Off white cabinets in a casual kitchen

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Cabinetry 101

Types of Cabinets, Doors and Drawers

It's exciting to choose cabinetry for your new kitchen or bath, but with so many different types of cabinets to choose from, how do you know where to begin?

While it's great to have choices, it can be overwhelming without a basic understanding of the types of cabinets, doors and drawers that are available, and how you can use them to make your remodeling dreams come true.

Types of Cabinets

Diamond semi-custom kitchen cabinets in woodgrain and white high gloss laminate

There are three basic types of cabinetry: stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets. Each type provides different advantages depending on your needs and budget. Stock cabinets are at an entry level price point with limited options. Semi-custom cabinets offer more styles, finishes and features than stock cabinets, while custom cabinets offer the widest breadth of wood types, finishing options, construction platforms and modifications.

Base Cabinets

L shape configuration of base cabinets in a medium wood finish

Base cabinets are sometimes called lower cabinets. They are strong and sturdy, providing a base for heavy countertops, or used to create the perfect kitchen island or window seating. In a bathroom, base cabinets provide the foundation for a vanity or can be used for storage and organization of everyday essentials.

Wall Cabinets

Off white wall cabinets

Wall cabinets, sometimes called wall-mounted or upper cabinets, refer to cabinets that are hung on a wall, as opposed to resting on the floor. A mainstay for remodeling with cabinetry, they add beauty and functionality to the kitchen, bath, laundry or family room.

Tall Cabinets

Tall cabinets with wine storage, refrigerator panels and a double oven cabinet

Tall cabinets, also called pantry cabinets or utility cabinets, create bountiful storage and a dramatic vertical look in a space. Typical tall cabinets will range in height from 84 inches to 96 inches as one unit.

Cabinet Doors

Close up of cabinet doors in a dark Quartersawn Oak finish

Cabinet doors make a big impression in any remodeled room, taking up a significant part of the visual appeal of the space, while defining your personal style. They are available with various center panel styles, as well as overlay and inset versions.

Cabinet Drawers

Cabinet drawer partially open to show linens inside

Cabinet drawers, among the most versatile cabinetry items in your home, are constructed in many different types to suit the needs of your remodel.

Cabinetry Terms

When choosing kitchen cabinet doors and bathroom cabinet doors, having familiarity with cabinetry terms will also enable you to sound like a pro when it's time to make purchasing decisions. The following are some cabinetry terms to know.

  • Center Panel: The raised or flat panel in the middle of cabinetry doors enclosed by stiles and rails.
  • Center Stile: Sometimes called a mullion, this is the raised rail in the middle of the cabinetry doors that is enclosed by stiles and rails.
  • Edge Profile: Shape put on the outside edge of the cabinetry doors or cabinetry drawers.
  • Rail: A horizontal framing member of the cabinetry faces or doors.
  • Reveal: On a framed cabinet, the distance between the outside edge of the face frame and the outside edge of the door.
  • Stile: The vertical-framing members of the cabinetry faces or cabinetry doors.