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Kitchen Cabinet FAQs


What are Shaker Style Cabinets?

Shaker style cabinets are units that are uniquely simple yet attractive. They feature recessed panel doors, light finishes and basic hardware.

Shaker style cabinets mirror the furniture designed by the Shakers, who were extremely skilled craftsmen and carpenters. Shaker style cabinets have doors with recessed panels and minimal adornments. Many Shaker cabinets are built using hardwood, although some may use veneer panels in the doors. The style is complemented with natural finishes or light stains. Shaker style cabinets may even be painted with a distressed finish to give the units an appearance of age that enhances the style’s beauty and appeal. Due to the simplicity of the design, hardware is usually hidden. Wooden knobs or handles are ideal for Shaker style cabinets because they complement the simple features. In many cases, Mission cabinets are labeled as Shaker style cabinets. However, many Mission style cabinets feature arches and designs that are not true to the Shaker style, so the names are not necessarily interchangeable.

What is a Recessed Panel Door?

A recessed panel door is a cabinet door with a center panel that is slightly depressed. Recessed panel doors often include thinner wood than other types of cabinet doors.

A recess panel door has a center panel that is slightly lower than the surrounding door frame. The panels are often made of alternative materials because they need to be thinner than the rest of the door. These doors are often built using solid wood, but the panels are veneer. This allows the material to be thin enough to sit inside the recessed area without changing the finished appearance of the wood. Recessed panel doors are available in many styles and finishes. They may incorporate arches or square angles, and glass or metal are sometimes used in place of wooden panels. Many recessed panel doors feature beveled trim that adds a touch of elegance to the door. Matching drawer fronts are often available so that all of the cabinet units have the same design.

What is a Raised Panel?

A raised panel is a center portion of a cabinet door that is slightly raised. Raised panels come in a variety of designs and styles.

A raised panel door is a cabinet door with a center panel that is a little higher than the surrounding wood. Raised panel cabinet doors are very popular because they can be used in both traditional and modern kitchen designs. The door is built by placing the panel in grooves that have been cut into the frame of the door or by attaching the panel using an adhesive. Raised panel doors may have arches or square edges. They may also feature glass or metal inserts to add unique touches to the cabinet unit. Raised panel doors can be built from a variety of woods and finishes, which allows them to be easily incorporated into any kitchen. They can also be incorporated into units that are designed to conceal appliances.

What is a V-Groove Panel?

A V-groove refers to the shape of the recesses visible on the face of a panel. These cuts are the result of an angular beveled edge being aligned to an opposite angular beveled edge which creates a visible and distinct V-shaped recession in the face of the panel. There are faux panels created with a V-groove cut into them to give the illusion of being an actual V-groove panel, but the difference can be easily identified simply by turning the panel over to view the seam where the individual boards have been joined on the back. The reverse side of a properly crafted V-groove panel will exhibit either a seam or an identical V-groove.

A special shaped cutting tool is necessary to properly edge the boards for the V-groove panel. A V-groove panel is comprised of boards that are joined together lengthwise with a tongue and groove method. Shims may be used to keep the joints tight despite fluctuations in wood thickness. The two styles used in a V-groove panel can result in a single side or double sided V-grove panel. The end result when staining panels that have been constructed in this way is a much darker appearance in the grooved area than the surrounding surface because more stain will have accumulated in the groove.

What is a Slab Door?

A slab door is a cabinet door that has a flat panel with no decorative designs. It may also be referred to as a flat panel door.

A slab door has a flat panel that is not raised or recessed. It also has no arches. This simple design makes it easy to make, and it can be combined with several kitchen styles. A slab door complements both traditional and modern kitchen designs, and it can often enhance other elements in the room. Homeowners can choose from hardwood or manufactured wood materials when purchasing their slab doors. The appearance of the beautiful grain patterns in hardwood are heightened by the simple design of the door and can be accentuated using stains. Bold hardware can also bring out the beauty of the flat panels. Slab panel doors may be custom ordered or manufactured. They may also be referred to as flat panel doors.

What is a Face Frame?

Face frame is a reference to a framed cabinet’s trim boards that are visible on its face. The face of a cabinet is the visible end where the drawers and doors are accessed. The face frame is comprised of boards that form a rigid skeleton for the exposed side of the cabinet’s box. The face frame will typically be made from different material than the cabinet’s less noticeable back and side panels. By using solid wood to construct the face frame, a cabinet’s accessible side maintains an appealing look and structural strength.

A face frame cabinetry run will typically utilize exposed hinges and an overlay. The trim boards that comprise the face frame are strong enough to support the weight of doors and various methods of access. Some manufacturers will bridge the frameless and framed styles of cabinetry by adding trim boards to the face of a frameless cabinet box in order to preserve the North American aesthetic of a face framed run.

What is a Framed Cabinet?

Framed cabinets are cabinets that incorporate a visible or slightly concealed structural frame. Framed cabinets were how cabinets were originally conceived in North America. Through the advancement of hinge designs, the need for a rigid frame was eliminated and the opportunity to choose between framed and frameless cabinetry designs was achieved. Framed cabinets will require an overlay measurement to ensure that the cabinet doors are uniform in how they are seated on the run. Originally, the need for a visible frame in cabinetry was due to the common use of exposed hinges, but today it is optional in the construction because of advancements in design and parts.

Face framed cabinets is another interchangeable term for this type of cabinetry. This is still a very common cabinetry style and it is easily identified by the visible trim boards that are used to add rigidity to the construction of the cabinet box. Trim boards are often made of a hardwood despite the rest of the cabinet’s substrate being manufacturers from engineered wood. The advantage that trim boards give framed cabinets over frameless is that the overall strength of the individual sides of the cabinet do not need to be as high as they do in frameless constructions. The primary disadvantage to framed cabinets is from the trim board’s interference with cabinet access.

What is a Frameless Cabinet?

Frameless cabinets are designed to eliminate the need for trim boards, which thereby increases the ease of access to the cabinets. Frameless cabinets were popularized in Europe after the invention of the hidden hinge, which does not require a frame for proper mounting. Frameless cabinetry is the standard throughout Europe and many parts of Asia, but it is still slow to progress in popularity in North America. The frameless style of cabinet appeals to those following a modern styled kitchen plan. The lack of visible hinges and unobstructed access to compartments make frameless styles very practical.

Frameless cabinetry can be produced very efficiently, which is what makes this style of cabinet more appealing to manufacturers than framed-style cabinets. Frameless cabinets were first developed in Europe where homes frequently do not have permanent cabinets included in the kitchen. Because frameless cabinets are constructed from stronger materials, they tend to be considered more durable. Frameless base cabinets will often reside on legs.

What is a European Style Cabinet?

European style cabinets can be a reference to the higher level of modular craftsmanship that is utilized by European cabinet makers. Throughout Europe, many residents own their kitchen cabinets despite not owning the house or apartment they occupy. It is customary to purchase a house, or rent an apartment, that is lacking in both appliances and cabinetry in the kitchen. For this reason, the European cabinetry market promotes personalization paired with modular design that can be easily added and subtracted from any space. Kitchen sizes are not standard so European style cabinetry needs to be versatile and adaptable.

A hallmark characteristic of European style kitchen cabinetry is the incorporation of hidden hinges. This style of hinge is so synonymous with this style of cabinetry that both are referred to as European style. By using a hidden hinge, European style cabinets are more likely to be frameless so that the storage space and access can be maximized while the weight is minimized. Horizontal graining and a modern styling are other synonymous characteristics of European style cabinets.

What is Lacquer?

Lacquer is a term generally used to describe a specific type of finish applied to wood projects. While there is not one specific process for accomplishing this, lacquered wood has characteristics that are produced via the use of solvents to create a hard finish. The look of this type of finish is very sophisticated and is highly sought after. This is an ancient technique that has been improved over the years, but the value of a well lacquered project is still significantly higher than comparable finishes.

Lacquered projects have a glossy finish that is much more durable than the closely related shellac finished projects. The combination of toxic and volatile chemicals needed to achieve a true lacquer finish is difficult to attain and should only be handled by experienced professionals. Though a lacquered look may be desired, a novice is unlikely to be able to achieve a flawless application without much practice. A traditional incorporation of a lacquer finish will also have inlay and other embellishment added to the project.

What is a Stain?

A stain is a type of finish that is applied to wood to alter its appearance. It may change the color, enhance the
grain or protect the wood from damage.

A stain is applied to wood during the finishing process. It is pigmented to change the color of the wood, and there are several colors of stains available. Most stains resemble natural wood colors, such as oak, walnut or pecan. However, they help to bring out a wood’s natural characteristics. Some woods do not absorb stain well, while others readily soak it up. It can sometimes be difficult to achieve a smooth, even appearance with stain, and it often requires several rounds of staining and sanding in order to complete the project. Stains are created using different binders. There are oil based, water based and gel stains. Woodworkers, cabinetmakers and carpenters must carefully consider the wood and what the purpose of their project in order to determine which stain they will use.

What is a Finish?

Finish refers to the final application of color or lamination that gives a cabinetry run its finalized appearance. The finish on kitchen cabinets can be made by gluing a finishing layer of laminate to the wood used to construct it. However, most wooden cabinets will have a painted or stained finish if they are constructed with solid wood. There are different methods for achieving different styles of finish to suit the desired texture and sheen of any project.

Before determining what finish to add to a project, one will need to consider many contributing factors. First, are there any other pieces that the finish needs to match and how were they finished? Another significant factor that is used to determine which finish to apply is based on a projection of how durable the finish is expected to be. For example, a simple oil-based finish is easy to work with and very attractive, but it is only suitable for surfaces that may not risk prolonged exposure to water, heat or abrasion. That means a kitchen cabinet door is more likely to be finished with an oil-type than a table would be. Tables and other horizontal surfaces will often benefit from the application of a finish that is waterproof and abrasion resistant.

What is Laminate?

Laminate is an alternative to hardwood cabinetry. The term refers to a style of construction that incorporates manufactured wood that has been covered with one of various optional skins that can give the project a hardwood or alternative finished look. In the past, this type of construction was quickly dismissed by home owners and cabinet makers as a low quality choice that should be avoided at all costs, but things have changed.

Today, many people are turning to laminates as a reasonable alternative because of the dramatic improvements in the industry of manufactured-wood products. The appeal comes from the fact that the wood core is created using either chip or granulized wood, that is often recycled, and bonding it with resin under high pressure. The finished boards have a strength and price that makes them highly competitive with all hardwoods. When the laminate skin is applied, modern styles are easily achieved, which support an attitude in line with modern decor and environmental conservation.

What is Melamine?

Melamine is a manufactured wood. It is similar to particle board, but melamine is exceptionally stronger and made using a different process. The improvements in the overall construction of melamine have advanced the product’s use and popularity in the market. Today, many homeowners that are concerned with preserving sustainable resources are choosing melamine as an alternative to hardwood cabinetry.

The aesthetic of melamine is flexible and can be matched to any décor. A laminate is applied to the outer surfaces of melamine that can be used to match it to any style of kitchen, including some laminates that resemble wood grain. Melamine is made using particles of wood, paper and resin, which are all combined under extreme pressure. The fact that melamine now has many inherent properties that work together to make it fire retardant, resistant to moisture and warp-proof do make it a competitive alternative choice in kitchen décor.

What is a Natural Finish?

A natural finish refers to finishes that protect and seal wood without the use of stains or dyes. Many natural finishes are clear so that the natural color of the wood is visible underneath a protective coating.

A natural finish is a type of finish that does not alter the color of the wood. Natural finishes are used to protect and enhance a wood’s natural features. Many natural finishes may bring out the color variations within a piece of wood. Natural finishes can be made from oils such as Tung oil, mink oil, linseed oil or mineral oil. It is even possible to stain the sanded wood with a mild or matching stain, but it should be water based. By repeating the process of sanding and oiling, a beautiful natural finish will enhance and protect the wood’s surface. It is even possible to produce a natural finish after a stain, dye, or varnish has been stripped away.

What is Overlay?

Overlay refers to the amount of front frame covered by a cabinet or drawer front piece. The two primarily used descriptions are full-overlay and partial-overlay. These three terms are related but not interchangeable. When selecting overlay type, one’s cabinets must all commit to a choice of full-overlay or partial-overlay. The measurements of doors, frames and the drawer fronts will be different between the two types and must be specified to create continuity throughout a cabinet run.

The most noticeable difference between the full-overlay and partial-overlay is the affect on the visibility of the cabinet frame. By choosing full-overlay, many kitchen designers create a modern appearance that gives cabinets a seamless appearance. Full overlay sized doors should not be substituted for frameless doors only because they do leave a small 3/8 inch gap along the edges. Partial-overlay doors and drawers will create consistent 2-inch spacing across the entire face of the cabinet run, which shoes a strip of the frame. This style is named for the fact that the doors and drawers will equally overlap the frame on all edges around the opening.

What is a Base Cabinet?

A base cabinet is the one designed to sit under the countertop of a kitchen or bathroom. Base cabinets are the largest storage area of a cabinet system with a typical depth of 24 inches. When purchasing kitchen base cabinets, it is best to look for cupboards that are sold with the base as an accompanying set. The base cabinets of a kitchen are the storage foundation for the entire room and will play a dominant role in the overall décor.

Both kitchen and bathroom floor cabinets are referred to as base cabinets but they can have very different constructions. For example, in a bathroom that has a pedestal sink, the base cabinet may be a simple fa?ade to mask plumbing without actually providing any storage capability. Faux draws may add additional dimension to a bathroom base cabinet without increasing its functionality. The same can be true for kitchen cabinets depending on the price of the cabinetry. Base cabinets are offered in a variety of materials and can be purchased with or without doors. To save money, some base cabinets can be constructed so that only their visible face is made from solid wood.

What is a Drawer Base Cabinet?

A drawer base cabinet is a cabinet that has a sliding draw set into it. This is a very practical and common type of base cabinet because of the storage versatility it offers any cabinetry scheme. The only limitation to this style of base cabinet is that it is not usable under sinks because it can interfere with the installation of a drain pipe. In a kitchen cabinetry run, the countertop can be supported by a series of drawer base cabinets to maximize storage space. Typically, a drawer’s base cabinet will consist of a single drawer at the top end and a cabinet door that opens to a compartment 24 inches deep. The base cabinet area may have a full shelf, half shelf or no shelf. The bottom of the drawer is often not internally shielded from the lower cabinet area in order to conserve construction materials, so obstructions to the drawer’s movement can occur if large objects are placed so that they touch or block the travel path of the drawer’s underside.

The drawer base cabinet is such a popular style that it is also emulated in faux designs that feature drawer fronts that do not actually function. This is a way that the aesthetic pattern of the face of a cabinet run can be preserved where the inclusion of a functioning drawer is either not practical or cost effective.

What is a Sink Base Cabinet?

A sink base cabinet is a cabinet that has been designed to use with a sink. The style of the cabinet depends on the type of sink that will be installed.

A sink base cabinet has been specially crafted to use with a sink. The cabinet does not have a back panel, which allows plenty of room for access to the plumbing. Sink base cabinets also do not have drawers, which interfere with the water lines, waste traps and any other pipes that are under the sink. However, the cabinets do have false drawer fronts, which balance out the cabinet’s appearance. A sink base cabinet can be constructed from the same wood as the other cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom. The finish and the door style can also be made to match the other units. Homeowners should decide which type of sink they want to use before they purchase a sink base cabinet, as the style of the sink could affect the type of cabinet they need.

What is a Corner Sink Base?

A corner sink base is the type of cabinet used to place a traditional kitchen sink in a corner area of the cabinet run. This type of sink placement is most common in “L” or “U” shaped base cabinet runs. The difficulties that are specific to this type of placement are related to both the need for a large countertop area to support the basin and the difficulty of maintaining a complete drain-pipe and water-supply access underneath the sink. A corner sink base uses a common sink type, but it requires custom cabinet installation to adapt the base cabinet, the backsplash and the top cabinetry in a configuration that allows for an ergonomic use of the space. It is challenging to merge the practicality of placing the sink in a corner with the functional needs of supporting counterpace in the adjacent space. The sink basin used in such a design will typically be trapezoidal or oval in shape without attached faucets to allow for placement flexibility based on the pre-existing pipe locations.

What is a Base Angle Cabinet?

A base angle cabinet is a cabinet specifically designed to fit a particular joining or corner area. Very rarely are kitchen counters completely straight. As cabinets are designed into shapes that offer extended countertop space, the need for corner cabinet designs has grown in prominence. Without a base angle cabinet, a significant amount of potential storage space can be lost or wasted due to inaccessibility. There are numerous designs that incorporate various door and shelving techniques, but all are aimed at maximizing the usable space.

Some base angle cabinets may be customized into a trapezoid shape to create a flush facing finish to the row of cabinets. These types of base angle designs are custom built to compensate for an awkward directional change or special need. Generic base angle cabinets are offered in a diamond or triangle shaped bases to fit right-angled corners. Occasionally, a 120 degree angle might be practical for changing the run of a cabinet that follows an irregular countertop. Within the base angle cabinet, rotating shelves are common if the depth of the cabinet is great than 24 inches. Regardless of the internal shelving scheme, the door hinge placement will be critical in maintaining good functionality for corner cabinets.

What is a Base End Cabinet?

The definition of a base end cabinet is the last cabinet in a series of storage spaces located beneath a countertop. It is not necessary to include a base end cabinet in a kitchen design, but it adds a decorative touch to the storage area.

A base end cabinet is a simple addition to a kitchen design. Base end cabinets have doors and look just like the other cabinets in the series, but the interior is angled in order to taper the end of the row. This eliminates sharp corners while adding an extra place in which to store kitchen items. Base end cabinets are typically smaller than the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen and are ideal for storing small dishes or utensils that are not used frequently. They are made of the same wood as the other cabinets, and the door can have the same decorative elements that are available for regular cabinets.

What is a Base End Shelf?

A base end shelf is a shelf located on the end of the set of cabinets beneath a countertop. Base end shelves are not found in all kitchens but are often used to increase storage space or to add a decorative touch.

A base end shelf is similar to a base end cabinet, but it does not have a door to hide the contents.
Base end shelves are not universal because they must be designed for either the left or the right side. The shelves may be used for decorative purposes, such as storing pretty bowls, ornaments or collectables. Base end shelves may also be used for storing necessary kitchen items, such as timers, salt and pepper shakers or bottles of seasonings. The shelves are relatively shallow in order to keep the walking space near the cabinets clear and unobstructed. Base end shelves are usually made of the same wood and have the same finish as the other cabinets in the kitchen.

What is a Dovetail?

A dovetail is a type of joint in which two pieces of wood interlock. Dovetail joints are extremely strong and secure, and they are frequently used to attach the fronts of drawers to the drawer box.

A dovetail is a joint that uses interlocking fan-shaped pieces to hold the wood together. The joint is created by chiseling or cutting notches, which are called pins and tails, in each piece of wood so that they fit together securely. Dovetail joints have appeared throughout history and may be one of the oldest known joint techniques. A dovetail joint does not require any hardware to keep it secure. Dovetail joints are often used in drawer fronts, boxes, cabinets and furniture. While making a dovetail joint can be difficult to master, it is a technique that many cabinetmakers and carpenters prefer. Its strength and aesthetic appeal makes a dovetail joint one of the most popular joints to use in several types of projects.

What is a Corbel?

A corbel, in contemporary application, is a carved design element that adds the appearance of ornate craftsmanship to a project. Originally, corbels were developed as a load-bearing element used in classical architecture. Corbels would help to bear the weight of an excessively heavy architectural piece such as a roof or ledge. The supportive strength of a corbel resides in its ability to utilize leverage for strength because its top end presents a right-angle platform that is supported by the vertical support of its long body. Today, corbels can still be used as functional weight bearers for cabinets and countertops to give the installation a regal classic appeal. Most corbels are made of resin or wood and are applied after construction but before painting.

The original stone corbels were to support balconies and ledges in ancient architecture. Corbels were always masonry and should not be confused with wood jutting of similar purpose that is known as a bragger. Corbels can be added to an existing installation to, in similar fashion and purpose to adding moldings, completely change or revitalize the look of standard cabinetry.

What is Solid Wood?

Solid wood is lumber that has been milled directly from trees. Other types of wood, such as plywood, medium-density fiberboard or veneers, are manufactured from wood composites.

Solid wood is wood that has been cut from a tree. Unlike engineered wood, which is composed of wood fibers that are held together with adhesives, solid wood contains wood fibers throughout the piece of lumber. No fillers or adhesives are used. Solid wood is often used for furniture, construction, cabinetry and flooring. It does not warp as easily as many engineered woods, but it is more susceptible to stains. Solid wood is easier to repair than veneers or other engineered woods, which is one reason that it is used for many types of projects. There are several types of solid wood available, so woodworkers, cabinetmakers and carpenters can choose from a large selection for their projects. Each type of solid wood has its own characteristics, including its grain pattern, color and texture.

What is Plywood?

Plywood is a manufactured wood material suitable for construction projects. While this is not a visually appealing wood, it is frequently used in the construction of most cabinet boxes due to the fact that those parts of a cabinetry run are obscured from view. Kerf cabinet systems, however, use plywood as a primary material that is left unpainted or stained for a modern industrial appeal.

What gives Plywood its strength is that it is constructed by gluing together wood veneers, which are thin sheets of wood only 3mm or 1/8-inch thick. When the wood is cut, the veneers do have a tendency to splinter if the saw is rushed through. The use of Plywood in the construction of kitchen cabinetry is a great way to defer some cost while maintaining the strength and integrity of the project. Unlike other manufactured woods, such as particleboard, plywood is comparable in strength and durability to that of natural hard woods.

What is a Veneer?

A veneer is a very thin piece of wood that is attached to particle board or other types of manufactured wood. Veneers are used to lessen the cost of a project without sacrificing the overall appearance.

A veneer is a thin piece of hardwood that is placed over a piece of manufactured wood. It may be attached using an adhesive, nails or screws. Veneers are frequently used on cabinets, furniture and floors. The frame and shelves of the units are made of particleboard, MDF or plywood, but the viewable surfaces are covered with veneers. This gives the appearance that the product is solid hardwood, but it is much more cost effective for many homeowners. Veneers are available in a variety of grains and finishes, and they are typically much more consistent in appearance than most hardwood products. Some carpenters create their own veneers, while others purchase veneers from manufacturers. Veneers are especially suitable for door panels, exposed sides and interior cabinet areas that will be viewable.

What is Engineered Wood?

Engineered wood is manufactured from scraps of lumber and byproducts, such as saw dust, that have been reformed using heat, glue and pressure to make a usable solid-wood alternative. In an effort to meet the demands for a construction material that is lower costing but equally durable, the forest industry engineered several types of wood-based board products. Engineered woods are intended to be used as a substrate, which means they are covered with a laminate or wood veneer. This is a construction material that has grown in popularity because of advancements in the engineered wood’s quality being produced today.

Particle board is a commonly known engineered wood used in the manufacturing of many kitchen cabinets and countertops, but it is not the only one. Another equally popular and arguably more durable engineered wood is plywood. Fiberboard and flakeboard are the other popular versions on the market today. All of the previously mentioned board types use the similar methods to manufacture the board, but the type of raw material wood used will vary the final texture and strength between them. Processes that are achieving higher densities and the advancement into the inclusion of fire retardant materials are helping to improve the reputation of engineered woods.

What is a Joint?

A joint is a method for affixing two pieces of a project together. It sounds simple enough, until one looks at the specific types of joints like the flat polygon miter joint or the bare haunched mortise and tenon joint. In total, there are roughly 46 types of joints commonly used in cabinet construction, and there is always the possibility that more can be invented or discovered. The reason for such a broad range of joints is because each accomplishes the task of joining two parts of a project in a slightly different way to increase durability and the overall aesthetic. This is where the expertise of a professional cabinet builder sets their work apart from that of others through their style and craftsmanship.

When constructing cabinets, most assume that only two types of joints are needed: edge butt joints and flat butt joints. While it is true that these are two basic ways to attach the sides of a cabinet box or the pieces of a face frame to the project, they are not necessarily the strongest or most visually appealing methods. A cabinetmaker will select the type of joint to use at any given place in the project based on the needs of that particular joint. For example, drawers often have sides that are joined by a lap dovetail joint because it is the one that is going to provide the most secure hold against the side tension of constant pushing and pulling while simultaneously supporting the weight of the drawer’s contents.

What is a Butt Joint?

A butt joint is formed when two pieces of wood are attached together perpendicularly using only glue. It is a very weak joint and is not used often.

A butt joint is created by butting two pieces of wood together. The long grain of one piece is set against the end grain of another piece. No reinforcement is available when using butt joints, which makes them very weak. Screws or nails are rarely used with this type of joint because it is highly likely that the wood will split or crack. If some sort of fasteners will be used, many carpenters or woodworkers will pre-drill holes. When forming butt joints, it is essential that the square cuts are precise. This will allow both pieces of wood to fit flush with one another. Due to their weak nature, butt joints are used in projects that will not be moved frequently or that will not be required to hold a good deal of weight.

What is a Spice Rack?

A spice rack is an organizational tool that is used to store bottles of seasonings and spices. Spice racks are available in a variety of materials, sizes and styles.

A spice rack is used to organize bottles of spices and seasonings. There are several types of spice racks available. They make be small shelves that are placed in the pantry, or they may be wire shelves that hang on the pantry door. Some spice racks have tilted shelves that make it easy to identify the seasonings, while others store the bottles vertically. A spice rack may also refer to a unit that can be pulled out of a pantry shelf. In this case, the rack has two or three shelves and is easily accessible from both sides. Spice racks may also be towers that spin like a carousel. Spice racks may be constructed of wire, wood or plastic, and the number of bottles that the racks hold varies between designs.

What is a Base Spice Pull-out?

A base spice pull-out is a portion of a base cabinet that is perfectly designed for storing herbs, spices and seasonings. While base spice pull-out racks can be placed inside larger cabinets, there are also individual spice cabinets as small as 6” that can be pulled out for easy access to the storage bottles.

A base spice pull-out is a simple alternative to using pantry space for storing spices. The spice pull-out may be a drawer that has areas in which to store bottles of herbs and seasonings, or it may be a rack that can roll out for easy access to the bottles. A base spice pull-out is ideal for small spaces between cabinets or appliances. There are a few cabinet manufacturers that offer pre-made base spice pull-outs, but they are also available through custom orders so that the size and color can be perfectly matched to each homeowner’s cabinet needs.

What is a Wine Rack?

A wine rack is the term used to describe the permanent fixture that can be included in a cabinetry run to offer a convenient and permanent place to store wine bottles. Wine racks have a few basic requirements, like the fact that most wines must be stored on their side with a slight incline to allow the cork to stay fully moistened by the liquid inside. However, variations in the design of a wine rack can produce widely varying and creative storage methods.

Some wine rack designs create a concealed storage within a cabinet that incorporates permanent inclusion of racks inside a standard base or wall cabinet. Other designs will include glass in the cabinet door’s design to help showcase the wine. There are also refrigerated cases that can be concealed in base cabinets to house wine at the prescribed temperature despite fluctuations in the environmental temperature. The simplest wine racks can consist simply of a few circle cutouts into which bottle can be placed.

What is a Glass Rack?

A glass rack is a rack that stores stemware, including wine glasses, tulips, flutes and goblets. Glass racks may be located beneath cabinets, or they may be suspended from the ceiling. Some glass racks are cubes that rest on the tops of counters.

A glass rack is a storage device that keeps stemware safe and secure. Many types of stemware can take up excess space inside cabinets because of the wide diameter of the bowls. Glass racks allow homeowners or bartenders to store wine glasses, champagne flutes, goblets and tulips upside down and out of the way. The glassware easily slides into its allotted place in the glass rack, and then it slides back out when the glasses are needed. The design also allows water to drip out of the bowls so that the glasses do not get water spots. Glass racks are available in an assortment of materials and finishes. Chrome, copper or stainless steel glass racks add a sleek, modern feel to a kitchen, while wooden glass racks create a cozy, warm atmosphere.

What is a Plate Rack?

A plate rack is a stylish and convenient way to store plates. The beauty of a plate rack is that it can be built and installed into an existing cabinetry run. The main limitation to plate racks is that they can only store a select number of plates. This is a storage system best utilized for a formal set of dishes. The plate rack is typically attached to a top cabinet’s underside and to the wall for additional strength. Plates are placed into delineated slots that accept only a single plate per space. Plate racks do not typically have a cabinet door covering them, so they are a visible addition to the cabinetry that some prefer.

For kitchens with limited space that precludes the incorporation of a china cabinet or hutch, the plate rack can be a space-saving way to still display a fine collection. Though plate racks due tend to resemble dish racks, they should never be used for drying dishes as this can ruin the finish or weaken the wood with moisture buildup over time. Most plate racks are made of wood, but alternative materials can be selected to achieve a complimentary modern aesthetic.

What is a Wall Cabinet?

Wall cabinet is the term used to describe the top cabinetry that is suspended above the counter space, as opposed to the base cabinets that sit on the floor. Wall cabinets can be as unique as the kitchens they occupy, but they will typically be manufactured as part of a matching set to base cabinets in order to form a complimentary cabinetry run. There are general guidelines to the construction of wall cabinets. While their construction is very similar to that of base cabinets, the first noticeable difference is that wall cabinets never include drawers. Typically, wall cabinets will have a paneled door, a box frame and a hanging rail. A door must be included for the fixture to be referred to as a cabinet. Since the lower edge is visible, a bottom edge molding is often incorporated.

The weight support and distribution of wall cabinets function very differently from that of base cabinets. The two most critical features of a wall cabinet are its hanging rail and its box frame. A common wall cabinet is 12 inches deep, but that is really the only commonality that can be seen throughout kitchen wall cabinet construction. The height of wall cabinets was once standardized at 30 inches, but the growing popularity of staggered wall cabinet designs has created a need for additional height options. Now, cabinets may be purchased in 40, 24, 18, 15, 12 inch heights. Width varies between nine and 48 inches in increments of three inches.

What is a Wall Diagonal Corner Cabinet?

A wall diagonal corner cabinet is a cabinet designed to occupy a corner space while providing a diagonal transition for the cabinetry run’s face across the right angle of the corner. Wall diagonal corner cabinets are much large in dimensions than other typical wall cabinets because they are made in a trapezoidal dimension to all for traditional squared cabinets to butt up to each side from the perpendicular walls. The resulting diagonal cabinet uses the same sized door as the rest of the cabinetry run and thus does not break the symmetry of the run. However, when the door is opened and the cavernous space inside is revealed, it becomes necessary for cabinetry makers to outfit these with special modifications to make them practical and accessible.

The most common modification to the inside of a wall diagonal corner cabinet is the addition of a large lazy Susan. The round lazy Susan does waste some space since it is a round surface in a trapezoid shaped cabinet, but it is still the most popular choice because the uniquely deep dimension can make it very difficult to reach items set into the cabinets back corner area. Since the wall diagonal corner cabinet is such a large cabinet, it must be securely attached to the room’s framing at several locations and should not be filled to capacity with heavy items.

What is a Corner Cabinet?

A corner cabinet is a specially designed cabinet that will maximize the usable space of a corner. Because of the natural obstructions created by perpendicular doors or the difficulty of being able to reach into a cabinet deeper than 24 inches, a corner cabinet must use a non-standard configuration. Corner cabinets are offered in both base and upper cabinet designs, though base cabinets are the most common form. The advantages to a corner cabinet are derived from many factors, but typically the designs are directed toward an efficient use of space on the inside with a camouflaged appearance on the outside.

The different styles of internal shelving systems that come in most corner cabinet units will use a variation of lazy-susans, drawers, custom shaped shelves or the space will simply be left completely empty. If one has some large items that could be stored in the kitchen, then leaving the space empty of shelves and interferences becomes the best utilization of the space. The predominant difficulty is in determining how best to attach functional doors that will not disrupt the visual line for the run of cabinets. For that reason, corner cabinet doors are usually multi-hinged and custom matched to the space.

What is a Diagonal Corner Cabinet?

A diagonal corner cabinet is a cabinet that is located in the corner of a room. It is often smaller than other cabinets.

A diagonal corner cabinet is used when cabinets extend along the corner of a room, which is frequently the case in many kitchens. A diagonal corner cabinet provides continuity of the cabinet units and adds to the aesthetic appeal of the room. Diagonal corner cabinets are smaller than traditional cabinets, which limits their storage capacity. They are frequently used for smaller dishes or cookbooks. A diagonal corner cabinet may also hold a lazy susan, which will help homeowners to utilize the storage space as much as possible. Diagonal cabinets can be designed to look exactly like the other cabinets in the room in order to make them appear as natural as possible. They can be constructed of the same materials using the same styles and finishing techniques as the other units.

What is Contemporary Style?

Contemporary style kitchens or cabinetry refers to a modern aesthetic that is achieved through the use of manmade materials and efficient minimalist designs. Living spaces designed in contemporary styles will incorporate stainless steel, laminates, glass, concrete, chrome and lacquered surfaces. Coloring will be bold and stark. This is a style that originated with the European influences of the 1940s designers that sought to bridge art and design together for a function-oriented approach. Contemporary style is a term often interchanged with ‘modern’ or ‘industrial’ because of the common use of exposed metals and stark straight lines in these styles of design.

One of the key factors in creating a contemporary aesthetic is that there is little to no decoration utilized. A goal in contemporary design is that everything in the design has a function and has been arranged in order to achieve an optimum efficiency. Finding appliances to compliment the contemporary style of one’s kitchen is relatively easy today as most manufacturers produce a line of either brushed metal or bold lacquered coloring. To achieve the contemporary style with one’s cabinets, consider using concealed hinges and metal doors. If wood is used, then it should be finished with a high gloss enamel to match to overall look. Contemporary style is a general term with plenty of latitude for including personal preferences.

What is the Traditional Style?

The traditional style offers a combination of comfortable furniture, classic designs and casual décor. It is a term that includes several design elements, including warm colors and symmetrical lines and.

The traditional style is one of the most popular styles used to decorate homes. It incorporates design elements from a variety of centuries, which allows homeowners to feel comfortable and elegant at the same time. The traditional style features warm, rich colors that are very inviting. The furniture is plush and soft, and many of the pieces are sold as sets. The traditional style may have curves and designs, but it is not extremely ornate or ostentatious. Glazed doors or stained glass add character to the room, and wood floor or checkered tiles can make the space even more personal. The traditional style allows homeowners to use many of their original appliances and pieces of furniture while updating the appearance with a new finish and hardware.

What is a Country Style?

Country style refers to an aesthetic that represents rural farmhouse-like design. This style of decoration has gained popularity because of the feeling of simpler living it eludes too. The color palette of a country style kitchen will incorporate pastels and bright colors with the addition of design elements like stenciling or vintage signage. The materials used to create a country style décor include wood and rock along with other organic materials.

There are a variety of details that can be incorporated into a kitchen designs to add a country styling depending on how authentic and original a designer wishes to be. The inclusion of a hearth, wood-burning potbelly stove and an apron front sink are all ideas that are more extreme expressions of this aesthetic. More conventional approaches include the inclusion of grained wood cabinetry, floral patterns and tile. The variations on country style can also be regionally dependant.

What is a Hinge?

A hinge is a piece of hardware vital to the proper function of a cabinet door. The two primary categories for hinges are visible and invisible. Visible hinges relate back to the original hinges that were forged by blacksmiths. A visible hinge will usually consist of two leaves held together by a barrel-and-pin knuckle that allows the pieces to move in a linear direction. The completely exposed hinge will have fancy details cast into its leaves to make the hinge more decorative. Partially concealed hinges will only have the knuckle visible at the seam of the door where it aligns with the cabinet face frame. Partially concealed hinges will be very plain as they are for function and not for decoration.

Invisible hinges are set within the door and are completely concealed while the cabinet is closed. This style of hinge is also referred to as a Euro Hinge, and it is gaining popularity because of its many practical benefits. For example, invisible hinges can be aligned through the manipulation of set screws. Another advantage to an invisible hinge is that there is typically an assisted return element to the hinge’s construction. This style also simplifies door removal by simply allowing the hinge to be disconnected at its joint while its ends remain attached to the cabinet.

What is a Concealed Hinge?

A concealed hinge is one that lays flush within a cabinet door to mask the hinges location. The term concealed hinge is interchangeable with “European Style” in reference to cabinetry hinges. The purpose of the concealed hinge is to provide a smooth surface to the outer appearance of a kitchen cabinet run. The major advantage, beyond the purely aesthetic value of concealed hinges, is the ability to make minor adjustments very simply to the cabinet doors after they are installed by turning small adjustment screws. Removal of a cabinet door with concealed hinges is also a simplified process with a concealed hinge because the hardware does not have to be removed from the door.

There are three basic styles of concealed hinges: full overlay, half overlay and insert. The full overlay concealed hinge is the most common type used in kitchen cabinetry. It is easily recognized by its straight-arm design. Insert concealed hinges will often be used in a display cabinet of kitchen cabinetry that incorporates glass doors. There are advantages, like improved security and easier clean-up, that make concealed hinges a valuable addition. Another popular advantage to having concealed hinges in kitchen cabinetry is that it alleviates the need for a visible frame while adding a self-closing ability to the cabinet doors.

What is a Surface Mounted Hinge?

A surface mounted hinge is a type of hinge that is attached without a mortise being cut into the door or frame. Surface mounted hinges may be exposed or concealed.

A surface mounted hinge is a hinge that has one leaf secured to the door and the other to the frame. A mortise is not required for a surface mounted hinge to be used. Since it is not recessed into the door or frame, it is a flat hinge. Surface mounted hinges are available in both concealed and exposed varieties. They are also available as self-closing hinges, which will prevent cabinet doors from slamming shut. Surface mounted hinges come in assorted finishes and sizes so that cabinetmakers and furniture makers can find the exact hinge to match their doors. These hinges often result in a small gap between the door and the frame, which means that some cabinet makers avoid using surface mounted hinges if possible.

What is a Soss Hinge?

A soss hinge is a concealed hinge that is used on inset doors. It is known as a type of invisible hinge because it cannot be seen when the cabinet door is closed.

A soss hinge is an invisible hinge that is used on inset cabinet doors. It is completely concealed when the door is closed. The hinge is attached by cutting mortises into both the door and the cabinet frame. A soss hinge allows the door to close flush with the frame for a clean line. Since the hinge is attached in deep mortises, it also gives the door strength and support. Soss hinges can also be used on furniture and countertops with lift panels. There are several sizes of soss hinges available so that cabinetmakers can choose the ones that best fit the sizes of their doors. There are also a variety of finishes to choose from, such as brass, bronze, stainless steel and nickel.

What is a Surface Mounted Hinge?

A surface mounted hinge is a type of hinge that is attached without a mortise being cut into the door or frame. Surface mounted hinges may be exposed or concealed.

A surface mounted hinge is a hinge that has one leaf secured to the door and the other to the frame. A mortise is not required for a surface mounted hinge to be used. Since it is not recessed into the door or frame, it is a flat hinge. Surface mounted hinges are available in both concealed and exposed varieties. They are also available as self-closing hinges, which will prevent cabinet doors from slamming shut. Surface mounted hinges come in assorted finishes and sizes so that cabinetmakers and furniture makers can find the exact hinge to match their doors. These hinges often result in a small gap between the door and the frame, which means that some cabinet makers avoid using surface mounted hinges if possible.

What is a Door Stopper?

Door stoppers are literally the device used to control, limit and stop the motion of a cabinet door. There are many modern hinges that have one incorporated into the design, but door stoppers can be added to any door as an after-market upgrade. The purpose of a door stopper is to help prevent damage to a trim board, door or the neighboring cabinetry. Many door stoppers include a door return mechanism that allows the door to be propped open or returned to a closed position without the need to manually guide the door to the completely closed position.

The position at which the stopper is intended to stop the door is a characteristic that is used to define this piece of hardware. The magnetic tabs that are attached to the inside top edge of a frameless cabinet that can be referred to as door stoppers. There are also the extending rods with rubber tips that can be called door stoppers. When considering door stoppers for kitchen cabinetry, a popular choice in modern cabinetry is to simply use an invisible hinge. They have a built-in door stopper and mechanical return system incorporated into their designs. Another option rarely used is the rail and sliding bracket door stopper, which is more frequently used on screen doors.

What is a Bumper Pad?

Bumper pads are felt, plastic or rubber additions to cabinet doors that protect the wood while reducing the noise level of closing doors.

Bumper pads are typically round or rectangular pieces that are added to the interior of cabinet doors. Bumper pads reduce the sounds that are often associated with closing cabinets. Without bumper pads, cabinets often vibrate noisily when they are closed. Bumper pads absorb the sounds as well as the vibrations to make closing cabinets as silent as possible. Bumper pads are available in a variety of materials, including felt, plastic and rubber. They are frequently attached to the door using an adhesive backing, but they may fall off or wear down over time. There are also bumper pads available that are permanently affixed to the door, usually by drilling a small hole in which the pads will rest. Bumper pads are also useful for protecting the wood of the cabinets from being damaged as they are closed.

What is a Skin?

A skin is a thin layer of film that looks like wood. The skin has an adhesive backing that allows it to be attached to cabinets for a hardwood appearance.

A skin refers to a type of film that is made of PVC or vinyl. It has an adhesive on the back so that it can be easily applied to cabinets. Skins are frequently used during remodeling projects when costs are limited. They cover cabinet damage, such as scratches or stains. In order to apply skins, all hardware must be removed. The cabinets are then sanded, and putty is used to make the surface smooth and even before the skin is applied. Skins are available in a large selection of woods, stains and grain patterns in order to give homeowners a variety of choices. Skins are not recommended for cabinets that are not structurally sound, because the film does not provide the cabinet with any support or strength. The skin is simply a decorative covering that is used for its aesthetic appeal.

What is Wall Skin?

Wall skin is a type of wall treatment that can be a useful way of adding detail or changing the overall aesthetic of a room. Wall skins are sometimes comprised of veneers of wood. These thin sheets are easily attached to walls to create a wood paneling or Wainscot effect. Another popular use of wall skins is to create a modern look by incorporating metal or other types of industrially influenced textures.

The backsplash of a kitchen can be matched and extended to the entire kitchen wall with a wall skin. Some wall skins are three dimensionally textured to help give the kitchen a natural rock look, but those must be painted and plastered to complete the look. Wall skin can also refer to the vinyl stickers used to decorate a wall with images. Underneath the wall skin in most kitchens will still be a type of dry wall or rock board to meet all the appropriate fire safety standards.

What is a Base Skin?

The base skin of a kitchen cabinet is the recessed area between the bottom of the base cabinet and the floor. Base skins may also be referred to as the “toe kick” or “toe skins”.

The base skin is the attractive trim that reaches from the bottom of the cabinet to the floor. It is often more shallow than the rest of the cabinet and allows room for the toe kick, which is the space beneath the front of the cabinets where cooks can place their feet while they are working. The base skin blocks the area underneath the cabinet from food and dirt while allowing chefs to maintain their balance when working on the countertop. Base skins are available in the same finishes as cabinets. Base skins come in predetermined widths, so it can be difficult to keep the cabinets level while also having the toe kick extend all the way to the floor.

What is an Island Skin?

An island skin is a material that is used to cover the substrate of a kitchen island. There are multiple ways to construct a kitchen island, but the most cost effective method is to utilize base cabinets from the same manufacturer that made the rest of the run. This ensures that doors, overlay and face frames will be identical to the installed cabinetry in the space. The challenge that this plan presents is the exposure of the backside of the base cabinetry, which is typically made from a manufactured wood and not intended to be seen. To conceal the substrate, a layer of material known as a skin is attached.

Island skins are offered in a variety of materials. Sometimes materials like copper or stainless steel can be used to support the overall aesthetic of the kitchen. Others may choose to use a skin that is made from a thin sheet of the same wood that the cabinetry faces, doors and drawers are made from. This technique gives the illusion of solid hardwood without the cost. There are also vinyl and laminate skins that can be used though contractors will typically discourage this due to the size of the visual reference this creates which can lower the perceived level of quality of the cabinetry for the entire room.

What is an End Panel?

An end panel is the decorative surface piece used to make the exposed end of a base or top cabinet run look more appealing. Since many cabinets terminate at a doorway or kitchen entrance at which a there is no wall to conceal the rough substrate of the cabinets frame or sides, the end panel was invented as a simple way of concealing this area without altering the actual construction of the cabinet piece. End panels will often mimic the inlay pattern of the cabinet doors for any particular run or portray a compatible variation to signify it as a decorative piece.

End panels typically do not have a functional or structural purpose since they are added to cabinetry after it is prefabricated. The end piece will typically be constructed from solid wood because it is intended to support the illusion that the substrate is also solid wood despite the infrequency of that actuality. When matching the end panel, it will need to be manufactured to dimensions that will conceal the interior secrets of the cabinetry‘s construction. The incorporation of base moldings or corbels used throughout the cabinetry should be incorporated in the end panel’s design to complete the overall look.

What is a Fridge Panel?

A fridge panel is a piece of wood that is placed over an exposed area of the refrigerator to create a built-in appearance. Fridge panels are available through many appliance manufacturers, but they can also be custom ordered.

A fridge panel is composed of pieces of wood that surround a refrigerator. The panels allow it to have a built-in appearance so that the appliance blends in with the cabinetry. A fridge panel can be purchased for nearly every type of refrigerator, including side-by-side and subzero units. Many refrigerators are designed to allow consumers to attach the fridge panels of their choice, while other units may need to be adapted to allow the panels to fit properly. Fridge panels may also be custom ordered to fit unique styles of refrigerators or to better match the designs in the room. Cabinetmakers will often take orders for fridge panels and will style them after the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen.

What is a Dishwasher Panel?

A dishwasher panel is the viewable portion of the dishwasher. It covers and conceals the machine while allowing it to match the other appliances or the décor of the kitchen.

A dishwasher panel is a false front that is attached to the dishwashing machine. It may be secured with hardware, or it may be attached using adhesives. Dishwasher panels allow the machine to match other appliances in the kitchen, but it may also be disguised as a cabinet unit. Panels are available in white, cream, black and stainless steel. There are also specialized panels that are designed to have an antique or wooden appearance. A dishwasher panel may feature the machine’s controls on the front, while more advanced models may have the controls hidden away on the top of the panel. It is important that homeowners carefully measure their dishwashing units before ordering a new dishwasher panel because the machines are not uniform in size.