There are five popular types of kitchen cabinet door styles: full overlay, inset, lipped, partial overlay and tambour. Full overlay doors are very popular because they cover most of the cabinet frame and the hinges are concealed. Full overlay doors are usually found on frameless cabinets, but they can be found on framed cabinets as well. Inset doors are tightly fitted between the front edges of the cabinet box and are designed to sit between the rails and stiles of the cabinet frame. Most inset doors are found on framed cabinets. Lipped doors are similar to inset doors. Part of the door stile sits within the cabinet frame. There is a groove along the back edge that is made to fit over the face frame. The groove allows part of the door to rest in the cabinet and leaves the remaining part resting on the surface of the cabinet. Partial overlay doors are the most common. Unlike full overlay doors, which only leave about 1/8 inch of the face frame visible, partial overlay doors show about one-inch of the face frame. Tambour doors are constructed from separate piece that are attached to a flexible backing sheet. The sheet is then installed on a track that allows it to pull up like a shade and also slide around a corner.
All too often, visions of a dream kitchen turn into a nightmare. Following are the top 5 mistakes to avoid.
1. Ripping out the kitchen too early. If you plan to use semi-custom cabinets, they are made to order and usually take at least 4 to 6 weeks. If you rip out the kitchen before ordering, you will be without a kitchen for more than a month before you even receive your cabinets. The best way to ensure that you are out of your kitchen for the least amount of time is to wait until your new cabinets arrive before tearing out the old ones. That way you can make sure that you have all of the cabinets you need and that they are in good condition and are ready to install.
2. Measuring your space improperly. Once semi-custom cabinets are manufactured for you, they can't be returned. If you've measured improperly, then you'll either have to make the cabinets work or order additional cabinets at an additional expense. There are a number of sites that offer free tools and design tips. Use them!
3. Not planning for every day use. Make it functional! All too often, narrow walkways, inconvenient door swings and poor island locations can really interrupt the flow of your work space. Be sure to create a work triangle between the stove, sink and refrigerator and keep all walkways at least 36 inches wide. Make sure that no entry, appliance or cabinet door with interfere with another.
4. Lack of counter space and storage. You can save counter space by installing appliances under cabinets or counters. A microwave can be installed above the stove or a drawer-type microwave can be installed in a cabinet under the counter. Be sure to plan outlets for countertop appliances. Storage is what cabinets are all about and pantry organizers and other accessories can help you keep things organized and easily accessible.
5. Going over budget. The cost of the kitchen remodel should not exceed 20 percent of the value of the home. Be prepared for unexpected expenses!
Unless you are going with painted cabinets, selecting the type of wood for your cabinetry is one of the most important decisions you will make. Before choosing a type of wood, you'll want to consider the natural characteristics of the most common wood species. Maple, one of the most popular species, offers a smooth, closed grain pattern, generally light in color with varying tones of light pink and yellow-brown. Oak, a less expensive wood, is characterized by the wide open grain pattern and is extremely durable. Oak has variations in grain pattern and color, small knots and pin holes. Popular, though more expensive, cherry is a multi-colored hardwood distinguished by its flowing grain pattern. Pitch pockets, checks, pin knots and sap wood all occur naturally in cherry wood. Hickory wood is known for its strength, open grain and distinctive color variation within each piece of wood. Alder wood has a fine, straight-grain pattern and even texture. Grain characteristics are especially important for natural and light finishes that show the grain pattern and wood characteristics such as knots, pitch pockets and holes. With darker stains, grain characteristics show less, and with painted cabinets, the grain cannot be seen at all. It's also important to note that wood darkens over time, even wood that has been stained. So be sure to consider the grain characteristics and natural color of the wood before choosing your cabinets.
Whether used as task lighting or accent lighting, under-cabinet lighting can add functionality and detail to your kitchen remodel. The two most common styles of under-cabinet lighting are puck and linear. Puck lights are round or oval and are good for cabinet and display lighting. Puck lights can create scallops, spots or pools of lighting instead of even illumination across the counter top. Linear lights can come as a light strip or as a linear fixture or light bar. Linear fixtures resemble small puck lights on one mounting strip.
The way a majority of kitchen cabinets are made makes it very easy to install under-cabinet lights. There is usually a recessed area that is about the depth of most under-cabinet lights, so they do not project beyond the bottom plane of the cabinets.
When it comes to under-cabinet lighting, you can either go with plug-in units or hard-wired. Plug-in units are easier to install. Simply attach the fixture to the underside of the upper cabinet and plug into a nearby outlet. These can be a good choice if you only have a small area to illuminate, as long as you don't have a problem with exposed wires. A hard-wired system is usually more attractive, as there is no exposed wiring, but it is also more difficult to install. If you are doing a complete kitchen remodel, this is a great time to pre-wire for under-cabinet lighting.
Whether it's used to illuminate a work area, provide additional ambient light or is used as accent lighting, under-cabinet lighting adds a nice touch to any kitchen remodel.
If you know the cabinet manufacturer, door style and stain or color, it should be easy to match the cabinets, right? Well, not exactly. Even if you have white cabinets and you order new white doors, or new white cabinets, they won't match. Why? White cabinets yellow over time. Even if it's only been a year or two since the cabinets were installed and they still look bright white to you, they won't look white when compared to a new cabinet. As for wood stains, they darken over time. So a new cabinet with the same stain will not match.
Another reason we don't recommend trying to match existing cabinets is that manufacturers often change hardware. The new doors that you order for your existing cabinets may not have the same hinge placement as your existing cabinet door.
If you're adding an island or another group of cabinets to your kitchen, such as a butler's pantry, you're better off using a completely different yet complementary color of cabinet. Using the same door style will bring it all together.