What Makes a Quality Cabinet And What To Avoid When Purchasing Them

May 31, 2022

Sure, you want your kitchen cabinets to look lovely. You know you’ll need storage space, and that you hope they’ll last at least a few decades. But what really matters when it comes to high-quality kitchen cabinets? Warping, sagging, and hardware issues are increasingly common in today’s homes before the cabinet’s anticipated expiration date. Fortunately, the vast majority of these problems may be prevented by using top-quality materials and construction for your kitchen cabinet project. Here are some more things to consider if you want to replace your cabinets:

All Plywood Construction

Plywood is a very durable and adaptable building material. Unlike particleboard, plywood has a lot of holding power with screws, fasteners, and glue. It also has a much higher tolerance for moisture — crucial in settings like kitchens and bathrooms. Plywood can handle a lot of weight, and it’s extremely resilient to bangs, dents, and smashes. Furthermore, it’s sturdy construction makes it much less prone to sagging or warping as compared to particleboard (also known as engineered wood, fiberboard, hardboard, substrate, or furniture board).

I-beam Construction

I-beams are used in base cabinet construction as ½” stretchers to support the upper sides of cabinets and provide structural strength as well as preserve the appearance of your cabinets during shipping and installation. When compared to less expensive alternatives like gussets and braces, I-beams are considerably more durable and dependable because they are connected to the cabinet’s sides with staples. As a result, cabinets that are not constructed with I-beams are considerably more prone to warping and flexing in the long term.

Full-Height Back Panels

If you’re like most of the world, the items you’ll choose to keep in your kitchen cabinets likely include dinnerware. Heavy, fragile dinnerware. Imagine coming home to find that the cabinetry you thought you’d scored a great deal on has all but disintegrated under the weight of your dishes. Metal rails jutting out everywhere, the wine glasses you got as a wedding gift in pieces on the ground … You get the idea.

Cabinets fail in this way as a result of weak back panels. Avoid this catastrophe by choosing solid, full-height plywood back panels. These panels are at least ⅜” thick and allow the cabinet to be mounted directly to the studs of the wall. If a cut is necessary to accommodate for wiring or plumbing, a quality back panel will retain its integrity without any additional reinforcements.

Undermount, Soft-Close Drawer Glides

Similar to hinges, drawer glides are something most of us don’t think about … until they start causing problems. A squeaky, glitchy drawer that sticks, locks, or gaps open is extremely annoying. The ideal drawer glide mechanism should extend to provide full access to the entire drawer (not just the front half, as many plastic mechanisms do). Adjustable glides with a soft-close, anti-slam dampening system make opening and closing the drawer a nearly silent action, while ball bearings and steel guides provide smooth operation and long wear.

While it may seem excessive, your glides should be rated to support at least 90 pounds. Lower ratings are often responsible for drawers that sag or break after just a couple years of daily use.

Soft-Close Hinges

Hinges aren’t at the top of most peoples’ list of cabinet details to consider, but a quality hinge can make or break your project. Poor hinges are at the root of many issues including cabinets that sit unevenly or won’t close properly.

Conversely, high quality hinges will keep your cabinets looking stunning and functioning as well as they did on their install date for years to come. The right hinge should have a soft-close mechanism built into the nickel-plated, hardened steel hinge. It should be adjustable in six different ways: in-out, up-down, and left-right. This ensures that your hinge can be adjusted as times passes and your cabinet doors begin to expand and contract during seasonal shifts.

When it comes to choosing your cabinetry, quality really does count! If you’re concerned about choosing kitchen cabinets that will serve your family for decades to come, give us a call. We’re happy to answer all your questions and offer top of the line, durable, attractive cabinetry for your project. Contact Us HERE!

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