5 Red Flags in Kitchen Cabinetry And What Makes a Quality Cabinet
August 31, 2022
Of course, you want your kitchen cabinets to be aesthetically pleasing. You need storage space, and ideally, they will last for many years. However, what is most important when assessing the quality of kitchen cabinetry? Warping, sagging, and hardware issues can make cabinets seem old long before their time. By making thoughtful choices about materials and construction when you purchase kitchen cabinetry, you can avoid many of these problems. Here are some factors to consider the next time you need new cabinets:
Undermount, Soft-Close Drawer Glides
Drawer glides are similar to hinges in that most of us don’t think about them until they start causing problems. A squeaking, glitchy drawer that sticks, locks, or gaps open can be very vexing. The best drawer glide mechanism should extend throughout the entire drawer (not just the front half, as many plastic mechanisms do). The smooth, silent drawer is made possible by adjustable glides with a soft-close, anti-slam dampening system. Ball bearings and steel guides provide for smooth operation and long wear. Yes, it may seem excessive, but your glides should be rated to support at least 90 pounds. Inferior ratings often lead to drawers that sag or break after only a couple years of daily use.
Hinges aren’t typically at the top of people’s lists when it comes to cabinet features to consider, but a poor hinge can ruin your project. Many problems are caused by bad hinges, including cupboards that don’t sit evenly or won’t close properly. High-quality hinges will keep your cabinets looking beautiful for years and operating smoothly after installation. The nickel-plated, hardened steel hinge on the right side should have a soft-close mechanism. With six ways to adjust it in-out, up-down, and left-right you can be sure that your hinge will still work properly as time goes on and your cabinet doors start to expand and contract due to changing seasons.
Full-Height Back Panels
If you’re like most people, the items you’ll choose to keep in your kitchen cabinets are likely dinnerware. Heavy, fragile dinnerware. imagine coming home to find that the cabinet you thought you’d scored a great deal on has almost disintegrated under the weight of your dishes. Metal rails jutting out everywhere, wine glasses you got as a wedding gift in pieces on the ground … You get the idea.
Back panels that are weak can cause cabinets to fail eventually. You can sidestep this by going with solid, full-height plywood back panels instead. They have a thickness of at least ⅜” and they let you mount the cabinet directly onto studs in the wall. If you need to make any cuts for wiring or plumbing, a good back panel will hold up just fine without needing extra reinforcement.
All Plywood Construction
Plywood is a highly durable and adaptable building material. Unlike its less-quality contemporary, particleboard, plywood boasts a considerable holding power thanks to screws, fasteners, and glue. It’s also much more tolerant of moisture than particleboard (also known as engineered wood, fiberboard, hardboard, substrate or furniture board). Furthermore, because it is made from more solid materials than particleboard (also known as engineered wood), it is much less prone to sagging or warping over time (also known as engineered wood; Fiberboard isn’t the same thing).
Stretchers, also known as I-beams, are ½” wide stretchers that are utilized in base cabinet construction. I-beams, which are secured to the top of base cabinets, provide strength and keep your cabinets looking great during the shipping and installation processes because they’re more durable and dependable than less expensive choices like gussets and braces. The less expensive alternatives are merely stapled to the cabinet’s sides, so they don’t provide extra strength or support. As a result, cabinets made without I-beams are more likely to distort or bend over time.
When it comes to choosing your cabinetry, quality really does count!
If you’re concerned about choosing kitchen cabinets that will serve your family for decades to come, give us a call or contact us HERE. We offer top of the line, durable, attractive cabinetry for your project.