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Shopping for kitchen cabinets can feel like a daunting task, but with a little planning, it can be quite enjoyable! Remodeling your home’s kitchen is certainly not something to rush into, so be sure to take your time while planning. The most successful kitchen renovations begin with a clear vision of the final product. It is normal for the project to evolve throughout the process, but starting with a solid foundation to build from can speed along and simplify the process.
With so many variables to consider, buying the right cabinets begins with a solid plan that takes into consideration all of the relevant circumstances:
Kitchen cabinets are a relatively permanent fixture in your home and will make a dramatic impact on the feel and aesthetic of your kitchen. Before you choose your new cabinets, ask yourself the following questions:
Whether you buy from a big box store or an online cabinet retailer, retail cabinets will often be classified by the amount of assembly required:
Read our RTA Cabinets vs. Preassembled Cabinets blog post to learn more.
When shopping for kitchen cabinets, you’ll also often seen them classified by whether or not they will rest on the floor or mount to the wall.
Whether you will be assembling your cabinets or not, retail cabinets have a variety of different assembly methods. Be sure to choose an assembly type that aligns with your budget, taste, and expectations. If unsightly assembly hardware is something you want to avoid, look for cabinets with dovetail construction. Lily Ann RTA cabinets are offered in one of two assembly methods:
The quality of materials and craftsmanship on your cabinet boxes is essential. The type of wood and assembly method are all good indicators of overall quality. At Lily Ann Cabinets, we only use ½” solid furniture-grade plywood for our boxes with real birch or maple for the face frames in our RTA cabinets, while inferior RTA cabinet brands may use particle board or cheap fillers to save money, which results in a flimsier cabinet that won’t be nearly as durable. If you don’t want your cabinets to feel “cheap”, make sure that you’re getting an all real wood cabinet like the ones we sell at Lily Ann.
The cabinet hardware is responsible for making sure your cabinet drawers and doors open and close smoothly and remain flush with the cabinet frames. The construction and hardware of your cabinets will have to be tough enough to stand up to the constant use of a busy kitchen. One specific piece to pay attention to on your new kitchen cabinets is the hinges and drawer glides. Many of Lily Ann cabinets feature soft closing hinges and drawer glides that make it difficult to accidentally slam your cabinets. Instead, as you close your cabinet door or drawer, the hardware will slowly finish closing the cabinet for you. This attention to detail can make all the difference in your overall happiness with your kitchen cabinet purchase, and results in a more durable cabinet product that can stand the test of time.
There are a variety of wood species used in kitchen cabinets. See our recent blog article regarding the many different types of wooden cabinets you’re likely to encounter when choosing kitchen cabinets. It’s important to pick a type of wood and stain that matches your kitchen’s decor. Also, pay attention to the quality of the stain. For example, the majority of Lily Ann cabinets feature a 12-step, hand applied stain and glaze, while our competition usually doesn’t go to such lengths.
If you’re completely redesigning your kitchen, check out our kitchen design ideas for inspiration on wood types, stains, and more.
Apart from the wood and stain you choose, it helps to know what type of cabinet doors and drawers you're looking for. Full overlay doors/drawers will cover the majority of the cabinet face frame, whereas a regular or partial overlay will only cover part of the overall frame. This can have a big impact on the overall aesthetic of your cabinets and how they fit into your kitchen's decor.
That just about covers what you will need to know before you buy kitchen cabinets! If this still seems overwhelming, you may want to familiarize yourself with the kitchen cabinet terminology you'll encounter during the kitchen cabinet buying process. Check out our glossary of common cabinet terms for a refresher. If you still have any questions or concerns, give us a call at 1-800-551-1438 and we can walk you through any part of the kitchen cabinet buying process.