Everything You Need to Know About Kitchen Cabinets

Everything You Need to Know About Kitchen Cabinets

Not only can the cabinets installed in your kitchen significantly affect its aesthetic appeal, but the materials and methods used to construct them are just as important. Use this buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.

Construction Methods: There are three types of cabinets: base, wall-mounted and tall. 

Base cabinets are what support your countertop. The average height for them is between 34 ½” and 36″, but their depth can differ based on the cabinet, varying anywhere from 24″ to 30″.

Wall cabinets are hung on the wall and do not reach the floor. They vary in height from 12″, 15″, 18″, 30″, 36″, or 42″. Their depth varies between 12″ and 18″. They are normally installed 18″ above work surfaces and 54″ from the floor. Tall cabinets, for example, pantries, are 84″ to 94″ high and come in standard depths of 12″ to 18″. 

There are three types of cabinets: stock (prefabricated), semi-custom, or custom. When knowing how much you want to spend on cabinets and prioritizing either durability or aesthetics, will help guide your decisions in renovating your kitchen.

Modern Kitchen Wood Countertop in New Westminster BC- Vakari Creations


  • Framed Cabinets: These cabinets have a frame around the front of the cabinet box made out of the same material as the drawers and doors. The frame stabilizes the box. Here, the hinges are visible and attached directly to the frame. 
  • Frameless or European Style Cabinets: Attached directly to the side panels for stability, hinges on frame-less cabinets allow for more storage space because there is no frame around the cabinet box-the doors and drawers cover the box’s edges. Thicker side panels also provide added stability to these types of cabinets.
  • Sides: The sides of the cabinet are usually between ½” and ¾” thick. They may be unfinished or made of one of the following materials: Particleboard is widely used in cabinet construction but can become bent or warped over time. MDF: although cheaper, it’s susceptible to water damage, Sensible carpenters choose plywood for cabinetmaking because it’s strong and long-lasting.
  • Doors: Cabinet doors can either be made from a single piece of material, or a frame with an inner panel. The latter has a wood frame with the central panel being either wood or MDF that is then covered with the chosen finish. Even though they have a more distinguished style, wooden doors may warp due to humidity; however, the surface will not fade in color and it will not peel. Cabinet panels are categorized into 6 main categories: Slab, raised panel, shaker style, arch, insert, and beadboard.
  • Drawers: The sides of solid wood drawers are 5/8″ to ¾” thick, while the sides of the drawer made from particleboard are only ½” thick. When determining what is best for you long-term, it is important to consider that plywood is more susceptible to warping. The bottom line: ¼ inch plywood trumps all other options. While wood drawers have been proven as the most popular option in general, some manufacturers make models with metal sides that are just as suitable for frameless cabinets– if not better!
  • Shelves: There are two types of shelves- fixed and pull-out and they’re usually made from plywood, MDF, or particleboard. Another material covers the shelf layer such as wood veneer or laminate. Depending on the customer’s requirements or manufacturer, Shelf thickness can differ, but there are three standard measurements which include 1/2″, 5/8″, and 3/4″. The thicker the shelf is, the less chance it has to buckle under the weight. Even though this is true, if you plan on using shelving for heavy items like cans and preserves, it’s significant that the sides of your cabinet are thick enough so it can support everything. 
  • Pulls and knobs: Cabinet pulls, knobs and pendants can add a touch of style to any kitchen. Pulls are attached with two screws and come in many different styles. Knobs are only attached with one screw but are mostly for decorative purposes. Pendants have a hinged back plate and work well in more opulent decors.
  • Hinges: The many types of cabinet hinges available make it difficult to choose just one, but thankfully some factors can help you decide: For cabinetry, you will have to take into account what kind of cabinets you have and if your family would benefit from a soft-close mechanism (these are practical for families with children). The most common type of hinges is: Exposed, Concealed, mortise, no mortise, and swing clear hinges.

Now that you know everything there is to know about kitchen cabinets, you can make a more informed and better decision that meets both your needs and budget. Here, at Vakari Creations, one of our team experts will be happy to assist you in creating the kitchen of your dreams! Give us a call today!

Things to Consider Before Choosing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing the Right Cabinets for Your Kitchen