Not just a place to store your stuff
Choosing the material and style you want for your kitchen cabinets can be overwhelming and time-consuming. The choices might seem endless, so it's a good idea to do your homework and plan out what you need before embarking on a trip to the home renovation store.
First off, be honest with yourself - if the idea of ripping out your old cabinets and installing new ones seems too daunting, consider avoiding the stress and potential mess of it all by getting a professional to install the cabinets for you. Keep in mind that while this solution obviously creates less work for you, the price of your remodeling project will be considerably higher. In the end the decision is yours on how much time, effort and money you're willing to invest in the project.
The design or layout of your kitchen cabinets will be based on the space you have available. When designing your cabinets, keep in mind the kitchen appliances that will be or are already installed such as a fridge, stove, dishwasher or even a washer and a dryer. Small appliances installed on the counter such as a microwave, toaster oven, rice cooker or blender can also affect your layout.
The basic design for kitchen cabinets is a straight line across the longest wall. It's the easiest to build, but isn't the most creative layout. Other popular shapes are the L and the U, but the shape you choose will ultimately depend on the space you have available. Regardless of which design you decide on, it is generally a good idea to plan to have the fridge and stove a fair distance away from each other - the heat from the stove could affect how well your refrigerator works.
When you're planning, try mapping out your new kitchen on a sheet of paper with scaled measurements of your actual kitchen. This will give you a good idea of how much room you have to play with and where things will fit best. If you are planning to install a kitchen island, make sure you allow yourself enough room to move around your kitchen with ease.
When creating a space for your stove, make it at minimum 30 inches wide, even if your stove is only 27 inches wide. The new standard stove size is 30 inches, so by creating an opening that will accommodate one this size, you eliminate the need to do it later when you have to buy a replacement.
When deciding on installing or renovating your kitchen cabinets, there are several things you must consider:
- The layout of your kitchen. If you like the layout and size of your cabinets, but want to change the look of them, you could replace only the cabinet doors for a quicker and less messy renovation.
- The type of material. Deciding on the type of material you want for your cabinets is very important, and though price will surely factor into the decision, it shouldn't be the only issue. Buying cheap materials may cost less in the short run but your cabinets will probably have to be replaced in the future. Massif wood (the wood that's typically used in cabinet construction) is decidedly more durable than veneer-covered doors and drawers (however they are usually more difficult to clean).
- The doors and drawers. When choosing drawers and doors, you'll have the choice of either framed or panel doors or plain fronts. Decorative panels are often more appealing to the eye and will give the kitchen more character, but plain fronts never go out of style. Keep this in mind should you decide to do some cabinet refacing.
- Kitchen countertops. When choosing the surfaces for your workspace, keep in mind not only how they will be used, but also how they will fit with the overall style of your kitchen. If your countertops aren't properly coordinated with your cabinet and decor, you might find yourself unsatisfied with the overall look of your kitchen. Numerous materials exist for countertops including wood, stainless steel, stone, formica and laminated plywood, so there is certain to be one that is right for you.
- Kitchen Cabinet Hardware. When selecting your hinges, knobs and drawer slides, you should choose the best quality you can. Knobs and hinges should match both each other and the overall style of the room, without being too trendy. Many options are available in drawer slide styles and functionalities as well.
- kitchen Faucets and Kitchen Sinks. The location of the sink should be convenient with easy access. Placing it in front of a window is a good idea, to profit from the natural lighting. The faucet design should blend well with the design of the kitchen, but should be purchased according to your needs. Many styles and variations are available, from high arc pot fillers to more traditional styles.
- The strength of your kitchen cabinets. It is essential to test the strength of your kitchen cabinets, both inside and out. The best place to start is with the drawers - well-made drawers shouldn't wiggle much or slip from side to side. After that, it is also very important to test the drawer's railing system. Put some weight on the drawer and ensure it still glides smoothly.
Once you've overcome the many technicals of planning your cabinets, you'll be ready to plan the rest of your kitchen!