The Right Set Of Cabinets Can Dramatically Impact The “Wow” Factor Of Your Remodeling Project
It is important to find cabinets that match your taste and budget, as well as compliment the overall design of your new room. Suburban Remodeling’s business is remodeling, not selling cabinets. We are here to give you an unbiased opinion on both design and quality options.
We encourage you to compare “apples to apples” when choosing cabinets for your dream room. There are three tiers of kitchen cabinetry that all manufactures fit into. Within these tiers, there are many variations of materials and quality. In order to make accurate comparisons when shopping for cabinets, it is important to be aware of these subtle differences.
Cabinetry Tier Details
Tier I or full custom cabinetry
It leads the way in terms of flexibility, material options and in most cases quality. Cabinets are constructed to the specific measurements and angles required for each design. Because each cabinet is constructed for a specific purpose, you are sure to get exactly what you want in terms of features and functionality. Cabinets in tier I usually include the best hardware and finishes too. Cabinets of this quality are delivered to the job site wrapped in transportation blankets, much like fine pieces of furniture.
Custom Cabinets Are Not All Created Equal – With all of the benefits of tier I cabinetry, it is very important to note that not all manufacturers and cabinetmakers of custom cabinets produce the same quality work. Custom cabinets can be manufactured by large companies, as well as small shops right in town. Construction methods, grade of materials, and finishing techniques may range from satisfactory to excellent. Simply because a set of cabinets is made for a specific job, does not necessarily make them better. Over the past 35 years, we have seen many tier II semi-custom cabinets that are far superior in quality to some tier I custom cabinets. With that said, the tier I suppliers we recommend are by far the cream of the crop in the industry. The largest indication is often price. If you find custom cabinets that are comparable in price to semi-custom, we encourage you to thoroughly investigate the product. Be sure to confirm materials used, finishing methods, and hardware utilized.
Tier II or semi-custom cabinetry
It contains a very broad spectrum of options with regards to features, quality and price. The name semi-custom comes from the ability of the cabinets to be customized to fit most designs and layouts. The cabinets themselves generally come in fixed sizes, however, almost any size and angle requirement can be achieved by combing different cabinets, fillers and moldings.
Full Wood Fronts
All cabinets in this category boast “full wood fronts.” However, not all “full wood fronts” are created equal. The all wood construction is referring to the look of the cabinet. The wood used to construct the frame of the cabinet could be plywood, chipboard or medium density fiber (MDF). All of these materials have advantages and disadvantages. In our experience, either plywood or MDF is best in terms of strength and final appearance of the frame. There are also a wide variety of options for the face or door of tier II cabinets. These include laminates, MDF, and solid woods. The type of face and species of wood you choose comes down to individual taste and budget.
Drawers & Hardware
Drawer construction and hardware quality are also important factors to consider in tier II cabinets. Drawers are assembled by the manufacturer using either glue and pins, or dovetail joints. Dovetail construction is preferable due to its strength. The materials used to make drawers very from solid maple to plywood, with many choices in between. In our experience, a maple dovetail drawer with a recessed plywood bottom is a great choice. Hinges, drawer glides, Lazy Susans and even knobs and pulls very considerably in quality and price. When choosing these components, be sure to do a little “tire kicking” in the showroom.
Tier III or the “builder grade cabinetry”
It anchors the low end of the market. Cabinets in this range are the cheapest in terms of materials, construction and consequently price. Unless you are remodeling a rental property, you will most likely not be interested in this type of cabinet.