There are two things we’ve learned when it comes to choosing new cabinets for your home:
One, new cabinets can single-handedly transform the look and feel of your space. A bad set of cabinets can suck the life right out of your kitchen, bathroom, or new home bar while great cabinets really add to its look and function.
Two, the sheer amount of choices and decisions needed can make your head spin. So where do you start?
Whether you click through Pinterest, flip through the pages of design magazines, or browse the ACo project gallery, find what inspires you and let it guide you through making your decisions. To help you better understand the choices available, we have created this guide all about cabinets.
A great place to start when you are looking for new cabinets is with the level of cabinetry; budget-friendly stock cabinets, a more tailored approach with semi-custom cabinets, or the sky is the limit with designed just for you custom cabinets. It’s important to know these three levels because each range significantly in style and in cost, which is likely to affect your decision making for choosing the design that best suits your needs.
1. Stock Cabinets
In-stock cabinets, also known as stock or base cabinets, refer to boxes that are built by the manufacturer based on industry-standard styles and measurements. They are pre-built to pre-determined specifications and do not allow any customization.
At ACo, stock cabinets are our most affordable option and are produced in a predetermined size, making them less expensive than custom or semi-custom. With stock cabinets you have some different options as far as style and materials, but your choices are limited to what is available. That being said, stock is a great choice if you’re looking for affordable, quality cabinets. Here are some stock cabinet vendors we regularly work with:
2. Semi-Custom Cabinets
These combine some of the best elements of both stock and full custom cabinetry. Like stock cabinets, semi-custom cabinets are manufactured, making them a more affordable alternative to custom. However, clients & designers can make minor adjustments, changes, or upgrades that accommodate the layout of their space.
Semi-custom cabinets give you more options and allow you to choose certain features, such as custom sizing and applications, and even some built-in features. We regularly partner with these vendors for semi-custom cabinets:
Custom cabinets are our most expensive option, but they also provide the most flexibility. You have complete control of everything, from type of wood to stain color to size to finish. Custom cabinets really adds value to your home and makes your kitchen something special.
ACo’s custom cabinets are handcrafted in Indiana by skilled Amish artisans. Learn more about our custom cabinet maker:
Once you have established your budget and the level of cabinets to fit your needs, you are on to making your selections. Keep in mind that the level of cabinets you choose may affect your available options.
Generally speaking, there are two different ways cabinets can be constructed: framed cabinet boxes and frameless cabinet boxes. The former are the most common and simpler compared to frameless, which is more modern and provides more storage space.
Framed Cabinet Boxes – This is the most common type of construction having a 1-1/2” – 2” border applied to the face of the cabinet. This flat frame is where the doors are secured, giving the cabinet extra stability.
Frameless Cabinet Boxes – Often referred to as European style, frameless cabinets eliminate the face-frame from the box creating a more contemporary look. Typically, thicker more durable material is used to construct the box to compensate for the missing face frame. Only full overlay doors can be used in this type of construction.
There are three common types of cabinet doors: partial overlay, full overlay, and inset.
Partial Overlay Doors – Just as the name suggests, partial overlay doors partially overlap the face frame of the cabinet box—probably the most common and economical of the three. Because this type is so common, it is also the most affordable style. Homeowners can also rest easy knowing the precision required when hanging a partial-overlay cabinet door is more forgiving because there are no pieces that must be precisely matched. This provides flexibility for tricky spaces and doesn’t require meticulous installation.
Full Overlay Doors – Full overlay covers nearly the entire face frame of the cabinet, creating a cleaner and more high-end design. Since they are not set inside the cabinet frame, full overlay provides the greatest amount of storage with plenty of room for larger kitchen designed tools.
Inset Doors – Instead of resting atop the face frame, inset doors fit inside the cabinet box creating a clean, flush look. Inset cabinets are desired for their smooth, clean appearance, but the price is around 20% more than overlay doors.
Beyond the increase in price, cabinets with inset doors provide the smallest amount of storage space, making the storage of large items sometimes difficult. Homeowners also need to consider the expansion of wood caused by high levels of humidity which can sometimes cause rubbing to occur between the door and the frame.
Once the construction and door sizes have been selected, it’s time to start exploring the different door styles available. The three most common we see are flat panel, recessed panel, and raised panel.
Flat Panel – Flat panel or slab doors are more modern in design—seamless and simplistic. Flat panel cabinet doors have a flat center panel with a raised frame around it. They are considered one of the most popular styles due to their smooth lines, minimalistic style, and budget-friendly nature. Flat panel cabinets are also great for showcasing a particular color or finish you may have selected.
Recessed Panel – On a recessed panel door, a raised frame is created around a flat or recessed center panel—it’s clean and minimal in details. Recessed panel doors are available in many styles and finishes. Some of these doors also feature beveled trim that adds a touch of elegance.
Raised Panel – Raised panel cabinets have the center panel raised above the rest of the door. This creates a groove between the frame and the central panel. This kind of look provides extra depth to the cabinetry and is often more intricate. Doors with this level of detail fits well in traditional kitchens that have more elaborate designs and styles.
It all starts by learning the types of cabinet materials as well as the pros and cons, and seeing some examples to inspire you on your kitchen cabinet quest:
Wood Cabinets – Wood cabinets come in a variety of styles such as natural, stained, or painted finishes.
Eco-Friendly Cabinets – Eco-friendly cabinets are made from reclaimed, renewable, or recycled materials.
Laminate Cabinets – Laminate is a synthetic material that is made of compressed wood.
Thermofoil Cabinets – Thermofoil cabinets are made of vacuum-pressed vinyl.
Metal Cabinets – Often stainless steel, metal cabinets are available in a variety of shiny and brushed metals.
Remember the days when you were limited to dreaming about what your new cabinets might look like, only to be let down by your own imagination once it’s actually finished?
Thanks to Virtual Reality (VR), those days are all but gone.
VR is transforming the home remodel process by eliminating the gap between your imagination and the space you’re remodeling.
What does that mean for you?
Using VR technology, you can experience an immersive, 3D rendering of your home remodel before construction even begins. Now, you can see how everything in your floor plan—the wall cabinets, kitchen, floors, furniture, walls, and lighting. VR aesthetically interacts to ensure your new design meets all of your needs, removing surprises down the road and helping manage costs.
Check out the tools ACo uses to make it happen.
Are you ready to tackle a home improvement project while practicing social distancing, but aren’t sure where to start? ACo is here to help. Using video conferencing, in home measuring apps, virtual reality, and even our flooring visualizer, our designers will guide you through design and installation of your project from afar.
At ACo, we want you to love where you live. That is our promise to you, and it guides everything we do.
Building a new home or remodeling your current one can be daunting, but we are here to help! We guide you through our simple approach – The ACo Way – to ensure a worry-free new cabinetry experience that allows you to love where you live.
Our cultivated team of experts, specializing in everything from design to construction, partner with you through every step of your project. Through open communication and well-defined expectations, we help you manage the emotional rollercoaster.
Get started on your cabinetry project with ACo. Connect with us for a complimentary in-home design consultation, or visit our one-stop shop at our showroom + design studio. When you’re ready to love where you live with a luxurious kitchen, lavish bath, beautiful cabinets, or stunning flooring space, we’re ready to make it happen.