Cabinets serve as the foundation for your kitchen remodel. The design of your cabinets plays a large role in the look and style of your finished room, and it also influences how functional your space will be.

Because cabinets are so important, picking out the right ones is an essential step in the renovation process. The following guide will help you to learn how to choose kitchen cabinets.

Consider How Your Cabinets Will Be Built

There are three basic options for kitchen cabinet construction. When selecting the approach that's right for you, you must consider both your design needs and your budget.

Custom Cabinets

These cabinets are designed especially for your kitchen. They're crafted to fit your space perfectly and to accommodate your particular storage needs.

Because these cabinets are tailored just for you, they are almost always the most expensive construction option. If you're willing to put forth the money for custom cabinets, however, the payoff will be that you'll get exactly what you want.

Semi-custom Cabinets

The middle-of-the-road cabinetry option is to purchase semi-custom cabinets. These are not crafted with your specific kitchen layout in mind, but they come in a wide variety of options so that you can pick and choose the pieces that fit best in your kitchen. You may have many size and style options from which to select.

Because these cabinets are not built especially for you, they usually offer significant cost savings compared to custom cabinets. On the other hand, they're also not the cheapest way to put new cabinets in your kitchen.

Stock Cabinets

This is the off-the-shelf way to purchase cabinets. The selection includes a limited number of shapes and sizes, and you must work with what's available. If the dimensions don't quite work for your layout, you may need to use some spacers.

Although using spacers means that you won't be taking full advantage of every square inch of space in your room, this is still a workable way to outfit a kitchen. If you're on a tight budget, you'll appreciate the lower price tag that accompanies stock cabinets compared to the other two types.

Think About Where Your Cabinets Will Go

Cabinets fall into two main categories: base cabinets and wall cabinets. Just about every kitchen has base cabinets that sit on the floor. In modern kitchens, the base cabinetry is often comprised mostly of drawers instead of traditional cabinets.

Wall cabinets have become more optional, however. Some people are leaving their upper walls bare. This can help a kitchen feel more open and spacious, but it also reduces the amount of storage space that's available.

Some homeowners opt for open shelving on the walls instead. This maintains the spacious feel of a room, but it requires neat organization so that your kitchen doesn't look cluttered.

If you do opt for wall cabinets, there are some logistics to consider. You can select cabinets that:

  • Stop several inches before the ceiling.
  • Extend all the way up to the ceiling.
  • Run the full length of the wall from floor to ceiling.

Decide Which Basic Cabinet Style You Would Prefer

Traditionally, American kitchens have featured a different cabinet style than European kitchens. Today, however, both styles are popular in American homes, so you can take your pick of the look you like better.

The standard American look involves cabinets with framed fronts. This means that each door attaches to a frame that surrounds the face of the structure. The frame is usually visible, and you can see the hinges as well.

Frameless European cabinets have their hinges on the inside of the cabinets. The doors connect directly to the walls of the cabinets. This can lend a sleeker, cleaner look to your kitchen, which makes frameless cabinets a popular choice for contemporary kitchen designs.

To see examples of framed and frameless cabinets, take a look at the following video:

Pick Out the Right Materials

Cabinets may be made of cheap materials or high-quality ones. For obvious reasons, it's best to select the highest quality that you can afford.

Particleboard is a cheap material that won't hold up over the long run. Neither will melamine or medium-density fiberboard. To make matters worse, these materials are usually stapled or glued together.

It's better to look for solid wood cabinets or ones made of a combination of solid wood and plywood. The pieces should be connected with dovetail joinery, and the panels should slide into grooves instead of being glued in place.

Look for Special Features

Once you've settled on a basic style, it's time to narrow down the selection by paying attention to details and special features. Custom cabinets will give you the widest selection, but even stock cabinets often have interesting options.

Each piece of cabinetry in your kitchen might have a specific purpose. You might have drawers designed for holding pots, pull-out panels with built-in knife blocks, and narrow cabinets for storing canned goods.

It's smart to pay attention to little details that can enhance your kitchen. Some of the best features to consider are:

  • Adjustable hinges that can be installed in just the right spot.
  • Side rails for the drawers slide on.
  • Drawers and doors that close softly.

Of course, some of the favorite things to think about when you're shopping for cabinets are the color and the hardware. These features make a significant contribution to the overall look of your kitchen, so it's important to choose styles that will enhance the design scheme for which you are aiming.

By now should have a better idea of how to choose kitchen cabinets, but the best thing that you can do when planning a remodel is to receive professional guidance. At NDA Kitchens, we offer a free design consultation to get you started, and we can fully transform your kitchen in just three weeks.