More Than Just a Pretty Face - How to Buy Kitchen Cabinets That Last

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Your kitchen cabinets take up a lot of real estate in one of the busiest rooms of your house. Of course you want something that occupies so much visual space to look good. But buying kitchen cabinets based on appearance alone could leave you banging your head on your poorly-constructed kitchen cabinets in frustration down the line. Read on to find out what you should consider when purchasing kitchen cabinets.

Look for Quality

Exact and precise cuts indicate high-quality cabinets, but that isn't always easy to see if you don't have a trained eye. But there are a few other signs you can look for. A high-quality cabinet will have a drawer front that is independent from the drawer itself. The exteriors will have a great finish, but the interiors will also be finished. And the hardware will be high-quality.

The Right Material

Solid hardwood is always a great choice for kitchen cabinets, but some engineered woods like veneered plywood and medium-density fiberboard can often work well too. Thin particleboard should be avoided, however. Your drawers should be at least 3/8- to 1/2 -inch thick. Plywood is a good choice for the bottom of a drawer.

Pay attention to the joints too. Stapled construction should be avoided at all costs. Dovetail, finger, tongue-and-groove, dowel, biscuit, and dado joints are all good options, with dovetail (the joints make right angles via v-shaped cutouts) reigning supreme.

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Certified Brands

The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association certifies cabinets when they can sufficiently withstand tests that throw years of normal kitchen abuse at them. These brands undergo exposure to extreme temperatures, humidity, and staining foods and liquids... and they still look good and hold up when they're done. 

Do You Have to Put the Cabinets There?

If you're planning on replacing cabinets, take the time to really look at your kitchen. Your cabinets are already in a certain formation, but that doesn't mean it's the best layout for the way you use your kitchen. Don't assume you need to replace cabinet for cabinet. 

Are They User Friendly?

A cabinet can be so much more than a box of shelves. Remember that you have several options to make your cabinets work for you, instead of increasing your work in in the kitchen. Consider full extension roll-out shelves, large drawers in base cabinets, built-in storage systems, and more.



Only buy from a manufacturer that can prove the quality of their kitchen cabinets by backing them up with a warranty. This shows you they have faith in their product, and you can have trust as well.

Don't Forget the Repair Kit

No matter the quality of your cabinets, you'll surely damage them at some point. Make sure you also get a repair kit with colored wax or markers to repair dings. Buy extra hinges and drawer slides so you can quickly and easily replace them if they wear out.

At New Life Bath and Kitchen, we're passionate about creating beautiful kitchens. And we're even more passionate about creating your dream. From cabinet refacing to custom cabinets to complete remodels, we can help you get the cabinets -- and the kitchen -- you've always wanted. Give us a call at (805) 639-5433, or request a free consultation online.