When choosing kitchen cabinets for a new home or remodeling project, we recommend that you start with cabinet type. While the colors, doors and materials will drive the kitchen’s style, the type of cabinetry will determine not only the budget but also how well your space is used.
First decision: stock, semi-custom, or custom cabinets. Typically, stock cabinets offer the fewest options at the lowest prices in the shortest amount of time, with custom cabinets at the opposite end of the spectrum and semi-custom cabinets falling in the middle. Over the last decade or so, however, the style and accessory options offered by stock and semi-custom cabinet lines have expanded to the point where it’s possible to achieve an attractive, personalized kitchen in any of the three choices.
Still, if you’re looking to save money and to get the job going quickly, stock cabinets are your best bet. If you have a small kitchen and don’t want to waste space on fillers, the greater range of sizes and storage accessories available in semi-custom might be a better fit. And if the cabinet finish or doors have to match a piece of heirloom furniture, you’ll need custom cabinetry.
Second decision: framed or frameless cabinets. Looks-wise, framed or face-frame cabinetry is more traditional than frameless. Frameless cabinets have the advantage of more interior storage space, but the disadvantage of being more difficult, and therefore more expensive, to install.
There are four types of kitchen cabinets that you are likely to consider when planning your new kitchen.
The four basic categories are Base, Wall, Tall and Specialty
Base cabinets are usually located below the countertop. Most often they are 24″ deep and 34.5″ tall. They come in a large variety of widths. Base cabinets that are located under the sink area are called Sink Bases. Sink Bases also come in a variety of widths and there are special ones if you want to locate your sink in the corner of the kitchen. If the base cabinet has all drawers and no doors in it is called a Drawer Base.
Wall cabinets are most often located with their bottoms 18” above the countertop. Most commonly they can be purchased with heights of 30″, 36″, or 42″, and 12″ in depth. Similar to base cabinets they also come in a large variety of widths. Special wall cabinets are often located above the refrigerator and depending on your preference may also be much deeper than the other wall cabinets. For homes with 8’ high ceilings, one popular design is to use 36″ high wall cabinets and then add crown molding from the top to the ceiling.
Tall cabinets usually go from the floor to the same height as the top of the wall cabinets. They are most often used for pantries to store food and cleaning supplies and for wall mounted single or double ovens. They are typically 24″ deep.
Specialty cabinets include special base, wall and tall cabinets not discussed above but may also include wine racks, stove hoods, corner lazy susans, and spice pull-outs just to name a few. If you see a picture of an unusual cabinet, we can probably custom build it for you.
All four types of cabinets can be customized to add or subtract depth or to add customized storage options such as sliding pantry drawers.