Basic information you need to know when shopping for new kitchen & bath cabinetry. Brought to you by:
Manufacturers of Fine Kitchen and Bath Cabinetry
With Sagehill Designs: The difference is in the details.
Your vision and lifestyle are uniquely personal. Sagehill Design's expertise lies in assisting you in creating the perfect kitchen or bath environment that brings your vision to life. We accomplish this by designing beautifully functional products that enhance your chosen lifestyle. Since 1986, we have been crafting fine kitchen and bath furnishings that are recognized for their attention to the details - exceptional design, generous storage, outstanding craftsmanship, and heirloom-quality finishes. Whether your style is traditional, transitional, or contemporary, our collections will inspire you. Our passion for details is especially evident in our finishes. Our craftspeople are able to showcase the full beauty of the wood by their expert application and hand- detailing of our rich furniture-like finishes. The effects of sheen, highlighting, shading, and distressing, all account for the special beauty that our furnishings are known for and reflects a true understanding of refined taste and style. Our reputation of excellence has been built on paying attention to the details that make our products beautiful and unique. We would like to thank you for your consideration of our collections and look forward to serving you. Cabinetry 101 is a foundational guide that will educate those shopping for new kitchen or bath cabinetry regarding the design, materials, construction, and categories of these products. We hope you find this information helpful. We look forward to serving you.
1. Manufacturing Categories:
New cabinetry for your bath or kitchen is an investment that requires some thought and planning. Knowing which category of cabinetry that best fits your project will allow you to
make intelligent decisions about the features and benefits you desire. Cabinets can be most generally put into three categories of products:
Stock / Basic Cabinets - These cabinets are most usually used for value-oriented cabinet projects and situations where a building company offers a small number of selections for home buyers to choose from. These products are often carried “in-stock” and come in a variety of sizes that are found in 3 inch increments. The depth of these cabinets is typically the standard of 12 inches for wall cabinets and 24 inches for base cabinets. Typically, the features of these cabinets are limited and would be available in a smaller selection of wood species, styles, and cabinet features. Semi-Custom Cabinets – This is the largest category cabinets available and features a wide variety of wood species, finishes, hardware, drawer construction, and other features. Some of the items that are available are pantry units, architectural details, islands, and other unique storage and design features. Finish details like glazing and distressing may be available as an option. This cabinet category may be priced by linear foot rather than item based pricing for the use of comparison. Many of these products require a lead time that can range from 4 to 6 weeks. Premium / Custom Cabinets – As the name suggests, this category allow complete control over what features and benefits the kitchen or bath cabinetry will contain. These cabinets are “made to order” and may contain historic style ques, unusual design elements, or exotic materials. These can be manufactured by local cabinet shops or by large national cabinet manufacturers. Cabinet sizes and features are only limited by your imagination. A certified kitchen and bath designer is helpful in defining your project's unique parameters and will ensure you get exactly what you desire. The lead time for these projects will vary according to the complexity of the design and the capabilities of the manufacturer. This can be anywhere from 4 to 24 weeks to build, ship, and install.
2. Typical Cabinet Construction:
Face-Frame Cabinet Construction
How a cabinet is constructed helps determine its style, storage options, and other features like the type of hardware it utilizes. The two typical types of construction of cabinets are “face-frame” and “frameless”. Face-Frame Construction – Face-frame cabinets are the most popular type of construction method used in the United States and are available in all three categories of cabinets. The construction is strong, and helps define the spaces for storage of the doors and drawers. The face-frame covers the cabinet sides and can be made of wood solids or plywood. Face-frame construction allow the use of the three different types of door and drawer construction - partial overlay, full-overlay, and inset doors and drawers. Frameless Construction – Frameless construction is often referred to as “European” style construction due to its modular method of fabrication. Typically, the styles used for this type of construction are more contemporary or modern. The units are often available in 32mm increments which is due to their manufacturing requirements. Most commonly, the doors and drawers completely cover any interior panels
Frameless Cabinet Construction
3. Typical Door and Drawer Configurations:
A primary design feature on your cabinets will be the door and drawers. Understanding the three basic types will allow this important decision to be made with more confidence. Full Overlay – With this configuration, the door and drawers almost completely cover the face-frame. Partial Overlay – As the name describes, the doors and drawers partially cover the face-frame. Inset – On this configuration, the doors and drawers are inset within the face-frame.
4. Style and Appearance Factors:
A number of factors determine what the overall look of your cabinets will be. These include: wood species, finish, door and drawer styles, and hardware. Not only do these factors determine what your cabinets will look like, they can also determine what they will cost. An understanding of these factors will help you get the look you what at the price you can afford. Wood Species – The wood species you choose contributes greatly to the overall look of your kitchen or bath. Grain patterns vary according to the wood chosen and help define the style you are looking for. Popular cabinet woods are oak, maple, and cherry to name just a few. Door and Drawer Styles – Whether you want modern, traditional, or any style in between, you can find it somewhere. Popular door and drawer details include: raised panel doors, arched door frames, decorative trim and carved accents. These designs can be from a very specific interior design style of they can be a unique mix of styles. Stained Finishes – In addition to the wood species, the stain color and effects will greatly determine what your cabinetry looks like. Stain finishes can vary from very natural looking to very ornate and decorated. Sealers and top coats also provide protection for the cabinets and finish so that they can keep on looking good for years. Painted Finishes – Manufacturers also offer a wide variety of painted finishes on their cabinet offerings. Many trendy colors include grays, soft yellows, and blue-green colors. These will change over time, but whites and off-whites are a time tested favorite. Decorative Finish Details – For both stains and painted finishes, different decorative effects can enhance the overall effect of your cabinet design. Glazes, antiquing, decorative painted details, and physical and finish distressing can all create much more visual interest to a cabinet design. These effects all contribute to the unique patina that can be created to meet your interior design needs.
5. Material and Construction
The materials and construction details that your cabinets are made from are not always as visible as the doors and drawers, but the contribute greatly to their durability and cost. Having a basic understanding of these factors will guide to in making the correct choice for your kitchen or bath. Wood Composites – Many times, the face-frame, doors and drawers will be made of solid wood. However, the interior components, sides, and base of cabinets may not be. Some of these panels are made with wood fiber and plastic binder resins. Particleboard and medium density fiberboard are very common materials in cabinets. These allow for very affordable cabinets, but they do not perform well if exposed to water over a period of time. Plywood – Plywood is a large panel that has been constructed of a number of layers (or “plys”) of thinner wood. These are glued together and form a very strong and durable panel. These panels are much more stable and are considered a premium cabinet construction material. Construction Methods – Each manufacturer will have their method of joining your cabinet together. Lower priced cabinets are glued and stapled with plastic triangular corner blocks. More expensive units will use traditional wood working joints and methods of construction. For doors and drawer, look for solid wood construction and traditional wood working joints such as dowels and dovetails. Hardware – Your cabinets will also utilize functional and decorative hardware. Functional hardware can include hinges, drawer slides, and soft-close mechanisms. These components are available in a wide variety of function, price, and quality levels. Knobs and pulls are the decorative hardware used on cabinets. They not only provide a handy way to open the doors and drawers, they add to the style and interior design effect the cabinets have. These are also found in a wide variety of styles and price- points.
6. Tips and Summary
When looking for cabinetry, take your time and investigate the options available to you. These tips may be of interest to you: - Check out interior design and remodeling websites to find out about the current trends and products. - Investigate your local retailers and showroom to look at the different quality levels and myriad of features and benefits. - Work with a trusted designer who knows the options and the price- points. - Go to your local magazine retailer and spend the afternoon looking through the different interior design and kitchen and bath periodicals. - Take a few moments and find out more about the fine kitchen and bath cabinetry offered by Sagehill Designs. You can visit our website or see
our products on Pinterest.com and Houzz.com. We hope you have found this overview helpful.