High quality kitchen cabinets, besides just looking stunning, must also be easy to use, and should remain in function for the next two or three decades to come. However, people have been encountering problems well before this time with sagging drawers, crooked doors, loose hinges, warping boxes, and scratched and dented faces. This problem is largely due to poor quality cabinet construction.
These low quality cabinets definitely lead to functionality issues, but also add up on the maintenance costs making them more expensive than higher quality cabinets. Here are certain characteristics to look for in a well-built, high quality cabinet:
- All Plywood Construction
Typically built of particleboard and plywood, the strongest cabinets are those with full plywood back and sides so as to stay square through delivery and installation processes, resist moisture damage, and handle the weight of heaviest of countertops. While particleboards are cheaper, they are also vulnerable to crushing and moisture damage, besides being difficult to repair.
- Full Height Back Panels
Ever wondered what can be the worst of kitchen nightmares? Perhaps entering your kitchen to see that the cabinets have disintegrated under the weight of your crockery, thus putting you at loss with not only the cabinets but also all your precious kitchenware and crockery.
A weak back panel is usually the cause of falling cabinets. Thus, you must opt for solid, full height plywood back panels that increase not just the strength of your cabinet but also the ease of installation.
- Soft Close Hinges
The most vulnerable yet important component of the kitchen cabinets are the cabinet door hinges. You need to open and close the cabinet doors multiple times a day, and in case of poor quality hinges, your door may not stay shut, or worse, they may become loose or uneven or even fall off. Opt for steel based 6-way adjustable, soft-close hinges that will not just provide a soft close mechanism but also be adjusted when seasonal changes cause the door to expand or contract.
- Undermount, soft-close drawer glides
Slides, or high quality drawer glides are more important than you’d believe if you do not want your drawers to be creaking within a year of usage. The more the weight you plan for the drawer to support, the better should be the slides. Use soft-close undermount steel guides with ball bearings that help support a heavy load and an anti-slam system that will make the opening and closing of the drawer noise free.
- Hardwood dovetail drawer boxes
While the construction of the drawer box may not seem to be much of a concern, but when the front face seems to be bowing or bending, it definitely becomes a concern. Hence it is important that you opt for solid hardwood drawer boxes with dovetail joints to add to the durability of the drawer as well as the joint. Other materials and constructions, though cheaper, will be far less durable and will thus pile up on the maintenance costs.
- I-beam construction
Secured on the upper sides of base cabinets, I-beams provide strength to the cabinets and help them remain square during installation and shipping. However, triangular corner gussets or braces or other cheaper alternatives to integrated I-beams will not add strength to the cabinet, often making it vulnerable to warping or bending in case or moisture exposure.
- Melamine interior
The inside of the cabinet is just as important and must be non porous, tough, and wipe-clean, to last you long without showing signs or wear or bubbling. You must opt for materials like melamine, a smooth yet tough laminate applied to particleboard, wood veneers, or plywood. Also, try to opt for lighter interiors as it makes it easy for you to see the contents of the cabinet.
- Face frames
Attached to the front of the framed cabinet box should be a solid hardwood frame with door hinges and drawer glides attached. Whereas, doors may be attached directly to the box sides if the cabinet is frameless. The two are not just different in appearance but also in construction method, stability, and strength besides the fact that installing frameless cabinets may come at a higher cost with lower strength and durability.
- Fully assembled in the factory
You must opt for cabinets that are completely built, assembled at the factor and shipped to the customer in a ready to install state. The construction strength, convenience, when compared to ready to assemble cabinets are high, though the price may be slightly higher too.
- Customizability and modifications
To make it look tailored to the space of your kitchen, your cabinets must provide flexibility with customizations. Fully custom cabinets may cost a lot, however, opting for semi custom cabinets is the way to go. You can have it modified according to your kitchen space, interiors, and color palette.
So now that you know what high-quality cabinets are made of, why not ensure that your kitchen looks better and lasts longer with these cabinets?