Having high quality kitchen cabinets can make a huge difference in the look, feel, and functionality of your kitchen. From the materials used to the design and craftsmanship, quality cabinets provide beauty, durability, and storage solutions that lesser quality cabinets simply cannot match. Here we will explore what defines quality kitchen cabinets, the key factors to consider when shopping for them, and the many benefits they can provide.
What Makes a Quality Kitchen Cabinet?
The materials used in cabinet construction play a major role in determining quality. Solid hardwoods like oak, maple, and cherry are superior to particle board or medium density fiberboard (MDF). They resist warping better and can be refinished many times. Features like dovetail joinery and full-extension drawers with soft-close glides also boost quality.
Look for cabinets with durable, quality hardware. Drawer glides should be side-mounted and rated for at least 75-100,000 open and close motions. Hinges should be adjustable soft-close types. Handles and knobs should have a solid, sturdy feel.
Top quality cabinets display excellent craftsmanship. Drawers and doors should have uniformly narrow gaps. Edges and surfaces should be sanded smooth without chips. Fine details like inlaid panels and carved trim showcase skillful work.
The best cabinets feature thoughtful designs optimized for storage and accessibility. This includes elements like roll-out trays, tilt-out hampers, adjustable shelves, lazy susans, and pull-out spice racks.
Superior finishing involves multiple coats of sealant applied in a controlled setting like a spray booth. This results in a smooth, consistent stain or paint finish that resists yellowing, cracking, and chipping.
Factors to Consider When Shopping
Consider your home’s architectural style. Custom cabinets can match it exactly while semi-custom offers flexibility. Stock options maximize affordability.
Choose wood species, finishes, and construction suited to your lifestyle. Durability, ease of cleaning, and aesthetics are key.
Evaluate how you use kitchen space and select design features to maximize efficiency. Consider everyday items, small appliances, cookware, and more.
Look for signs of quality like solid wood doors, dovetail joinery, and certification by organizations like the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA).
Quality cabinets aren’t cheap but can provide lasting value. Determine your budget and look for the best construction and features you can afford.
Benefits of Quality Cabinets
Fine materials and artful craftsmanship result in kitchen cabinets that are genuinely beautiful and visually elevate your home.
Quality cabinets retain their beauty and function for years thanks to sturdy construction and materials that resist moisture, warping, and wear.
Thoughtful designs with features like roll-outs, pull-outs, and lazy susans make items easy to access and maximize your storage capacity.
Smooth finishes and quality hardware allow quick wiping or dusting while retaining a like-new shine. This makes cleaning and maintenance simple.
Well-built cabinets using quality wood last much longer than lower cost alternatives, reducing replacement and landfill waste.
Quality cabinets add value by boosting your home’s aesthetics and functionality in a key space like the kitchen.
Installing New Cabinets
Replacing outdated or inferior quality cabinets with new, high-quality cabinetry can entirely transform the look and utility of your kitchen. Here are some tips for a successful cabinet installation project:
- Work with an experienced kitchen designer to plan your new cabinet layout for optimal workflow and storage capacity.
- Select cabinet boxes, doors, finishes and hardware from the same manufacturer to ensure consistent quality and aesthetics.
- Hire a professional installer with expertise in cabinetry. They have the skills to properly level, secure, adjust and modify cabinets.
- Plan cabinet installations carefully to minimize demolition. Salvage existing cabinets for donation if possible.
- Set a budget and timeline and plan for contingencies. Cabinet projects often impact plumbing, electrical and appliances.
- Communicate clearly with your kitchen designer, vendor and installer throughout the process. Ask questions and verify timelines.
- Inspect cabinets carefully at delivery before signing for them. Note any damage or defects.
- Check that new cabinets are level, plumb and secured properly. Test drawers and doors operate smoothly.
- Apply caulk, trim and moldings for a seamless finished look once cabinets are installed.
With attention to detail in selecting, purchasing and installing new quality kitchen cabinets, you can enjoy a beautiful, highly functional kitchen for decades to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best materials for quality cabinets?
The best materials are solid hardwoods like maple, oak and cherry because they resist warping and wear and can be refinished. Avoid particleboard or MDF. Some high-end options use more exotic woods like walnut or bamboo.
Should I choose custom, semi-custom or stock cabinets?
Custom provides the most flexibility to match your exact design needs while stock is most affordable. Semi-custom strikes a balance, giving options to modify standard cabinet sizes and layouts.
How much more do quality cabinets cost?
Expect to invest at least 25-50% more for quality cabinetry. Basic stock cabinets cost $100-200 per linear foot while quality custom or semi-custom with better materials, construction and hardware range from $200-500+ per linear foot installed.
Should I hire a professional for installation?
Absolutely. A skilled cabinet installer knows all the nuances of leveling, securing, modifying and adjusting cabinets and can handle tricky issues around wiring, plumbing and appliances. Do-it-yourself cabinet installs often result in uneven, sloppy finished projects.
How can I maximize kitchen storage?
Work with your designer to include roll-outs, spice pull-outs, tilt-out hampers, tray dividers, adjustable shelves and other storage solutions tailored to your kitchen items and workflows. Maximize vertical space with tall pantry cabinets and upper cabinets to the ceiling.
Investing in quality kitchen cabinets pays dividends for years through durability, storage solutions, ease of cleaning, and sheer beauty. Carefully evaluate materials, construction, hardware, design features, fit and finish to select cabinetry suited to your taste, lifestyle and budget. Partnering with kitchen design experts and professional installers helps ensure you get the most value from your new quality kitchen cabinets.