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  • Jeff Chaignot

Choosing the Best Cabinets in Arizona

Where do you start when it is time to remodel your kitchen and you need a fresh design with new cabinets? An online search for cabinets can be overwhelming - you will see many different cabinet brands and companies claiming to be the best. Who do you believe? Not all cabinets are made equal and you want to make sure you get something that will last. Here are some of the things to look for when designing your new kitchen and selecting the right cabinets.

Cabinet Door Style

Choosing the door style is probably the biggest factor in pricing the cabinets. Generally, cabinet doors are priced by (1) how much wood is used and (2) how much labor is needed to route and assemble them. Flat Panel Doors generally have a solid wood frame, but the center is made with wood veneer panels sandwiched around MDF. Because less wood is used and there is often less detail, flat panel doors are generally less expensive. The ever-popular Shaker style door is a flat panel door and simpler to manufacture. Raised Panel Doors will be solid wood all the way though. Therefore raised panel doors are usually more expensive than flat panel doors. Raised panel doors can also vary in price based on how much detail (labor) is required to make the door.

Flat Panel Door

Raised Panel Door

To see all the door style options offered by Stellar Kitchen & Bath, click here.

Wood Species

Cabinets are offered in a variety of wood species. The most common woods used in Arizona are Oak, Maple, Hickory, Alder and Cherry. Hickory and Oak are very hard woods with a lot of grain. Hickory also can have huge color variation in the wood, giving it a more rustic look. Alder and Cherry are beautiful woods, but they are softer and can damage easily. Cherry also is very susceptible to UV light damage. Cherry will darken and age very quickly, depending on light exposure. The most common wood used is Maple. Maple is a durable, harder wood with minimal grain pattern. This is also the most commonly wood used on painted cabinets.

Full Overlay vs Standard Overlay

When selecting your cabinetry, you will see the terms such as "Full Overlay" or "Standard / Partial Overlay". Overlay simply refers to how much the door overlays the frame of the cabinetry. With a full overlay the door will hide most of the cabinet frame when it is closed, giving it a much more custom look. A standard/partial overlay will only hide a small portion of the cabinet frame when the door is closed (most new build tract homes have standard overlay cabinets). Full overlay is typically more expensive because more wood is used to make the doors/drawer fronts larger. It also will require handles or knobs be installed on the cabinets.

Dovetail Drawers vs Standard Drawers

Broken drawer boxes are a common issue with builder-grade cabinets. This is because builders choose the less expensive option where drawer boxes are made out of particleboard and are stapled together with a butt joint. When ordering new cabinets, it's always best to choose dovetail drawers. Dovetail drawers are made out of real wood and have dovetail joints cut out so they can lock tightly together. A dovetail joint is really hard to break apart and will last much longer than a butt joint. Most dovetail drawers also come with undermount, full extension and soft closing drawer guides. This will also add to the longevity of your drawers by preventing jarring when slamming shut.

Particleboard vs Plywood boxes

The cabinet "box" is essentially the skeleton of the cabinet. Cabinet boxers are most commonly offered in particleboard and plywood. Particleboard is basically a combination of sawdust and wood glue. Plywood is several thin layers of real wood glued together to make a sheet. Particleboard boxes usually have a melamine interior, giving them a wood "look, whereas plywood boxes will be real wood inside. Particleboard is much heavier than plywood so plywood is typically the only option offered on import cabinet lines because it saves on freight prices when shipping overseas. Particleboard is a durable material as long as it is thick enough. Plywood is a great choice as well, it is usually quite a bit more expensive and has a tenancy to warp over time.

Frameless vs Framed Cabinets

Cabinets are generally available in a framed or frameless style. Frameless cabinets do not have a wood frame on the front and will have the hinges mounted directly to the box of the cabinets. Framed cabinet have a wood frame mounted to the front of the cabinet box and the door hinges mount to the solid wood frame on the front.

Consider the Climate of Arizona

Arizona has an extremely dry climate which is very hard on wood products. Cabinets that are built in other states or countries usually do not stand up as well in Arizona when the first summer hits. Cabinets that are built in Arizona, such as Oakcraft Cabinetry, are already acclimated to the climate before the cabinets are constructed. This prevents most cracking on the joints after the cabinets are installed in your house.

Why You Should Choose Stellar Kitchen and Bath

At Stellar Kitchen and Bath we carry cabinets that can be built exactly the way you'd like. Stellar Kitchen and Bath can customize your kitchen design so you only pay for the options you want. You can choose your door style, wood and color, overlay, box construction and all cabinets are made locally right here in Arizona. Call us at (623)289-1100 or visit our showroom located in Avondale, AZ.

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