A lot goes in to kitchen design. Faucets, lighting, and décor are all pieces to the puzzle of a perfect kitchen—no detail is too small. But while there’s plenty of smaller pieces to notice in your kitchen, don’t overlook a big part of the room—your kitchen cabinets.
You’ve likely noticed cabinets outside your home that you’d love to incorporate into your own kitchen. But, before you make the big decision to install new cabinets, make sure you know the different types of cabinets, all of which are all beautiful options.
The most common style for cabinets today is the Shaker-style. The Shaker-style consists of five pieces of flat-panel, creating a frame with four pieces and with a single flat centre panel as the fifth piece. This is a popular trend because of the simple and classic look they offer to either a traditional or contemporary design, HGTV explains.
Shaker cabinets have several trademark characteristics including flat panelled doors with rail frames, sturdy construction with quality wood, and utilitarian designs. When it comes to the materials used for Shaker-style kitchen cupboards, you’ll most often find they come in high-quality American wood, especially that traditionally found in the northeastern United States. Some wood commonly used for shaker cabinets is cherry, maple, hickory, and quartersawn oak.
Louvered kitchen cabinets come with horizontal wooden slats, as well as a hefty price tag. With a design typically seen on windows, furniture pieces, and interior doors, louvered cabinets add a unique style to kitchen cabinetry.
Louvered cabinets are great for spaces that require ventilation because most louvered doors have spaces between each slat, Houzz explains. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for doors to a cabinet near a radiator, a pantry cabinet, or a clothes drying cabinet in a laundry room.
3. Flat-Panel or Slab
Also known as “slab” cabinet doors, flat-panel kitchen cabinet doors are simple but stylish. The flat-panel kitchen cabinet style offers hard lines and minimalist form and lacks any expensive detail. The appearance of the simple flat-panel cabinet makes it a great fit for both contemporary and modern kitchens.
Flat-panel cabinets can be constructed in many different ways. According to The Spruce, one consistent feature of this style is the fact that the slab doors do not have any frames. Rather, they are simply solid slabs, reflecting their name.
Just as their name suggests, inset-style cabinets are made up of an inset door set inside the cabinet frame instead of outside of the frame like typical cabinet doors. According to Houzz, each door is designed and built using incredibly precise measurements to ensure the wood sits inside the frame and opens and closes correctly.
Inset kitchen cabinets and kitchen drawers are some of the most expensive on the market, but their classic look can last years. Inset cabinetry is easy to personalize to create custom cabinets with either beaded or non-beaded inserts. According to Master Brand, beaded inset construction is fitted into the cabinet door itself. This provides an edge detail with fine craftsmanship.
Keep in mind, this cabinetry style usually requires exposed hinges, as opposed to the typical concealed hinges that many other cabinet door styles feature. This can add up quickly in your budget, as unlike concealed hinges that are included in the cost of the cabinet box, you’ll need to purchase two hinges per door for inset cabinets.
Looking for an antique-style kitchen? If so, you’ll probably want to go for distressed cabinets and drawers. Available from most manufacturers, distressed-looking cabinets can come in any door style with the corners rubbed off and other distressing techniques done to create an old feel.
According to Houzz, there’s typically a 15 to 20 percent increase in price for a tradesman to perform distressing techniques on your new cabinetry.
Made of rows of vertical planks with indentation or ridges, known as “beads,” between each blank, beadboard cabinetry offers a more dynamic look than some other styles, such as flat kitchen cupboards. The look of the beads gives this style cabinet door texture and makes for a perfect country farmhouse or cottage style kitchen.
If the all-white beadboard cabinets look perfect to complete your cottage style kitchen, first note that the cracks and crevasses on this style can be hard to clean and upkeep.
Thermofoil kitchen cabinets are molded out of medium-density fiberboard (MDF). This style door is then wrapped in a type of plastic coating and baked under intense heat to be sealed. The process leads to a durable and cost-effective kind of kitchen cabinetry. Usually mass-produced, thermofoil cabinets only come in solid colors and are imitation wood. However, these cabinets are also inexpensive.
While thermofoil kitchen cabinets are easy care, low maintenance and moisture resistant, they also have poor heat resistance, SF Gate notes. This means you shouldn’t install them too close to a heat source, such as your oven. If you do, the laminate may come loose from the veneer cover.
If you can’t find a kitchen cabinet door style in stores that really works well in your kitchen, custom cabinets are the answer. You can contact a local designer or craftsperson to create your own personalized kitchen cabinet design.
Do your kitchen upgrades need to include more than just new cabinets and drawers? Stop by a Kitchen & Bath Classics showroom to chat with our experts and pick up the rest of the necessities you may need!