On occasion in the past, I’ve been asked by potential clients what they should be looking for in Choosing a Quality Cabinet That Will Last. They express their disappointment in a previous remodel where inexpensive cabinetry was used by another contractor. Well, although most cabinets can appear well built while sitting on the showroom floor, there are some things that a potential buyer can look for and ask about when talking with their cabinet supplier which can make the difference between a 5-10 year cabinet and a 50-75 year cabinet. Now, we know that cabinet construction is not something that most people think about when shopping for their cabinets but if just a few questions are asked at the preliminary stage, we know you will be able to make a more informed decision when it comes time to purchase. So, let’s dive into some of the issues.
Picking The Best Cabinets For Your Orange County Remodel- The first things we look at when Choosing a Quality Cabinet That will Last are the components that will get the most abuse; the finish and the hardware i.e. hinges and drawer slides.
Cabinet Finish- Typically the finishes used on box store cabinets are a lacquer type finish which is lightly misted onto the surface of the wood. It is not built up and is applied just thick enough to produce a smooth look. Not only is the lack of product application here a problem, but the buyer should also note that lacquer does not stand up well to moisture. These two issues in combination with the possibility of water contacting the wood, along with general wear and tear, ensures that this finish will most likely fail quickly. Unfortunately, the end user will not know this until it’s too late, cabinets are installed and the finish is failing. When searching for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, we recommend a product called conversion varnish. This finish is much harder and will stand the test of time much better in areas which may come into contact with water.
Cabinet Hardware- If you think about it, how many times are the doors and drawers opened and closed throughout the life of your kitchen? How often do the kids slam doors, or possibly hang on a drawer to retrieve a spoon or fork? If your household is anything like mine, A LOT! The importance of good hardware is something we can’t stress enough to homeowners Choosing a Quality Cabinet That Will Last and something not typically found with the more inexpensive cabinets. There is nothing worse than spending the money on a new kitchen, to find only a year or two later that door hinges are loose, doors and drawers are misaligned with no adjustment left, drawer glides no longer soft close and so on. In the end, there are only a couple of brands of hardware we allow to be used in the cabinetry that is installed on our jobs, and they most certainly won’t be found at the big box stores. Blum and Hafele are manufacturers of cabinet hardware that we have always had great success with and they have proven to be companies that stand behind their product.
Box and Frame Construction- This next item is something that can be spotted with a little visual inspection. Are joints tight? Do you see staples used to secure any of the components of the cabinet? If you do, that cabinet probably won’t last long (see A2). No air driven mechanical fastener beats glue, screws, and dowels. Although this technique is not popular given the extra time and labor needed to complete the cabinet, this combination has been time tested for decades and is a proven winner
Hopefully, these tips have helped you understand what to look for and what to ask about when selecting a cabinet manufacturer or cabinet shop. Nothing compares to the rich look and stability of a well built and well thought out cabinet. The proper cabinet will stand up to decades of use and keep their luster over this time as well.
As always, we are happy to answer questions directly so please feel free to contact us anytime via our website or phone at no obligation.