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How To Choose Kitchen Cabinets (That Will Last)

Updated: Jul 18

Oh, the importance of cabinets! Cabinets set the tone and ambiance for your entire kitchen as well as feed the environment for the rest of your home. Depending on initial quality and how well they’re taken care of, cabinets are one of the longest lasting components in the kitchen - outlasting some appliances! And because the expense for cabinetry can range between 30 and 60% of your total kitchen remodel budget, it’s no wonder choosing cabinets is such a crucial part of the decision-making process during your kitchen remodel. So, how do you choose cabinets? How do you know which cabinets are best for your kitchen? Below is a guide on how to choose the best - and modern kitchen cabinets - that will last!


Let’s start by recognizing when it truly is time to replace cabinetry.

  1. You’re ready to upgrade in quality and/or change the overall style of your kitchen - This one is more subjective. Perhaps your kitchen is still stuck in the 1990’s with the orange-tone oak cabinets that you’re dying to get rid of, or you have paint grade cabinetry that continually chips, dents and cracks. Or perhaps the flow of the kitchen isn’t working for your needs as your family has grown and changed.

  2. Is your current cabinetry warping, bubbling, de-laminating or moldy? Yeah, no elaboration needed on this one - time for a change!

  3. Cabinets don’t close or function properly - are drawers getting stuck? Do cabinets and drawers open up into each other?

  4. You keep bumping into each other when trying to cook a meal with your significant other- you may have outgrown the functionality of your kitchen.



What should be considered before you make a decision to buy?


Budget


As we mentioned, cabinets eat up a large chunk of your remodeling budget. There are three levels of cabinetry - Stock, semi-custom and custom. Studio Europa’s Leicht products are Semi-Custom. We choose to sell in this space because semi-custom cabinets offer the buyer choices into the overall design without the cost of premium custom cabinets. The result is high quality cabinets and lots of choice without the expense of a custom job. Semi-custom truly is the best of both worlds.


Size


Installing kitchen cabinets should be left to the pros. Sizing can be tricky! Things to keep in mind are cabinet depths and widths, how high cabinets should be, whether cabinets should be framed or frameless (this affects interior space) cabinet placement, etc. Being aware of cabinet sizing is important in choosing the right company and the right products! Size goes along with budget. A semi-custom kitchen-line ranges about $150 - $300 a square foot.


Style

So many styles to choose from! Traditional, Shaker, Rustic, Country and Contemporary to name a few. However, no matter which style you choose, kitchen trends are being designed using cleaner lines and fewer “frills” than in past years. Today’s kitchens emphasize functionality.

If updating and modernizing is important to you - you’re in luck - even traditional kitchen styles are becoming more modern. At Studio Europa Leicht, we specialize in contemporary and modern kitchen design but are able to blend the look of a traditional kitchen with the contemporary aesthetic.


Quality and Construction


When you go into a showroom, it’s hard to tell what’s quality from what’s not as everything is shiny and new. Quality and construction are in the details! Talking with your cabinet designer during a consultation is important in determining their products quality. Details for quality include: veneer fronts should be free of imperfections like sanding marks and knots and drawer sides should be metal, and not made from hardwood and finishes that are smooth. Drawers and doors of cabinets will be opened and closed many times a day and should operate smoothly and quietly with soft-close features, now and after the 1000th time.


Finish


You’ll want a surface that’s durable and able to wipe down and clean easily. Semi-gloss, gloss, and satin finishes are the most durable. LEICHT has a wide variety of surfaces to choose from to match any taste or style.

  • Durable laminates in wood grains or matt

  • Finger-print resistant matt, super-matt or high-gloss laminates

  • Durable laminates in stone, concrete or metal look

  • Highly-durable post-formed matt laminates

  • PET laminates with aluminum lining

  • Frame and Panel doors with lacquer-grade finishes, matt or gloss

  • Matt and high-gloss lacquered doors in hundreds of RAL colors

  • Horizontal & vertical grain wood veneers with PUR- water-based lacquer

  • Matt and gloss back-painted glass

  • Metal fronts with patinas

  • Anodized Aluminum fronts

  • Deep embossed, textured wood veneers with PUR lacquer sealing

  • Hand-troweled concrete or stone fronts

  • Ceramic fronts


Features and Add-Ons


Shopping for add-ons and features is the most fun part of cabinetry. Choose a company that provides a wide variety and selection when it comes to these items. The Leicht product line of Semi-custom cabinets provide endless solutions! Pullout shelves for pans, lazy Susan’s, wine racks, vertical dividers for trays and cookie sheets, an appliance garage, or pullout bins are some of the add-on and feature options.


While it may seem like a lot of time and energy goes into choosing the right cabinetry for your kitchen, you’ll be happy you spent the time doing your research! Hey - you’ll be looking at them and opening and closing them for the next 15-20 years if not longer!