Purchasing new cabinets, whether for a kitchen or bathroom is a large investment and there are a few key characteristics to look for to ensure you are getting the best product for your money. The areas to check are the actual cabinet construction, the cabinet components, and the cabinet finishing process.
There is so much more that goes into cabinets, beyond what you see at first glance. Behind the doors and drawers, there is the most important part in cabinet construction, the actual cabinet box. The cabinet box is what will support all you put into it. Plywood is considered the gold standard in cabinet construction and will withstand all the wear and tear that cabinets endure. Some manufacturers offer plywood as an up charge or a premium option, with particleboard or MDF being their standard. Those options you should avoid because they aren't as durable as plywood and are much more prone to water damage and humidity issues. All of the cabinets offered by Cabinets.com, assembled and ready to assemble, come standard with plywood boxes.
There are many components that go into cabinets… drawer construction, door construction, drawer glides, etc. It is important to know what you are getting with the product you purchase. Doors and drawers take a lot of abuse from homeowners and you want a product that can hold up over time. Think about how many times you open and close your cabinet drawers in one day, then think about how much it adds up over the lifetime of your kitchen!
It is so important that you select a drawer that is made to last and withstand the weight as well as the opening and closing frequently. The best drawers are made with dovetail joints. The dovetail joint is constructed from interlocking channels created from wedge shaped cuts on the ends of the drawer box sides. The wedge shaped cuts are called tails and pins and are extremely durable and resistant to force after they are assembled. Dovetail drawers are not only the highest quality drawer but are also the most decorative and attractive with the cleanest appearance.
When it comes to doors, full overlay doors are the most desired because it provides a seamless appearance, leaving very little of the cabinet frame exposed. As far as the other cabinet components such as door hinges and drawer glides, it is important to know what you are getting before making that purchase. The right drawer glides mean the difference between sagging or tilting cabinet drawers. We offer stainless steel drawer glides in all of our cabinet collections, which will stand up and not give out over time. The distance in which a drawer opens is also a factor in determining quality in a cabinet. Some manufacturers only offer drawers with three-quarter extension, which only allows the drawer to pull out partially and hiding some of its contents within the cabinet box. A company that offers full extension glides and warranties that those glides won't give out under the weight of the drawer’s contents is what people should be looking for. An added bonus to cabinets these days is the "soft-close" feature which means the door or drawer won't slam on you, saving you wear and tear over time.
Another important item to research before buying new cabinets is the finishing process of the cabinets. You dont want to select a cabinet and only after a few months, have the finish chipping off or damaged with barely any use at all. Each manufacturer should show or describe their finishing process on their website or in promotional material. Our Deerfield® Assembled cabinets have a thorough finishing process with a multi-step process.
The best advice I can give is to research, research, research before buying and select the best made cabinet that you can afford. This would not be the place to cut corners in a remodel or new construction project! In order to make it easy for our customers and potential customers, we have created a chart to show what each of our lines offers as well as offering plenty of info on our Resources page!