How to Choose the Right Kitchen Cabinets

March 26, 2018

Choosing the right kitchen cabinet style can be daunting. With today's cabinet making technology, the possibilities are almost endless in terms of cabinet design. Not all cabinets are created equal, so knowing how to spend your renovation dollar is important based on your investment in your home. 


transitional-kitchen (1).jpgImage via Braam's Custom Cabinets


1. Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets allow the greatest design flexibility and typically offer the highest quality of construction. They’re also usually the most expensive option.

With custom cabinets, the quality of the designer and cabinetmaker makes the difference between a successful project and an unsatisfactory one. In most cases, custom cabinet construction uses joints constructed with dovetails, dowels or mortise-and-tenon techniques. These are more sound than the screwed, glued and even nailed joints you may find in a semi-custom or stock cabinet. Custom cabinets usually don't have particleboard, commonly found in lesser quality cabinetry. This means that well-designed custom cabinets have the potential to last the life of your home.


traditional-kitchen-16.jpgImage via Braam's Custom Cabinets


traditional-kitchen (1)-4.jpgImage via Village Handcrafted Cabinetry


2. Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets are more widely used than any other cabinet type. This semi-customizable nature simplifies both the design and manufacturing processes, providing sound function and acceptable versatility for many homeowners.
The nice thing about this cabinet type is that you can achieve the high end look of custom cabinetry without the higher price tag. 


transitional-kitchen (2)-1.jpgImage via collaborative interiors


natural-cherry-kitchen-cabinets-Kitchen-Traditional-with-coffered-ceiling-gray-grey.jpgImage via Renovation Planning & Interiors


3. Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are often used in garages, but they are also used in kitchens and bathrooms. Stock cabinets are usually offered on site, meaning you can pick them up from a local hardware store and install them the same day. The downside is the quality of construction, which can sometimes be terrible, and the limited size options. 

If you’re designing a kitchen around stock cabinets, concessions will need to be made. This relates to both design originality and how perfectly the stock cabinets fill your specific kitchen’s space and shape.


3411780e0f3c005a_1954-w618-h463-b0-p0--transitional-kitchen.jpgImage via Allied Kitchen, Bath, Home and Outdoor Living



traditional-kitchen (2)-4.jpgImage via Theresa Fine


4. Face-Frame Cabinets

Framed cabinets use a face frame consisting of stiles (running vertically) and rails (running horizontally) to cover the cabinet box. This is the most traditional construction type. Standard overlay doors, inset doors and full overlay doors are the typical methods of setting the cabinet doors, and each method impacts the look and style of your cabinets. Standard overlay is usually the least expensive method, but the technique has become somewhat dated. Full overlay doors provide a clean look similar to that offered in frameless construction.

The doors on the face-framed cabinets above are inset, meaning the door face is set to sit flush with the face frame. This is a premium style that takes more careful planning and execution, and costs more than most other styles. The authentic look is clean-lined, fitting modern aesthetics as well as more traditional sensibilities with its visible face-frame construction.


transitional-kitchen-13.jpgImage via Jenni Leasia Design


contemporary-kitchen-17.jpgImage via Turan Designs, Inc.


5. Frameless or Flat Panel Cabinets

The kitchen cabinets below are constructed with frameless construction. There’s no face frame, and the modern look and clean lines work with a variety of styles. This construction method also maximizes the usable space for drawers, but only by a small degree.


e1a1d9c10a2ece34_1406-w500-h400-b0-p0--.jpgImage via Savvy Kitchens


If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page. 

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