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When remodeling your kitchen, it is wise to choose your kitchen cabinets first as they account for the biggest portion of the remodel expenditure (approximately 60 percent), as well as being a major influence on the final look of your kitchen remodel. Planning ahead is also vital to ensure you achieve a good balance of aesthetics and function in the heart of your home. It is important you know the size and placements of the cabinets before ordering them.
Quality cabinets can stand up to wear and tear of the kitchen environment so pick a certified supplier. Your budget will determine whether you go with stock, semicustom or customized cabinets.
Depending on your personal taste and how often you plan on remodeling, it is smart to choose classic style cabinets that won’t be considered out of date in a few years. Typical kitchen cabinet styles include rustic country with bead board; traditional with square raised panels, austere recessed flat panel within a wide frame or for a more ornate look, a cascading arch frame with recessed paneling; and contemporary with clean lines and flat (or ‘slab’) panels. Remember cabinets with more detail, like beadwork, and recessed or raised panels, are usually more costly.
Your choice of cabinet material again depends on your personal preference and budget and there are a number of options. Light colored woods like oak and maple will make your kitchen look larger and brighter while darker woods like mahogany, alder and cherry add warmth and coziness. Other options include metal, thermofoil, stainless steel, and plywood which is considered more durable than melamine. Remember to consider your counters as you’ll want your cabinets to blend in with them.
If you’re going with wood cabinets, they can be left natural, or stained or glazed. Other decorative finishes like smooth matt Onyx, distressing and crackle are also available. The choice really depends on the type of wood used.
Though they may seem a minor detail, the handles, pulls and knobs you decide on can make or break the overall look of your cabinets and kitchen. Make sure they complement the material used to make the cabinets; for example, sleek, brushed stainless steel pulls add an element of the modern to wood cabinets. Soft-close hinges are also a must; they may come standard with your chosen cabinet model or available as an upgrade. And ask for adjustable hardware which allows the installer to adjust your cabinet doors for a perfect fit.
There are three basic fitting options for your kitchen cabinets. In full overlay mounting the cabinet doors fit flush with each other hiding the cabinet framework from view. Regular overlay mounting creates evenly spaced channels between neighboring doors and drawers. Inset mounting, where the cabinet door is fitted within the framework, is not common. You can request a recessed bottom for the placement of under-cabinet light fixtures.