Types of Kitchen Cabinets
If you are in the market for a kitchen remodel, odds are, new kitchen cabinets are on your wish list. With so many options available in today’s market, choosing the right kitchen cabinetry can seem overwhelming. While it is always best to consult a remodeling professional for any home project, this article will help give you the lowdown on the basics of kitchen cabinets so you can better communicate with your kitchen remodeler.
Choosing the right kitchen cabinets can make or break a kitchen design. They can turn an old, outdated kitchen into a contemporary, entertaining space, with plenty of storage and functionality. The right kitchen cabinetry can help keep your cooking area organized and can make your kitchen pop, increasing the usability (and value) of arguably the most used space in the home.
When choosing kitchen cabinets, you will want to consider a number of factors, including type, grade, material, doors, hardware and, of course, price. There is no right answer for the above – it all depends on personal preference and budgetary concerns.
Types of Kitchen Cabinets
Depending on the ability of your kitchen remodeler or cabinet installer, there are 3 or 4 basic types of kitchen cabinets you can choose for your kitchen design – you can find them listed below.
Base cabinets act as a “base” for kitchen countertops, supplying support and storage. Residing on the floor, typical cabinets of this type stand between 34-36 inches tall and have a depth of 24 to 30 inches. They can have one pull-out drawer with a door and shelving, or can consist of up to four stacked pull-out drawers.
Other types of bases include a sink base, where the doors open up to plumbing and disposal pipes and, most often, a garbage can or recycling bin. Corner bases are another option, used for corner areas in the kitchen.
Tall Kitchen Cabinets
Tall cabinets are a great choice for pantries, to store pet food and supplies, or cleaning supplies such as mops and brooms. Standing between 84 inches and 94 inches tall and 12 inches to 18 inches deep, these types of cabinets are great storage options for a kitchen.
Wall cabinets are mounted on walls and come in a variety of heights ranging from 12 to 42 inches. These are the cabinets that you typically store dishes and canned goods, hovering, on average, 18 inches above countertops.
Other types of cabinets serve special purposes, such as the above mentioned sink base, hutches, wine racks and jelly cupboards.
Cabinet Grades Explained
Kitchen cabinets are graded on construction quality. These grades fall into four categories including: custom, ready-to-assemble, semi-custom and stock.
- Custom cabinets are specially made to spec based on the customer (or the contractor’s) specifications. Virtually any style, size and material can be used, so long as there is enough money in your budget. This type of cabinet is great for difficult spaces or to add a specific look/feel or add functionality standard cabinets cannot provide.
- Ready-to-Assemble cabinets offer a cheaper option than custom units, but are limited in terms of style and size options. In addition, they offer fewer material choices and need to be assembled by either the homeowner (make sure you are experienced in cabinetry work) or cabinet installer.
- Semi-custom cabinets fall somewhere between ready-to-assemble and custom cabinets with regards to price. They also offer more flexibility from a sizing and style perspective than RTA and stock (see below) cabinetry, though they are not as diverse as the more expensive truly custom units.
- Finally, stock cabinets, as the name implies, are pre-sized units that cannot be changed. They are the least versatile of all kitchen cabinets and are not the best in terms of material or construction. However, of all the options, stock cabinets are the cheapest – though, as is the case with many things in life, you get what you pay for.
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