be able to change the dimensions or door style to fit your needs. You can usually find semi-custom cabinets ranging from $15- to $650 per linear foot. Delivery takes longer—between four and eight weeks.
If you know exactly what you want and don’t see it on the shelves, custom cabinets are probably best for you. The manufacturer will build these cabinets to your specified dimensions, style, material, and finish.
You’ll get the unique features you see in high-end kitchens like a coffee station, built-in mixer stand, and abundant storage. These features fetch a higher price of $500 to $1,200 per linear foot with longer production times.
Before buying kitchen cabinets, you have to have the measurements. Be accurate and measure a few times to avoid making mistakes in cabinet size down the road.
Consider how much room you’ll need to hold cookware, appliances, food, and dishes. Allow your needs to guide you when choosing cabinet size.
Across different manufacturers, stock cabinets tend to fall within the same range of sizes. Some common measurements for stock cabinets include:
- Cabinet widths – 12 to 36 inches
- Wall cabinet height – 12 to 42 inches
- Wall cabinet depth – 24 inches
- Base cabinet height – 32 to 38 inches
- Base cabinet width – 9 to 46 inches
- Tall cabinets height – 84, 90, or 96 inches
The same stock cabinets may come in different measurement options depending on the manufacturer. Custom, of course, creates more measurement freedom.
Framed vs. Frameless
Framed and frameless describe the style in which the cabinets are built. This can also affect the look and design options.
Framed cabinets are the most common type of cabinet. They have a box that creates the cabinet’s body and a face frame that covers the edges, enclosing the box.
Cabinet frames can extend about two inches over the opening. Framed construction adds strength to the overall integrity of the cabinet. This style also provides a surface to mount the cabinet doors.
The opposite of framed, frameless is, as it sounds like—cabinets without the face frame. The lack of frame allows you to access the full interior of the cabinet much easier.
Frameless cabinets usually have a thicker cabinet box that’s sturdied to keep the integrity. Doors and drawers attach directly to the box on a frameless cabinet. Popular in Europe, this kind of cabinet looks more contemporary.
When it comes to aesthetics, you’ll want to focus on two main aspects: the door and the material. Together, these two will determine the look of your kitchen.
Cabinet doors can sit as a partial overlay, a full overlay, or inset. Partial overlay and inset doors are more traditional, while full overlay offers a seamless look.
There are also a few door designs to consider. Raised panel and cathedral doors are traditional, while slab doors provide a modern touch. Shaker and bedboard doors offer a transitional look.
You’ll find cabinets in everything from solid wood to particleboard to metal. Traditional kitchens tend to use wood and wood-looking projects. In contrast, contemporary designs boast sleeker materials like metal.
Consider Your Budget
Your budget should definitely be one of the top priorities when it comes to buying kitchen cabinets. You’ll want to consider the kitchen you’re planning to remodel as well as what you feel comfortable spending.
If you’re flipping a home or planning to sell soon, you may want to buy used kitchen cabinets or discount cabinets. This can save you money and increase your return on investment.
But if you’re planning on living in the home and using the kitchen for years, investing in higher-quality cabinets may be the right choice for you.
Where to Buy Cabinets
If you’re looking to get ideas or want to compare styles, start online. Take stock of what’s available on the market and what you may like. From there, you can check on some stores to see if you like the cabinet in-person.
Big box home improvement stores and local kitchen cabinet showrooms may offer different stock, so be sure to check both. Showrooms are also a great place to go if you’re considering custom cabinets.
And if you know exactly what you want and don’t need the help of a store employee, you can buy kitchen cabinets online.
You may not always get someone to assemble and install, so be sure you understand the service you’re paying for.
Buy Kitchen Cabinets Like a Pro
You deserve a kitchen that looks like it was designed by a professional. Whether you hire a designer or do it yourself, a stunning kitchen isn’t hard to achieve if you start with a great base.
Knowing what to consider before you buy kitchen cabinets can help you get the best quality cabinets and make tough design decisions. With these tips, your dream kitchen is right around the corner.
Feeling inspired to upgrade your kitchen? Check out more home and design inspiration articles, then share this with a friend!