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Buying Kitchen Cabinets in 2021

Cabinets are a focal point in any kitchen. They define the functionality, look, and feel of your kitchen. Since kitchen cabinets are one of the most pricey parts in new and renovated kitchen designs, they should be ageless in their charm and robust enough to last for decades. Here are things to consider when choosing the perfect kitchen cabinets that suit your budget and kitchen design.

  1. Cabinet Types

Kitchen cabinets come in three build types: stock, semi-custom, and custom.

Stock cabinets are produced on a large scale and sold at various home improvement centers. They are ready-made and can be delivered to your home the day you buy them or shortly after that. They are the cheapest option, costing from $100 to $300 for each linear foot.

Semi-custom cabinets come with a wide array of additional details that enable you to give both style and storage capacities a personal touch. You can adjust the drawers’ dimensions, for example, or opt for a different finish on the drawer or door fronts. Semi-custom cabinets cost anywhere from roughly $150 to $650 for each linear foot and typically take at least four weeks for delivery.

Custom cabinets are constructed to your precise size needs and style preferences including your preferred material, color, and finish. They usually include unique features like a coffee station and may feature furniture-style finishes like leaded-glass doors and bun feet. Due to the craftsmanship and thoroughness involved in making custom cabinets, they usually take longer to produce and are a bit pricey, costing between $500 and $1200 for each linear foot.


2. Cabinet Sizes

Before diving into the fun part of selecting your kitchen cabinets’ aesthetic appearance, it’s imperative to think about the sizes you need to comfortably hold your appliances, pantry staples, gadgets, cooking utensils, and more. Review your current kitchen cabinets to determine whether their height, width, and depth match your storage requirements. Consider the standard sizes of stock or semi-custom cabinets in a home improvement center near you. Then choose those that address your storage needs and are within your budget.

Bear in mind that height and width options vary from one manufacturer to another. And that custom cabinet construction can be of any size.

3. Cabinet Styles

Kitchen cabinets come in either frameless or face-framed styles.

Frameless cabinets often include sturdier cabinet boxes to which drawers and doors hook up. Generally you can easily access the entire interior. Frameless cabinets are a perfect addition to small and mid sized kitchens.

On the other hand, face-framed cabinets consist of a cabinet box and face frame – the structure connected to the front of the box that provides the support required for drawers and doors to hook up. Face-framed cabinets are a perfect choice for classic, traditional, and cottage kitchens.


4. Materials and Finishes

The choice of materials and finishes expands as prices increase, so gauge the benefits of each based on your budget and preference. Go to at least two or three kitchen design showrooms to check and compare different kinds of wood, metal, thermofoil, laminate, and composite doors to identify which cabinet material interests you the most. After settling on a specific type, choose a finish that seamlessly blends with your kitchen décor and color scheme.

5. Quality assessments

Quality is an important aspect to consider when choosing the perfect kitchen cabinets for your new or remodeled kitchen design.  Use the following guidelines to perform a quality assessment on any cabinet before buying it.

  • They should be made of solid wood.
  • They should slide effortlessly on ball-bearing extensions.
  • The drawer should be held tightly together by dovetail joints.
Box and Doors:
  • The box should have solid-wood panels capable of enduring the weight of a more decadent kitchen countertop for years.
  • The box that the door attaches to should be a half-inch thick or greater.
  • The cabinet door should open easily.
  • The door should have adjustable hinges and open wide enough for you to access the storage area without getting trapped on the door edge.
  • Shelves should be made of three-quarter-inch plywood. That way, they will withstand the weight of kitchen items or dishes.

The Bottom Line

When choosing the perfect cabinets for your kitchen, you need to consider your budget, style, quality, storage needs, and artistic preference. Be sure to visit at least three home improvement centers so that you can compare different cabinet models and choose those that match your kitchen décor and color scheme. If you opt for custom cabinets, be sure to work with a competent architect or designer who will work tirelessly to help you turn your dream kitchen design into a reality.


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