When looking at kitchen cabinet displays, many of them may appear to be the same, at first glance. The key to choosing good quality kitchen cabinets is understanding the different materials that are used and how those materials are joined together to create the cabinets.
Most cabinets are made from wood products. However, it is important to understand the difference between these different wood products and the terms that are used to describe them. Cabinet boxes are generally made from plywood, particle board or medium density fiberboard (MDF). A layer of wood veneer is applied to these products to give them a finished look.
Face frames, doors and drawer fronts are usually made of solid woods, such as oak, maple, birch, cherry or hickory. Some cabinet makers will make their doors of MDF. MDF doors cannot be stained like solid wood doors, so they usually have a painted finish.
Cabinet Joint Construction
How the joints of the drawers and cabinet boxes are constructed will make a big difference on the durability of your cabinets to everyday use. Dovetail joints will be the strongest. Dadoed and doweled joints also create a strong bond. You should especially look for these in the drawer construction. Corner bracing inside the corners of the cabinet boxes provides additional structural support and will keep the cabinet construction strong and sturdy. You will want to look for rabbetted joints, rather than butt joints, joining the sides of your cabinet boxes together, for a stronger connection.
Don’t be hesitant in asking questions about how cabinets are constructed when shopping for kitchen cabinets. The answers to those questions will determine the true durability and value of your cabinets.