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On average, fifty percent of any kitchen is covered in cabinetry. That’s a lot! It’s the first thing anyone will notice when they approach the room. If you’re remodeling plans include new cabinets, first, understand some fundamentals about cabinetry before picking colors and handles.

Most cabinets are manufactured from some form of wood, but quality varies significantly. A number of discount stores sell models made from low-grade particleboard. They may look reasonable, but moisture can cause softening and screws might fail to hold. Not good.

A better choice is any furniture board made of wood fibers and resins pressed into high density panels. Some are coated in various plastics and veneers for moisture resistance and a better appearance. However, if you prefer to go green with your new cabinets, more styles are coming on the market in renewable resources like wheatboard and bamboo.

You’ll love any cabinets made from plywood or solid wood. They’ll last. Test for quality by taking a look at the drawers. They get the most use and should ideally have strong, dovetail joints of solid wood, not staples in particleboard.

There are two cabinet formats to pick from: framed and frameless (or “full access”). The traditional choice is framed because of the border of wood over the front of the box. An edge of the frame will always be seen. The contemporary cabinet is frameless with no edges showing. Framed cabinets are less expensive and have more styles to choose from, but frameless produce a smooth and sleek appearance.

If you have flexibility in your kitchen layout, stock cabinets may work. They’re made to standard sizes in a limited number of designs. Though it will cost more, if you require cabinets of a special size or original designs, you’ll need to have them custom-built.

Now it’s time to get creative! Go have some fun picking the finishes, colors, and hardware to make your cabinetry your own.

Framed vs. Frameless Photo Courtesy of McManus Kitchen and Bath

Framed vs. Frameless Photo Courtesy of McManus Kitchen and Bath