Choosing cabinets is a big decision since they can consume a large part of your remodeling budget. This information sheet is provided to help you make an educated decision. At the bottom of this page, we’ve included a few brand websites for you to explore. Popham does not endorse these resources, but only supplies them as a convenient source of information.
Popham also encourages you to visit local business resources such as Lensing Home Consultants Center and Kight Home Center to view samples in person.
The best cabinet decisions start with good planning. The more specific you can be about what you desire, the easier it will be to narrow your choices from the vast array of cabinets available.
These terms do not relate to the quality of cabinets but rather, how they’re manufactured.
Cabinets are made with a variety of construction techniques using different materials that affect quality. It is advantageous to understand the differences in cabinet construction and materials and how those elements impact their quality and durability.
Cabinet materials include particle board, MDF (medium density fiberboard), plywood, solid wood, metal, and laminate/melamine (the laminate or melamine is laid over the particle board or similar substrate). You’ll typically see plywood as an upgrade from particle board or MDF from many cabinet makers. Also, be watchful for the terms “solid wood” or “all wood” as it pertains to cabinet construction in a manufacturer’s literature. “Solid wood” should represent whole, uniform lumber, not a fabrication or wood composite, like particle board, MDF, or even plywood. “All wood” is slightly different in that it usually means all-plywood construction or a combination of plywood and solid wood. When shopping for cabinets, make sure to find out the exact material, so you don’t run into any surprises.
Cabinets are constructed in one of two different design styles – framed or frameless. Framed cabinets employ a wood frame that outlines the front of the cabinet box. Frameless cabinets do not have this feature. Also, the joinery and techniques used to assemble and support cabinets vary. Structural braces are made from plastic, wood, or metal. Methods of joinery include hot-glue, staples, and nails, or more intricate woodworking techniques like dovetails and dadoes.
Drawer slides vary in level of quality (some use ball bearings whereas others use nylon wheels/rollers) and physical location on the drawer (side mount or on the bottom) which affects available drawer space. Shelf mounting brackets can be either plastic or metal. Please review our Cabinet & Drawer Hardware information sheet regarding pulls, knobs, and hinges.