Daveney. Kitchen Cabinet. February 16th , 2017.
The cabinets are the main elements in any kitchen design; they allow you to personalize your decor and define the room's style and identity.
Since new cabinets represent a sizeable expense, it is important to understand their various types and features. While the look and style of your cabinets is of course an essential aspect, it is not the only point to consider. Materials and construction methods are also very important factors. This buyer's guide is designed to help you choose the kitchen cabinets best suited to your needs and style preferences.
1. Face frame
Framed cabinets have a frame around the front of the cabinet box made of the same material as the drawers and doors. The frame stabilizes the box. Here, the hinges are visible and are attached directly to the frame. Framed cabinets work well in a traditional decor, and the doors can be replaced easily.
Frameless (or European-style) cabinets have no frame around the cabinet box; the doors and drawers cover the box's edges. The side panels of the cabinet box are thicker to provide stability. The door hinges are attached directly to the side panels, which offer greater storage space. Over time, the doors may become misaligned, however, and the hinges may need to be adjusted. Frameless cabinets are well suited to contemporary-style kitchens.
The sides of the cabinet are usually between ½" and ¾" thick. They are generally unfinished and are typically made of one of the following materials:
Particleboard: widely used in cabinet construction, but susceptible to bending and warping.
Medium-density fibreboard (MDF): less expensive than other materials but susceptible to water damage.
Plywood: considered an excellent choice for cabinet construction due to its strength and durability.
3. Back panel and bottom of cabinet
The back panel and the bottom of the cabinet are key structural components. They support and ensure the rigidity of the whole cabinet. A back panel made of ½" plywood will prevent the cabinet from warping over time. However, a back panel of just ¼" thick is sufficient for a base cabinet, since it is not used to hold the cabinet to the wall.
There are two types of cabinet doors – those made from a single piece of material, and those built from a frame and an inner panel. The latter is the most popular style and comprises a wood frame with a central panel made either of wood or of MDF covered with the chosen finish. Solid wood doors are more prestigious but may bend or warp over the years due to humidity fluctuations. However, the surface of solid wood will not peel and its colour will not fade.
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