A kitchen cabinet of high quality should provide storage that is easy to use, be functional and look stunning. In fact, good kitchen ensure that homeowners enjoy a service life of at least 20 to 30 years. However, this is not always the case because most individuals experience cabinet problems much sooner than they ought to. Some of the common issues reported are warping boxes, loose hinges, dented and scratched faces, deteriorating drawers, sagging and crooked doors. All OF these problems stem from cabinet construction of substandard quality. In addition to the aesthetic and functional challenges associated with low quality cabinets, they attract high maintenance and even installation costs.
Characteristics of good kitchen cabinets
It is always advisable to look out for the characteristics of high-quality and well-built cabinets in Singapore if you want to avoid problems in the future. Some of these top characteristics are as listed below:
• All-plywood construction
Typically, kitchen cabinets are built using particleboard or plywood. How the strongest of kitchen cabinets have backs and sides made of full plywood. This helps them to remain square during both delivery as well as installation, sustain the heavy weight of countertops and to avert moisture damage. Particleboard tends to be alternative that is less expensive but is quite vulnerable to crushing and moisture damage. Furthermore, it is an uphill task to repair any blow-outs at joints and screws.
• Full height back panels
The construction of cabinet backs influences both the ease of installation and strength. Cabinet construction with very high strength utilizes heavy full-back panel made of full-plywood. Methods that are less expensive use picture-frame construction, rails, brackets and metal hang rails or thin panels. If your kitchen cabinet has a weak back panel, it might result in falling cabinets. Therefore, go for kitchen cabinets with a plywood back construction.
• Soft-close hinges
Cabinet hinges are arguably the most essential components when it comes to kitchen cabinets. This is because it is impossible to either open or even close a door in their absence. If a hinge is of poor quality, it might result in uneven, loose or stiff doors. Top-notch kitchen cabinets are equipped with a reliable soft close mechanism, this is normally built into a hardened steel hinge that is nickel plated. Ideally, this hinge ought to be adjustable at least 6 ways. This facilitates expansion and contraction of cabinet doors during the seasonal changes.
• Soft-close, undermount drawer glides
Kitchen cabinets of high quality should be equipped with top-notch drawer glides or slides. These items are important because they support the silent and smooth movement of cabinet drawers regardless of hard use. Kitchen cabinets with heavy drawers require heavy-duty glides otherwise the drawers will stick, be loose or sag. Soft-close undermount drawer glides ought to extend in order to provide users with full access to the whole drawer space. Steel guides and ball bearings provide both long wear and smooth operation. These glides are mounted beneath drawer boxes to support up to 90 pounds of weight. There are also adjustable glides with an anti-slam (dampening system) to facilitate silent opening as well as closing of drawers.
• Melamine interior
The inside surfaces of the drawers of your kitchen cabinet (including shelves) ought to be tough, wipe-clean and non-porous to last its entire service life. This prevents the drawers from showing wear, bubbling and staining. Interiors that are light-colored makes it much easier to view the cabinet contents. Some of the good and common interior surface materials are tough and smooth laminate as well as melamine that are applied to wood veneers, particleboard and plywood. Melamine is highly recommended because it can be cleaned safely using strong household solutions, stain resistant, impervious to water, fire resistant and is durable.
I-beams tend to secure the upper sections of base kitchen cabinets as they function to provide a long-term strength and help to maintain the cabinets in a square position during both shipping as well as installation. There are less expensive alternatives like braces and triangular corner gussets but these are not highly recommended. The main reason for this is that braces and gussets are usually stapled to the sides of kitchen cabinets hence provide no significant strength. Over time, there is a high likelihood of bending and warping due to ingress of moisture.
• Face frames
A kitchen cabinet that is framed has solid hardwood frames that are attached to the front section of the cabinet box. Drawer gliders and door hinges are usually attached to the cabinet frame. Kitchen cabinets that are frameless have their doors directly attached to the box sides. The 2 main construction techniques vary in both strength and appearance. It should be noted that frameless cabinets typically cost more to install compared to their counterparts. There are 3 styles associated with framed cabinetry, these include inset, full overlay and partial overlay.
• Modifications and customizability
Kitchen cabinets that have custom modifications are excellent because they provide the user with numerous choices with regards to specialty features, styles and sizes. These are tailored to the space of the user’s kitchen and their unique needs. There are many options for modifications to allow for a high degree of personalization.
• Design must-haves
Some of the design must-haves for kitchen cabinets include trash-pull-out, vertical dividers, spice pull-out etc. These features are essential when it comes to functionality in the kitchen. When homeowners are in the planning phase, all these must-have features should be considered.
The warranty of any product might not necessarily reflect on its service life but indicates the confidence the manufacturer has. It is always advisable to go for lifetime warranties rather than short-term ones. These units are expensive and as such, should last you the entire period you will reside at your home.
The characteristics of good quality kitchen cabinets outlined above are far from exhaustive as there are many more.
The above insightful information clearly explains what kitchen cabinets are, the characteristics associated with high-quality cabinets and their necessity in a modern kitchen. These tips can act as a comprehensive guide for homeowners in Singapore who wish to do a renovation or simply desire to install new units.