Choosing the Right Cabinets for Your Project
Cabinet construction determines more than just how your finished kitchen cabinets will look – it also determines the functionality and durability of the cabinet. Between the raw materials, shelving options, hinge options and finish options there are nearly infinite variations of cabinets that can be built. Don’t get overwhelmed – our cabinetry partners and specialists have put together this handy guide to help you confidently choose the cabinet construction type that will best fit your needs.
Framed Cabinet Construction
For a more traditional type of cabinet construction, look for framed cabinets. Framed cabinets have stiles and rails that create the eponymous “frame” on the face of the cabinet box.
Frameless Cabinet Construction
Frameless cabinets, also known as “full access” cabinets, have no face frame and are a great cabinetry solution for someone looking for a more modern style.
Inset Cabinet Construction
This type of cabinet construction fits the drawers and the doors of the cabinets into the frame openings of the face so that the frame is fully visible. With inset cabinet construction there are hardly any spaces or gaps between the components of the cabinet.
Box Cabinet Construction
Box cabinet construction is composed of:
- Face Frame – The doors are attached to this structural portion of the cabinet. Face frames are composed of rails and stiles.
- End Panel – This is the side of your cabinet, which is grooved into the face frame and goes to the back of the cabinet, pressing against the wall.
- Bottom – As the title suggests, the bottom of the cabinet. In tall cabinets and wall cabinets this components is also used as the top of the cabinet.
- Back – This section of the cabinet is the vertical surface in the rear of the cabinet that is mounted to the wall. Hanger rails exist in same cabinet backs, depending on the cabinet brand.
- Adjustable Shelves – The storage surfaces, horizontal boards that are moved by adjusting the clips that keep the shelf level and in place.
- Toe Kick – Some traditional cabinets have a toe kick, which is the recessed space at the bottom of a cabinet’s base where you could place your foot. Mostly decorative, but can be helpful for lifting.
Engineered Wood Materials
These materials are more than plain wood, and are customarily used in some cabinets to add durability, strength and material consistency to the cabinet. Some key engineered wood materials are:
- Particleboard – This kind of material is a mixture of wood shavings and binding materials like resin that are combined through heat and pressure to create a uniform look.
- Plywood – This type of wood panel is created by bonding multiple wood veneer layers together at right angles to each other to create a durable material.
- MDF – This type of board is created by shredding and breaking down hardwood and softwood into individual fibers. Like particleboard, it’s then melded into a homogenous material with heat and pressure. This is an ideal material for surface painting.
- Thermofoil – This material is created by pressing polyvinyl chloride (PVC) foil pressed onto medium density fiberboard (MDF) with a flexible membrane. Cabinets made of thermofoil can be ordered in high-gloss finishes and wood grains from DirectBuy.
- PureStyle – This signature material uses continuous component wrap technology, eliminating the potential for de-lamination, peeling or cracking. PureStyle protects cabinets from UV, moisture, heat, staining, or aging damage.
- Eco Veneers – This type of veneer is composed of thinly sliced sheets of solid wood that are adhered to a cabinet panel, providing the look and feel of real wood while allowing for more consistency in the color and grain.