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The Cabinet Center / Cabinets  / The Ultimate Kitchen Cabinet Buying Guide

The Ultimate Kitchen Cabinet Buying Guide

When it comes to defining the aesthetic of your kitchen, cabinets are one of the most important features, so it’s important to make sure you feel confident you’re choosing something you’ll love for years to come. Surprisingly, there various small decisions to be made when it comes to choosing cabinets, so if you’re getting started on an exciting upgrade, here’s the ultimate guide to building your dream kitchen.


  • Particle board: on the budget side of materials, but it also offers a wider versatility when it comes to uses and designs. You’ll get more options than you might otherwise find, but be aware it isn’t the most durable and can be affected by moisture.
  • Plywood: Although a bit more expensive than particle board, plywood is more durable and formed by bonding multiple layers of wood and then finishing them with a higher quality material.
  • MDF: The most durable of the wood options, MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is engineered with thin panels of wood fiber, wax, and resin. In many cases, it can even out-perform solid wood.
  • Glass, metal, and other materials are all alternative choices that can be found in less traditional cabinet designs. If you can dream it, you can probably find it or have it custom made.

Framed vs Frameless

  • Framed cabinets are the most traditional choice, and rely on an internal frame to support the cabinet. They are more affordable, but also tend to have less of a carrying capacity.
  • Frameless cabinets are more common in Europe and rely on a sturdier box construction. They can cost more than framed, but boast more storage space.

Inset or Onlay

  • Onlay doors, as the name suggests, lay on the door. This is the more traditional option, but it means they protrude slightly and give the door texture.
  • Inset doors rest flush on the frame for a sleeker look and offer more space.

Once you’ve settled on the important logistics of your cabinet, then you can have much more fun with details such as color, what kind of knobs and handles you love most, and other smaller finishing touches that make your kitchen truly yours. Remember, if you have any additional questions, we are always happy to be a resource so you can enjoy not just the result, but also the journey of designing your dream kitchen.

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