Before you start debating over shaker-style vs. raised panel doors or maple vs. cherry, you need to make a few important decisions to pick the right kitchen cabinets.
Why are you remodeling your kitchen?
The why behind your kitchen remodel impacts several key areas of your cabinet choice: budget, quality, and style. If you are remodeling your kitchen because you plan to resell your home in the next 12 months, you are going to make very different cabinet choices than if you are creating the kitchen of your dreams to cook in for a lifetime.
Going into any kitchen remodel with a realistic budget in mind is crucial. If your wants and your budget don’t match up, you can always re-evaluate, but they should always align with the reason you're remodeling in the first place.
Stock, custom, or semi-custom
Stock cabinets are the most budget-conscious choice, the fastest to obtain, and generally the easiest to install. Stock cabinets are just that: in-stock, ready-to-go, as-is. What you see is what you get.
Stock cabinetry isn’t necessarily poor quality, it’s just not customizable. Since the cabinets are manufactured using standard measurements and styles, they may not fit the exact dimensions of your kitchen. But if you have a standard kitchen layout and you aren’t looking for a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to accessories (i.e., roll-out pantries, pull-out step stools, etc.) then stock cabinetry may be the perfect choice.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is custom cabinetry. With custom cabinets, anything is possible. Because the cabinets are built to your kitchen’s precise measurements, you can utilize every square inch of space. Want a pull-out pet feeding station or a special lifting hinge so your stand mixer can rise out of the base cabinet with ease? With custom cabinetry, it’s all doable. Keep in mind that these cabinets are labor intensive, much more expensive, and usually take a few weeks (or months) to complete.
Then there’s the happy medium: semi-custom cabinets. These are stock cabinets with additional sizing and detailing options, and they are the most popular cabinetry choice. Interested in a deeper or higher cabinet than what comes stock? Looking for more accessory options? These are usually possible with semi-custom cabinetry.
Quality and budget go hand-in-hand
Another important consideration when it comes to budget is what quality of cabinetry you want. All cabinets (stock, custom, and semi-custom) come in varying levels of quality.
A few basic things to look for in a higher quality cabinet: drawers should be well-built with either dovetail joinery or a metal box, not stapled particleboard. Doors should have solid wood frames surrounding a solid wood or plywood panel, again, not particleboard. The walls of the cabinets should be at least ½-inch thick. Quality cabinets should come with at least a five-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Now for the fun part
Now that you’ve set your budget and decided on the type of cabinets that will fit that budget, you can plan your layout and make the aesthetic and accessorial choices that will help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams.
If you are planning to sell your home soon, you may choose a more classic cabinet-door style, such as shaker or raised panel in a white or cherry color. If you live in a mid-century, modern home, a slab-style door with a stainless-steel finish may be more to your liking. Because there are so many options, even in stock cabinetry, it can be helpful to bring sample doors back from the showroom so you can see exactly what the material looks like in your home, in different lighting, and in contrast to your wall and floor colors.
Storage is obviously a critical choice when it comes to your cabinets. Do you currently have enough kitchen storage? Where do you want to keep your appliances? What about the trashcan or recycling bin? Do you want drawers in your cabinets?
While they will increase the cost of your cabinets, accessories like built-in spice racks, hidden towel storage, tray dividers, knife blocks, and cutting board pullouts are all fabulous for functionality.
Getting Professional Assistance
At Kitchen & Bath Center, we have the only KraftMaid Vantage Design Studio on the Gulf Coast. The Design Studio is an immersive and comprehensive area for you to explore all the cabinetry options KraftMaid has to offer for your home with a top designer! Learn more about why you should choose KraftMaid here.DREAM IT. DESIGN IT. LIVE IT. | Kitchen & Bath Center