The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) sponsors the nationally-recognized
testing program for cabinets, ANSI/KCMA A161.1, Performance & Construction
Standard for Kitchen & Vanity Cabinets. That’s a mouthful, but knowing what
it stands for can definitely pay off.
According to the KCMA, “Cabinets that comply and bear the KCMA certification
seal are recognized in the marketplace as a quality product able to perform
after a rigorous battery of tests simulating years of typical household use.”
Things to keep in mind: the certification program is voluntary. Every cabinet
available has not been tested. In suit, each line needs to be individually tested—a
manufacturer can have one approved line, but that doesn’t make them all
The KCMA tests create, in accelerated form, the cumulative effects of years of
normal kitchen conditions. When you purchase a cabinet with the KCMA seal, know
that your cabinets have passed the following tests:
Doors are properly aligned and
close without excessive binding or looseness.
All wood parts were dried to a
moisture content of 10 percent or less at the time of fabrication.
Cabinets are suitable for use
in kitchens and bathrooms, withstanding exposure to grease, solvents,
water, detergent and steam.
Mounted wall cabinets were
gradually loaded to 500 pounds without visible signs of failure in the
cabinet or the mounting system.
All shelves and bottoms were
loaded at 15 pounds per sq. ft. and maintained for seven days to check for
joint separation and bending.
Drawers were loaded at 15
pounds per sq. ft. and opened and closed 25,000 times to ensure proper
drawer assembly and operation.
To ensure tight and proper
connection of doors, door-holding devices and hinges, doors are opened and
closed through a full 90-degree swing 25,000 times.
The cabinet door has been
placed in a hotbox at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 percent relative
humidity for 24 hours to test the finish for discoloration, blistering and
To ensure kitchen and bath
durability, exposed surfaces were subjected to vinegar, lemon, orange and
grape juices, ketchup, coffee, olive oil and 100-proof alcohol for 24
hours (and mustard for one hour). The finish did not show appreciable
discoloration or stain that would not disperse with ordinary polishing.