Believe it or not, your new kitchen cabinets will cost thousands of dollars, and they’re the most expensive part of your kitchen remodel. Like any big investment, you’ll have to choose wisely. Here are some of the choices you have.
No matter what kind of cabinets you choose, there are three basic types of construction. One thing to be clear on, however, is that no one construction type is better than another. While some types are more expensive than others, all types have high quality and low quality cabinets.
Stock cabinets are basic cabinets straight from the manufacturer. They have no customization:
What you see is what you get. They usually come in increments of three inches, so sometimes filler strips are needed to make up for extra room. While stock cabinets are usually the least expensive, they come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and finishes. If you’re on a lower budget, chances are you can find stock cabinets that suit your tastes.
Semi-custom cabinets are ordered from a manufacturer, but you get to pick from different options in order to customize the cabinets to your liking. For example, you can choose different styles, different additions like pull-out drawers, and more. You can also have a wide range of colors and finishes to choose from. While you can’t customize every detail of these cabinets, they often provide enough variation to meet every kitchen’s needs.
Custom cabinets are made especially for you. You hire a cabinet maker to make the cabinets you want, and you have no restrictions on anything: you can have whatever colors, finishes, sizes, styles, doors, and additions you want. Because they’re made-to-order, custom cabinets are the most expensive option. They can be the most attractive, however, and they’re great for matching your cabinets exactly to other parts of your kitchen. But be careful; just because they’re custom doesn’t mean they’re the best: Your custom cabinets will only be as good as the cabinet maker you hire to manufacture them, so choose carefully.
All cabinets types can be made from different materials. The materials are very important to the longevity of the cabinets.
Wood cabinets are attractive, and there are many different types of wood to choose from. You can get wood cabinets in any color or finish you’d like. Over time, wood cabinets can begin to warp because of temperature changes and humidity. Avoid using wooden tracks for drawers, or one day your drawers might not open and close like they used to.
There are different options for particleboard, but stay away from very thin options. Thin particleboard can break easily, and your cabinets may start to sag. It is one of the cheapest options, however, so if you choose it be sure to go with a thicker version.
Plastic laminate cabinets are also popular because of the variety of colors they come in. They’re sturdy, but they can chip easily. Laminate cabinets are more difficult to fix than other types. For example, wood can be sanded. Laminate may need to be replaced.
Have you replaced your kitchen cabinets? What did you go with, and are you happy with your choice?
Katherine Brown is a kitchen designer and home improvement professional who currently works with Drury Designs. She also loves to write and often covers kitchen remodeling tactics or home upgrades as topics.