You can purchase stock RTA off a home center's showroom floor, or order custom cabinets with exactly the features you want. With
RTA cabinets, you found a reasonable selection of woods, styles, and finishes. Most manufacturers offer RTA cabinet lines in
traditional (face frame) construction, but carry only the most commonly used sizes and drawer and door configurations.
This standardization and limited selection means stock cabinets cost less and are readily available. It also means that if you have an
odd-size space in your kitchen, you'll need to order filler strips to close in the gaps.
Custom cabinets, as the name implies, are built to fit your particular kitchen space. Because cabinet widths vary, you won't find filler
strips (and wasted space) in a custom installation. You also have a wider selection of woods, styles, finishes, and options, but these
features boost the overall cost. Some manufacturers offer semi-custom cabinets that give you the best of both worlds. These units
are standardized, but come in a wider range of sizes, materials, and styles than stock cabinets. This gives a kitchen designer greater
flexibility to work within the given space and your budget.
Glaze: a secondary staining process used to create highlight on wood doors.
Stain: a finish applied to wood doors to add color and protection.
Epoxy Coated Drawer Runner: metal runners provide smooth and durable operation.
Shelf Pins: pieces of hardware that the shelf sits on, usually metal or plastic. Adjustable shelves can be placed within an assortment
of predrilled holes for maximum flexibility.
Decorative pull/handle: a piece of hardware that is fixed on a door or drawer front, and used to open the cabinet.
Veneer: a thin piece of wood, usually laminated to a piece of engineered board.
Edge banding: a piece of material applied to the edge of a board or door, to seal and cover the surface.
Bridge cabinet: a cabinet used to span an open space above an appliance like a refrigerator or stove.
Easy Reach cabinet: a corner cabinet that provides easily accessible storage space.
Fluted Rail: a decorative piece of molding used to highlight areas between cabinets.
Rosette: a small decorative piece of molding used to add visual interest in a kitchen.
Light Rail: a decorative piece of molding usually applied to the bottom of wall cabinets to hide under-cabinet lighting, or to give a
Crown Molding: a decorative piece of molding usually applied to the top of cabinets for a finished look.
Soffit Spacer: a decorative piece of molding usually applied to the top of wall cabinets to provide door clearance.
Cam and bolt: hardware used to connect the top, bottom and sides of a cabinet. Cam and bolt construction creates an extremely
Frameless cabinet: a cabinet that has a door that covers the entire cabinet face; also known as an overlay door. There access
and more storage space.
MDF: Medium Density Fiberboard - a type of engineered wood.
Thermofoil: a vinyl material that is pressed and sealed onto engineered board.
Melamine: a chemically fused paper pressed and sealed onto engineered board.
Particleboard: engineered board made from wood.
Wood is still the most popular choice of material for kitchen cabinets - and amongst the
many types of lumber used to make kitchen cabinets Maple is now the most popular,
followed closely by Birch.
You can also choose from cherry, hickory and what was traditionally the most popular - oak!,
as well as pine. Pine is the most economical choice and has an interesting grain for a rustic
finish but it is the softest of the wood kitchen cabinet options and means that after wear and tear it can more easily show bumps and
Wood cabinets can be left with natural tones, color tinted so that a light grain shows through or they can be lighted so that a darker
grain shows through the semi opaque paint.
You can get the look of wood on a tigher budget with wood veneer finishes, basically this is a really thin sheet of wood that is glued
over plywood. They may look like wood but they don't feel like wood and they are not hardly as durable or solid.
Also the finish is not as solid as a laminate and savings can be lost in the long term because this surface is more easily damaged and
instead of repair - it's really going to be a case of replace!
The material of these kitchen cabinets is produced by heat sealing layers of resin soaked paper together to create a really durable
material that is flexible to use in that it can be pre-colored and given a texture.
The easiest finish to find is a white or ivory with a high gloss finish which is ideal for anyone wanting to create a modern light and
bright kitchen. This is a stronger and more expensive option than melamine.
This is made from a mixture of resin, paper and pressed wood and prices and quality do differ depending on the quality of the
pressed wood used in the mix.
Melamine is a versatile material for kitchen cabinets in that it is available in many different colors and hues and different surface
finishes, although you'll be in trouble if the the surface is scratched - this material is not as durable as the laminate cabinets and
that's why it costs less!
Melamine is made into quality kitchen cabinet and counters to suite many homes.
This smooth man-made surface makes it difficult to change in the future but there a now a number of specialist paints for melamine
cabinets on the market but the quality of results do differ widely, see here for out guide to Painting Melamine Cabinets
PVC is a durable material made up of wood fibres covered with a sheet of PVC which is said to be tougher than both laminates and
Although you can't find it in as many colors and finishes, it is a man made option for kitchen cabinet and counters that is easier on
Once only consigned to restaurant kitchens, stainless steel in household kitchens is now in vogue - helped recently by the many
varied designs of stainless steel kitchen island extractor hoods which combine a stainless steel chimney and body with a glass hood
to great effect.
Unlike wood, stainless steel kitchen cabinet and counter products are not affected by changes in temperatures or condensation - so
is an ideal material for busy kitchens. A piece of stainless steel that is being incorporated into wood and laminated kitchens alike is
the stainless steel kitchen splashback.
A layer of stainless steel is usually applied over an MDF base to give the kitchen cabinet and counter more substance.
Stainless steel is a very easy kitchen cabinet and counter material to clean - which is just as well because it does show all the finger
marks, but I am afraid that the scratches are more difficult to get out.