When designing or renovating a kitchen, it is always a great idea to educate yourself on the different types of kitchen cabinet choices you have. Cabinets are an integral part of the kitchen, perhaps more so than in any other room of the house. In a way, the kitchen is almost built around the installed cabinets. Floor cabinets and wall cabinets, framed cabinets and frameless cabinets, the variety of cabinets may seem overwhelming at first. But if you have, at the very least, a general idea of the different types of cabinets out there, and what purpose they serve, you will be able to easier incorporate them into your own kitchen's design. Keep in mind that kitchen cabinets come in a wide variety of price points. In general, even the most inexpensive cabinets will serve their purpose just fine. As you get into more expensive models and ranges, however, the upgrades will typically be aesthetic in nature. Read on to learn a little more about kitchen cabinets, and how to find the best one for you!
In general, kitchen cabinets fall into one of two categories: base cabinets or wall cabinets. Base cabinets are also known as "floor" cabinets, and are meant to be installed on the kitchen floor, or surface. Wall cabinets, then, are meant to be affixed to the wall surface in your kitchen. Both types of cabinets each serve various purposes that are usually up to the kitchen owner to decide. Typically, base cabinets include a countertop, placed on their top side. This countertop is often used for food preparation or as extra storage space for small kitchen appliances, such as a microwave, toaster, toaster oven, blender or mixer. The countertop can be made from various materials, and everything from vinyl-covered particle board to granite is popular. Often, base cabinets are built around the existing plumbing in your kitchen. If you have a stainless steel, double-bowl kitchen sink, for example, which is quite common, the bowls themselves will often be built into the countertop that makes up the top of the base cabinet. The cabinet itself, therefore, will contain the various pipes and accoutrements that make up the plumbing. This plumbing is usually considered unsightly, and the cabinet serves as a kind of barrier to it. As mentioned before, different people use their base cabinets for different uses. Many kitchen owners will keep common cookware, such as pots and pans, in these lower cabinets for the ease of retrieving them. Another common use for these lower cabinets is keeping your kitchen cleaning supplies stored in them. A popular base cabinet for this is right under the kitchen sink. One more common type of feature is the "silverware drawer." A small, pull out drawer built into the top half of a base cabinet, this space is ideal for keeping your eating utensils. Most base cabinets have several of these drawers, where people will keep everything from extra rubber bands to oven mitts to stationary. You might notice that many cabinets have one or two "fake" silverware drawers, which will not pull out when you give them a tug. These are merely cosmetic, however, and are meant to be that way.
Wall cabinets, obviously enough, are mounted to your kitchen wall. Available in a multitude of sizes and shapes, there are arguably more types of wall cabinets available than base cabinets. Wall cabinets are extremely important to a kitchen. Everything from dishes to groceries are stored in the wall cabinets. Because of their multitude of uses, wall cabinets typically come with shelving, so you can maximize the use you get out of them. Since you will want to store different things in different cabinets, most wall cabinets come built with adjustable shelving: lined with peg holes on both sides of the cabinet walls, you can position the mounting hardware anywhere you'd like. This is ideal for situations where you have different sized dishes.
As you can imagine, kitchen cabinets come built in countless sizes and variations. And because most cabinets are built according to standardized dimensions, finding a pre-built set of cabinets that fit perfectly in your kitchen shouldn't be a problem. If you have unusual dimensions in your kitchen, however, or would like to add uniquely designed functionality to the space, you may want to consider getting your cabinets custom built. You should be aware that it will probably cost you more money, but the results will be worth it. The contractor who designs and builds your custom cabinets will usually let you in on every part of the process, and you will have a say on everything from the material used to the final positioning.