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Kitchen Remodel Checklist
Chances are, if you’re considering a kitchen remodel or renovation, you’ve likely done a bit of research before embarking on your project.
The good news is, you don’t have to be an expert on building materials and cabinet construction before you begin. But… it is a good idea to be familiar with your options so you can make decisions that will work for you aesthetically and functionally.
We’ve chosen to represent LEIGHT because we truly believe in the exceptional products they offer. Below are the important differences – particularly when it comes to value and quality between LEICHT cabinets and U.S. brands or custom-made cabinets.
So, let’s begin!
Particleboard, MDF and plywood are the materials used to make cabinet boxes in the U.S. Panels made from these wood products are usually covered in a wood veneer, plastic laminate/melamine or thermofoil.
LEICHT cabinet boxes are made of a CARB ll furniture board with a thicker melamine surface that is impermeable to water. Kitchens in Europe will have cabinet boxes made this way.
In the U.S., wood cabinet drawers are predominantly made from the same materials used to construct the cabinet boxes, although higher quality drawers may be constructed of solid wood, which stands up better to frequent opening and closing.
LEICHT drawer boxes constructed using metal, mixed with glass. They also feature melamine bottoms and under-mount slides to provide an invisible soft close that last much longer and run much smoother than those made in the U.S. or China.
Doors and drawer fronts
Most cabinet doors and drawer fronts in the U.S. are made from an engineered wood product (particle board, MDF, plywood) that is covered with a wood veneer, laminate or thermofoil. Thermofoil, although affordable is not the most durable. It delaminates over time, especially next to an oven or dishwasher due to the heat and moisture put off by those appliances.
LEICHT doors and drawer fronts are made of much higher quality materials. New options include relief-based fronts as well as those made from glass, acrylic, and hand-troweled concrete.
Cabinet shelves in the U.S. are made from an engineered wood product, plywood, MDF or particleboard. They're normally covered with another material, such as melamine. And, the thicker the melamine layer is, the better. Think IKEA. Their furniture usually has thin melamine layers (through which water can permeate). Yuck.
LEICHT shelves are constructed with a thicker layer of melamine, which means they are built to last a long time.
Hardware, Slides and Hinges
It is not surprising that US-built hardware, slides and hinges wear out over the long haul. U.S.-built cabinets may not always be of the highest quality as many are imported from China.
LEICHT uses the highest quality slides and hinges to lengthen the life of door hinges and facilitate the over-time use of “add-ons” like baskets and lazy Susan’s. LEICHT hinges are also more adjustable — in width, height, and depth — to provide greater flexibility and precision.
For all cabinets, the finish serves three important purposes: provides aesthetic appeal; protects the underlying surface from elements commonly found in kitchens, like moisture and chemicals; and offers protection from direct sunlight.
The most common finish treatments for kitchen cabinets are paint, stain, varnish, lacquer and glaze — and like all the other components, you want the best quality you can afford.
LEICHT supports your desire to be more “green” by offering environmentally friendly finishes as well.
Your kitchen remodel is a important investment in your home, and spending a bit more of your budget upfront to buy quality will ensure a kitchen that lasts longer than a less expensive alternative..
So you still may not be a cabinetry expert, but we hope this information can help you make more informed decisions about your project.
Did you know that LEICHT offers a variety of options for cabinet surfaces — from laminate, concrete and glass to veneer — and you’ll find a host of fashionable colors and natural wood to choose from? We'd love to share more, so contact us or stop by the showroom!