A BASIC GUIDE FOR HOMEOWNERS
There are thousands of different looks for your cabinet door available today. There are so many to choose from, its difficult to decide. So, to make the choice a little easier, this page will show the basics, things you’ll need to make informed decisions, and leave the details to you. You’ll impress the salespeople if you bat a few of these terms around as you’re browsing.
Above are the most popular styles of door fronts available. You can see there are only about a half dozen. Of course there are others, and lots of iterations of these. if you have the money you can even design your very own. But, for the rest of us who shop at Home Depot and Lowes, the above examples are what we have to work with. Here they are:
1. FLAT PANEL (SLAB): No design elements, radius edges (or not), usually lips (or partially insets) the frame
2. SQUARE PANEL: Can be inset or raised panel (see below) and mounted in any of the door mounting methods
3. ARCH PANEL: Exactly like the square panel described above but with an arch top
4. SQUARE PANEL BEADED (or PLANK): Same as (2.) but with real or simulated vertical “planks” in the inset
5. ARCH PANEL BEADED (or PLANK): Same as (3.) but with real or simulated vertical “planks” in the inset.
6. MULLION (GLASS INSET): These are by far the most expensive, usually crafted to be “lipped”, or inset to the cabinet frame (see below)
There are really only four types of kitchen cabinet doors on the general market. Configurations of these can be extensive, and made with a wide range of materials, but boiled down, here are the ones you’ll consider. First, a FLAT PANEL with a radius edge. These are almost always lipped or inset, 3/8″ to 1/2″ usually. This is a clean, contemporary look.
The INSET PANEL is just what the name implies; inset. The panel in the middle of the cabinet door front framing is smooth and flat. There are no design elements or raised (or embossed either) parts. Also, this type could be square or arched … or any other kind of design … as long as the inset is flat. This is a really popular door because of its versatility. The “framing” around the inset can be simple or detailed.
A RAISED PANEL cabinet door is like the inset but with an inner part of the inset raised, as if pushed forward by a rectangle smaller that the full inset. The “frame” of the inner raised portion is usually slightly curved, giving the raised panel a popular elegance. It also has a contemporary and classic look, as well as an upscale attitude. The inset and the framing around the inset can be simple or detailed.
Available in both square and arched is BEADED (or PLANK). By itself, it appears to belong in a country style kitchen, but a cabinet array using SQUARE BEADED doors with glass inset MULLION doors can create a fresh, new modern look. And, paint the center planks a different color or shade, and the whole kitchen might take on a very bold appearance.
The way the cabinet door is attached, or how it mounts to the cabinet frame, is also a consideration. There’s:
• INSET (the entire door is set withinthe cabinet frame)
• LIPPED (also called PARTIAL INSET)
• OVERLAY (1/2″ to 1-1/2″ of the outer portion of the door rests on the frame) and
• TAMBOUR (not shown) slats of wood attached so that the door pulls up and down like a roll-top desk
There. That’s the basics.
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