Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

Is your kitchen something that belongs on a Brady Bunch rerun? If so, it may be time to choose new kitchen cabinets, but there are such a dizzying array out there, how can you possibly choose the right cabinet for your kitchen? Here are some tips to help you sort through the maze of cabinets to come up with the right ones for your perfect, dream kitchen.
First, before you ever go shopping, look online and in magazines to find pictures of cabinets you like. Tear them out, compare them, and see if there is a pattern to your preferences. Then, take your collection shopping with you to see if you can find cabinets that match in your area.

  1. Take Stock of Your Budget. If you want to gut your kitchen and replace all the existing cabinets, it can be expensive. Visit a big box home store to see what types of cabinets are available, and decide how much you want to spend. That will tell you whether you're going to choose custom-made cabinets (much more expensive), or stock (less expensive). Custom-made cabinets are hand made for your specific space, so if you have odd measurements or dimensions in your kitchen, you may have to opt for custom-made cabinets.
  2. Choose your Material. Today, cabinets aren't just made of wood. You can get stainless steel cabinets, and just about any type of cabinet you can think of. The basic woods, such as oak, cherry, and birch are all available too. There are also laminates that offer a whole new dimension of cabinet design in your kitchen. You can also choose painted cabinets; it all depends on your style and your budget.
  3. Choose a Door Style. Doors can be flat, rounded, glass, recessed, and just about everything in between. Choose a door that is easy to clean and fits in with the appliances and the rest of your kitchen décor.
  4. Pick a Finish. Whether you choose wood or laminate, you'll need to decide how you want your cabinets finished. You can choose paint, a high-gloss varnish, stain, or a combination. Again, make sure the finish is in harmony with the rest of your kitchen.
  5. Make Sure They're Tough. Pick cabinets that are well made and tough enough to stand up to everyday use, and heavy duty use. They carry the weight of your heaviest pots and pans, and grandmother's fine china, so they need to be durable and safe at the same time.
  6. Built to Last. Finally, look at the joints and corners of the cabinets. Are they stapled together, or do they use dovetail joints and mortised corners? Staples are cheap and don't hold up to real heavy use, while better quality cabinets will use handcrafted joints and corners to give you better value for your money.


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