Buying Guide For Perfect Kitchen Cabinets.
Kitchen cabinets can add up to 60 percent of your overall kitchen remodeling cost. Chances are you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on your kitchen cabinets and for a very good reason. Your cabinets are one of the primary defining features of your kitchen and the most utilized units within that space.
Kitchen cabinets are used and abused each and every day. Along with needing to look great, you want the best kitchen cabinets to ensure they perform exceptionally well. Examining the quality of your next kitchen cabinets is especially important when evaluating your purchase.
Just because a kitchen cabinet is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a quality product. And on the flip-side, less expensive kitchen cabinets certainly can make for a good investment. The fact is you can spend a lot of money on inadequate kitchen cabinets. True value in cabinets is found in how good they look, how well they perform, and how long they stay in service. Here are 9 tips to look for when shopping for the perfect kitchen cabinets.
1. Attention to Craftsmanship
Kitchen cabinets and their craftsmanship are critically important when looking for the best value. Always take time to open drawers, doors, and be sure to look inside and feel the interior and exterior surfaces. Look for flaws in workmanship such as poorly secured joints, inadequate finishes, or improperly installed hardware. Finally, treat the cabinets as you would those in your own kitchen. How do they react to basic types of everyday use?
2. Plywood Construction
Kitchen cabinets using plywood construction are tough and enduring. Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is a workable alternative while particleboard is a less viable choice. Particleboard is especially vulnerable to damage from moisture or water.
Durability is important and it starts with the wood that’s serving to keep the entire cabinet stable and strong. Along with plywood, hardwood is also an excellent choice. Of course the better the wood, the more expensive the cabinets but remember that quality kitchen cabinets are defined partly by their ability to withstand daily use.
3. Solid Wood Drawers
Kitchen cabinets with solid wood drawers are also important. Drawers, along with cabinet doors, undergo a huge amount of wear-and-tear. Drawers are especially vulnerable due to the fact that when extended they can experience added stress along the length of the drawer and in the back of the drawer box. This occurs when the drawer is extended horizontally, which is something that cabinets simply don’t experience.
4. Sturdy Drawer and Cabinet Hardware
The slides, glides, and stops within the kitchen cabinets need to be tough and resilient and allow for the full extension of the drawer box are best. The best kitchen cabinets include quality hinges on doors that enable ease in opening and closing are also signs of quality. Any pulls, plates, or decorative elements should be fully integrated and also able to withstand years of wear. Soft-close hinges are a wonderful feature to consider. This hinge type prevents doors and drawers from being slammed shut.
5. Dovetail Construction
Kitchen cabinets with drawers that use dovetail construction are the sturdiest, while those using dowel joints are also solid and sound. Once again, it’s important to consider the amount of daily stress your kitchen drawers will experience. It’s significant, and that means you want construction that won’t be compromised.
With dovetail joints, two boards are joined together at right angles. First, the ends of two adjoining boards are notched with v-shaped cutouts. This creates tabs on either side of the cutout. The cutouts and tabs connect with alternating cutouts and tabs on the adjoining board. This creates a tight fit that is extremely solid.
Dowel joints use round wood dowels or pegs that are in one board. These fit into corresponding holes in the adjoining board. Often the connection is made secure with glue.
6. Veneers and Finishes
Matching veneers and finishes that are complete and even are major attributes in beautiful kitchen cabinets. Although each aspect of cabinet construction discussed up to this point is important, if in the end a cabinet looks shoddy due to the poor application of inferior coverings or finishes, then in essence you have a poor quality cabinet … not the best! The veneer or finish will see the brunt of abuse as hot and cold spills, dropped objects, dirty hands and other types of contact are made with cabinet surfaces each and every day.
7. Is There a Warranty?
Your kitchen cabinets should come with a warranty for all materials and workmanship. One-year is the minimum. If a manufacturer is not willing to back their product, then you should be wary of it. Cabinet warranties typically cover defects and not wear-and-tear from regular use or damage from accidents or other such incidents.
8. Use Expert Installation
Installation of your kitchen cabinets is critically important. Someone who is experienced and knowledgeable in cabinet installation is worth the cost of your cabinets. You’ve already invested a substantial amount of money toward your new kitchen cabinets and it makes sense to hire someone who is an expert installer to do the job in order to capture your full return on investment from your kitchen remodeling project. This is a specialized field and improper installation can destroy your cabinets and compromise your kitchen design.
9. A Complete Package
Some homeowners decide to work with a kitchen designer, retailer, or kitchen cabinet builder who can handle the entire process-aiding in design, building, providing the cabinets, and installing them. This can save time and effort and it offers a homeowner a coordinated effort that is quick and efficient. However, others prefer to piece out the work as they engage different companies to handle each aspect of their kitchen remodeling project. There’s no right or wrong way. The main thing is to make sure that all bases are covered and that you invest in quality and value simultaneously for the best kitchen cabinets and overall project results.