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What Is a Modular Kitchen?

A modular kitchen contains pre-made cabinet parts that fit together to create a functional design.
Modular kitchens use pre-made cabinets and other parts to create kitchens more cheaply than if they were custom built.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2014
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A modular kitchen is one that is made up of pre-made cabinet parts. These parts are fitted together to create a whole, functional kitchen design. Modular cabinets are popular in kitchen remodeling projects and are available in two main types: upper and lower units. There are also full units such as closets or pantries that fit from floor to ceiling, or almost to the ceiling. Since a modular kitchen is prebuilt and purchased ready made in sections, often flat packed for home assembly, it's the opposite of a custom made kitchen that is built on site.

A modular kitchen can be much less expensive than a custom made kitchen since everything is already constructed. The interesting thing about having a modular kitchen is that it can still be somewhat unique because different combinations of upper, lower and full units can be grouped to fit each kitchen's size and style. There are also many different cabinet finishes, counter top materials and handle hardware available to make each kitchen look like it was custom built to the homeowner's taste.

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Upper or wall modular cabinets are available in single or double door styles. Door choices include smooth, beveled edge or glass panel. Glass panel doors on modular kitchen cabinets are often used on several of the cabinets in modular systems to add variety, a sense of airiness and a place to display attractive dishware. Some glass doors may be frosted or etched in a frosted-look pattern. The main part of the modular cabinet is called the box and most boxes have predrilled holes so buyers can choose the number of shelves to fit into the holes depending on the distance they want between each shelf.

Stacking cabinets are popular in modular kitchens, as they increase kitchen storage. These are small, narrower cabinets that stack on top of a counter. They may conveniently store items within easy reach, such as spices and coffee cups.

Lower or floor cabinet units made for modular kitchens are available to serve many functions. For example, some have sinks included on the top surface with storage cupboards below. Other lower modular kitchen units are narrower and fitted with a pull-out wire shelving mini-pantry system to hold food products.

Full or tall modular kitchen cabinets may have a single door and be used for a closet or have two or more doors so the unit is divided into separate storage areas. A tall kitchen cabinet may also be double wide. Wire storage drawers or wooden shelves may be fitted inside these cabinets.

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seancarlos
Post 5

A modular kitchen, from my point of view, helps you make your kitchen clutter free. There are cabinets which help you store all your things in it and many more things, but it alldepends on your budget.

lighth0se33
Post 4

My modular kitchen has glass doors on all the cabinets. I am really bad about forgetting what I put where, so I love being able to see through the doors without having to open them.

The glass is only slightly frosted, so I can still make out the image of what lies behind the door. The frost is good to have, though, because it hides the buildup of grease from cooking much better than a solid piece of glass would.

OeKc05
Post 3

@Perdido – Modular kitchen manufacturers are not as mundane as you would think. I've seen some modular kitchens that were really out there, and these are premade units, so someone at the company had to think of them!

They had to believe strongly enough in the design to invest in making it on a large scale. This is risky, but they must have seen customer interest in creative designs.

My neighbor bought a modular kitchen that has a combination of red and white cabinets. Even a few of the drawers alternate colors, and it is really noticeable when you have two white drawers with a red one in the middle!

Perdido
Post 2

Aren't modular kitchen ideas somewhat limited? I mean, you can only choose from what's available.

I've never shopped around for any, but I just imagine I would find only your basic browns and whites. Wooden cabinets are boring to me, and I think I would have to have something more creative.

feasting
Post 1

Every house I ever lived in was built and owned by someone else first, so I have no idea whether or not they used modular kitchen designs. If I ever build my own home, I would have no problem buying a modular kitchen unit, though. It sounds much easier and less stressful than having to come up with a concept from scratch.

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