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What You Need to Know About Kitchen Cabinets

If you are choosing new cabinets for your kitchen, you may not understand the vast number of options that are available. In addition to the four basic cabinet types, there are also decisions to be made when it comes to the quality of the cabinet construction. By gaining this basic knowledge, you will have a better chance of making an informed decision when it comes to choosing kitchen cabinets.

The Four Basic Cabinet Types

There are four main cabinet types that you might have in your kitchen. The first is the base cabinet, which are the cabinets that the countertop sits upon. These cabinets are usually 36-inches tall and 24-inches deep, but these dimensions can change based on the needs of the homeowner. Base cabinets usually sit on top of a 4-inch riser that is called a toe kick, for ease of use.

Wall cabinets are the second type, and these sit above the countertop. They are usually about 12-inches deep, but can be increased to 17-inches in many cases, which gives more storage options. Tall cabinets, which are usually 83.5-inches tall, are the third basic type, and you will generally see these cabinets being used as a pantry space or for broom and mop storage. Finally, the fourth main option is the specialty unit. These cabinets include suspended units, corner cabinets, sink or cooktop fronts, bottle racks, hutches and appliance garages.

The Four Cabinet Grades

Cabinets are also divided into four different grades, which are based on the quality of construction. To decide which grade is right for you, it is important to decide on how much money you want to invest in your cabinetry, and then look at the available cabinetry lines in your area. Cabinetry prices are usually quoted in lineal feet and range from approximately $50 per lineal foot to more than $500 per lineal foot. The cost of installation may be part of this price, but it is often quoted as a separate cost.  

Ready-to-Assemble (RTA)

Ready-to-Assemble, or RTA cabinets, are readily available and have been constructed with budget in mind. These cabinets are usually only available from chain stores, such as Home Depot, and selection is usually quite narrow. These cabinets are only available in certain sizes and materials, and the cabinets must be put together by the homeowner. Though RTA cabinets are more affordable upfront, they do not add a lot of value to the home, are not known for long-term durability, and they are difficult to put together, even for a professional.

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are purchased directly from the manufacturer, and they are pre-sized, mass-produced and a good basic and economical option. These cabinets cannot be altered, which makes them less versatile for spaces that already exist. These cabinets are usually constructed in the home, and they are size-specific options. Material-wise, these cabinets range from particleboard which has been covered with laminate to solid wood options. You will not find a lot of accessories with these cabinets, and the material options are typically not considered the highest quality materials available. However, these cabinets are often more attractive and affordable without sacrificing quality. The installation cost of these cabinets is generally not included in the purchase price.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

A semi-custom cabinet is an excellent option for those who are looking for a mid-range option. They have a wider selection of materials and styles, and they allow for size adjustment and higher quality construction. Though they are not a fully customizable option, there are things that a homeowner can change about the cabinet to better meet their needs. You will also find that these cabinets offer more finishes, decorative enhancements, styles and personalization than stock cabinets at a reasonable price. Semi-custom cabinets can take stock cabinets to the next level thanks to their options, but there may be a big difference in the sales price, as semi-custom cabinets usually include the cost in installation where stock cabinets do not.

Custom Cabinets

If looking for a high-end option, custom cabinets are what you are looking for. These are made-to-order and offer the most options when it comes to material, style, accessories and finishes. These cabinets are one of a kind, they come in any size imaginable, and offer design solutions for unique spaces. The measurements can be done with increments down to as small as the 32nd of an inch, which brings extra precision. People who are considering custom cabinets should keep in mind that these cabinets can quickly use up their budgets, but they add a lot of value to the home. They also bring endless possibilities to homeowners who are looking for something unusual.  When getting a quote, custom cabinets are almost always quoted with installation costs included.

For more information on cabinets for the kitchen, reach out to a trusted contractor. They will be able to go over your options with you, and help you narrow down the most appropriate option for your home, budget and style.