3 Steps To Choosing The Right Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets Set The Tone For The Whole Kitchen

Cabinets Set The Tone For The Whole Kitchen

Cabinets can be the biggest expense in a full kitchen remodel, accounting for up to 40 percent of the overall budget. They also set the visual tone for the kitchen, and they’re a huge part of how well it functions. Bottom line: Get the cabinets right and your chance of loving your new kitchen will go way up.

Step 1: Set the budget
Cabinets fall into three categories: stock, semi-custom, and custom. Stock cabinets start around $70 per linear foot (a typical kitchen has 25 to 30 linear feet of cabinets). Semi-custom cabinets, which range from $150 to $250 per linear foot, come in more configurations, so they’ll fit your kitchen more precisely, if not perfectly. Custom cabinets can easily cost $500 or more per linear foot; they’re crafted to your exact specs and can include many personalized features.

Step 2: Choose a style
The big decision is between framed and frameless. Framed cabinets consist of a box and face frame, to which doors and drawers are attached. Frameless cabinets, often referred to as European-style, eliminate the face frame; doors and drawers attach directly to the cabinet box. That provides great accessibility and a more contemporary look. On the downside, the absence of a face frame can compromise rigidity; better manufacturers compensate by using a thicker box—say, ¾-inch plywood instead of ½-inch particleboard. For the European look in a framed cabinet, opt for a full-overlay door, which covers all or most of the face frame.

Step 3: Pick the features
Accessories can improve cabinet functionality, but they’ll also increase the cost by 20 percent or more. A pull-out trash can is a worthwhile addition. Built-in charging stations are helpful, too, because they keep the countertop clear of electronic devices. Appliance garages, those countertop compartments designed to conceal small appliances, don’t always offer the best organization. Instead, consider a lift cabinet with a spring-loaded shelf that swings up and out, providing easy access to a mixer, food processor, or other hefty device.

Design tips from the pros

“Integrated lighting has become very popular. As soon as you open the drawer, the light comes on. We also do a lot of undercabinet lighting, including LED fixtures with a built-in plug for countertop appliances and a USB port to charge your smartphone and other electronics.”—Kathleen Wilber, Ikea, U.S. sales leader for kitchens

“There’s still plenty of interest in lighter-toned cabinets. But we’re starting to see an uptick in our pebbled gray and chai finishes, as more customers go for a tinted neutral color instead of stark white.”—Tracy Riel, KraftMaid Cabinetry, manager, designer services

“Easy-access, touch-to-open door and drawer releases are catching on. There’s also a preference for more paired-down door styles and greater interior functionality. That includes task-specific features like coffee-service components and pull-out storage that alleviates physical strain while eliminating dead space.”—Amy Benton, BauformatUSA, accounts and marketing manager

10 thoughts on “3 Steps To Choosing The Right Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Gillian Babcock

    My sister decided to remodel her kitchen and buy ready-made kitchen cabinets. It was suggested here that she should set the budget and choose a style that will match her home. Moreover, it’s recommended to hire professional remodeling contractors for quality express kitchen cabinets.

  2. Gerty Gift

    I liked that your first step is to set the budget. My husband and I are looking to remodel our kitchen and have been trying to figure out style and other things first. I think that knowing the budget will really help us to know what our limits and boundaries are in the planning.

  3. Tyler Johnson

    That’s good to know that if you have frameless cabinets that it will be more accessible. I would want to easily get to all of my dishes and things in my kitchen, so that would be nice. I’ll have to consider getting some frameless cabinets if I decide to redo the kitchen.

  4. Mindy Jollie

    That’s a good idea to choose lighting that you can integrate into the cabinetry and the cabinet design. My husband and I are trying to choose cabinets that will last as a style and look, so it’s good to think about the utility of the cabinets as well. We’ll have to find an installation contractor that will help us find some classic cabinets.

  5. Randy Chorvack

    Thank you for writing that accessories will increase the cost of my cabinets by 20 percent or more. I’m redoing my kitchen and I want to have some really cool cabinets for my kitchen, but I do want to be able to stay in my budget. I’ll have to plan accordingly.

  6. Stefan Bradley

    It’s great that you talked about the various styles that you can choose for your cabinet such as framed and frameless designs. I remember that my wife mentioned that she wanted to remodel our kitchen to give it a contemporary appearance, and she wanted to know what kind of cabinets would be best for the kitchen. I’ll let her know that we should consider getting frameless cabinets to match the rest of the kitchen.

  7. David Johnson

    My new apartment is pretty small so that things need to be placed exactly or they’ll throw everything else off. Good to know that custom cabinets are made so that the specifications are exact. I’m going to have to look further into high-end cabinet design.

  8. Derek McDoogle

    My wife told me that she would like to renovate our kitchen since she thinks it’s time to get new cabinets and appliances. I like how you said that framed cabinets consist of a box and face frame, to which doors and drawers are attached. Thanks for helping me realize how to choose the right cabinets and the importance of setting up a budget for the whole project as well.

  9. Jesse Ford

    I like how you mentioned the different types of functions and features you want your cabinets to have like a pull-out trash can or built-in charging stations. My brother is thinking about renovating his kitchen because he wants to modernize the appliances and change the color. It would be a good investment if he wants to change them out to look for custom kitchen cabinet manufacturers because they probably make anything he wants for his remodel.

  10. Henry Killingsworth

    I appreciate the advice about setting a budget when getting new cabinets. My wife and I would like to get larger cabinets in our kitchen. These tips you shared will help us get the right kind for our house.


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