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Kitchen Cupboard Buying Guide
Selecting new cabinets can be a big expense when redesigning 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 usually to be more conservative. White cabinets are popular. So are cabinet styles that are less fussy and more streamlined-such as the clean lines and square sides of Shaker cabinetry.
Utilize this buying guide to help you select, but note that Consumer Reviews will not test cupboards at the moment.
Shopping Tips: What’s in Store for You
It used to be that dovetail bones inside the drawers were practically whatever you needed to distinguish high-end cupboards. That variation has blurred as more manufacturers offer superior features, even on low-end lines. Recent cabinet checks at Consumer Reports proved that you can have these and other once exclusive features but still find yourself with shoddy building. .
A little research beforehand can save you time and money. Research manufacturer and retail websites, then take a good look at store displays; you can tell the product quality cupboards from the refined pretenders once you know where you can look. Trust your taste. The kitchen should go with the rest of your house, so choose what you like. .
THINK ABOUT YOUR Budget
There are three cabinet types: stock, semi-custom, and custom. (Visit a side-by-side comparison below.) Stock cabinets are sometimes sold at home centers pre-assembled, while Ikea and other stores sell variations that require assembly. Stock cupboards are usually limited in colors and styles. Semi-custom cupboards offer more style options and configurations, allowing a more exact fit for your kitchen. Custom cupboards are the most expensive option, but range from many added features you've chosen, and undoubtedly, your exact specifications. .
Pick a Style
Framed or frameless? Framed are made of a container and face to which the doors, drawers attach and frame. Frameless cabinets, also called European-style, miss the face body, and the doors and drawers connect right to the cupboard package. The appearance is more modern and interior gain access to is easier. But the lack of a face framework can compromise rigidity. Better manufacturers compensate by using a thicker container (3/4-inches plywood instead of 1/2-inch particleboard, for example). If you want the European look but also want a framed cabinet, choose a full-overlay door. It addresses all or the majority of the face frame. .
Inspect the Construction
Well-built cabinets have solid wood drawers with dovetail joinery rather than stapled particleboard; full-extension drawer guides rather than a built-in rail; and doorways with solid wood structures surrounding a solid wood 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 add a pullout trash can and built-in charging station. A good start cupboard, with a spring-loaded shelf that swings up and out, offers quick access to your stand mixer 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 doorways and drawers, clean them with a degreasing agent, sandpaper, and apply a primer and multiple top jackets (or pay an expert about $50 per door). Cupboard refacing is also a choice. It's perfect for framed units and involves replacing the doors and drawers, and applying new veneers to the face frames and ends. Cost is approximately $150 per cabinet. You can also make old cupboards simpler to use by adding pull-out cabinets, lazy Susans, and other inexpensive improvements. The ultimate touch: Install under-cabinet LED task lights. .
Kitchen Cabinets for Every Budget
Cabinets may differ greatly in price. Here's a synopsis of the three types of cabinets in wide price segments that you will find at stores. Keep in mind a typical kitchen has 25 to 30 ft of cabinets.