The kitchen cabinet door is a familiar scene in many American homes. My mother has dozens of handles and hinges on her cupboard door, and it’s always funny to me that whenever I’m in the kitchen, I can see her thumb moving up and down the knobs. If you’re like me, you reach for the butter dishwasher at one end of the counter and instinctively wiggle the handle behind it so you can get to the microwave faster. When it comes time to clean up the rest of the house after a large pot of stew, it seems that nobody ever leaves the sink. It’s no wonder people’s cabinets are getting hosed down!
Historically, cabinet doors were commonly used as room dividers. Built-in cabinet has been a common design choice since the early 1900s. Like flipping open the kitchen cabinet only to uncover a tiny, thin corner ripped from the rolled-up steel foil of an unlicensed contractor, people used them to build their own aspirin bottles filled with cement and mortar and tearing off the old paper to build his own wall cabinet.
Today, built-in kitchen cabinets are a fairly common sight in every kitchen, but the custom-built variety have also gained popularity. One reason for this may be the notion that kitchen islands or kitchen cart islands are now more feasible than they were simply decades ago. Another reason, however, may simply be the rising cost of building custom cabinetry. These custom, one-of-a-kind kitchen centers are becoming increasingly popular because they can be customized to fit the dimensions of the room and the homeowner’s budget.
While the custom face-frame cabinets are by far the most popular option, there are several other efficient options as well. For example, traditional wood kitchen cabinets can have the same effect as paneled cabinet doors if stiles are used to hide the tracks. Also, using stiles can help to make the kitchen look bigger and also help to keep items hidden. In addition, utilizing panels in kitchen cabinets can also create the illusion of a larger space, especially when using dark colored panels to define the shapes of the shelves. Many people consider this type of cabinet more attractive than the custom face-frame kitchen cabinets.
Many people who want a truly customized look in their kitchen are turning to frameless kitchen cabinets. This allows the cabinet doors to be completely open and gives the appearance that the entire kitchen is one big showpiece. Frameless cabinet doors are very efficient and work very well to hide the workings of the inner box, but they are a bit more difficult to install than their faired counterparts. However, many people consider them more appealing, easier to clean, and more space efficient than their faired counterparts.
If you want to purchase new kitchen cabinetry, there are several options to choose from, including solid wood or solid stainless steel. There are even high-pressure laminated cabinet designs, created by A&D cabinetry, that have been created to resist extreme temperatures and moisture. Some kitchen designers prefer stainless steel cabinet surfaces, because they are more resistant to corrosion and stain damage than wood. Laminated cabinets can also be created with a high-pressure coating, which is also a durable but expensive option.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing kitchen cabinets is the material from which they are made. While all cabinets are made from some type of wood, not all cabinets are created equally. Solid wood kitchen cabinets are heavier and are more durable than solid plywood or particle board, so it is recommended to use heavier grade woods for your cabinets. Plywood and particle board will warp and become damaged in high humidity environments, so they should not be used for your kitchen cabinets. Cabinets that are constructed out of plywood or particle board may also have limited drawer functionality due to the thin material from which the cabinets are made.
Overall, the size of the kitchen cabinets and the overall size of your kitchen will affect the layout and dimensions of the base cabinets. The height of the base cabinets may need to be adjusted to accommodate drawers that are higher than the height of the countertop, and they may need to be deeper to accommodate deep cabinets. The depth of drawers may need to be increased to accommodate tall pots and pans. Also, the width of the cabinets may need to be increased to accommodate wider pots and pans. The width of the work space in your kitchen will also influence the layout of your cabinets, as will the distance between work surfaces.