In the U.S. 17,000 google searches a month include the words “kitchen cabinets”. That's a lot of questions, not to mention all the questions we get every day in our showroom. Below we have tried to answer some of the more common questions in the hopes that you can rest a little easier at night.
Are Kitchen Cabinets Expensive?
Yes, no, sometimes. (Warning: I think I am channeling my father) For the most part, you get what you pay for when it comes to kitchen cabinets. If it seems too good to be true it probably is. What you give up in service and quality you will probably get back in the form of price discounts.
Here are some things to look for when comparing cabinet costs:
- The warranty. How long is the manufacturer's warranty? Look into the warranty specifics for finishes and rules for wear and tear.
- Are the cabinets assembled or not? If they are not factory assembled then you have to make sure someone who knows how to use a level and a square installs them or the hinges, doors and drawers will deteriorate faster.
- How much weight can the drawer glides hold?
- How thick are the door panels?
- What are the tolerances for imperfections and damages?
- What is the "return" policy for when you are shipped damaged goods? Cabinets are bulky and difficult to transport it is not unusual to receive a damaged item or two.
- Who is responsible for the measurements and fit? One of the more challenging tasks when installing cabinets is getting the measurements exact.
Should Kitchen Cabinets Be Installed on Top of Flooring?
- When possible it is best if the floor extends under your cabinets.
- Floating floors are the exception, the floor needs room to move or to “float” so this type of flooring is usually installed up to the face of the cabinets.
- Either way, the cabinets should be installed so that the bottom of the cabinets matches the height of the new flooring.
- This ensures proper counter height and the ease of sliding appliances in and out for repair and replacement.
- REMODEL TIP: Installing the floor under your cabinets makes future renovations easier. You can adjust the floor plan without worrying about the need to match or patch what’s underneath.
Are Kitchen Cabinets Made of Solid Wood?
First, it makes sense to define the term "solid wood". In the world of cabinet manufacturing, "solid wood" typically refers to pieces built from ordinary lumber as opposed to an engineered or manufactured piece of lumber that is composed of 100% wood.
- It is common to find solid wood doors, it is uncommon to find solid wood cabinet boxes.
- Building a cabinet using a pressed furniture core or plywood with wood veneer allows for more stability and less potential for the cabinet to rack or become out of square due to the movement that traditional lumber encounters when mixed with change in humidity levels in your home.
- It is better to judge a cabinet by the thickness of the engineered lumber sides rather than the material itself. The thicker the side the more stable the construction creating less opportunity for racking.
- The drawer boxes of a higher quality cabinet are made from solid wood, typically maple or poplar.
- Plywood with wood veneer ends is what is commonly used in constructing a “wood” cabinet.
Do Kitchens Cabinets Come in Standard Sizes?
- Kitchen and bathroom cabinets come in standard increments of 3” widths. Panels, parts and cabinets sizes run 3”, 6” 9” etc up to 48” wide for a singular cabinet and up to 72” wide for a vanity sink base.
- Cabinets come in standard 24” deep for the kitchen and 34 ½” tall. In the bathroom, cabinets are 18” or 21” deep and come in a variety of standard heights starting at 28 ½” up to the 34 ½”.
- Many cabinet lines allow for modifications. Some even allow the modifications at no charge. General Rule of thumb ... the more customizable the cabinet line the higher the price
- The most common standard modification is the increase or decrease in depth.
- Width modifications are less common because it can require a change in the size of the cabinet doors. Many cabinet manufacturers purchase their cabinet doors in standard sizes and then finish them in their plant so they don't have that option.
How are Kitchen Cabinets Painted?
There are a couple of ways to get a kitchen or bathroom cabinet to look painted. You can either use paint or a catalyzed varnish with a top coat.
- Painting a cabinet isn't as simple is it sounds. Most small local cabinet builders do not have the budget or capacity for a large finish line so they either hand paint or spray paint the cabinetry. If there is dust in the air (and there will be) your finish will be bumpy and not as smooth as a factory finish. The finish is also not as durable, lasting about 5 to 7 years at max before needing a new finish.
- Catalyzed varnishes are opaque stains that look like paint after they are applied. They are sprayed on in dust free finish booths and set at very high temperatures. They get a second top coat that will lengthen the lifetime of the finish and minimize UV damage. Many manufacturers will offer 10 yr, 20 yr and lifetime finish warranties to back up the quality of the finish.
- DESIGNER TIP: Over time the joints where the doors are mortised together separate with changes in temperature & humidity. The higher the quality of the finish the less noticeable the separations should be.
How do I clean My Kitchen Cabinets?
Good news! Only clean your kitchen and bathroom cabinets when necessary, over wiping and scrubbing can take away the protective outer finish. Most manufacturers only recommend using warm water and a mild soap such as dish detergent if you have a tough spot to clean.
Ammonia-based cleaners are the worst thing you can use on any finish, wood, stone and metals alike. As a rule stay away from any cleaners with ammonia as an ingredient.
Can You Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinetry?
The easiest and most cost-effective way to get a new look in your existing kitchen is to paint your cabinets. If you decide to repaint your cabinets here are some tips to keep in mind:
- It's best to hire a company that can spray the doors off site in a dust free environment to ensure a more durable smooth finish.
- Painted in place cabinet finishes only last on average about 5 years.
- In some cases the cost of a high-quality paint can be close to the cost of new cabinets so make sure you research all your options.
- Stripping and restaining most cabinets is not advisable, or cost-effective and often not even possible. Most cabinets are made with a combination of wood species and veneers that will not have a consistent look if sanded and refinished.
How To Install Kitchen Cabinets?
Hire the right team 😜 ... (Sometimes I can’t help myself). In all seriousness, this is a topic that is much too extensive to address in a couple of sentences. If you want a beautiful kitchen it is best to hire a team of professionals who have been installing cabinets for years. Need help check out our video about hiring the right team.
Are Kitchen Cabinets Taxable?
Is that a trick question? Did I just answer a question with a question? The answer is pretty simple. YES! We live in America, EVERYTHING is taxable. The rate of tax and how they are taxed is where it can get tricky. Unfortunately, the answer varies from state to state. As a general rule someone will need to pay tax on the purchase even though they are installed and become part of the dwelling. The good news, there is no tax on installation!