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Kitchen Cabinets Buying Guide

Erecting or remodeling a kitchen is an expensive venture. The experience sometimes overwhelms even the hardiest shopper because of the number of choices. For the largest component of your kitchen -- the cabinets -- let us help you sort out the information and ease the process. 

Types of Kitchen Cabinets

Types of Kitchen Cabinets

Budget initially determines what kind of cabinets you install. Determine a narrow dollar range youíre comfortable spending, then see which cabinets fall in that range. Next, evaluate your space. If you have a straightforward box-shape kitchen, youíll be able to work with any cabinets. If your kitchen contains a lot of nooks and crannies, often found in older homes, you may be restricted to custom-made or expensive cabinets that come in more sizes. Finally, consider your time frame. Basic stock cabinets can come home with you from the store; custom cabinets take weeks or even months to construct.

Framed or Frameless Construction

A framed cabinet features a frame around the front edge of the cabinet that shows around the door edges. The door hinges mount to the frame. The frame helps keep the cabinet square. It is usually the same material as the door, though the actual cabinet box may be constructed of particleboard. Frameless cabinets do not have the frame around the front. The door hinges screw into the sides of the cabinet, and the door covers the cabinet front completely. Without the frame, the cabinet opening is larger. Frameless cabinets present a smooth, seamless cabinet front and often create a contemporary look.

shop Framed or Frameless Construction
Wholesale Interiors
$307.99 $493.00
at DCG Stores

Natural wood top and white lacquered base exude a cozy, cottage style charm 3 easy to access shelves for holding wine bottles, coo...kware, glassware or flatware Drawer and cabinet provide additional storage space for non-perishables and sundries Nickel finished handles allow quick and easy access to the compartments Eco-friendly rubberwood and engineered wood construction ensures a secure, dependable framework Equipped with a built-in towel bar for hanging washcloths 4 caster wheels let you move the unit around smoothly Locking mechanism keeps the cart stable when needed Handy addition to a contemporary kitchen Recommended care: wipe clean with a damp cloth Assembly required read more

Paula Deen
$1,445.00 $1,729.99
at Hayneedle

What's in a name is not what the Paula Deen Home Paulas Kitchen Organizer Cabinet - Linen is limited to, which is to say this stat...ement-making organizer is just as at home in the bathroom or bedroom as it is in the kitchen. Crafted with durable select hardwood and poplar veneers, this tall cabinet boasts an upper two-doored cabinet with interior shelves and a magazine rack and corkboard inside the doors. Below, five drawers include a drop-front drawer for electronics with a built-in wire-management system. Two removable wire baskets are ideal for wash rags or linens, and antique-inspired hardware in a rustic distressed white finish amp up the vintage vibe. About Paula Deen Southern cooking queen Paula Deen is known to millions as a popular TV show cooking host on the Food Network, as well as a bestselling author. The Georgia native parlayed a home-based meal delivery service into her successful Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah, Ga. In 2008, Deen partnered with Meyer Corporation to launch a line of signature cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools, and accessories, which are used by home cooks everywhere. read more

Chelsea Home

Don't sweat the small stuff - stash it in the Chelsea Home Hannah Small Kitchen Cabinet. Crafted with durable solid Eastern white ...pine wood finished in pale buttermilk stain, this piece gets antique-country flair from heavy distressing. The simply carved door opens to cabinet space with an adjustable shelf for dishes, linens, glassware, books and papers, and more. At the top, a slim drawer can catch silverware and napkins or pens and note paper. Painted round wooden knobs are an understated finish. About Chelsea Home Furniture Providing home elegance in upholstery products such as recliners, stationary upholstery, leather, and accent furniture including chairs, chaises, and benches is the most important part of Chelsea Home Furniture's operations. Bringing high quality, classic and traditional designs that remain fresh for generations to customers' homes is no burden, but a love for hospitality and home beauty. The majority of Chelsea Home Furniture's products are made in the USA, while all are sought after throughout the industry and will remain a staple in home furnishings. read more

Simpli Home
at Amazon

The Kitchener Medium Storage Cabinet is a great multi-purpose storage unit that can be used in any room of the house. With a large... storage space, and 4 adjustable shelves, the unit can be used to store dishware, books, dvds & cds, knick knacks, and electronic components. Perfect for any contemporary or transitional setting, it has clean lines and attractive brushed nickel door pulls. read more

Basic Cabinets

The most inexpensive cabinets are the kind you find stocked at home centers. Basic cabinets may be assembled or ready-to-assemble, finished or unfinished. Typically basic cabinets are plywood boxes with plywood doors topped by a wood veneer. Style options are generally limited, and you wonít find many storage accessories, such as lazy Susans or pull-down sponge holders. These cabinets are sold in dimensions measured out in 3-inch increments.

Midlevel Cabinets

Midlevel cabinets are available at home centers, and youíll find them at kitchen cabinetry stores. These finished cabinets come with choices of door styles, storage components, and accessories, such as valances. The cabinets may still contain inexpensive materials, such as particleboard. They also need to be preordered. A kitchen designer or software tool helps you pick out and organize the cabinets, which follow standard measurements in 3-inch increments.

High-End or Custom Cabinets

At the top of the price range, custom cabinets come with every available accessory; in unusual materials, such as zebrawood; and in dimensions that break down to ľ-inch increments. These precise cabinets, constructed of the best materials, offer interesting style options. The cabinets may be solid wood as opposed to plywood. Custom cabinets handmade by a cabinetmaker fall at the top of a budget. Designed for your specific kitchen, the cabinets can be contoured around awkward spaces or features, such as a chimney column. Materials used determine the pricing. Custom cabinets with plywood boxes cost less than ones with solid wood boxes.

Base Cabinets

Base cabinets are the cabinets that rest on the floor. They contain the sink and surround appliances, such as the range and dishwasher.

shop Base Cabinets
Wholesale Interiors
$307.99 $493.00
at DCG Stores

Natural wood top and white lacquered base exude a cozy, cottage style charm 3 easy to access shelves for holding wine bottles, coo...kware, glassware or flatware Drawer and cabinet provide additional storage space for non-perishables and sundries Nickel finished handles allow quick and easy access to the compartments Eco-friendly rubberwood and engineered wood construction ensures a secure, dependable framework Equipped with a built-in towel bar for hanging washcloths 4 caster wheels let you move the unit around smoothly Locking mechanism keeps the cart stable when needed Handy addition to a contemporary kitchen Recommended care: wipe clean with a damp cloth Assembly required read more

Wall Cabinets

Wall cabinets mount on the walls and suspend above the countertop. They may encompass the microwave and cover the range hood.

shop Wall Cabinets

Tall Cabinets

Tall floor-to-ceiling boxes house pullout shelves for a pantry or surround a wall oven.

shop Tall Cabinets

Product Features

Product Features

When you shop for cabinets, spend time in the showroom pulling out drawers and evaluating the available storage in cupboards. Avoid relying just on a contractor or kitchen designer; youíll be happiest with cabinets you pick out by evaluating these features:


Cabinet boxes, which support heavy stacks of dinner plates and appliances like stand mixers, need to be as sturdy as possible. Boxes constructed of Ĺ-inch-thick to ĺ-inch-thick wood are best. Anything thinner will probably sag over time. If you want easy-to-clean cabinets, look for box interiors painted or coated in melamine.


Inside the cabinet boxes, look for sturdy load-supporting shelves, such as ĺ-inch particleboard or wood. Youíll also want shelves to be adjustable to different heights. Check the durability of the mounting hardware, which may consist of plastic pegs, which often break; wood dowels, which may warp; or metal brackets, the strongest option.


A dizzying array of cabinet door styles exists. Because they set the visual tone for your entire kitchen, choose doors carefully and buy the best quality you can afford in the style you want. Check the finishes from one door to the next; the finishes should be consistent and even. Light-color cabinets appear brighter but tend to show more grime. Dark-color cabinets camouflage fingerprints but often show dust.


The drawers take the most wear and tear in your kitchen, so look for good drawer construction, including tight corners with dovetail joints. Avoid corners anchored with staples. Also avoid drawers with bottoms made of thin particleboard, which sags over time.


Hardware includes what you see (cabinet knobs and drawer handles) as well as what you donít (drawer slides and door hinges). Knobs and handles are a matter of personal style preference, but they should be solid in feel and easy to attach to the cabinetry. For drawer slides, look for full-extension slides, which allow the entire drawer to pull out easily. Soft-close slides, which catch and close the drawer as you push it in, offer a nice feature. Look for fully adjustable hinges on the cabinet doors. After a cabinet door opens and closes a thousand times, it may start to swing crookedly. An adjustable hinge lets you realign the door. Doors also come with soft-close hinges.

Mounting Method

Cabinets need to be solidly anchored to the walls. Installers start by screwing mounting strips through the drywall or wall plaster and into the framing studs. Then they screw the cabinet boxes to the mounting strips. Make sure the mounting strips are made of solid wood or metal with holes. A softer material may not support the weight of fully loaded cabinets over time.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Here are some other factors that will impact your budget and the way youíll live with your cabinets over the long term:

Installation Costs

Paying laborers or installers to put in your kitchen cabinets can easily cost as much as the cabinets themselves. If you pay laborers to put together ready-to-assemble cabinets or you buy cabinets that require customized storage inserts, you may spend even more. Is there a delivery fee? If the cabinets come delivered in cardboard boxes, who takes care of recycling the boxes? Discuss these installation factors and costs with the store where you buy the cabinets to help determine an overall price.

Finish Materials

There are many different finish styles youíll encounter as you shop. Hereís a basic explanation of each. Solid wood cabinets are assembled from pieces cut from one type of wood and then are stained or clear-finished. Other cabinets may be assembled of plywood then receive a wood veneer, a thin strip of real wood thatís glued to the sides, frame, or door. For cabinet doors with color or a wood look, you may choose ones that are painted. Some fiberboard doors are covered in thermofoil, a thin layer of vinyl that mimics wood grain and comes in a variety of colors. Cabinet doors and shelves also come covered in laminate or melamine, which are plastic coatings. Finally, some cabinet boxes are metal, and they may have stainless-steel doors or metal doors coated in colorful enamel.

Universal Design

For anyone with limited mobility, vision impairment, or any kind of restricted use of his or her hands, many kitchen cabinetry decisions can make life easier. Consider adding lights inside cabinets or under the upper cabinets to illuminate the countertops. Soft-catch drawer slides and drawer hinges prevent you from slamming fingers. Large, easy-to-grasp handles make opening and closing doors or drawers easier. Finally, as you plan the kitchen layout, consult with a designer who is trained in universal design features. He or she will assist with optimal cabinet placement.


Embellishments and adornments compose the final element of cabinetry selection. These add-ons include trim, molding, onlays, medallions, columns, corbels, and feet. If you pick a certain type of cabinet, these elements may be suggested to you. For example, traditional cabinets in an old-world style might come with several feet designs, which fit into the toe-kick space at the bottom of a base cabinet and make it look like furniture. Or, if you have a bar area with a countertop that extends several inches past the base cabinet, a selection of corbels, columns, or brackets might be offered. These decorative pieces arenít needed for the function of the cabinets. Unless they are incorporated into the cabinet package price, they add extra cost.

Furniture on sale
Wholesale Interiors
$307.99 $493.00
at DCG Stores

Natural wood top and white lacquered base exude a cozy, cottage style charm 3 easy to access shelves for holding wine bottles, coo...kware, glassware or flatware Drawer and cabinet provide additional storage space for non-perishables and sundries Nickel finished handles allow quick and easy access to the compartments Eco-friendly rubberwood and engineered wood construction ensures a secure, dependable framework Equipped with a built-in towel bar for hanging washcloths 4 caster wheels let you move the unit around smoothly Locking mechanism keeps the cart stable when needed Handy addition to a contemporary kitchen Recommended care: wipe clean with a damp cloth Assembly required read more

Denver Kitchen Cart - Natural Top, White Base, Cabinet, Casters
Hooker Furniture
$1,898.00 $2,967.00
at Cymax

Celebrate being together with dining, kitchen and game room furniture from Hooker. Whether it?s a routine meal for two ?on the go?... between activities and appointments, or a lingering holiday feast for a houseful of guests, our dining room collections will enrich every occasion. Whatever your style, from formal to fun, all your mealtimes will be enhanced by the gracious design of dining tables, sideboards, hutches, and elegant, comfortable seating. Features: Constructed of hardwood solids and hickory veneers Warm brown finish Two 18inch leaves Will seat up to 12 guests Distance inside pedestals: L 44 1/4" Retangular dining table Specifications: Overall product dimensions: 30" H x 83.5" W x 46" D Overall product weight: 379 lbs. read more

Sorella Rectangular Dining Table with Leaves in Brown
International Concepts
$259.43 $390.75
at Cymax

A counter height table is great for entertaining. And you will want to show off this table that you have custom finished yourself.... Solid Wood so it will last for years and years. Make this table a part of your home. Parawood is a hard wood that comes from the great rubber plantations of Malaysia. The density of parawood is comparable to that of birch or ash. Its strength is rated the same as maple. Parawood is easy to finish and matches well with a variety of other woods. Once a rubber tree is no longer able to produce sufficient quantities of latex, it is cut for the process of furniture making and a new tree is planted in its place. This is an example of man's ability to fully utilize our natural resources, without harming the environment. Features Dining table constructed in solid wood Ready to assemble Butterfly extension top, expands to 48 inches For use with bar height stools 30" seat height Shaker styled legs Butcher block top Specifications Overall product dimensions: 42" H x 36" W x 36" D Product weight: 60 lbs read more

Unfinished Square/Rectangular Bar Height Dining Table
Stanley Furniture
$1,239.00 $1,714.99
at Cymax

About This Product Elegant yet casual , this pedestal table is an ideal choice for your tastefully decorated home. Its simple roun...d top, supported by four curvy legs create an elegant look. With a neutral sand dollar finish, the table can be easily coordinate with a range of home aesthetics. Its compact dimensions make it suitable for tight spaces. Simple yet sophisticated, this pedestal table is a fine addition to your interiors. About the Coastal Living Cottage Collection Creating a cozy hallmark of the serenity that comes from life on the water, Coastal Living Cottage offers gracious comforts with relaxed elegance, giving you ample ways to bring your own tranquil moment back home. Many pieces are offered in smaller scale options to accommodate the space limitations of cozier coastal cottages or condos. Designed to work well in open floor plans of all sizes, Coastal Living Cottage marries old and new, blending the gently weathered style of coastal antiques with the functionality of hightech modern furniture. With Coastal Living Cottage, finding your seaside getaway is as simple as coming home. Relaxation is your only responsibility Features: Round pedestal dining table Includes two 20" leaves Made of wood and beveled glass Specifications: 48 Inch Table Dimensions: 30" H x 48" W x 48" D 54 Inch Table Dimensions: 30" H x 54" W x 54" D read more

Coastal Living Cottage Round Pedestal Dining Table
$399.00 $518.99
at Cymax

The relaxed lifestyle of French Wine country comes to life in Crosley's new Roots Rack. Its rustic design is reflective of a time ...when recycling wasn't a societal choice, but a way of life. Starting with a solid pine top, we simulate the popular "reclaimed" wood look by hand?etching a weathered plank design into the surface. The rich honey finish extends to the sturdy legs, riding on industrial style casters wrapped in rubber. Two spacious drawers sit on fullextension glides, providing maximum utility. The sturdy metal shelves are finished in black, and are perfectly notched to secure individual wine bottles. Completing the package are industrial style drawer pulls, towel bars, and X supports. The Roots Rack is perfect for any kitchen activity ? slicing, dicing, mixing, or mingling. Features: Solid Hardwood and Veneer Construction Heavy Duty Industrial Style Metal Casters Cabinet and Top Constructed of Solid Pine Finished and Etched to Simulate the Popular Reclaimed Wood Look Powder Coated Steel Shelves Drawers Mounted on Ball Bearing Glides Slotted Shelves Perfect for Wine Storage Specifications: Product Material: Stainless Steel read more

Crosley Roots Rack Industrial Kitchen Cart
Largo Furniture
$450.00 $649.00
at Cymax

The beautiful Largo Furniture Palm Isle 48" Dining Table in Antique Honey would look stunning in any home. It is constructed of ha...nd woven abaca weaving. This piece has an elegant antique honey and abaca weave which would compliment any home. Dining Table Only Features: Constructed of Hand Woven Abaca Weaving Antique Honey and Abaca Weave Glass Table Top Specifications: Overall Product Dimensions: 29.5" H x 48" W x 48" D Table Top Bevel: 12mm Dimensions (Base): 29.5" H x 22.5" W x 22.5" D Dimensions (Top): 48" Round read more

Palm Isle 48" Dining Table in Antique Honey
Powell Furniture
$1,113.95 $1,859.00
at Cymax

pThe Invodo Video Player requires Adobe Flash Player 9.0.115 or higher./p p a href="" img s...rc="" alt="Get Adobe Flash Player"/ /a /p /* CDATA */ document.write('pThe Invodo Video Player requires Adobe Flash Player 9.0.115 or higher./ppa href=""img src="" alt="Get Adobe Flash Player"//a/p'); /* */ The Invodo Video Player requires Adobe Flash Player 9.0.115 or higher. View video for Powell Pennfield Kitchen Island. /* CDATA */if(typeof(Invodo)='function')document.write('sc'+'ript src="http'+(document.location.protocol=='https:'?'s':'')+'://"/sc'+'ript')/* */ The Pennfield Kitchen Island has a classy and enhanced design suitable for any home. Finished in black and through base with a natural finished top, it has an antique feel while still being exceptionally useful for your kitchen. With adjustable shelves, drawers for storage, spice rack and more it a multi purpose piece. One side has storage while the other has a knee space recess for entertaining. Features : Black sand through finish Three adjustable shelves Stationary base Three drawers Natural finished knife block Silver tray Divider organizer Two towel bars Two spice racks Removable black granite cutting surface Wood Construction Some assembly required Item does not come with felt lined drawers Specifications : Product Dimensions : 36"H x 29.25"D x 56"W Product Weight: 278 lbs read more

Pennfield Butcher Block Black Kitchen Island
Hillsdale Furniture
$1,499.00 $2,149.00
at Cymax

The Wilshire 5 Piece Rectangular Table Dining Set blends homespun Americana with English Country to create a warm, comfortable app...earance that will enhance any room. The table features twist rope legs, arrow feet and a rich, distressed finish for that heirloom look and feel. This beautiful dining set will give your dining area a subtle cottagestyle charm. Features: Leg table with antique white finish Mahogany solid wood table top Comfortably seats 4 Rectangular 5 piece set arrangement Standard height casual dining 4 side chairs included 2 (18") Leaves included read more

Wilshire 5 Piece Rectangular Dining Table Set in Antique White Finish
Magnussen Furniture
$899.99 $1,215.00
at Cymax

About This Product: The Bellamy round dining table features a traditional pedestal base. Perfect for intimate home dining, this pi...ece also comes with a butterfly extension for when guests arrive. Like all the pieces in the collection, it's updated traditional styling makes it an excellent fit to modern decor. About the Bellamy Collection: Perfectly proportioned to accommodate sprawling school crafts, fits of amateur bread baking or the usual holiday assemblage, the classically inspired Bellamy group maintains its pristine demeanor no matter what the task. Piled high with projects as it does all on its own, this collection features pine solids and antique brass hardware with a pewter overlay. Features: Constructed from pine solids Deep weathered pine finish Antique brass with pewter overlay hardware Multistep finish process Pedestal base Features one (1) butterfly extension leaf Round wooden tabletop Traditional Styling 1 year limited warranty Specifications: Overall product dimensions: 30"H x 54"W x 54"D Product weight: 130lbs read more

Bellamy Wood Round Dining Table in Pine
Hillsdale Furniture
$849.00 $1,103.70
at AFA Stores

Crafted from high mountain Ash solids and some select plywood, the Outback collection is sturdy and stylish. The timbers are mill ...cut to give each piece an aged and distressed appearance. The warm chestnut finish is complemented by the natural imperfections of knots, cracks and blemishs. Each piece is unique and full of rustic charm. The kitchen island has 5 drawers of various size to offer ample storage space. The top has two granite inserts, providing cool and smooth work spaces. Alone or combined with the Outback dining table and chairs, the wine rack is wonderful addition to any home. Product Features 5 drawers of various size 2 granite inserts on top solid pine sturdy and distressed read more

Hillsdale - Outback Kitchen Island - 4321-855
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