A few years ago, I built a full custom kitchen. Even though I knew the look and style I was going for, I remember feeling totally overwhelmed as I walked into the cabinet shop. I remember trying to think about budget, durability, and even resale value while knowing the overall aesthetics and style I wanted. This was very difficult—more difficult than I thought it would be! It was the little things that stumped me, like the exact color and cut of granite, the exact color and style of the cabinets and doors, and even the exact molding and hardware to add a finishing touch to my kitchen. 

The sales lady asked, “What type of wood do you want?” and “What style door do you prefer?” I knew I wanted a natural finish and a very plain door. However, I did not know I would need to pick the exact type of wood (we went with hickory) nor did I know that so many options of a “plain” door existed with fancy terms (we went with a shaker style). 

Whether refitting a kitchen or completely remodeling a bathroom, choosing cabinetry can feel overwhelming. At Michael’s Flooring & Cabinets, we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step to help you design your dream kitchen or bath. Come to our showroom, and see up close the options that we have for you. 

In the meantime, we recommend three considerations when thinking about buying cabinets: 

  1. Begin with a budget. 
  2. Learn some lingo.
  3. Remember resale. 

1. Begin with a budget

How much will it cost? Cost will vary depending on size and scope of project, type of wood and hardware, and installation. 

First, think about the size of your space. There are many resources online and in our store to help you measure and estimate size in linear feet. We’ll even come out and do a free measurement for you! 

Then, pick among stock cabinets, semi-custom cabinets, or full-custom cabinets. Stock cabinets will be the least expensive while full-custom will be the most expensive—typically about three times the cost of stock cabinets. (We have all of these options at Michael’s, by the way).

Next, choose what type of wood you want. Cabinets come in many wood types including ash, birch, cherry, hickory, maple, and oak. More on pros and cons of different woods to come, but let’s keep it basic for now. As you think about wood types, consider the color you prefer (from natural to painted or lighter to darker) as well as durability.  

Finally, think about the cost of installation. Is this a DIY project or will this job require professional installation? Obviously, professional installation will add to your overall cost. 

2. Learn some lingo

Cabinet lingo can be overwhelming. Here are some basic terms and what they mean when it comes to understanding cabinetry. 

  • Base Cabinets: Cabinets that sit on the floor
  • Wall Cabinets: Cabinets that mount on the wall (above the base cabinets) 
  • Drawer Face or Drawer Front: The front of the drawer (where the hardware will affix) 
  • Exposed vs. Concealed Hinges: Do you prefer to see hinges or do you prefer to hide them? Concealing hinges can really add to a clean, more modern look. 
  • Full vs. Partial Overlay: Do you prefer the door or drawer to cover the entire frame of the cabinet, or do you prefer to see part of the cabinet frame? 
  • Toe Kick: This allows room for feet under the cabinet while standing in front of your cabinets. 
  • Shaker Door Style: This is the most common style of doors used in kitchens and baths today. This is a simple box with a recessed panel inside the box for a clean finish. 
  • Molding: Adds a finish to the wall and base cabinets to give your cabinets a complete look (typically some type of crown molding will be added to the top of wall cabinets while base molding will be added to the bottom of base cabinets). 
  • Soft-close and Self-close: These are hinges on doors and drawers that have springs in them to prevent doors and drawers slamming shut.  
3. Remember Resell

This is not something many people will have you consider. We want to encourage you to think long-term on this one. 

While you want the current fad, keep in mind that what is “in” now might not be what is “in” when you are ready to sell your home. If you plan to be in your home for the long haul, this might not be as concerning as many fads seem to repeat; however, if you plan to be in your home for only a few years, keep in mind that fads and styles change every couple of years. 

Come See Us! At Michael’s Flooring & Cabinets, you can see different types of cabinets and brands including Ideal & Matrix. We have styles for you to experience in our showroom. We look forward to partnering with you for your cabinet needs!