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What Are the Different Types of Kitchen Cabinetry?

Kitchen with hardwood cabinets.
Kitchen with wood composite cabinets.
When making kitchen cabinets, a miter saw is ideal for making precise crosscuts.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2014
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The different types of kitchen cabinetry include ready-made and custom-built pieces as well as wall-mounted and freestanding units. The range of materials is wide, as fine woods, laminates and metals are all used to make cabinetry for kitchens. Some of these cupboards have sliding drawers, while many include stationary shelves. In addition to cupboards with solid doors, there are glass-fronted types of kitchen cabinetry.

Glass cabinetry doors may be framed or plain. The frames may be wood, metal or laminate. Laminate, or plastic-coated, kitchen cabinetry is typically the most expensive type. Glass-fronted cupboard doors in a kitchen can help create the illusion of airiness if they reflect light entering the room. Glass cabinet doors are also ideal for displaying attractive dishware or neat canisters of food, while solid cabinetry doors can hide messier kitchen items. Solid door cabinetry may be smooth, slated or have a molded edge.

Slide-out kitchen cabinetry is usually called a pantry. A pantry cupboard may be narrow, such as one with wire shelves that can be slid out to access jars and bottles of food. Large pantry cabinetry is often very tall. It may have rows of solid or wire pull-out or roll-out drawers. This type of cabinetry is commonly used to store small food packages, baking supplies and perhaps pots or pans depending on the depth of the drawers.

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The types of kitchen cupboard designs take a variety of attaching as well as decorative hardware. Pantries need rollers to allow the drawers to slide out, while many door styles require hinges. Some kitchen cabinetry has invisible hinges while other types have decorative hinges meant to be noticed. Cupboard handles and drawer pulls are available in many different types that can create various looks on the same cabinetry. Metal and wooden handles and knobs in a range of textures and thicknesses can dress up any type of cabinetry.

Although most kinds of cabinetry are wall mounted in kitchens, the island is a popular example of a freestanding version. Kitchen islands, which stand away from counters and other cabinetry near the middle of the room, often include an assortment of drawers and shelves underneath a counter work top. Islands, like other types of kitchen cabinetry, may be purchased ready-made or be custom built by a contractor. Custom-built kitchen islands may be designed to coordinate with the existing cabinetry.

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