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There are many different kinds of kitchen cabinets. If you think that all cabinets are the same, you are mistaken. Not only are there many different styles and colors but there are even different kinds of cabinets. A good way to define the styles of cabinets is to distinguish them by their most noticeable and important feature i.e. the doors. Most cabinets will fit nicely into raised panel, shaker, or flat panel doors. Similarly, most cabinets also fit into different types based on whether they are custom made, semi-custom made, or RTA (ready to assemble). These are not the only ways to distinguish one cabinet from another, but these are the most logical places to separate and define them.
To add yet another layer of confusion to this whole ordeal, once you understand the different types of cabinets that are available to you and the different styles of cabinets that are out there, you will also be faced with more options regarding the appearance of the cabinets that you buy. As you are choosing your cabinets, you will see that one of the biggest ways to alter the look of your kitchen will depend largely on whether you want natural wood or a form of painted cabinet. Natural woods have beautiful and complex grain structures that can add warm and comforting feelings to your new kitchen. Painted cabinets can add a modern feel that can make your kitchen seem clean and professional.
Hopefully, when you select your cabinets for your new kitchen you will base your final decision on more than just the total cost of the cabinets. There are so many cabinets made with cheap composite woods utilizing any and every corner cutting method in the book to save the company money on their production costs. These cabinets will not last nearly as long as any higher end cabinet. If you invest in quality cabinets, not only will the overall life of the cabinet last longer but you will also spend far less in maintenance and upkeep of your cabinets.
Just as an example: Many of the worst cabinets out there do not take the time or effort to make drawers with proper dovetailed corners. With a year of normal use a popular kitchen drawer can easily break as the knob comes off in your hand or even worse it might stay securely attached as the whole drawer front breaks right off.
By purchasing a quality cabinet made from better materials you can expect a much better longer lasting product. Most custom and semi-custom cabinets are going to be made to a fairly high standard. There are also several RTA companies that make very high-quality cabinets with premium materials. These RTA cabinets provide a great product at a great price. As you weigh your options regarding all the pros and cons of the different types of cabinets that are available, you should factor in price, timing, selection, warranties, and many other factors.
The choice in custom cabinets will almost always be more plentiful than RTA companies. The fact that they make your cabinets to order allows them to tweak the wood finish or the tones in the paint to get the desired color just right. If you buy RTA cabinets, you will see that they also often have a very decent selection to choose from, but rather than having 8 variations of cherry, they will have one very nice cherry cabinet option. For many homeowners, the better selection you get with custom cabinets is not worth the cost that is often 2 to 6 times what you would pay for similar RTA cabinets. Truthfully, even the custom cabinet companies cannot offer you unlimited options for your cabinet.