It may seem like the list of “things-to-do” is endless, but don’t worry. Simply follow these steps to get the perfect cabinet installed in your home.
1. Decide What You Want.
- What is the main purpose of your new or remodeled room? To add extra space, upgrade the kitchen/bathroom, improve security, make changes for health reasons, or just to improve your living space?
- What are your options? Is there room to expand into the back/front yard or is there enough room to redesign using the existing floor space?
- What are your priorities? Figure out what you want to change the most, and what can you keep or just update.
- Get input from all members of your household – find out their needs and wants.
- Consider short-term and long-term implications of your renovation decisions. Will ou have more/any children; how long do you plan to live in this house; and will your choice increase/decrease the home’s resale value?
2. Collect Ideas and Information
- Read magazines, books, and this website to get an idea of the look you want.
- Make a clip book of all the pictures and ideas that represent your taste and style.
- Watch related TV shows and record episodes you particularly like.
- Visit home shows and manufacturer/supplier showrooms.
3. Determine Your Budget.
- Establish your priorities and determine where to best spend your money.
- What’s the total amount you are willing to spend?
- How much can you/are willing to borrow?
Choosing a Contractor
Hiring the right contractor can be one of the most important decisions you make on your project. It is important to find someone that can truly work with you to create a beautiful addition to your home.
Do Your Homework on Home Work
Californians spend more than $39 billion on residential construction each year. Many homeowners have discovered that improving their present residence with an updated kitchen, an additional bathroom, new windows or a new roof can be more prudent investment than purchasing a new residence. However, adding a room or updating a kitchen can cost more than a new car, so consumers should take some time and care in planning a costly home improvement project. Unfortunately, most consumers spend less time choosing a contractor than they do choosing a car.
Planning Your Project
In order to minimize the changes that you will have a problem with your project or contractor, you should understand that planning is the first step in the process. Before you do anything else, ask yourself:
What Do I Want Done?
A silly question? Not at all! Carefully plan exactly what you want done, what you want it to look like when finished, and how much you want to spend. Carefully prepared plans will be helpful in getting accurate bids from contractors. You may wish to seek the advice of an architect or draftsperson. Generally, if something you want is not shown on the plans you aren’t going to get it.
Care & Maintenance of Your Cabinets
- It is important to wipe up spills and water marks as they occur.
- Use a damp cloth to clean normal household spills and dry the surface with a lint-free cotton cloth.
- For stubborn stains it may be necessary to use a mild detergent with warm water and always dry the surface immediately.
- Give special attention to areas around the sink and dishwasher, do not let liquid pool.
Avoid Excessive Heat & Moisture
- Self cleaning appliances generate intense heat during a cleaning cycle. We recommended removing the doors and drawers adjacent to or directly above an appliance during a cleaning cycle.
- Avoid draping damp or wet dish towels, overtime the moisture can cause permanent water damage to the cabinets.
Wood & Melamine Surfaces
- Clean a small area at a time and wipe dry.
- The cabinet can be protected by using non-wax polish.
- Harsh solvents or abrasives such as turpentine may break down bonds on the edge-banding.
- Ammonia cleaners must be diluted.
- Waxes may lead to discoloration and are not recommended.
Glass Door & Mirror Inserts
- Apply cleaner to a cloth and not directly to the mirror - Do not allow to run and drip into the base trim.
- Apply glass cleaner to a towel, not directly onto the glass.
- Avoid cleaner contact with lead, white, gold, or copper mullions.
- Periodically, use mild soap and warm water to clean knobs and pulls.
- Thoroughly dry joints and surfaces with a soft, clean cloth.
- Buff wooden surfaces with a clean, soft cloth.
- Lubrication of hinges is not necessary. However; hinges can be cleaned using cotton-tipped swabs.
Selecting the proper appliance panel design is a decision that needs to be m made early on in your project’s development phase. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the three major types of appliance panels.
Easily the most elegant option, integrated appliance panels are more costly and challenging to install. Hiding the appliance’s frame completely, the panel structure and functionality must be considered throughout the entire design process. It is important to note that not all appliance models can be fully integrated.
Full overlay panels completely cover the front of the appliance but do not cover the sides. This option requires either custom handles or handle extensions. Doors or false panels above the appliance do not line up in width and the appliance itself protrudes beyond the cabinet face.
Sold with standard cabinet construction, the framed appliance panel retains the most competitive pricing as well as the easiest installation process. It is not recommended that this style of appliance panel be designed into your project. A stainless steel option is comparable in price and would make a better visual impact in almost every case.
Adjustable Shelving – A Self that can be moved vertically by changing the position of the shelf clip.
Air Register / Vent – A slot cut in the face frame of the cabinet, to kick or other cabinet components to allow for air circulation. Air vents are not intended to open and typically have no hardware.
Antiquing – A special process is used to give an aged effect to the finished surface. The technique mirrors the natural process of aging by using sanders over the corners to expose the material of the cabinet.
Appliance Garage – A common name for a roll-up or single door unit placed under a wall cabinet. Roll-up doors are sometimes called “tambours.”
Appliance Panel – Decorative panels attached to the face of specialty appliances giving a built-in furniture appearance.
Arched Top – The top rail of an open cabinet section that has been increased in height allowing the bottom of the rail to be curved or “arched” over the opening.
Base Cabinet – Cabinetry set on the floor and finished with countertops.
Base Molding – A decorative piece of molding applied to a flush toe kick to enhance is appearance and give it a finished look.
Bead Board – Paneling that incorporated vertical, routed channel spaced incrementally.
Base Board Panel – A framed door, cabinet end or wainscot panel when bead board is used for the center panel.
Beaded Inset – The doors and drawer fronts are inset and flush with the cabinet face frame. However, rather than a square edge on the face frame has been bead cut into the edge. The use of door / drawer pulls is required. This type of construction is reminiscent of the craftsman style.
Bevel – The slant of a surface, as on a beveled edge door.
Burl – A swirl or twist in the wood grain that is caused by any of the natural factors that include: knot location, genetic components or naturally occurring damage to the bark. Burls are natural and not considered a flaw or defect in the wood.
Casing – Molding of various widths and thicknesses used to trim door and window openings at the jambs.
Chase – Cut-Out in the back of the cabinet to house ducts, pipes or conduits.
Classic Crown (Molding) – A wide, intricately carved piece of molding usually used on top of wall cabinets or furniture.
Clipped Corner – A decorative element applied to a finished cabinet end. Clipped corners are generally mitered at a 45-degree angle and are 3” wide. Clipped corners may or may not be adorned with flutes, turned posts and/or decorative onlays.
Concealed Hinge – A hinge type that has no exposed parts when the door is closed.
Conversion Varnish – An element of a finishing process, used as intermediate and/or top coats. This sprayed-on material is bonded to the wood when heated in special ovens.
Cope and Stick – Doors that feature a 90-degree connection.
Corbel – A functional or decorative bracket made of wood or stone and typically used for countertop overhangs, hoods, etc.
Decorative Hardware – Knobs or pulls fixed on a door or drawer front, and used to open them.
Dentil (molding) – Decorative detail most often found on crown molding with a pattern of tooth-like cuts.
Distressing – A process that gives the appearance of being antique. This hand-applied finish technique generally refers to any finish which looks worn and imperfect. This could be modest sanding on the edges, simulated cracks, worm holes, screw marks, chisel marks and dings intentionally “applied” to create the impression of naturally aged wood.
Dovetail – A joint formed by inserting a projecting member into a correspondingly shaped cutout member commonly used on drawers.
Drawer Guides – Hardware which allows for the opening and closing of drawers. Options include ¾ extensions (3/4’s of the open drawer is accessible) and full-extensions.
Elevation – A term used to describe the view of a geometrical projection (as of a wall with cabinets) on a vertical plane from floor-to-ceiling.
Face Frame – A combination of stiles and rails that are ¾” thick with varying widths installed on the front of a cabinet. Face frames are used to create a cavity or “frame” in which doors and drawers may or may not be place in or on.
Flat Panel – Recessed center panel of the door or drawer design.
Filler – A piece of wood stock matching the cabinetry used to fill gaps between cabinets and other cabinets, walls, appliances, ect.
Finger pull – In lieu of decorative hardware an optional 5’ long routed cut-out is located in either the center top or bottom doors and drawer fronts. Finger pulls are only available on partial overlay door styles.
Finished End – Term used to describe the exposed cabinetry end when produced with a finished wood veneer.
Finished Interior – Cabinet interior matching the exterior in wood species and finish. Used most often for open and glass cabinets.
Fixed Shelf – A shelf permanently attached to create a “floor” between openings and cannot be adjusted.
Flush – A term referring to any surface that is on the same plan or level as the surface next to it, such as inlay construction.
Flush Toe – A modification in which the toe-kick recess is eliminated allowing the face frame to extend to the floor creating a built-in look.
Flutes – Decorative concave grooves routed in a parallel pattern into a surface.
Fluted Columns – A decorative grooved routed into the face of filler stock that is machined to a 3/8” width and a 3/16” depth to add detail or accent finishes.
Fluted Filler – A decorative groove routed into the face of filler stock that is machined to a 3/8” width and 3/16” depth to add detail or accent finishes.
Full-extension – Style of drawer guide that allows a drawer to open to the full depth, giving easy access to items in the back of the drawer. These drawer guides can be either side- or under-mounted.
Full Overlay Construction – In Full Overlay Construction, the door and drawer front covers all or most of the face frame. This style features a narrower face frame and increased coverage of the face frame by using slightly larger doors and drawers, producing a very small reveal. The use of the door/drawer pulls are required. This type of overlay construction resembles a European or frameless look.
Full Overlay – Door styles that cover most of the face frame with only minimal clearances between them, giving prominence to the door and drawer design. All Frameless or “European” cabinets require full overlay doors and drawer fronts.
Glazing – A specialty finish in which a translucent glaze is applied after a stain or base coat which is then hand wiped resulting in the glaze being wiped from any flat surfaces while remaining in any raised or recessed areas. This finish method is used to create an aged or antiqued look that is unique to each piece. Glazing shows best on surfaces with sharp crevices or edge details and distress marks however pieces with few or no areas for hang-up do not benefit at all from the application.
Hardware – A general term for decorative hardware such as door and drawer pulls/knobs/handles as well as hinges, key locks, drawer locks, etc.
Hardwood – Lumber from the group of trees with board leaves, this has no reference to the actual hardness of the material itself.
Heartwood – The central core of wood in a tree that no longer produces sap and tends to be dark in color. Color variations in wood are natural and not considered a flaw or defect in the wood.
Inset Construction – In Inset Construction, the doors and drawer fronts are inset and flush with the cabinet face frame. The use of door/drawer pulls is required. This type of construction is remindful of the timeless simplicity of the shaker style.
KCMA – (acronym for Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer’s Association). An organization which establishes minimum standards for cabinetry produced in the industry. Qualifying manufacturers whose product passes their certification program, along with membership, can receive their “seal” of approval.
Knot – A naturally occurring whorl in lumber created where a branch extended from the tree. These can be open or closed, are natural and not considered a flaw or defect in the wood.
Laminate – The process of lamination applied a surface material over a core substrate. The most common laminations are wood veneer material or “High” Pressure Plastic” applied over a furniture board or MDF substrate core.
Lattice – An openwork structure of crossed strips or slats of wood.
Lead Time – A total span of time between contract acceptance and payment to product delivery.
Mantel – The shelf above a fireplace, also used in referring to the decorative trim around a fireplace opening. Mantels range from simple molding applications to elaborate floor-to-ceiling architectural elements.
MDF - (acronym for Medium Density Fiberboard) An engineered material used instead of wood composed of paper pulp and glue it offers an extremely tight and smooth surface. Exceptionally stable, MDF is favored for laminating materials such as melamine. MDF is not furniture board
Melamine - A chemically fused paper pressed and sealed then laminated onto MDF, plywood or furniture board.
Miter Joint - A type of joint formed by two pieces of wood cut at a 45-degree angle.
Modification - A change to a cabinet, per a customer request or field requirement, which is outside the normal production standards. Typically these are aesthetic and/or functional upgrades available for an additional charge.
Molding - An ornamental piece of millwork used for decorative purposes usually at the top, bottom of a cabinet, wall or piece of furniture. Moldings may be routed or flat, curved or straight and can either be a simple, single piece or an ornate, stacked combination of pieces.
Newel - A decorative and functional turned post supporting a countertop overhang lending to a furniture look.
Onlay - Ornamental appliqués either carved or molded and installed on the cabinet façade and provide no structural significance.
Paint Grade - A lumber grade used primarily for cabinets which will receive a painted finish.
Paneled End - Doors and finished ends constructed of several pieces of solid stock lumber joined with adhesive, cut dimensionally and then routed or shaped with the desired edge profile and protrudes from the frame.
Patina - a surface appearance of an object grown beautiful, especially with age or use.
Plywood - Thin layers of wood veneer bonded by adhesive, in alternating directions, forming a panel to create a material which is stronger than solid wood alone. All materials created with wood layers (plywood) or waste materials (OSB and particle boards) are graded based on the number of particulates per square inch and furniture board is more dense and refined, and therefore in a different class than particle board.
Pony Wall - A half-height wall constructed of studs and plates and finished with drywall materials. Pony walls can be capped with the drywall material or countertop materials.
Raised Panel - A style of door or decorative finish to an exposed end consisting of the frame (either cope and stick or miter) with a solid wood or MDF center panel cut dimensionally and/or routed which projects forward from and floats in the frame.
Recessed Panel - A style of door or decorative finish to an exposed end consisting of the frame (either cope and stick or miter) with a thin, unadorned veneer, solid wood or MDF center panel cut and inserted in the frame and floats behind it.
Reveal - The measurement between each of the door and drawer openings. Standard overlay doors are typically a one-inch reveal while full-overlay is one-quarter inch or smaller.
Scribe - Trim to fit exactly to a wall. Usually done with scribe molding where a cabinet back meets a wall that is slightly uneven.
Scribe Molding - A modest and simple piece of millwork used to finish where a cabinet meets a wall or soffit for a finished look.
Side Mount - A term used to describe a drawer guide that is mounted to the side of the drawer box as opposed to the bottom, underside of the drawer box. These drawer guides can be either full- or 3/4- extension.
Soffit - A box framed in wood, finished with drywall and attached to the ceiling either which drops the ceiling height down. Soffits may be an architectural in its design as well as functional housing ducts, pipes, conduits, lighting or other infrastructure elements. A Soffit is usually found around the perimeter of a room with wall cabinets attached to the bottom and therefore must be carefully considered in any design.
Stain - A finish material applied to wood products to add color and protection. An alternative to paint which is opaque and used to cover both the surface and grain. Stain is transparent and intended to enhance the natural beauty and grain inherent in each type of wood.
Standard Overlay Construction - In Standard Overlay Construction, the door and drawer front partially reveals the face frame of the cabinet all around the perimeter of the door and drawer. This style provides a 1-1/4" clearance between the door and drawer for easy access to a finger pull. This type of overlay construction is timeless and traditional.
Stile - Vertical strips of wood stock matching the cabinetry and installed on either or both the left and right side of the front of the cabinet. Stiles sometimes support rails are used to create the face frame. In framed construction the door hinges are installed to stiles and sometimes the mullions.
Toe Kick - The 4-1/2” tall x 3” deep niche at the bottom of most base and tall cabinets. This convenience feature provides enough space for feet to rest just inside the bottom base of the cabinet making it functionally comfortable to stand directly in front of the cabinet.
Tongue & Groove - A projection along the edge of a board inserted into a corresponding groove and work like puzzle pieces to aid in installation.
Undermount - A term used to describe a drawer guide that is mounted to the bottom or underside the drawer box as opposed to the side of the drawer box. These drawer guides can be either full- or 3/4- extension.
Wood Grade - A designation given to the quality of manufactured lumber.
Wood Grain - The natural pattern and texture produced in wood.
Wood Species - Different types of hardwoods or softwoods. Examples are maple, oak, birch, cherry, hickory and pine.
How to Measure
Doing a quick measure of the room containing your project can help us make the most of your initial meeting with our project coordinators.
Start with a Rough Sketch
- When measuring, show all dimensions in inches; use a pencil for easy changes.
- Begin measuring from a corner. Start 3-4 feet above the floor and continue to measure to the first object.
- Work clockwise; record all measurements of the room noting any “breaks” like doors, windows, offsets, etc. Indicate the direction in which the door swings.
- Indicate the rough sizes of existing or new appliances.
- Note any additional features that may affect your layout.