A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing Kitchen Cabinets in 2024

choosing kitchen cabinets

When you’re remodeling your kitchen or building a new one from scratch, cabinets are one of the vital elements that warrant careful consideration. Although you might not be eager to spend a fortune on kitchen cabinets, you must remember that they will be among the most heavily used kitchen elements. So, you need to pick cabinets that are stylish and functional, sturdy, and durable.

Buying Kitchen Cabinets - Beginner's Guide

If you want to create the kitchen of your dreams, the ideal way is to hire a custom cabinet maker who will design and install your cabinetry precisely how you like it. But that can cost you a bomb. Many homeowners prefer to buy pre-assembled or RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets to avoid this and save time and money and improve their home.

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets in 2024

best kitchen cabinets
Cabinetry by 21st Century

With so many styles and brands flooding the market, it can be challenging to decide which cabinetry will suit your taste the best. So, below are a few valuable tips to help you choose the ideal kitchen cabinet for your home.

Your kitchen style

While checking out kitchen cabinets, the first thing to consider is whether they’ll complement the interior decor of your kitchen. Think about the color scheme, layout, and available space in your kitchen before choosing a cabinet type.

Along with the cabinet type, you also need to decide the design and finish of your cabinets. Opt for a versatile design that easily fits into a modern and traditional kitchen. The aesthetics of your kitchen matter as much as its functionality.

Kitchen Cabinet Materials

You’ll find a wide range of kitchen cabinets made from different materials in the market. You can pick from a variety of hardwood, plywood, stainless steel, melamine, and so on. In terms of quality, hardwood tops the list, while particleboard tends to be comparatively lower in quality.

Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinets are not only central to the aesthetic and functional aspects of a home, but they also serve as a primary storage solution, keeping spaces organized and clutter-free. The selection of cabinet-grade wood, like cherry, maple, or oak, affects both the durability and the visual appeal of these essential home features.

Walnut Kitchen Cabinets

Walnut Kitchen Cabinets

Walnut wood has a distinct grain pattern that is not quite as pronounced as some other hardwoods, making it easy to blend with other woods. It’s naturally resistant to decay, making it an excellent choice of wood to build with for long-term pieces such as kitchen cabinetry. Its dark color also makes it a great choice for staining and finishing. This allows you to take on various hues and finishes as your interior decorating style changes through the years.

Oak Kitchen Cabinets

how to make oak kitchen cabinets look modern
Canva

Oak has long been a popular choice for furniture and cabinetry due to its rich color, durability, and classic appeal. This natural wood kitchen cabinets has stood the test of time, and oak kitchen cabinets continue to be a sought-after choice for homeowners

Cherry Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Cherry Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Cherrywood is a hardwood species native to North America, known for its rich reddish-brown color, fine grain, and smooth texture. Its natural beauty and durability make it a popular choice for kitchen cabinets.

Mahogany Kitchen Cabinets

mahogany
Home Dreamy

Mahogany is a special type of wood that comes from places like Asia and Africa. It’s famous for being really tough and having a beautiful chocolate brown color that looks great in kitchens. Mahogany isn’t just pretty; it’s super strong too.

Pine Kitchen Cabinet

pine kitchen cabinets
Maison de Pax

Pine is considered a good choice for kitchen cabinets primarily because it is affordable, lightweight, and sustainable. This makes it easier to handle during installation and supports cost-effective remodeling. Additionally, pine offers aesthetic appeal with its natural, rustic look, which can add warmth and character to any kitchen design. It’s available in various styles, including knotty, clear, and white pine, each bringing its unique ambiance to the kitchen space.

Birch Kitchen Cabinets

birch kitchen cabinets

Birch is a popular choice for kitchen cabinets due to its durability, cost-effectiveness, and eco-friendly qualities. It has a fine, uniform grain that is easy to stain or paint, allowing for a variety of finishes. Birch is also a strong and less expensive alternative to other hardwoods, making it ideal for those seeking quality without high costs. Plus, its fast growth rate makes it a sustainable option.

Maple Kitchen Cabinets

 

maple kitchen cabinets
Designing Idea

Maple is another top choice for kitchen cabinets because of its remarkable durability, natural beauty, and versatility. Known for its light color and uniform grain, maple is ideal for various kitchen styles and can be easily stained or painted. It is also eco-friendly and easy to maintain, offering good value for money due to its longevity and timeless appeal.

Metal Kitchen Cabinets

stainless steel kitchen cabinet
Kitchen Cabinets Corp.

Metal kitchen cabinets are highly valued for their durability, resistance to warping and fading, and their sleek, modern aesthetic. They are easy to clean and maintain, making them a practical choice for busy kitchens. Metal cabinets also offer versatility in design with various styles such as stainless steel and powder-coated options, allowing for customization to fit any kitchen decor.

Kitchen Cabinet Accessories

Accessories play a crucial role in customizing kitchen cabinets to meet your specific needs and cooking style.

  • Pantries: Not your typical tall cabinets labeled as pantries, but rather, large, deep pull-out drawers designed for storing large canned or dry food items.
  • Pullouts: Narrow sliding cabinets that fit neatly between base cabinets, providing an ideal space for organizing spices and other small items.
  • Dividers: Drawers that come pre-compartmentalized for utensils, eliminating the need for separate utensil trays and enhancing organization.
  • Wastebaskets: Giant counter-to-floor rollouts designed to hold wastebaskets and recycling containers, keeping them conveniently tucked away.
  • Organizers: Bookshelf-style compartments tailored for thin, narrow items such as cookie sheets, providing a space for them to rest on edge.
  • Toe kicks: Flat, narrow sliding shelves that replace some of the cabinet toe kicks, utilizing otherwise wasted space for additional storage.
  • Corners: Full, half, D-shaped, and kidney-shaped lazy Susans that rotate within blind cabinet corners, improving access to these dark and difficult-to-reach spaces.

 

Kitchen Cabinet Finishes and Colors

Painted

Painted kitchen cabinet finishes offer versatility and a vast palette of colors to choose from. These cabinets are easy to refresh when they appear tired, go out of style, or sustain damage.

Stained

Stained finishes enhance the natural beauty of the cabinets’ walnut, pine, oak, or other hardwood veneers. Coupled with a protective clear top coating, usually polyurethane, stained finishes are affordable and easy to touch up. This popular choice comes in various shades of brown or gray, ranging from light wood approaching white to nearly black.

Glazed

Glazed finishes involve adding a transparent or semi-transparent glaze to painted or stained kitchen cabinets. Wiped off selectively, this process leaves thicker deposits in fine details and bevels, giving cabinets an aged, antique appearance.

Lacquer

Lacquer, applied with a sprayer, brush, or roller, forms a hard shell and often has a glossy finish. While smooth and easy to clean, lacquer finishes are best suited for climate-controlled spaces as wood expansion and contraction can lead to cracks.

Laminate

Laminate kitchen cabinets are constructed on a base of medium-density fiberboard with glue-bonded laminate sheets. They can mimic natural wood or be a solid color in virtually any shade.

Thermofoil

Thermofoil is a thin polyvinyl chloride (PVC) overlay heat-bonded to MDF. Tough, waterproof, and easy to clean, thermofoil provides a surface for less expensive MDF, helping control kitchen remodeling and building costs. However, repairing thermofoil cabinets can be challenging if the coating delaminates or becomes scratched, and they cannot be painted.

5 Kitchen Cabinet Layouts You Must Know

There are specialty cabinets that serve specific purposes, provided there is ample space and budget flexibility.

1. Base Cabinets

how to choose kitchen cabinets
Diamond Cabinets

Base cabinets are fundamental components in every kitchen. Positioned at a height of 36 inches, these cabinets rest on the floor, offering both storage space below and a convenient countertop workspace on top. Typically, base cabinets boast a depth of 24 inches.

These cabinets are available in various configurations tailored to address specific functional needs. For instance, a sink base cabinet is designed to be wide enough to accommodate a double-basin sink on its top surface. Alternatively, a corner base cabinet is crafted in an L-shaped configuration, fitting seamlessly into the corner of the kitchen layout.

2. Wall Cabinets

glass kitchen cabinet

A common feature in most kitchens, wall cabinets play a crucial role in maximizing vertical space. Ranging in depth from 12 to 17 inches, these cabinets are affixed to wall studs and are elevated approximately 18 inches above the countertop. Wall cabinets serve as storage solutions for plates, glassware, and frequently used food items, keeping them easily accessible yet neatly organized.

3. Tall Cabinets

Wayfair

Tall cabinets are characterized by their narrow and towering design, often reaching up to the ceiling or nearly so. Referred to as pantry cabinets, these units are specifically designed to accommodate small kitchen appliances and store large food items such as flour or rice. Tall cabinets make efficient use of vertical space, providing ample storage without compromising floor space.

4. Specialty Cabinets

specialty kitchen cabinet
Madeval

In addition to the fundamental base, wall, and tall cabinets, there exists a category of specialty cabinets that cater to unique storage needs. This eclectic mix includes hutches, wine racks, appliance bays, and slider pull-outs. Specialty cabinets offer tailored solutions for specific items or kitchen functions, adding both practicality and personality to the overall kitchen design.

5. Corner Cabinets

corner kitchen cabinets
Founterior – Interior Design Magazine with Ideas / Tips

Corner kitchen cabinets, as the name suggests, are designed to fit into the corners of your kitchen. They come in various styles and shapes, from L-shaped layouts to diagonal or curved designs. Their main purpose is to maximize the use of corner space, providing extra storage room

4 Types of Cabinets

Cabinet makers categorize different cabinets based on the order and customer preference. Let us walk you through the basic types of cabinets.

1. Pre-assembled cabinets

These kitchen cabinets are the most convenient option to redesign your kitchen. They are pre-built with attached doors, hardware, drawers, etc., and are ready for installation in just a few days. The only downside is that they come in a limited variety of colors, fittings, and sizes. You cannot customize your cabinet design and pick from the available options. If you’re tight on your budget, you can go for stock cabinetry.

2. Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets

RTA kitchen cabinets
This Old House

RTA kitchen cabinets aren’t any different from pre-assembled cabinets. However, they are flat-packed and shipped with parts broken down. You’ll have to assemble the parts yourselves, which might seem like a lot of work, but RTA cabinets are relatively less expensive with low shipping costs. Another option is to hire a professional to assemble your cabinets to save time and effort.

3. Semi-custom cabinets

Semi-custom kitchen cabinets could be a viable choice if you want to add a personal touch to your kitchen without spending a fortune. You can pick from various decorative handles, finishes, color schemes, and the like. In some cases, you can also alter specific dimensions as per your preference.

4. Custom cabinetry

As the name suggests, custom cabinetry is the type where you get to decide every aspect of your cabinets, from color to material to design. With customized cabinets, you can turn your creative vision into reality while maximizing the utility of your kitchen space. However, custom cabinets are pretty expensive and may require extra labor and time.

Types of Cabinets

Farmhouse Kitchen Cabinets

blue kitchen cabinets
Feeding Trends

Farmhouse style is synonymous with warmth, comfort, and a sense of nostalgia, reminding us of a simpler time. Central to this design ethos are farmhouse kitchen cabinets, known for their rustic charm and practicality.

Rustic Kitchen Cabinets

rustic kitchen faucet
Pexels

Rustic kitchen cabinets are characterized by their use of natural materials like wood, featuring unique grain patterns, knots, and imperfections that enhance their charm. They often come in warm, earthy tones and may have distressed finishes to give a weathered look. Traditional design elements such as raised panel doors and decorative molding, along with artisanal details like hand-carved accents, contribute to their cozy, countryside aesthetic.

European Kitchen Cabinets

European Kitchen Cabinets

European kitchen cabinets are characterized by their sleek, frameless design which allows for more efficient use of space and a modern aesthetic. These cabinets are typically made from engineered woods like MDF or particleboard, often finished with laminates, wood veneers, or high-gloss lacquers.

Shaker Style Cabinets

sage green shaker kitchen cabinets
Canva

Shaker style cabinets are distinguished by their simplistic yet elegant design, featuring a five-piece door with a recessed center panel. They are highly versatile, fitting seamlessly into both modern and traditional decors, and are made with high-quality materials, ensuring durability.

Choosing Between Framed or Frameless Cabinets

CABINET CONSTRUCTION- FRAMED VS FULL ACCESS — Prestige Kitchens and Bath
Framed vs Frameless Cabinet | Prestige Kitchens and Bath

There are high chances of you coming across two types of cabinets: framed and frameless. From the outside, both may appear similar in structure but have a minute difference when you look closely.

There’s a face frame attached to the main cabinet unit (or cabinet box) in the framed kitchen cabinets to which the hinges and other attachments connect. This gives these cabinets a cleaner look and strength.

Contrarily, there is no such face frame in frameless cabinets. Thus, the door hinges and other attachments connect directly to the central unit, so their durability is less compared to the framed variation.

For cramped spaces, frameless cabinets are the best deal as they take up less space than framed cabinets.

best kitchen cabinets
Cabinets by QCCI Quality Custom

Cost of Kitchen Cabinets

As of 2024, cabinet prices typically range from $120 to $600 per linear foot for a standard array of stock cabinets. For custom cabinets, tailored to your kitchen’s precise measurements and possibly featuring upscale materials and finishes, the cost of kitchen cabinets can range from $600 to $1,800 per linear foot.

Additionally, incorporating installation and hardware might introduce an extra $600 to $1,800 to the total cost. Obtaining quotes from various cabinet suppliers is advisable to compare prices and select the best option for your budget and preferences.

Best Kitchen Cabinet Makers in 2024

Now that you’re aware of cabinet types let’s look at some reliable brands that offer the best-customized cabinetry designs. Remember that these brands are expensive, so proper budget planning is needed here.

QCCI Quality Custom

QCCI cabinets
QCCI

Whether you’re looking for traditional-style cabinets or a transitional vibe, QCCI can give shape to any and every idea. The company partners with the nation’s best kitchen designers to add a unique touch to your home. The team at QCCI is committed to delivering perfection in every aspect. They use the finest raw materials to handcraft the kitchen of your dreams personally. The entire process can fall heavy on your pocket as it is one of the most trusted brands in the States.

Stylecraft Cabinets

kitchen cabinetry
StyleCraft

If you are meticulous with design and style, StyleCraft is the perfect brand for you. The team of StyleCraft pays special attention to the nitty-gritty and aims to create a replica of your ideas. You can choose from a melange of color palettes and fitting styles that complement the interiors of your kitchen.

See Also
corner kitchen cabinet

A significant trait that makes this brand stand out is its commitment to our environment. All wood-based products typically emit tiny amounts of formaldehyde. StyleCraft ensures that this emission does not cross the natural limit.

Woodmode

Living room
Woodmode

Are you looking for vintage-style kitchen cabinets to remodel your kitchen? You are at the right place. Woodmode aims at crafting well-wrought cabinetry that goes well with European-style kitchens, farmhouse retreats, and contemporary navy island layouts, as well as a rustic setup. If you want to upgrade your kitchen with a sophisticated look, Woodmode can make that happen in the blink of an eye. However, save up on your budget before you decide to materialize a Woodmode kitchen.

Rutt Cabinetry

Modern kitchen designed by Metro Cabinet Company using white and wood Rutt cabinets - island seating
Rutt Cabinetry

Rutt Cabinetry primarily designs custom kitchen cabinets for luxury homes. They use only premium-quality material to handcraft cabinets that can magically alter the look of your kitchen. From personalizing the smallest of accessories to adding glazed finishes, the craftsmen at Rutt take artistic finesse to the next level. Rutt Cabinetry does not focus only on the exterior but emphasizes the utility of their designs such that they can fit into any room of your home without a hitch.

Medallion Cabinetry

best kitchen cabinets
Cabinetry by Medallion Cabinetry

With the assistance of Medallion Cabinetry’s seasoned professionals, you can seamlessly create a home that reflects your persona. Be it a simple open shelf decor or elegant arch cabinetry, Medallion artisans leave no stone unturned when delivering the best. Not everyone exhibits refined taste, but if you’re among the select few who appreciate beauty, you deserve a brand as aesthetically pleasing as Medallion.

Yorktowne Cabinetry

Yorktowne Cabinetry
Yorktowne Cabinetry

Yorktowne Cabinetry is the one-stop solution for all kinds of modern kitchen accessories. Brilliant decor, casual elegance, and innovative functionality are the keywords that define the motto of Yorktowne. You can notice the excellence of Yorktowne craftsmanship in small details like nature-inspired hues and door designs. For those planning to create a chic space for cooking, head to your nearest Yorktowne showroom.

Kraftmaid

Zen State
Kraftmaid

Kraftmaid brings an array of designs for kitchen accessories for you to select from. You can also personalize door frames, cupboard detailing, and lighting as per your preference. Now that’s an attractive add-on! The brand does not stop just designing your kitchen but also helps its customers with budget planning.

Ultracraft

Cabinetry That Creates a Statement Image 1
Ultracraft

With Ultracraft, you can get your kitchen cabinets revamped with zero extra cost. It offers a vast selection of cabinet types along with separate parts. Ultracraft also uses fade-resistant colors and thermally-fused melamine interiors, which are bacteria-proof, same goes for its raw materials. Besides, Ultracraft is KCMA (Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association) approved and is environmentally conscious, which is a big plus.

Design-Craft Cabinets

Bath Silhouettes - Portico Collection
Design-Craft

Design-Craft allows you to exhibit your style and bring your creative passion into your kitchen space. The brand is best known for its construction of sustainable products such as space-saving frameless cabinets that do not require much raw material. You can pick any style to revamp your kitchen, from contemporary designs to medieval fashion.

Wellborn Cabinet

Wellborn Cabinet
Wellborn Cabinet

Wellborn has been in the market since 1961 and earned its rightful place as one of America’s top-notch cabinet makers. Apart from fully-customized kitchen cabinets, the brand also offers other varieties such as Shaker-style cabinets and semi-custom cabinetry. You also gain access to an exclusive range of color themes and finishes to browse and select your match. Grace the heart of your home with premium-quality accessories from Wellborn and make it your perfect haven.

Waypoint Living Spaces

top kitchen cabinets
Cabinet work by Waypoint Living Spaces

If you are worried about remodeling your kitchen area, Waypoint Living Spaces is here to assist you! That team at Waypoint ensures a hassle-free process, right from helping you select the right cabinetry to installing it and adding the final touches. American Woodmark Corporation backs the brand, and hence it guarantees top-notch quality and an aesthetic look.

J&K Cabinetry

J&K Cabinetry
J&K Cabinetry

This kitchen cabinet brand brings a mix of minimalist designs and ultra-chic patterns to provide you with variations and multiple options to browse through. The J&K mastery is evident in its delicate curves and clean lines. The distinctive style and elegant color schemes offered by J&K Cabinetry can surely give your kitchen the ultimate makeover.

12 Affordable Kitchen Cabinets Makers

If you wouldn’t like to burn a hole in your pocket in the name of remodeling your kitchen, here are a few budget-friendly brands that can offer you good-quality cabinets for a reasonable price.

Forevermark Cabinetry

Forevermark Cabinetry
Forevermark Cabinetry

Forevermark is a cost-efficient cabinetry brand that blends superior quality products with a sense of aesthetics. That’s what defines the essence of Forevermark Cabinetry. Forevermark uses durable paints and environmentally friendly finishes. You’ll find all kinds of styles from Shaker to Gramercy collection at Forevermark. Give your kitchen a conscious overhaul.

Fabuwood Kitchen Cabinetry

Fabuwood
Fabuwood

Are you someone who prefers a chic, modular kitchen over a traditional one? If so, you can revamp the look of your existing kitchen by choosing accessories from Fabuwood. This brand guarantees reliable products within an affordable price range, from floating shelves and deep-tiered drawers to sleek pull-outs. Fabuwood also offers durable polymer waste containers that make garbage management hassle-free while adding an organized look to your kitchen.

Wellkraft Cabinetry

best kitchen cabinets
Cabinets by Wellkraft Cabinetry

An affordable way to remodel your kitchen is to optimize the existing space practically. And Wellkraft Cabinetry does precisely that! Be it a traditional space or a modern design, the team at Wellkraft is well-equipped to provide you with the most suitable set of kitchen accessories that matches your taste as well as the decor of your kitchen.

CNC Cabinetry

CNC stays abreast of all new design trends and tries to incorporate these styles into its products, bringing you an eye-catching range of kitchen accessories. It never compromises on quality and designs its cabinets from top-notch materials.

Diamond NOW

Personalizing your kitchen into a dream space is no more costly. Diamond NOW brings forth quite an assortment of cabinet designs and styles. Pick your favorite color from a diverse palette and make your cooking space a head-turner. All in all, Diamond NOW delivers what it promises!

IKEA

An open plan apartment with a KALLHÄLL gateleg table with storage and a white METOD kitchen with floor to ceiling cabinets.
IKEA

There’s hardly anyone who hasn’t heard of IKEA or browsed through their catalog, if not bought a product. Be it interior fittings or kitchen sinks; there is no home accessory that you wouldn’t find at IKEA. Besides, you get numerous options to select from.

Life Art Cabinetry

Life Art Cabinetry pays special attention to the environment and runs strict tests on its raw materials. Keeping in mind your specifications and preferences, the team here thoughtfully curates its products to design a sustainable kitchen and home for you. Get customized hinges, glides, doors, cabinets, and dovetail drawers and add your touch to your kitchen interiors.

Procraft Cabinetry

best kitchen cabinets
Cabinets by Procraft Cabinetry

Let your kitchen exude a cozy, welcoming vibe by installing carefully-styled cabinets from Procraft Cabinetry. The brand creates timeless products brushed with a whiff of simplicity. Look through its classic framed and frameless cabinet collection and enable your kitchen to have a unique style statement.

Hampton Bay

If you love DIY home projects, you’d love customized products from Hampton Bay. Although its products are affordable, this brand will never disappoint you with its quality. You get to browse through its diverse color palette and finishes to narrow down on your favorite choice.

All Wood Cabinets

All Wood Cabinets
All Wood Cabinets

This company is the home for all kinds of modern-style cabinets. All Wood offers whopping discounts on its products while also providing superior hardware and A-grade plywood. Like most other high-end brands, All Wood too crafts environment-friendly products and makes sure that its finishes are free of formaldehyde. All its cabinets come with sturdy metal connectors to make assembling easy and secure.

21st Century

Glacier kitchen 2
21st Century

If you love sleek and modern cabinet styles, you’ll find your match at 21st Century. Each cabinet design is sturdy and reliable while also bearing a classy look. The team here takes care of your needs, from assisting you in your selection to executing the installation process.

Hanssem

All cabinetry at Hanssem is made using the finest hardware and materials. You can customize all your accessories, from the paint to the pattern, without burning a hole in your pocket. Hannsem also offers a lifetime warranty, making it a much preferred choice among homeowners.

 

Kitchen cabinets play a significant role in deciding the look and vibe of a kitchen. So, they require careful consideration and scrutiny when you remodel or build a new kitchen. We hope the buying guide and list of brands that we discussed above will be helpful in your search for the perfect kitchen cabinetry.