Which of us has not visited at least once a kitchen showroom? Kitchen showrooms are truly, impressive in scale and presentation, but in fact, you find yourself in a gigantic emporium of a great illusion.
The explanation is simple. Every item exposed in this showroom is perfect. From uncluttered countertops, floor types, appliances to cabinets, everything is flawless without scratches, chip or other damages. Everything is brand new, modern and shinning.
The exposed kitchen cabinets are more than perfect, and it is normal to be so since they were never used.
But are they indeed, good quality cabinets? The offer is huge and is quite difficult to identify a truly high quality cabinet.
How they will perform over time?
How can you know that these cabinets are indeed, long lasting and high quality cabinets?
Let’s see together several tips how to choose a high quality cabinet.
1| A high quality cabinet is made of high quality materials
Usually, a kitchen cabinet is made of three different types of materials. However, like high-end contemporary furniture, kitchen cabinets are not only, made of solid wood. They are usually, made from different types of wood-based products such as:
a) Maple-Structured Melamine Laminated Particle Board
b) White melamine Laminated Particle Board
— Particle Board or Chipboard (in UK, New Zeeland and Australia) has defined dimensions, a uniform and smooth surface and it is denser and cheaper than plywood or solid wood. It is an engineered based-wood product as plywood and is made from wood particles (wood chips), synthetic resin, sawmill shavings and sawdust. All this mixture is pressed and extruded. This wood-based material is very light product and can be painted or can be used together with wood veneers that are glued onto its surface. They still have a great disadvantage, namely they are easy prone to discoloration or expansion due to excessive moisture.
— Plywood is also, an engineered based-wood product made from thin wood veneer sheets. Each layer of sheet is glued at a 90 degrees angle to the underneath layer. It is a versatile wood-based product, being workable, flexible, inexpensive and with great strength. It is also resistant to splitting, shrinkage and cracking.
NOTE: You should be aware of the formaldehyde content of these materials. After all this is the main issue, you should consider it, regardless of the material. Formaldehyde is a dangerous and volatile chemical agent found in glue component, used by many manufacturers to stabilize the adhesive bonding process. Ask the manufacturer or see any CARB – form (North American quality standard).
2| Check the details of the kitchen cabinets
It is a smart idea to check carefully all the cabinet details before buying them.
a) Check all the cabinet drawers:
– If the drawer boxes are built from solid wood and all their connections are in the old dovetail shape;
– If all the surfaces are well finished;
– If there is no sharp edge;
– If there are, only smooth joints.
b) Check the back of the cabinet case:
– The back of the cabinet case has to be at least 5/8-inches. Only in this way, your kitchen cabinets will have the necessary strength.
c) How are connected all the cabinet parts:
– This is extremely important if you want high quality kitchen cabinets. Only a cabinet case construction performed with dowels and glue will provide the necessary strength.
– Your cabinets should not be only, stapled, screwed, nailed or glued together if you want your cabinets to support all your kitchen stuff.
– The cabinet case has to be perfectly square with invisible water-resistant adhesive lines.
– All shelves should have a thickness of at least ¾-inch to hold between 70 and 100 pounds.
3| Kitchen cabinet hardware (Door hinges & Door slides)
– The best way to check the cabinet doors is to open and close them several times. A good cabinet door should close itself without any bang. You need to check it has a soft-close mechanism that it is placed on top of the door or is integrated into its hinge.
– You should check also, if the drawer boxes are opening and closing easily, and if they are open wide enough to have full access inside.
4| Finish products
– Can you see a darker stain with a lighter border, in the middle of the cabinet door? This means that manufacturer has used a less expensive stain finish. It will take time and money to remedy that.
– In fact, the most important is the quality of the final paint or stain coat, if it can withstand against all chemicals and liquids used in a kitchen.
Usually, a kitchen cabinet warranty is between three and five years. Very few manufacturers are willing to give you lifetime warranty for their products.