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5 Questions to Ask Your Cabinet Maker


Cabinets have infinite options and design possibilities and are the most expensive part of your new kitchen. Here are some definitions to help you out when talking with your cabinet builder.

Box. This is the base structure of your cabinets. It can vary greatly in both quality and finish and can be overlooked. Make sure to have a UV Cured finish inside to make cleaning spills easier.

Face Frames. Face frames attach to the front of boxes. The cabinet doors attach to these face frames. Frameless cabinets will have nothing more than edge banding (a thin veneer) on the front of your boxes.

Doors & Drawer Fronts. Covering all or most of the openings in your cabinetry, these are the main visible aspect of the cabinets.

Toe Kicks. The space under the cabinet that allows room for your toes as you stand at the cabinets. There are several different styles.

Hinges & Slides. The necessary hardware used to operate your doors and drawers. These can greatly affect the quality of your cabinets. Drawers that stick or eventually sag from low budget slides will cost you more in the end.

Knobs & Pulls. Door knobs and drawer pulls can be vastly important not only to the look of the cabinet but to their functionality. They may be an extra cost or included in the cabinet bid.

Finish. The coatings that protect your investment. Much like the paint on your car, finishes give style and protection. Stain, paint, and top coats should all be considered.

5 Questions to Ask Your Cabinet Maker

  1. What materials will you use in making the cabinets? Solid wood plywood for the boxes and solid hardwood for the face frames are a must for longevity. Never settle for particle board boxes.
  2. How are the cabinets being assembled? Glued and pocket screwed for strength and pocket screws for face frames. Cheaply stapled cases without glue will fall apart in time. Ask if face nails will be used on your face frames creating lots of small unsightly pock marks.
  3. What finishes do they plan on using? Shop-finished cabinets are preferred. Having someone in your home to spray finished with VOCs and chemicals is not recommended at all. A shop sprayed pre-catalyzed lacquer is the best finish. Cabinets with glass doors or no doors should be stained and finished inside to match the outsides.
  4. How are the drawers and slide-out shelves made? Dovetailed drawers are the standard of strength. Solid wood sides are best. Don’t accept stapled MDF. In fact, no MDF at all should be in the cabinets. MDF is not a structural material.
  5. What Hardware will you use? Under mount soft-close are the best. With good hardware you will find that doors and drawers open and close with ease every time. For the doors, there are soft close features that will keep them from banging. Quality hardware will last much longer. Also, ask if the hardware products are cheaply made of cast pewter or if they are cold-rolled steel.


Are you ready to create your dream kitchen space? Contact DNG Millwork for custom kitchen cabinets today. Call 305.830.3000 for a quote.


Posted: November 22, 2016

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