Oct 8, 2009
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Navigating Through the Sea of Options for Kitchen Cabinets

 

Kitchen cabinets are always the largest expense in a kitchen remodel. Because they are a major investment (and one that’s not likely to be made again anytime soon), you’ll need to sort through the hundreds of options and make choices with confidence. Not all kitchen remodels will require new cabinets, so step back and look at your kitchen with an open mind before deciding to just rip everything out.

FRESHEN UP
If existing cabinets are of good quality, are in excellent working condition and the layout functions well, the most affordable option is to freshen them up by restaining or painting. Another alternative, refacing, involves installing a new veneer on the exterior of the cabinet box and replacing the doors and drawer fronts, and should be handled by a professional. The process is much faster than installing new cabinets because the cabinets remain intact and the work is done onsite. It is important to note that when it comes to cabinets, doors and drawer fronts account for the greatest expense.

In reality, the doors and drawer fronts can account for as much as 70% of the cost of the cabinet. This is because most cabinets utilize plywood or particleboard for the cabinet box, which is significantly cheaper than the real wood used for the doors and drawer faces.

NEW AND IMPROVED
The decision has been made to install new cabinets, but there are other choices ahead. Are custom cabinets required, or will stock cabinets fit the bill? Custom cabinets are built to exact specifications and offer endless options with regard to materials, designs, finishes and accessories. Custom cabinets will require much longer lead times, and can be 2 to 5 times as expensive depending on the style of cabinet that you are looking at.

Semi-custom cabinets are just that: semi-custom. While the cabinets are made to the homeowner’s size requirements, the manufacturer produces them in predetermined increments. Often a spacer may be needed to conceal unused wall space, and that sacrifices storage. The range of materials, designs, finishes and accessories will not be as broad with semi-custom cabinets, but they cost less than fully custom cabinets.

Stock cabinets, which are the most affordable of new cabinet options, are pre-made and come in standard sizes. In the past, stock cabinets had a stigma to them because of the quality of materials that were used. Today, manufacturers are using solid wood for the face frame and doors, and better cabinets will feature solid plywood cabinet boxes.

If you ask any industry expert, they will tell you that 8 out of 10 kitchens cabinet be built using stock cabinets. A 1/2″ here or a 1/4″ there can be easily made up by using filler strips which will not take away from the overall beauty of the finished product.

No matter what type of cabinet is selected, it’s important to evaluate the quality of hinges, doors, drawer systems and finish. Don’t be afraid to pursue companies that sell cabinets strictly on-line. They will have lower overhead and therefore can offer better prices. Even RTA (Ready-To-Assemble) cabinets are featuring the same quality materials as the big name manufacturers, but at a lower price.

CONSTRUCTION AND STYLE
Next, consider the construction type and door style. Framed cabinets, which are popular in traditional kitchens, have a front frame around the cabinet opening. The door attaches to the frame. Frameless, or European-style cabinets, have no front frame. The door attaches directly to the side of the cabinet. Frameless cabinets, which are often used in contemporary kitchens, offer an advantage over framed cabinets. Because there is no front frame, there is open access to the cabinet interior.

When it comes to door styles, there are several choices. Traditional-overlay doors cover some of the frame, full-overlay doors cover the entire cabinet frame and inset doors sit inside the cabinet frame.

SOURCE: Gary Nealon, www.articlebase.com

www.LKNcabinets.com

Oct 7, 2009
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Shopping for Kitchen Cabinets: Your Price Range

 

Kitchen cabinets are by and large the core of any kitchen. They can be highlighted by kitchen appliances such as the refrigerator, stove, cooktop, dishwasher and microwave, or these appliances can be modified to blend in by using panels that match your kitchen cabinets.

Shopping for kitchen cabinets can be intimidating, especially for a first time buyer. There are hundreds/thousands of major kitchen cabinet companies, and many more smaller custom kitchen cabinet shops where you can get any cabinet made from any species of wood that your mind can imagine. Add to that list the explosion of RTA Cabinet importers, and the laminated cabinet manufacturers, and suddenly the list can be overwhelming. Not to mention the fact that higher price always means high quality in construction, or more features being available.

In the past, pricing had always been the way to categorize kitchen cabinets. Traditionally, the higher-quality cabinets simply cost more money. As I mentioned before, with more and more importers conforming to the KCMA (Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association) building standards, some of the RTA Kitchen Cabinets or stock cabinets can actually be a sturdier cabinet than the traditional, made to order cabinets. Regardless of what type of kitchen cabinet you decide to go with, it does not take much effort to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the actual kitchen cabinets.

Most kitchen cabinet manufacturers build their base and wall cabinets in standard sizes. The kitchen base cabinets are often 34.5 inches tall and 24 inches deep. They come in widths starting at 12 inches and can go up to 48 inches often in increasing width increments of 3 inches. Kitchen wall cabinets are often 12 inches deep and 30 inches or 42 inches tall. They also come in the same size widths as the base cabinets. Wall cabinets also come in several different heights and depths for locations such as over the refrigerator or over the microwave/hood range unit. With custom kitchen cabinets, you have even more choices available, since the kitchen cabinets will be created specifically for your kitchen space.

Different semi-custom kitchen cabinet manufacturers make different-sized kitchen cabinets for all sorts of special looks and situations. It is not uncommon to have one cabinet extend beyond adjacent cabinets to create a distinguished look. It pays to shop around to see all of the different possibilities and special cabinet features offered by the custom and semi-custom kitchen cabinet manufacturers.

One of the biggest advantages to true custom kitchen cabinets is the ability to make one giant base or wall cabinet instead of separate boxes that are screwed together by the installer at the jobsite. A  custom cabinet maker can easily make one giant base cabinet 8 feet long that installs as if it were a piece of furniture. The same is true for wall kitchen cabinets. The advantage of this method is the lack of vertical seams where two traditional cabinet boxes would mate up to one another.

Pay particular attention to the materials used to build the kitchen cabinets. Some kitchen cabinets are made with minimal-quality engineered lumber, particleboard, or fiberboard. . If you plan to load a wall cabinet with heavy traditional china, the weight of the dishes may cause the cabinet to pull apart over time. This is particularly true when it comes to the semi-custom cabinets that the name brand cabinet manufacturers sell at the big box stores (which is why price is not always an accurate gauge of cabinet quality). Many of the RTA Kitchen Cabinet manufacturers use solid plywood sides, which obviously creates a strong kitchen cabinet box than a particleboard or fiberboard box. When it comes to custom cabinets, the material choices are endless and can usually be specified by the customer.

Another factor that will determine the price of kitchen cabinets is the material used to hold it together. Custom kitchen cabinet manufacturers will often use a combination of dovetailed joints, wood biscuits, and glue to create tight joints. Mid-grade kitchen cabinets will have a wide range of materials holding them together (staples and nails on the lower end, to cam lock assembly and wood glue on the higher end). Most RTA Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers utilize the cam lock system, which creates a nice sturdy cabinet, and when enhanced with wood glue, can last a life time. Steer away from any kitchen cabinets that are using staples, wooden dowels, or just screws. The strength of the cabinet will be compromised at the joints with these weaker joining materials.

SOURCE    www.articlebase.com

www.LKNcabinets.com

Oct 7, 2009
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Kitchen Remodel Design Layouts

 

A family cook often walks 100 miles a year. As much as one third of this kitchen pacing may be wasted motion, due to appliances placed for saving dollars in the construction or remodeling process. Sizing a kitchen is very important prior to the start of a new kitchen project. Plan ahead and understand the best kitchen layout for your family.

In an efficient kitchen there are three ” activity centers”.  The kitchen activity centers consist of the refrigerator, the sink and the range. These activity centers in a kitchen should lie within easy reach of the cook – and according to a study made at Cornell University, better placement of these activity centers can eliminate as much as 40 miles a year from the kitchen marathon.
 
There are Four Basic Kitchen  Layouts
 (There also are variations to the four basic kitchen layouts

The corridor kitchen.
The L kitchen.
The U kitchen.
The one – wall kitchen.
 
Two variations are the Double L and the G kitchen layouts.

The 3 activity centers make up 3 points called the “work triangle”
(The refrigerator, the sink and the range)

Usually – The smaller the triangle the greater the efficiency

In an efficient kitchen – the sides of the triangle add up to no more than 23 feet.

Additional Kitchen Considerations: Each activity center must also have a minimum of counter area and storage volume. 48″ between facing base cabinets or appliances. (There is Enough space to stand at an open cabinet, refrigerator, or oven while another person edges past)
Wishing You The Best Life Can Bring And Kitchen Remodeling Success!

Source: www.articlebase.com

www.LKNcabinets.com