Cabinets and vanities come in a wide variation in look and feel. In selecting the cabinets or vanity that are right for your kitchen or bathroom, it is important to have an understanding of the different types as well as the different ways they are constructed.
When it comes to the look of cabinets and vanities, they come in three types. (1) inset, (2) partial overlay and (3) full overlay.
With inset cabinets and vanities, the face of the door or drawer is flush with the leading edge of the cabinet box. This type was very common in the early 1900s and is a very traditional look. It can still be replicated today but tends to be more expensive. The inset also reduces space inside the cabinet, meaning smaller drawers.
In partial overlay types, the door is mounted over the box and covers the opening completely and partially covers the edge of the cabinet box. This is a modern upgrade from the inset and is the most common type of cabinet or vanity. It is also the least expensive type.
With full overlay types, the door or drawer completely covers the box. This is also called the Euro-style and is the most modern type of look. There are no visible face frames with full overylay types when the doors are closed. The advantage is that there are only very small gaps between doors and drawers, creating a consistent look. However, extra care must be taken to ensure that the doors and drawers do not collide. This tends to require a high level of knowledge on the part of the cabinet maker and installer and makes the full overlay type more expensive.
Cabinets also vary based on the way they are constructed. There are basically four ways cabinets are built: ready-to-assemble (RTA), stock, semi-custom and custom.
Ready-to-assemble cabinetry comes boxed and requires assembly. They are made with cost in mind and are very limited in types and styles and material. They are relatively inexpensive; however, they tend not to be very durable.
Stock cabinetry are mass-produced in modular units that are available in fixed sizes. The sizes cannot be altered, making them less suitable for existing spaces. Cabinets are built on site using the modular units. The materials used in stock cabinetry range from particleboard covered with plastic laminates to solid wood with real wood veneers. Stock cabinetry is usually a less expensive option and when thoughtfully selected can offer an affordable option.
Semi-custom cabinetry offers a broader selection in both style and material. They come standard in certain sizes but permit some size adjustments. Semi-custom cabinetry varies from stock cabinets fitted with custom doors to made-to-order cabinets selected from a manufacturer’s catalogue of featured styles, materials and finishes. With semi-custom cabinetry, cost is generally in the mid-range option.
Custom cabinetry is on the high end in terms of cost. However, it offers a tailor-made solution with one-of-a-kind cabinets. It provides the most diversity in style, material, finishes and accessories and is suitable for even the most unique of spaces. With custom cabinetry, you get exactly what you want.
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