The Art and Science of Construction

Misconceptions To Avoid When Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

When you start looking at various kitchen cabinet options, you may be struck by how many different choices there are. Often, homeowners look over these various options and pick what they think will look good, based mostly on what they've heard about cabinets over the years. Usually, this results in the homeowner getting cabinets they are happy with. But sometimes, a misconception or two will lead to a less-than-ideal cabinet choice. So, with that in mind, here are a few misconceptions you'll want to avoid when choosing kitchen cabinets.

#1: Plywood is a cheap, low-end alternative to natural wood

When you see some cabinets made with plywood boxes and others made with natural wood boxes, your assumption might be that natural wood is the better choice. But actually, plywood tends to be the better box material — even though it costs less. Plywood is less likely to distort and bend if the temperature and humidity levels change. And in a kitchen, the temperature and humidity levels will definitely change! If you choose wood boxes, there's a greater chance your cabinet doors won't close properly a year or two down the road.

#2: Hardware is primarily for function

Sometimes, people spend a lot of time choosing the material and finish for their cabinets, and then they pick any old hardware, figuring it's just a functional element to open and close the cabinets. In reality, though, your hardware choice can completely change the look of a cabinet. Hardware tends to be the focal point when you look at a cabinet door, so you need to pick hardware that coordinates with your cabinets and with the rest of the kitchen. The options are endless, but in general, you want sleek and simple hardware for a modern kitchen and more detailed hardware for a more traditional kitchen.

#3: Natural finish cabinets will be too hard to clean

Homeowners often assume that they must choose painted cabinets because the paint surface is easier to keep clean. This may have been true years ago when stains and other natural finishes weren't so well designed. But today, the natural-looking finishes used on cabinets seal the wood and make the surface easier to wipe clean. Natural finish cabinets should be no harder to clean than painted cabinets, so choose the finish that looks best in your space.

With these misconceptions cleared up, you're really ready to shop for kitchen cabinets.