As we’re looking to remodel or renovate the kitchen, the cabinets play an important role. But more than the material, which is critical to the design and look of the space, the cabinet construction is just as important.
Cabinets are made and designed using different materials—and thickness of those materials. How can you know you’re making the right choice for quality kitchen cabinets when it comes to the box construction?
Let’s first take a look at the materials that often make up that box.
- Solid Wood
- Particle Board
- MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)
The material is relevant because you’re looking for durable, yet affordable quality cabinets. The properties will each have different benefits, from UV protection due to sun exposure to susceptibility to moisture and humidity, but the quality of the material is all about your interests.
Now, let’s move to the box construction.
What Makes a Durable Construction?
There are two main areas that provide for a durable construction: Thickness and joint bracing.
Thickness of Your Box Construction
The thicker the side and end panels, as well as the back and floor panels, the better and more durable your construction will be.
The ends of the box should come with stock boards between one-half inch and three-quarters inches thick. Think about it this way: the thicker the boards, the more sturdy and durable your cabinets are.
Often, the back of the box will be slightly thinner, but the thicker panels will prove to provide more rigidity. Typically, they’re up to one-quarter inches thick.
The cabinets need to control a hefty amount of weight, depending on the storage. From mugs and glasses to plates and canned goods, you need the thickness for support of these products.
Over time, you may see your cabinets start to dip in the center due to natural wear and the weight being laid down on the piece of wood for months and years on end. To avoid this, go with the thickness that you can afford.
When it comes to box construction, the joint construction and bracing is critical. This reinforces the box and overall construction.
Upper cabinets have both a top and a bottom that need to be glued into the joints. For base cabinets, the counter is the top, but the top joints are still going to need to be braced. There are different sizes of wood that are dado glued into the ends, and a four-inch wide strip is best.
Lower quality cabinets have wood-triangle, particleboard-triangle, or plastic-triangle braces, and the quality is seen on the size of the brace.
What You Need to Ask
When you’re shopping around, you need to know the strongest material that you can afford and ask about its construction. You’ll be able to see the thickness, but ask about the joints as the experts will be able to help you.
While you may think that the outer construction is the most important—and clearly the most visible—to your kitchen remodel, don’t disregard the interior of the cabinets.
Box construction is something you must keep in mind at the beginning of the process. This way, you’re able to make the right decision for the longevity of your cabinets.
If you have any questions about box construction, reach out to us and we’ll help you understand what you should be looking for.