Kitchen Units: What to look for when buying your cabinets

Ellie Green
Authored by Ellie Green
Posted Friday, May 20, 2022 - 8:44am

When it comes to replacing your old kitchen cabinets with something more stylish and functional, there’s a wealth of options, meaning it can feel overwhelming to choose the right style. Whether you prefer a classic shaker style, contemporary high-gloss, or good warm grains, there are kitchen units for sale to suit both your lifestyle and your unique needs. 

Getting it right from the first shopping spree is important because kitchen units not only play a huge role in how your kitchen looks, but they can also be strenuous for the budget too. The bright side of the matter is that the latest kitchen units are particularly future-proof and made for all financial means. Add accessories or dress them up with colour, and you can upgrade your scheme as often as you want, for years long. Our post will help you zero in on the basics of buying cabinets, including style, quality, budget, size, and finish. 

Kitchen Cabinets: The three routes down 

  1. Stock Cabinets – These basic kitchen units are available in nearly every store in the country. They can be purchased already built and only need to be mounted from home improvement retailers. Stock cabinets come in standard styles, sizes, and colours, and there’s not much flexibility in how they can look. They cost around $100-300 per linear foot, which is one of the advantages for homeowners looking to renew their kitchen layout on a limited budget. However, stock cabinets don’t offer much choice for styling, and they will not last as long as they are made of less durable materials. 
  2. Semi-Custom Cabinets – If you’re looking for cabinet units that can be easily customizable and installed to fit your space, look no further than semi-custom kitchen cabinets. For example, you can choose from a range of door finishes and can change the size of shelves and drawers. The price of semi-custom cabinets ranges from $150 per linear foot and can take up to eight weeks to be delivered and installed. 
  3. Custom Kitchen Cabinets –These cabinets are entirely customizable and can be installed to fit your space to look exactly how you want them to. You can finish them any way you like, from a colour of paint to different beautiful hardwoods. Remember that special wine rack you’ve always wanted? With semi-custom cabinets, there is no end to the details you can add. 

But all these customizable features don’t come cheap. They come with a higher price tag and longer installation time. Usually, the price for custom kitchen cabinets can range from $500 to $1200 per linear foot, with a much longer installation time, but at least you have the comfort that your custom cabinet maker will handle everything for you, from delivery and design to installation. 

Find cabinets that fit your every lifestyle 

You may have already begun research on kitchen units that will add to your home’s design and thought about how much of your remodel budget will go to cabinets. Cost, and style, after all, are not the only factors to consider. 

  • Kitchen as a workspace 

Design faults can present hair-pulling inefficiencies and real hazards. Not for nothing, experts promote best practices for adequate landing spaces for worktops, ovens, and microwaves. Then there are slip-resistant floors, safe storage for knives, and proper task lighting. Safe and efficient kitchen layouts may include features you may have never considered or ignored until now. 

For instance, as a left-handed person, you might want to reconsider the ideal place for your dishwasher. Or maybe you might need to accommodate counter heights for a too tall or too short family member. No matter your unique needs, it’s crucial that you require the expertise of a professional kitchen designer to review or create a plan to cover those bases.  

  • Face frame or frameless? 

When choosing between frameless or European kitchen units as opposed to units with full frames, consider durability, wear, and the capacity to repair the damage. Is your kitchen the most frequented and heavily used space in your home? Do you have toddlers who will be leaning on open drawers or hanging off the doors? It pays to know that frameless kitchen units have door hinges attached directly to the sides of cabinet box sides. If made of fibreboard, the hinge screws of the cabinet boxes could loosen in time. 

The good news is that a kitchen unit with hardwood frames that sustain damage to a cabinet frame can be repaired. A frameless cabinet, on the other hand, is heavily damaged and may be easily crushed beyond repair. 

  • Opt for soft-close hinges 

No matter how much time you spend in your kitchen, soft-close hinges are a must. They’re six-way adjustable, are easy to install, and offer easy access to every inch of storage space.  

  • Something to inspire you to tidy up 

Storage options and organisers include pull-out cabinets, spice racks, tray storage bases, knife block drawer inserts, and plate racks. If your kitchen workstyle consists of mostly throwing it all in a drawer, these might be just what you need to inspire you to clean up faster and more efficiently.  

Looking at Cabinets 

When you’re in the store and see a model that catches your attention, you can check for signs of quality to make sure you’re getting a good value for your buck. 

Check openings – Check if the doors are flexible and can open wide enough to offer good access. See if the hinges are adjustable, as this will prove necessary when they get out of alignment, and you need to fix them. 

Check the materials – inspect the doors, drawers, and boxes to see if they’re made of solid wood, particleboard, plywood, or other materials. The rest will depend on your unique needs and wants. 

Check the shelves –note that the shelves of your new kitchen cabinet units should be at least three-quarters of an inch thick to prevent drooping. 

If there’s nothing you can find relevant, a local custom kitchen cabinet store will have plenty of resources and helpful representatives to help you in your quest for kitchen units. 


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