Kitchen Cabinets

The look of the kitchen can completely change by just changing the doors of your kitchen cabinet. A good kitchen cabinet design is also important if you want to get the most storage use possible out of the available storage space which should be the goal of any kitchen design. Kitchen cabinets can be made from dozens of woods like Oak, Maple, Pine, Cherry, Hickory, Poplar, Alder and Birch. Hickory and Oak are the hardest and the heaviest, while Cherry, Birch and Maple are considered to be well suited to cabinetry. Less expensive and more plentiful woods such as Alder and Poplar work best with glazed finishes used in creating an \’antique\’ look. Pine is a soft wood that can be more prone to dents and scratches. There are basically two cabinet stypes: European-style (frameless) and face-framed cabinets. Either can be ordered from custom or semi-custom cabinet-makers or from stock supplies. Each style has a variety of door, wood and finish options. 

Stock cabinets: Widths for stock cabinets begin at nine inches and increase in three-inch increments to 48 inches. They can be ordered through retailers and manufacturers\’ catalogs. Because stock cabinets are constructed before being purchased, special sizes are not available. You will need to use filler strips to close gaps between a cabinet and an appliance or wall.

Semi-custom cabinets: Modifications to standard sizes can be made because the construction of these cabinets begins only when the order is final. You can have the option of having interior finishes that match exteriors, and varying cabinet depths, which will give the kitchen the look that you want. You also have a wider range of styles, construction materials and colors, as well as unique storage units and accessories such as pullout bins and lazy susans.

Custom cabinets: Custom cabinetry lets one incorporate virtually any door style and color into the kitchen. Custom cabinets can be made to suit any space or desire and you might have cabinets made to match existing woodwork or architectural details, or opt for an “unfitted” look with freestanding or built-in cabinets that mimic furniture.

To frame or not to frame?

The types of hinges you can use depend largely upon the type of cabinets in question. There are dozens of choices and options, and not all hinges work with all styles of cabinetry. The first step is to determine the type of kitchen cabinets you\’re working with. 

There are two basic styles of cabinetry, frameless and face frame. As the name suggests, face frame cabinets are surrounded by front facing frames that make the openings smaller than cabinet widths. Traditional cabinetry generally falls into the face frame category. European style cabinetry is frameless, and the openings are the same size as cabinet dimensions.

Door Types and Hinge Determination

Once you\’ve determined whether you have face frame or frameless cabinets, you need to determine the amount of overlay, if any, before you can choose hinges. There are three possibilities for both frameless and face frame cabinets. Types of hinges for face frame cabinets are overlay, 3/8 inset, or full inset hinges. Determine the type you require by examining the positioning of a closed cabinet door. A cabinet door that comes in complete contact with the frame requires overlay hinges. A door with a deep notch cut along the edge, otherwise known as a rabbet cut, requires 3/8-inch inset hinges. A cabinet door that\’s even with the face frame will require full inset hinges. Hinge possibilities for frameless cabinets include full inset, half overlay, and full overlay. Doors that are even with cabinet sides will necessitate full inset hinges. Those partially touching the side of cabinetry will require half overlay hinges. A door that fully overlaps the cabinet edge requires full overlay hinges. With this information in mind, take count of the number of hinges required, and buy them accordingly. Pay careful attention to weight ratings when making your selection. Doors that are particularly heavy will require a greater number of hinges.

Knobs and Handles

Consider accessorizing cabinetry with decorative knobs or handles. Many cabinet door designs don\’t require the addition of handles or knobs, but they enable you to change the look of cabinetry with the turn of a screw. They are as much an expression of style as they are functional. 

There are cabinet knobs and handles that match almost every style and kitchen theme. There are knobs made of pewter, wood, glass, polished metal, and just about any other material you can imagine, and the prices differ as much as the types and styles.

If you want a traditional look, consider knobs or handles made from brass or another type of polished metal. There are many varieties that are molded and engraved, and you\’ll find styles to meet every preference. 

How about a whimsical theme? A whimsical theme adds a great deal of interest to kitchen cabinetry. There are cabinet knobs and handles shaped like kitchen utensils, animals, butterflies, and those you would never imagine existed. There are fanciful pieces to match almost every hobby and interest. 

If your kitchen is designed in the style of yesteryear, consider period pieces with classic beauty and style. There are intricate kitchen cabinet knobs and handles complete with faux jewels and intricately carved designs. You\’ll also find antique brass, pewter, and other types with old-fashioned charm.

The Internet offers the largest selection of kitchen cabinet hardware. If you can dream of it, you can find it in the form of kitchen cabinet knobs and handles. Personalize your cabinetry and express your individual style with unique knobs and handles. The options are only limited by your imagination.