Kitchen Base Cabinets Guide

Kitchen Base Cabinets Guide

Cabinets play an important role in the kitchen. They need to be both esthetical and functional. Base cabinets are the main attraction in the kitchen and you can be sure that everybody will notice them. On the other hand, wall cabinets offer a more dramatic look, giving the cuisine a living room look. But the most important aspect of all is to be functional. Kitchen base cabinets need to have an ergonomic design in order to help you store everything. The best ones are those that can stock utensils like pots and frying pans, but also small items like cutlery and spices.


When you choose a kitchen base cabinet you are actually making an investment so it is extremely important to take a close look to the material. Even if they are commonly made of wood you can also find some other combined materials that increase their durability and quality. The most commonly used materials are:

  • Medium Density Fibreboard;
  • Plywood;
  • Wood Veneers;
  • Thermofoil;
  • Laminates;
  • Melamine.

Particleboard is a material obtained from wood chips or shavings glued together with resin. They are compacted into rigid sheets. Cabinets made of particleboard are cheaper than the ones made of solid wood. They are very stable so this material is frequently used as an underlayment for plastic laminates and wood veneers for shelves and boxes. Particleboard is a good option for your kitchen base cabinet as it copes very well in the kitchen environment as it does not warp, shrink nor swell due to humidity. Still it needs to be sealed properly in order to avoid moisture.

Medium Density Fibreboard, also known as MDF, is a material made of fine wood particles mixed with glue and compressed into sheets. As it is very dense, warping resistant and with a smooth surface it works perfectly associated with veneers, laminates, and paints. These types of cabinets are a good option if you do not plan to spend a huge amount of money. As they are strong and durable they represent a great option at a small price.

Plywood is an engineered wood built from layers of veneers stacked and glued together at a certain angle. This is a strong material in both length and width. It is known that wood does not cope well with heat and moisture as it expands and contracts. This engineered wood is more stable than ordinary wood due to its cross-grain pattern. Because of its great properties kitchen base cabinets that are made from it can be found at a higher price.

Wood Veneers are thin layers of wood that are glued to plywood or particleboard. They are treated with stains, varnishes and others like this. If you want to purchase wood veneers that you must take a closer look to the grain, pattern, thickness and color. The most frequently chosen colors are cherry, hickory and pine.

Thermofoil is a flexible material that is applied on cabinet boxes, doors, and drawers. It gives a smooth and a practical texture. This material is designed to resist chipping. Its only main disadvantage is the fact that it may lose its bright colors in time if it is frequently exposed to high heat.

Laminates are thin layers of plastic coatings that are attached to the cabinet materials at high heat and pressure. They are very versatile and you can find a wide range of colors, patterns and textures.

Melamine is a material similar to laminate. It is made of a durable plastic. It is used for frames shelves and drawers. It is durable and easy to clean material. It is a great choice as it resists stains, chipping and fading.


When choosing a cabinet it is extremely important to measure the available space and establish what you need it for. Here are three types of kitchen base cabinets to choose from:

  • Stock cabinets are an economical choice and can fit almost anywhere. These types of cabinets are designed to cover a certain need. They are also a cheap option if you need them quickly as they are available in the same day or within a few days after you bought them. Stock cabins usually have custom dimensions. Their widths are of 3’’ increments ranging from 12’’ to 60’’ wide. The heights range from 30’’ to 36’’.
  • Semi-custom cabinets offer the possibility to choose from different types of wood and finish. They are more flexible when it comes to storage, design and style. Semi-custom cabinets are more functional than the stock ones as they provide specific features like pull-out shelves and vertical dividers. If you choose this type of cabinets than you must know that you will not receive them in the same day and you must wait a little longer for them. When it comes to sizes, they are close to those for stock cabinets. They are a perfect choice for a mid-range budget.
  • Custom cabinets are designed completely by hand according to specific measurements. They fit your kitchen like a glove as they will make use of every inch and space. Because they must be built from scratch it may require nine or even more weeks to receive them. These types of cabinets are the most expensive, but still the most practical.


It is known that kitchen cabinets occupy 30 to 40% of the kitchen. This is why it is recommended to do a well-documented research to find the ones that fit your needs best. Here is a list of manufacturers that can help you start looking for kitchen base cabinets. As a note, the companies are not presented in a priority form.

All Wood Cabinetry is a company that provides plywood-core cabinets for kitchen and bathroom. Their designs are classic, close to traditional.

Aran USA is the branch of the Italian kitchen cabinet company Aran World. As they are specialized only on this type of products is worth analyzing their offer.

Artistic Cabinetry I as NY Company owned by Alex Pfizer. It has a long history in designing cabinets as it was funded in 1975. Here you can find traditional, country and contemporary cabinets.

Canyon Creek is a company that started operating in 1981. Here you can find cabinets at an affordable price. Their design allows you to match them with every room in the house.

Ikea is a huge distributor of kitchen cabinets. Here you can find a wide range of kitchen base cabinets, starting from low-cost to high-style.

Inner Most is a subsidiary of Elkay. They are known for their design that can fit anywhere. The company uses frameless cabinet construction that allows them to carve extra cubic inches.

Kraft Maid is a well known kitchen cabinet manufacturer. They provide stock and semi-custom cabinets.
Masco is a conglomerate of companies that provide furniture that aims to improve the whole house. The companies’s that provide kitchen cabinets are Kraft Maid, Quality Cabinets, and Merillat.

Merillat is a Michigan-based company owned by Masco. They provide a huge stock of kitchen cabinets with impressive designs.

Porcelanosa is a worldwide company based in Spain. Here you can find traditional and smooth European-style cabinetry. You can also get the best services in Houston at

4 Steps to Consider Before Purchasing a Cabinet

Purchasing a kitchen base cabinet can turn out to be a big investment, especially if you want to go for a custom design. This is why it is important to follow these four steps before actually buying one.

Analyze the cabinet designs. Search for photos and acknowledge the differences.

With the help of the kitchen’s plan, establish your kitchen dimensions. Draw a floor plan with approximate dimensions for the cabinets. See how many and how big they need to be in order to fill space.

Establish a budget that you must not overcome.

Review the plan and the budget together with the shop assistant. It is the best choice to get professional help in order to buy the kitchen cabin that fits best your needs according to your lifestyle.

Tips and Tricks

If you intend to buy a solid wood kitchen base cabinet than be careful so you do not get fouled by the expression ‘all wood’. If you see this expression together with the cabinet then it means that it is made of plywood integrally or it is a combination of solid wood and plywood. On the other hand, ‘solid wood’ is the expression that means that the cabinet does not contain any engineered wood products.

Every woman hates to see dust bunnies on the top of the cabinet. But it is important to know that you can now avoid them simple and fast. Here is a trick that will keep your cabinet’s luster for a long time. All you need to do is trim the gap with molding. As simple as that!

If space or other elements (like in front of sinks) does not allow you to place drawers than you can easily replace them with false drawer fronts for a polished look.

Remember that if a cabinet is between 2 and 4 feet wide it must have two doors.

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