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A Guide to the Different Types of Cabinets

When building a new house, one of the many decisions you have to make is which cabinetry best fits your kitchens and baths. Aside from choosing based on aesthetic style, you must also consider their purpose and functionality. This will help you determine whether custom design cabinets or ready-made stock selections are your best options.

This guide explains the different types of cabinets according to their use and the quality grades of their construction. Understanding these details will help you plan better when choosing cupboards, shelves, and drawers for your interiors.

Types Based on Purpose

Cabinets installed high on walls differ from those used as storage space on counters. Aside from position, each one varies in function and has distinct specifications to match its use. The following are the different types of cabinetry according to dimensions:

Base Cabinets

As the core part of many kitchens’ design, base cabinets are multipurpose units that can do and withstand a lot. The floor-affixed utilities become foundations for installing counters, sinks, dishwashers, and ranges. Plus, they serve as storage space for pots, pans, and other cooking wares. Due to its versatile nature, the base is typically the most expensive type among the cabinet variations.

A standard base cabinet has a depth of 24 inches and a height of 36 inches. Some semi-custom and custom variations can expand dimensions to be 27 inches deep. Most base cabinets have a four-inch recessed riser on the bottom called a toe kick for more convenient use.

Wall Cabinets

Storing food items and lightweight kitchen utilities is the primary purpose of wall cabinets. The overhead attachments are directly installed to wall studs using screws. You can also suspend them from the ceiling or secure them to overhanging soffits if you prefer upper cabinets above your island or peninsula.

Aside from being the most frequently used cabinets, wall types also act as decorative showpieces because of their prominent placement. For this reason, many project owners opt for simple bases but splurge on fancy wall cabinets. Some stylistic additions for this storage unit include accessories such as in-cabinet lighting and glass inserts.

The standard depth for overhead cabinetry is 12 inches. Custom and semi-custom options can increase this dimension up to 17 inches deep.

Tall Cabinets

Most kitchens have tall cabinets slotted in alcoves beside large appliances. These storage units stand floor to ceiling, making their capacity suitable for several items. Mainly, though, this variation’s purpose lies in storing food or cleaning implements, hence its alternate name as the pantry or utility cabinet.

On average, a tall cabinet has a height of 84 inches to provide breathing room. If you want to maximize an 8-foot space, you can choose the higher option, which extends to 96 inches.

Types Based on Quality Grade

The method of construction also divides all cabinets into different classifications. Here are the four types according to quality grade:

Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets

Available in most home stores, ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets are do-it-yourself products you must put together by hand. As commercially-available products, they’re cheaper than custom cabinets, though the material, size, and style options are typically limited. One drawback with these cabinets is their overall durability, as you may encounter problems with RTA units in the long term.

Stock Cabinets

Basic yet affordable, stock cabinets are mass-produced options that come in fixed sizes. They are available in modular units that require on-site assembly and typically have a limited range of accessories. In general, stock variations have decent quality, with a material selection that includes plastic-laminated or melamine-covered particleboard and solid wood.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets soar past RTA and stock types on a quality scale. Aside from being available at mid-range prices, semi-custom units also offer a broader selection of materials, styles, finishes, and decorative additions. You also have the option to request limited adjustments, such as increased depth.

Custom Cabinets

Made-to-order custom design cabinets can be costly, but you can expect high-quality results and specifically-tailored specifications upon delivery. Because each one is hand-built upon the owner’s request, you have free rein to choose the style, material, finishes, and accessories for your cabinet.

Get Custom Cabinets from a Quality Home Builder

If you have custom design cabinets in mind for your home, talk to a professional builder in your area and bring your vision to life. Coordinate with your chosen expert and relay the material, aesthetic, and dimensions you want to get quality results that deliver style and function. Whether you need a base, wall, tall, or a combination of all three, reach out to a custom cabinet specialist today to get your project started.