Choosing your kitchen cabinets starts with deciding on the build, style, and material that work best for your kitchen’s design and project budget. The cabinets are the main focal point of the kitchen and can set the tone for the style you’re going for in the space, making them a big part of the overall design. What are the main different builds, styles, and materials of kitchen cabinetry?
Main Cabinet Builds
Cabinet build pertains to how the cabinet and drawers are set on or in the cabinet box. There are three main builds that can each work with any cabinet door style.
Inset cabinets are set within the cabinet frame. Homeowners like this build because it creates a clean flat surface. The construction and assembly must be precise for the door or drawer front to fit perfectly within the opening, which can equate to a higher price tag. The hinges may be somewhat exposed if your builder uses a self-mortise hinge. However, if you’d like a more seamless look, opt for a surface mount hinge or a soft close hinge, which are mounted on the inside and concealed.
2. Full Overlay Cabinet Doors
A full overlay cabinet door will cover the entirety of the cabinet frame save for small gaps, or reveals. This type also creates a clean look, but without a visible frame. This type may also be referred to as a frameless cabinet.
3. Partial Overlay Cabinet Doors
Partial overlay cabinets most visibly sit on top of the frame and are considered more traditional. This type allows for handleless cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
What Are the Popular Kitchen Cabinets Styles?
The style of a cabinet refers to the look of the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. These are the most commonly used today.
As the transitional style kitchen has risen in popularity, so has the Shaker style cabinet. It consists of a door with a flat panel with a flat frame that evokes the form of a traditional cabinet but with a contemporary spin. This is why Shaker-style cabinets are fairly versatile and can be used in several different style kitchens.
2. Flat-Panel or Slab
Flat-panel, or slab, cabinet doors are just as they sound. They are a flat, single surface of material that creates a simple, clean surface that gives a minimalistic feel. For this reason, contemporary and modern kitchens work well with slab cabinet doors. Some homeowners and designers choose to pair slab doors with minimalist hardware, or choose to have the doors and drawers feature an indentation on either the top or the bottom to be able to pull it open. The choice really depends on just how minimalistic you’d like your kitchen to appear.
3. Glass Panel
Glass panel cabinet doors consist of a four-piece door frame with the center panel being glass. This could be flat and clear glass, textured glass, or frosted glass, depending on how organized you plan to keep your cabinets. Clear flat glass is great for showcasing collections of dinnerware or special glassware. Have your cabinets designed with interior lighting to create a nice glow in the evenings.
4. Mullion Cabinet Doors
Mullion cabinet doors evoke a vintage feel and work well in more formal or traditional kitchens. They have the appearance of window grids and are also used to display whatever treasured kitchenware that’s inside the cabinet.
5. Raised Panel Cabinet Doors
The raised panel cabinet door has a very traditional look. They consist of a frame and a center panel that’s layered with contoured edges. A raised panel can range from simple to ornate.
Which Materials Are Best for Kitchen Cabinets?
Cabinets can be made of many different materials, but there are three main material types that have become the standard.
1. Natural Wood
- Oak: Oak is easy to find, stain, and finish in addition to being highly durable. Also, the grain shows through well in any color stain.
- Cherry: Cherry is softer and more versatile, making it easy to work with. It’s the most expensive of the five most common cabinet woods for its variation in red hues and quality.
- Hickory: Hickory is best known for its durability and is a mid-range priced wood that is extremely popular in cabinetry. The colors of hickory woods range from shades of dark brown to shades of white. The wood boasts its natural streaks in a random fashion, promoting its beauty and accents. Much like oak, hickory takes very well to light or natural stain.
- Pine: Pine is the most affordable wood option for cabinets. Pine has a yellowish tone so it takes warm-hued stains best. The wood can be more easily damaged than the others, so a thick protective varnish is necessary.
- Maple: Maple is another wood that produces great quality kitchen cabinets because the wood is highly adaptable, making it a favorite among carpenters. It can be stained any color or shade but will maintain its beautiful natural wood grain.
Laminate cabinets are made up of a strong core material that consists of compressed wood or wood particulate and melamine. This hardened mixture turns into a very sturdy plank. A thin layer is adhered to the outside that can have different patterns, colors, or textures. Wood laminate cabinets will have a grain printed on this outer layer and even have the texture of wood.
Thermofoil cabinets are made using vinyl laminate that’s heated and pressurized into a medium-density fiberboard (MDF) core. This material can also be found in many colors, patterns, and finishes, including a wood look finish.
Having Trouble Deciding on the Best Cabinets for Your Kitchen?
Corvallis Custom Kitchens & Baths has been creating beautiful and functional kitchens in the Corvallis area for decades. We know that every design detail in your kitchen is important and that’s why we start with an in-home consultation so you have the opportunity to point out your kitchen’s challenges and what your dream kitchen would be like. At Corvallis, you’ll have a partner in choosing the details, materials, and finishes that will result in your perfect kitchen. Contact us to schedule your kitchen remodel consultation.