Anybody who loves food will tell you the kitchen is the soul of a home. The only place where sophisticated culinary styles blend with the fervor of casual evenings with your friends seamlessly.
And when we are talking about the kitchen, the focal point, i.e the cabinet always comes into the conversation. After all, be it the U-shaped kitchen, linear landscape, Galley or G-shaped kitchen — cabinetry plays a huge role in defining not only the basic layout but also the style statement of the space. (Read: 6 Popular Layouts that Work in Every Modern Kitchen )
If this coming year, you’ve decided to mix things up — we have got you covered! Our comprehensive guide answers every question, from cost to material, that you may have about buying cabinets in 2020.
Cost of Different Cabinets
Keep in mind that out of your estimated budget for kitchen remodeling, 30 to 50 % should be allocated to the kitchen cabinets. This is a realistic figure to have, although bargains are possible. If you save money here, you can spend it on appliances, fixtures, flooring, etc instead; so try to shop during sales. Manufactured cabinets save costs too in comparison with customized ones.
Now, depending on whether you buy a preassembled cabinet or a ready-to-assemble cabinet, you will be paying somewhere between $1,800 to $4.500 for a basic 10*10 foot unit. The cost generally includes shipping and handling charges of the product, but it’s best to check with your dealer.
Usually, the lower price bracket caters to unassembled cabinets. On the other hand, you will have to shell out more in case of preassembled cabinets. That is because you will have to pay to the company for the time they take to assemble the product, and two, you will be paying a higher shipping cost than the former.
Other factors that influence the cost are the chosen style of the cabinet and whether the cabinets will be picked up by you on your own. You might have to pay transportation charges in some cases. Additionally, installation costs can be approximated to 50 to 75% of the total cabinet cost in some cases. However, you can cut corners by getting the job done from a small contractor who will charge you less. It may result in inefficient workmanship, though — so be careful!
Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinet Material
Unless you plan to procure predesigned cabinetry from the market, selecting the right cabinet for your space includes annotations like the door material, the style, and the hardware.
Even in the case of most preassembled cabinets, customization is possible. It is possible to obtain the door hardware like hinges, channels, handles, etc, or doors from particular manufacturers. Similarly, you can opt for custom doors in some cases too.
As mentioned above, kitchen cabinets are the focal point of attention in your kitchen. Choosing the right cabinet can thereby make or break the look here. We recommend choosing something that complements the countertop and the existing features of the space.
Be mindful that the Kitchen also happens to be the first room to be seen by any potential buyer; so you don’t want to stinge here at all. It follows that the final layout of the kitchen will be largely determined by the choices you make here. It is something that you can be creative with based on your personal style sensibilities. After all, resale value aside, don’t you want to enjoy the space while you are there too?
Types of Kitchen Cabinets
Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets
Solid wood has always been a favored choice with architects as well as designers. Wood cabinets have always enjoyed the attention of being classy and timeless. Rightly so in many cases, if we may say.
Since the material is flexible, it can be used in a variety of colors, forms, and designs. Wooden cabinets are also affordable even with customizations. Besides, they are available in a diversity of textures like Maple, oak, hickory, cherry, and pine.
However, there are certain drawbacks to this material too. It is prone to water damage as well as bug infestations. You are better off opting for woods that are more resistant to these threats like teak cabinets or cedar. Else, you can get termite control as well.
Taking Care of Solid Wood Cabinets
Keep a watch out for leaks. Make it a point to keep your cabinets clean and moisture-free as much as possible. Be very regular in keeping a check on any signs of bugs in your home. Keep food in airtight containers and do not waste time in getting rid of any spoilt food. This will prevent the build-up of bugs, and maintain the overall health of your cabinetry.
Medium Density Fiberboard Kitchen Cabinets
Medium Density Fiberboard, popularly termed as MDF, is a high-grade composite material constituted from recycled wood fibers and resins. It is essentially an engineered wood product, formed by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers in a defibrillator.
The best part about MDF cabinets is that they are resistant to cracking and peeling. They are easy to paint over and can be customized too. Besides, MDF is smoother when compared to plywood. There are no noticeable grains on your cabinet doors and it has a very smooth finish as a result.
However, it is not easy to repair MDF cabinet door scratches. The core material of the product may break down under extreme heat too. There can be a value reduction 20 years down the line with this material; whereas solid wood may add to its value by 20% when taken care of over time.
Taking Care of MDF Kitchen Cabinets
The lacquered surfaces can be cleaned with warm water, a mild detergent, and a micro cloth. As long as you never use any harsh chemicals on the surface like bleach etc, you are good to go.
Plywood Kitchen Cabinets
A substantial number of designers vouch for plywood cabinets. They are comparatively cost-effective and have a higher water resistance and greater stability than MDF.
Each board of plywood cabinetry is layered like a sandwich, with thin piles of wood pasted on top of one another. A plastic laminate, thermofoil or wood veneer coats the exterior surface for added protection.
Plywood, as a result, weighs less than particle board and thus works well for wall cabinets. The material improves the strength of the finished item and also increases the overall dimensional stability. Plywood works well at holding screws, nails and mechanical fasteners more securely as compared to other materials. It reduces shrinkage as well as expansion. It provides excellent support to the drawer glides too.
However, water can wreck an MR grade plywood — a disadvantage that can be overcome by choosing a BWR waterproof grade. In terms of shelf life, however, plywood is not as strong a material as solid wood.
Taking Care of Plywood Kitchen Cabinets
Since different appliances are integrated into the plywood kitchen cabinets, they pick up a lot of grease and dust with time. Also being porous, when exposed to moisture, they easily develop mildew.
For proper maintenance, all the cabinets must be cleaned at least once a month to protect them from grease and to retain the look.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Cabinets
Stainless steel kitchen cabinets are the new trendsetters in interiors. We personally love stainless steel with a polished finish, especially for a humid climate. It is commonly used in high- end kitchens for that sleek, angular look.
The steel frees you from the perennial problem of stains and bugs, including germs and termites. Additionally, stainless steel is resistant to rust. The material is durable and eco- friendly too.
However, it shows the fingerprints and scratches easily but this can be sorted out with the help of OTC cleaners.
Taking Care of Stainless Steel Kitchen Cabinets
Use a cleaner that contains alkaline, alkaline chlorinated or non-chloride chemicals to keep your cabinets rust free. Also make it a point to use a soft cloth, microfiber or a sponge to clean the cabinets. Do not use steel wool, wire brushes, and scrapers.
Particle Board Kitchen Cabinets
Particleboard, which is also popularly known as chipboard, is made from a combination of many waste materials such as planer shavings, offcuts or sawdust, and wood chips.
Particleboard is reasonably priced and works well for interior projects like attaching cabinet door hinges to the sides of frameless cabinets. Also, it is great at holding the screws in place.
However, the material is prone to expansion and discoloration due to moisture. This problem can be combated by painting the piece or covering it with a sealer that will help to retain its shape and appearance.
Taking Care of Particleboard Kitchen Cabinets
Use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the cabinets. Finally, wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove any buildup.