Top quality kitchen cabinets are built with the structural stability of fine furniture. Framing
stock is kiln dried and a full 1" thick. Kitchen cabinets have backs, usually 5-ply 3/16"-thick
plywood, with all backs and interiors finished. Kitchen cabinet frames should be constructed of hardwood
with mortise and tenon joints; corner blocks should be used on all four corners of all kitchen
base cabinets. Kitchen cabinet doors are usually of select 7/16" thick solid core construction
using semi-concealed hinges. End panels are 1/2" thick and attached to frames with mortise and tenon joints, glued and
pinned under pressure. Panels should also be dadoed to receive the tops and bottoms of wall kitchen cabinets.
Shelves are adjustable with veneer faces and front edges. Hardware includes magnetic catches, heavy duty die cast pulls and
hinges, and ball-bearing suspension system. Finish is scratch and stain resistant, including a first coat of hand-wiped stain,
a sealer coat, and a synthetic varnish with plastic laminate characteristics.
cabinets feature hardwood frame construction with plywood backs and veneered plywood end panels. Joints
are glued mortise and tenon. Kitchen cabinet doors are solid core attached with exposed self-closing
hinges. Shelves are adjustable, and drawers ride on a ball-bearing side suspension glide system. Finish is usually three coats
including stain, sealer, and a mar-resistant top coat for easy cleaning.
Economy quality cabinets feature pine construction with joints glued under pressure. Doors, drawers fronts, and side or end
panels are constructed of either 1/2"-thick wood composition board or 1/2"-thick veneered pine. Face frames are
3/4"-thick wood composition board or 3/4"-thick pine. Features include adjustable shelves, hinge straps, and a three-point
suspension system on drawers (using nylon rollers). Finish consists of a filler coat, base coat, and final polyester top coat.
1. Floor space.
2. Height / width of all walls.
of electrical outlets.
4. Size / position of doors, windows, and vents.
Location of any posts or pillars. Walls must be prepared if chair rails or baseboards are located where cabinets will be installed.
6. Common height, depth of kitchen base cabinets (including 1" for countertops) and kitchen wall cabinets.
When you plan for kitchen cabinet placement, consider this Rule of Thumb:
4-1/2' and 5-1/2' of counter surface between the refrigerator and sink. Allow between 3' and 4' between the sink and range.
1. What do you have to fit into the available space?
2. Is there enough counter space
on both sides of all appliances and sinks? Kitchens have three work centers, each with a major appliance as its hub, and each
needing adequate counter space. They are:
a. Food center -- Refrigerator-freezer
b. Clean-up center -- Sink with disposal-dishwasher
c. Cooking center -- Range-oven
3. Will the sink workspace fit neatly in front of a window?
4. Work triangle is the most efficient kitchen design; it means placing each major
center at approximately equidistant triangle points. Ideal triangle is 22 feet total. It should never be less than 13 feet
or more than 25 feet.
5. Where are the centers located? A logical working and walking pattern
is from refrigerator to sink to range. Refrigerator should be at a triangle point near a door, to minimize the distance to
bring in groceries and reduce traffic that could interfere with food preparation. Range should be at a triangle point near
the serving and dining area. Sink is located between the two. Refrigerator should be located far enough from the range so
that the heat will not affect the refrigerator's cooling efficiency.
6. Does the plan allow for
lighting the range, sink, work centers and for ventilating the range center?
Kitchen Cabinets. When Deciding to remodel your kitchen.
Cabinets construction is defined.
Cabinet Construction. Stock-grade cabinets are manufactured in standard
sizes and warehoused until sold. Semi-custom grade cabinets are available in a wide variety of
styles and shapes. Within limits, the manufacturer builds the kitchen cabinets to match the kitchen. Custom-grade cabinets
are built specifically for the kitchen and include specialty doors, interior features, woods, and construction.
Cabinet Grades. Economy grade: Stock-grade cabinets with flush-face doors.
Doors made from veneered particleboard.
Standard grade: Stock-grade cabinets with raised panel or cathedral doors. Interior panel may be plywood. Lower grade plastic-laminate
Semi-custom cabinets: Semi-custom
grade cabinets are available in a wide variety of styles and shapes. Within limits, the manufacturer
builds the kitchen cabinets to match the kitchen.
Semi-custom kitchen cabinets with raised panel or cathedral doors. Higher grade plastic-laminate face
and foil-face kitchen cabinets.
Deluxe grade: Semi-custom kitchen cabinets with raised panel or cathedral doors. May include special slide-out drawers, pull-out baskets,
glass doors, or foil-face cabinets. Materials include cherry, pecan, and Shaker-style maple or pine.
Custom grade: Custom kitchen cabinets with raised panel or cathedral doors. May include
special slide-out drawers, pull-out baskets, mullion or leaded glass doors. Materials include cherry, pecan, and Shaker-style
maple or pine.
Custom deluxe grade: Same as Custom Grade, may have some
curved wood cabinets and more custom features.
Foil-faced kitchen cabinets (also called thermo foil) are coated with rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
that has been heated and pressed. The interior core is usually medium density particleboard. Currently, there is no good way
to repair scratched or dented foil-face kitchen cabinets. Although colors do not fade from foil-faces,
it is almost impossible to replace doors or other parts with colors that will match. Foil-face kitchen cabinets
are high to custom deluxe quality depending on the selection of interior features and the complexity of the design.
The kitchen is the most
heavily used room in a home. Make the space efficient and user-friendly by selecting a cabinet style that’s both attractive
Most manufactured kitchen cabinets come in 3-inch wide increments, usually beginning at widths of 12 or 15 inches and
continuing up to 48 inches wide. This gives you enough flexibility to fit a set of modular units into just about any size
There are two basic kitchen
cabinet types: base cabinets and wall cabinets. Base cabinets are the wide lower portion to be covered with a counter top.
Wall cabinets are the shallow upper portion that hangs on the wall. Doors on wall and base cabinets, broom closets, and pantries
should be aligned and operate smoothly.
Corridor Kitchen Layout
A well-designed kitchen layout with properly arranged
cabinets does more than reduce work and save steps for the cook. It probably reduces costs because less space is needed.
The L-type layout has the
sink and range on one leg, and the refrigerator on the other. This design is sometimes used with a dining space or extra storage
in the opposite corner.
A parallel wall or corridor kitchen plan works well in narrow kitchens, and is quite efficient with proper
arrangement of the sink, range, and refrigerator.
An island or peninsula configuration is a good choice in houses with plenty of space.
Having plenty of room to work in the kitchen is good, but you don’t want to go overboard.
The refrigerator, sink,
dishwasher, and range need plumbing and electrical connections. Good lighting, both natural and artificial, is also important
in designing a safe and pleasant kitchen.
Tray Base Cabinet
There are standard sizes for both base and wall
kitchen cabinets. While the counter height guidelines range from 30 to 38 inches, the standard countertop height is 36 inches.
If the countertop is less than 36 inches, a dishwasher won’t fit under the cabinets. If the countertop is taller than
36 inches, the range top won’t align with it.
Base and wall cabinets come in widths from 12 to 48 inches, in 3-inch increments. If
a cabinet is not long enough to completely fill the available space, try using a filler strip placed vertically between the
end of a cabinet and the wall. Another option is to install a narrow tray base cabinet that’s handy for storing items
like cookie sheets.
Wall cabinet height largely depends on what’s installed beneath them. They range from 12 to 42 inches
tall, but are normally 30 to 42 inches tall. When installed above a range or sink, wall cabinets won’t be more than
21 inches tall. Wall cabinet tops should align, and usually fit under a 12- to 14-inch drop ceiling or soffit. The most common
distance from the countertop to the bottom of any wall cabinet is 18 inches, to accommodate taller electrical appliances.
Standard narrow wall cabinets
come with single doors, while the wider varieties have double doors. You can get base cabinets in full-door or full drawer
units, or with both drawers and doors. Sink fronts or sink-base cabinets, oven cabinets, broom closets and desks can help
make a kitchen exactly what you want it to be.
Modular Cabinet Units
Cabinet cases can be built
without a frame, or with a face frame of solid wood. In frameless cases, the cabinet side edge grain is covered with a wood
veneer, vinyl tape, or a strip of plastic laminate to create a finished surface.
The most visible parts of a cabinet are the door and drawer faces. You’ll have
a variety of styles to choose from. Make sure you know how a door is hinged on the face of a cabinet. Door or drawer faces
may be hung flush with the face of the cabinet and its frame, or hung to overlay the front of the cabinet and its frame. With
overlay doors, you can still select several sizes including 3/8- or 3/4-inch, or flush overlay. Each style creates a different