Buying new kitchen cabinets is a simple and stress-free way to get the designer kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you‘re looking to completely remodel your kitchen or simply update your cabinetry, there are a few things to consider before buying.
PART 1: BUILD A BUDGET
Cabinets are a large structural element and they usually account for about half the cost of a kitchen remodel. Many factors will determine the price of your new cabinets, including the size of your kitchen and the material you choose.
Stock and semi-custom cabinets are ready-made in many standard sizes and are the most affordable option. They can be purchased either assembled or unassembled in a wide variety of styles, materials and colors.
Semi-custom cabinets are finished only after you place your order, allowing for more options in cupboard depth and width. Fully custom cabinets are built to suit and are often equipped with integrated features including lazy Susans and pullout bins. The high cost of fully custom cabinets puts them out of reach for most homeowners.
PART 2: CHOOSE YOUR MATERIAL
A quality kitchen remodel should last 15 years or more with only cosmetic upgrades. You can always change the paint or wallpaper, but the cabinetry is built to last, so it’s important to find a look you love.
Do you prefer traditional country charm or cutting-edge modern design? Hardwoods including oak, maple and cherry are perennial favorites for kitchen cabinetry and can be stained in many shades to reflect your personal style. Hickory has a unique two-toned grain that is especially popular in rustic settings.
Birch and pine are easily customized and affordable solid-wood cabinet options. Laminates are durable, easy to clean, readily available, and less expensive than wood. Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is reasonably priced, long-wearing, and ideal for painted finishes. Bamboo is a newer material that is light, clean, airy, and environmentally friendly.
PART 3: COLORS AND STYLE
Buying kitchen cabinets online makes it possible to choose from a wide array of colors and styles. If you decide to go with hardwood, darker finishes add elegance while lighter shades brighten small kitchens and complement contemporary looks.
Black and white are probably the most popular painted cabinet options, but European designers are rolling out kitchen cabinets in a variety of unusual shades, including citrusy lemon yellow or deep, dark red. Door style is another way to personalize your cabinets.
Choose from a variety of framed and frameless doors in looks ranging from simple flat-front facings to intricate, multi-level designs. Glass-fronted cabinets are stunning in magazines and showrooms but are often impractical for daily use.
If you love the look of glass cabinet doors, consider using them on one or two cupboards where you will display your fine china.
PART 4: HARDWARE
Put the finishing touch on your new cabinets with quality cupboard knobs and drawer pulls. When choosing hardware, it’s important to consider both form and function. Small, delicate knobs may look charming, but won’t stand up to heavy roll-out pantry doors or pullout bins.
Try something different. In addition to standard metal, hardware is available in glass, ceramic, plastic, porcelain and wood. Brushed chrome handles are popular in modern kitchens, while antique finishes and cut glass knobs complement country looks. Don’t forget to add hardware costs to your budget.
Some solid brass or nickel handles and drawer pulls are designer pieces that can run as high as $25 each. Expect to use between 30 and 60 pieces of hardware in an average kitchen.
LOOK FOR QUALITY CONSTRUCTION
As with anything else, it’s important to do your homework when buying kitchen cabinets online. Make a list of questions to ask your customer service representative. Take advantage of the design center to experiment with your existing layout or plan a new one.
Order samples of your favorite cabinets and examine the quality of the materials and the color of the finish in the comfort of your own home. A few things to look for include solid wood cabinet and drawer frames, solid or swell-veneered door panels and drawer fronts and reinforced plywood cabinet boxes.
You may want to inquire about adjustable or pullout shelving and self-closing cabinet and drawer sides. The wide variety of kitchen cabinets available online will make it easy to choose the look you want at a price you can afford.
For more design ideas, check KSI Cuisine Solutions for daily updating pictures and blogs.