All About The Cabinets

In this section we’ll talk about the cabinets themselves and relative price ranges and the quality of the cabinets as far as the materials and construction.  Some of this you may have heard before and some may be new.

If you are shopping for cabinets, lets start out first just by pricing.  There are exceptions to every rule but typically RTA cabinets would win based on pricing alone.  The other positive is that they are typically available much faster than from your other choices.  The cabinets that Tajo One installs in this category are ¾” plywood boxes, soft close doors and drawers, mdf door fronts and dove tail drawer joints.  The other positive feature is that we assemble them so they’re glued and screwed and are very strong cabinets.  The design choice is relatively easy.  All the items are in the showroom and you will know pretty quick whether you like the styles or prefer something else.

Retail Cabinet Stores will have multiple lines available from different manufacturers.  You will find the same situation in big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes.  If you’re doing this on your own (without a designer or contractor assistance), you need to pay close attention to the samples you see and the information you receive from the person assisting you.  I have seen clients expecting to get ¾” plywood boxes and were delivered boxes made from 3/8” particle board with a veneer covering.  Some cabinet lines are full ¾” plywood boxes and each particular manufacturer will have details that can influence your decision.  Some of those items might be the drawer construction, the thickness of the drawer bottoms.  Thickness of the drawer bottoms and how it’s attached to the box frame is one of the most common complaints we hear from clients who purchased the cabinets prior to calling us.  If you’re wondering what this is, picture the bottom of the drawer bowed out or bending from the weight of what you’re storing in the drawer.  Each supplier will typically have multiple product lines available.  They will be priced based on the construction, assembly, finish and features that are important to you.  They are normally a higher price point than RTA’s

The cabinet shop or cabinet maker is usually thought of as high end, expensive custom work.  That’s not always the case, since a lot of cabinet shops also make the cabinetry in your doctor’s office, hospitals, dental office etc… They will make the cabinets to your specifications and you’re in the driver seat for the final pricing.  Since they build the cabinets, they’re normally going to be a much greater source of information about materials and assembly.  For some shops, you may be able to see some other work in progress and they will give you a more detailed explanation of the what they do and how they do it.   They will have greater flexibility in constructing the cabinets based on the measurements.  Normally, cabinet manufacturers will have cabinets in 3” increments.  If your measurements indicate that you need a cabinet that does not conform to that specification, a shop can make you exactly what you need.  In a non-shop situation you may solve the problem with positioning and spacers.  Some manufacturers may not have particular features in a cabinet whereas a cabinet maker can do that.  For example, a tall oven cabinet typically needs on site modification for the oven to fit correctly.  The shop can make it to your exact specifications.

Let me explain some common terms.  You’ve heard me talk about the “box’.  This is the frame of the cabinet or the drawer.  When you look at a kitchen, you see a lot of different size boxes and some of them have drawer fronts and some have doors.  So we’re talking boxes, door fronts, drawer faces.  There are cabinets to house microwaves in the island, cabinets to trim out appliances, panels for refrigerators, appliance cabinets with pull down fronts, spice cabinets, sink base cabinets, drawer bases, wall and base cabinets, broom closets, tall cabinets, faux panels, toe kick, crown molding, light rails, Blind corner cabinets, lazy Susan, glass fronts, open shelves and drawers with electrical outlets in them.  Blind corner cabinets are the lesser price alternative to Lazy Susan cabinets.  These are cabinets that either reach into the corner or are in the corner.  A blind corner cabinet will extend into the corner and typically have a single door and a deep interior.   The lazy Susan fits in the corner and will normally have a rotating base with 2 shelves for storage and rotation.  There are now units made specifically for the corner cabinets that will have 2 shelves and pull right out of the corner cabinet to retrieve products.  Rev a Shelf was one of the first companies to come out with a whole line of new options for storage and retrieval. 

Dovetail drawers are easy to understand.  Interlock your fingers…. you’re dovetailed as opposed to a butt joint either nailed or screwed.  Typically, the dovetail joint is preferred and stronger.

Ok, I just went a little crazy in that last paragraph with a blast of information but it puts the same universal message out.  You need to educate yourself and take advantage of the resources and people available to you in order to make the best decisions.  In the last section, I’ll share our process and how we help you to do exactly that.