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 you’re comfortable spending, then see which cabinets fall in that range. Next, evaluate your space. If you have a straightforward box-shape kitchen, you’ll 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.

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Hampton Bay
$129.00

The furniture-quality finish on the Hampton Bay Wall Cabinet adds warmth and beauty to your kitchen design. The cabinet's 3/4 in. ...shelf thickness offers durability and its adjustable shelf design helps you maximize your storage space. The cabinet is... read more

Home Decorators Collection
$612.10 $397.87

The Newport Pacific White collection from Home Decorators Collection features a durable white painted finish which will create a l...ight, breezy feel in any kitchen. Shaker-style doors and drawer fronts are crafted from solid MDF with a flat recessed... read more

Hampton Bay
$112.00

The furniture-quality finish on the Hampton Bay Wall Cabinet adds warmth and beauty to your kitchen design. The cabinet's 3/4 in. ...shelf thickness offers durability and its adjustable shelf design helps you maximize your storage space. This cabinet... read more

Hampton Bay
$239.00

The furniture-quality finish on the Hampton Bay Base Cabinet adds warmth and beauty to your kitchen design. The cabinet's 3/4 in. ...shelf thickness offers durability and its adjustable shelf design helps you maximize your storage space. The cabinet has a... 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 won’t 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 you’ll 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 ¼-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
Sun
$130.80

Features Cam-lock joinery system for easy assembly. All wood box construction with real wood veneer finish on all plywood box. Ful...ly enclosed interior compartment with full 1/2 in. Framed back panel. Natural interior cabinet finish, raised panel door,... read more

Sunco
$512.29

2- 15in working drawers, 1-30in false drawer front. 4 doors. Cam-Lock joinery system for easy assembly. All wood box construction ...with real wood veneer finish on all plywood box. Fully enclosed interior compartment with full 1/2in framed back panel.... read more

Everyday Cabinets
$121.09

*All exposed ends require a finished end panel.* Transform your kitchen, Laundry room, or any room in your home with this gorgeous... shaker espresso 18 Inch floor cabinet with soft close drawer & door. Use as a stand-alone cabinet, or combine it with... read more

Sun
$177.31

Cam-lock joinery system for easy assembly. All wood box construction with real wood veneer finish on all plywood box. Fully enclos...ed interior compartment with full 1/2 in. Framed back panel. Natural interior cabinet finish, raised panel door, 1/2 in.... 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.

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Etsy - WoodandSpoolStudio
$132.00

This spice rack or mason jar cabinet is the perfect way to store and display your mason jars and preserves! It is handmade using q...uality materials and homemade, all natural milk paint. It is protected from stains, watermarks and warping with a coat of natural resin shellac, for longlasting beauty. Your jars will be held securely in place with the railing and the solid wood back wall of the cabinet. It has a vintage flair and will look amazing in any room of the house, whether hung on the wall or standing on a counter or table top. The cabinet has 3 shelves and holds 12 mason jars. This cabinet was designed for both style and function, and with its simple and rustic style, its a match for nearly any decor or color scheme. It is ideal not only for mason jars, but for essential oils, small plants, or any other items you wish to display! It makes an adorable spice rack in the kitchen and a perfect bathroom cabinet for rolled hand towels or toiletries. Dimensions: 23 1/4 high X 15 1/4 wide X 3 1/2 deep Shelf Dimensions: 13 wide X 6 1/2 high X 3 3/8 deep (4 mason jars fit comfortably on each shelf) Distance from top shelf to Mars: 225 million km and 16.5 Comes with 2 Dring hooks for wallmounting. The Wooden Spool Studio Guarantee ensures that if there are any defects in workmanship or construction, we will repair or replace, free of charge. Interested in a custom cabinet? Let us know! See similar listings here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/263738983/bathroomorganizerrusticbathroomdecor?refshophomeactive18 https://www.etsy.com/listing/263727371/6piecebathroomsetbathroom?refrelated5 https://www.etsy.com/listing/274109656/floatingshelfsetfloatingshelves?reflistingshopheader0 https://www.etsy.com/listing/274109656/floatingshelfsetfloatingshelves?reflistingshopheader0 https://www.etsy.com/listing/266633332/kitchenshelfbathroomshelfkitchen?refshophomeactive4 https://www.etsy.com/listing/268527281/hangingshelvesrusticshelvesfloating?refshophomeactive13 read more

Everyday Cabinets
$72.15

Transform your kitchen, Laundry room, or any room in your home with this gorgeous Shaker White 9 Inch Wall cabinet with soft close... door. Use as a stand-alone cabinet, or combine it with additional Everyday cabinets's products to create the perfect... read more

Everyday Cabinets
$135.87

This 27 Inch Blind corner wall cabinet in gorgeous shaker white will add wonderful storage space to any kitchen. If offers a creat...ive storage solution to a commonly unused space. Maximizing your kitchen storage and giving you the kitchen of your... read more

Everyday Cabinets
$148.07

Maximize your kitchen Laundry room or any room in your home with this gorgeous shaker white 27 Inch Diagonal Corner Wall cabinet w...ith one soft close door.Use as a stand-alone cabinet or combine it with additional Everyday cabinets' products to create... read more

Tall Cabinets

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

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Simple Living
$129.99

Organize the spices and canned goods cluttering your countertop and kitchen shelves with this pine utility kitchen pantry from Sim...ple Living. Use this utility pantry in smaller homes with fewer cabinets to add storage space while keeping kitchen... read more

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; you’ll be happiest with cabinets you pick out by evaluating these features:

Box

Cabinet boxes, which support heavy stacks of dinner plates and appliances like stand mixers, need to be as sturdy as possible. Boxes constructed of ½-inch-thick to ¾-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.

Shelves

Inside the cabinet boxes, look for sturdy load-supporting shelves, such as ¾-inch particleboard or wood. You’ll 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.

Doors

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.

Drawers

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

Hardware includes what you see (cabinet knobs and drawer handles) as well as what you don’t (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 you’ll 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 you’ll encounter as you shop. Here’s 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 that’s 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

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 aren’t needed for the function of the cabinets. Unless they are incorporated into the cabinet package price, they add extra cost.

Furniture on sale

Home Decorators Collection
$612.10 $397.87

The Newport Pacific White collection from Home Decorators Collection features a durable white painted finish which will create a l...ight, breezy feel in any kitchen. Shaker-style doors and drawer fronts are crafted from solid MDF with a flat recessed... read more

Baxton Studio
$159.99 $143.99

Infused with a subtle sophistication, the Agni Buffet and Hutch Kitchen Cabinet is an attractive minimal piece with great versatil...ity and ample storage space - details which make this piece a stunning acquisition for any kitchen and dining... read more

Home Decorators Collection
$653.99 $425.09

The Tremont Pearl Gray collection from Home Decorators Collection features a durable Gray painted finish which will create a light..., breezy feel in any kitchen. Shaker-style doors and drawer fronts are crafted from solid MDF with a flat recessed center... read more

Home Decorators Collection
$725.73 $471.72

The Newport Pacific White collection features a durable white painted finish, which will create a light breezy feel in any kitchen.... Shaker style doors and drawer fronts are crafted from solid MDF with a flat recessed center panel. Cabinets feature CARB... read more

NewAge Products
$899.99 $809.99

The NewAge Products Outdoor Kitchen Sink Cabinet in Stainless Steel Classic is sleek, resilient, and highly functional; it’s the p...erfect addition to any modern outdoor kitchen. The full-width 7 in. D sink is equipped with various stainless steel... read more

NewAge Products
$599.99 $539.99

The NewAge Products 2-Door Cabinet in Stainless Steel Classic features 10 cu. ft. of storage and 2 fully adjustable shelves – prov...iding ample and versatile space for storing large and bulky items. Its fully-finished 304 Stainless Steel construction is... read more

WeatherStrong
$615.12 $553.61

The Naples Radiant White collection from Weatherstrong features a clean White finish which will create a rich waterproof outdoor o...r indoor kitchen. The Vertical Bead inspired design doors are crafted from solid Marine Grade Polymer and include... read more

Home Decorators Collection
$587.00 $381.55

The Newport Pacific White collection from Home Decorators Collection features a durable white painted finish which will create a l...ight, breezy feel in any kitchen. Shaker-style doors and drawer fronts are crafted from solid MDF with a flat recessed... read more

Home Decorators Collection
$384.83 $250.14

The Hallmark Arctic White collection from Home Decorators Collection features solid MDF doors and drawer fronts with a clean, dura...ble white thermofoil finish. Cabinets feature CARB compliant all-plywood construction. NOTE: For added design flexibility,... read more

Home Decorators Collection
$586.30 $381.10

The Hallmark Arctic White collection from Home Decorators Collection features solid MDF doors and drawer fronts with a clean, dura...ble white thermofoil finish. Cabinets feature CARB compliant all-plywood construction. NOTE: For added design flexibility,... read more

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