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Kitchen Cabinet Buying Guide
Selecting new cabinets can be a large expense when redecorating and may account for as much as 40 percent of your kitchen renovation budget. They set the look style for your kitchen and you'll have them for a long time. No pressure, right?
With such demands on dollars and design, the existing trend is to be more conservative. White cupboards are popular. So are cupboard styles that are less fussy and more streamlined-such as the clean lines and square sides of Shaker cabinets.
Utilize this buying guide to help you choose, but remember that Consumer Reviews will not test cabinets at the moment.
Shopping Tips: What's waiting for you for You
It used to be that dovetail bones inside the drawers were practically whatever you needed to distinguish high-end cabinets. That variation has blurred as more manufacturers offer high quality features, even on low-end lines. History cabinet lab tests at Consumer Reports proved that you could have these and other once exclusive features but still wind up with shoddy building.
A little research beforehand can save you money and time. Research manufacturer and retail websites, then have a look at store displays; you can tell the quality cabinets from the refined pretenders knowing where to look. Trust your flavor. The kitchen should supplement the rest of your house, so choose what you like.
THINK ABOUT YOUR Budget
A couple of three cabinet types: stock, semi-custom, and custom. (See a side-by-side evaluation below.) Stock cabinets are occasionally sold at home centers pre-assembled, while Ikea and other stores sell versions that require assembly. Stock cabinets are usually limited in colors and styles. Semi-custom cabinets offer more style options and configurations, allowing a far more precise fit for your kitchen. Custom cabinets are the most expensive option, but can include many added features you've chosen, and undoubtedly, your exact specs.
Select a Style
Framed or frameless? Framed are made of a package and face drawers attach, to which the doors and frame. Frameless cabinets, also called European-style, miss the face framework, and the doorways and drawers connect right to the cupboard container. The appearance is more modern and interior access is easier. But the insufficient a face framework can compromise rigidity. Better manufacturers compensate by utilizing a thicker box (3/4-inches plywood instead of 1/2-inches particleboard, for example). If you want the Western european look but also want a framed cabinet, choose a full-overlay door. It addresses all or the majority of the face framework.
Inspect the Construction
Well-built cabinets have wood drawers with dovetail joinery rather than stapled particleboard; full-extension drawer guides rather than a built-in rail; and doorways with wood frames surrounding a good timber or plywood -panel, rather than veneered particleboard or a medium density fiberboard (MDF) panel.
Concentrate on Features
Although they can increase cost by more than 20 percent, useful features include a pullout trash can and built-in charging station. A good start cabinet, with a spring-loaded shelf that swings up and out, offers quick access to your stand mixing machine or food processor.
Consider Revitalizing Your old Cabinets
If your current cabinets are plumb, square, and sturdy, consider repainting or refinishing them. To do it right, remove doors and drawers, clean them with a degreasing agent, sandpaper, and apply a primer and multiple top coats (or pay a pro about $50 per door). Cupboard refacing is also a choice. It's well suited for framed units and involves changing the doorways and drawers, and applying new veneers to the face structures and ends. Cost is about $150 per cupboard. You can also make old cupboards easier to use with the addition of pull-out cabinets, lazy Susans, and other inexpensive upgrades. The final touch: Install under-cabinet LED task lights.
Cabinets can vary greatly in price. Here's an overview of the three types of cupboards in wide price segments that you will find at stores. Remember an average kitchen has 25 to 30 foot of cabinets.