We mentioned many of the features that make our cabinets good quality, but what does “quality” mean anyway? It’s actually hard to pin down exactly, because at its root, quality is subjective and varies from person to person. Yet, everyone still knows good quality (whatever it means to us) when we see it. So what should you look for when buying cabinets? Luckily, there are established standards within the industry. Beyond that, there are also some basic, common-sense standards associated with cabinet quality that go back to the point about ‘knowing quality when you see it’ (for example, thicker materials will be more sturdier than thinner materials). So here are some basics:
1) Cabinet Box material and construction:
In their most basic form, cabinets are nothing more than boxes of varying sizes and materials, but the similarities end there. The material cabinets are made from is extremely important because it plays a key role in the durability, longevity and quality of service the cabinet will provide. Plywood is considered the premium option (other than solid wood used on the face frames). Virtually all cabinet makers offer plywood as their upgrade or top-line cabinet box material over particle board or MDF.
2) Shelf Thickness & Adjustability:
Despite their simplicity, the shelves are another key component because they carry the major part of the load within the cabinet. Again, plywood is considered a premium option as it provides better rigidity than MDF or particle board. When it comes to shelf thickness, obviously the thicker the better. Shelf thickness ranges from 1/2 to 5/8 to 3/4 inch thick. All of the shelves are 3/4″ plywood. Adjustable shelves are also a sign of quality because they are more versatile.
3) Drawer and drawer slide construction:
Because drawers are opened and closed frequently, they take more of a beating than some of the other cabinet components. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to how the drawers are constructed. Joint construction is key, with dovetailed joints being the most durable (provided they are tight with no gaps or looseness). Also, look for thicker drawer bottom panels, which range from 1/8 – 1/2 inch. The drawer bottoms are all 1/2″ thick plywood. Drawer slides are classified by how far they allow the drawer to extend. They can be 3/4 extension, full extension and over-travel. With 3/4 or “normal” extension, a portion of the drawer remains inside the cabinet when opened. Full extension and over-travel slides allow the drawer to be pulled all the way out (or past all the way for over-travel), which gives access to the entire drawer all the way to the back. Most of the drawers in our cabinets are either full extension or over-travel.
While there are other features to look for when buying cabinetry, these are some of the most important. We know you will be pleased when you see the quality of our cabinets because they encompass these key characteristics.