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Frequently Asked Questions

Cabinets and Their Construction

Frequently Asked Questions

What levels of cabinets are there?

Typically, there are three levels of cabinets, Stock, Semi-custom and Custom.

What is the difference between the three?

Generally, Custom cabinets provide more options and flexibility. Stock cabinets offer less flexibility and less selection.

Stock will generally have a limited number of door styles and colors and you may not be able to make any cabinet modifications. Generally the door style you select is already a specific wood species in select colors.

Semi-Custom custom will let you select the doors style, than the wood specie and color. They generally have more doors styles, colors and wood species. They will offer a limited amount of cabinet modifications.

Custom lets you do practically anything. You can customize color, door style and cabinets. These manufacturers custom build a custom designed cabinet/ component that does not exist in their product offering.

All of these features are specific to each manufacturer and some may offer more or less options within their lines. Most manufacturers only make one type; very few offer all three categories.

What are the construction types of cabinetry?

There are 2 types of cabinet construction. A) Framed and B) Frameless, also know as European construction or full access.

One is not better than the other, however, the frameless style can give you a cleaner look with a little more storage and is generally less expensive.

Why would one pick framed over frameless or vice versa?

Generally it is a personal preference. They can look completely different or at the same time look very similar depending on the style selected.

What is the difference between inset and full overlay?

Inset is only available in framed construction. For the most part, it is only offered by the custom manufacturers, and within the custom manufacturers it is typically the most expensive way of building cabinetry. Framed inset construction gives you that old style custom look that is very elegant. Installing inset cabinetry also requires a very good installer. Improper installation could lead to doors and drawers not lining up and rubbing against the frame.

Full Overlay is available in all levels. In framed construction, the doors and drawers cover the face frame of the cabinets leaving a reveal of 1/4″ to 1/2″ depending on manufacturer. In frameless, the reveals are only 1/16″ making for very tight lines giving cabinet very sleek look. This is especially important if you want to do a contemporary style kitchen.

What are the different construction materials for the cabinets?

Typically there are three types:

Furniture board (AKA as Particle board) – Typically most manufacturers use higher quality furniture board but some lower cost manufacturers will use lower quality material to keep their cost down. Furniture board is very stable and very durable when the better quality is used.

MDF (medium density fiberboard) – Custom cabinet manufacturers are the most frequent users of MDF. It is very stable and very good quality, mid level price range.

Plywood – offered as standard or an upgrade by most manufacturers, not quite as stable as particle board or as MDF but considerably lighter. It is generally more expensive.

Typically, I recommend the lower cost Particle board as this will be less expensive and last just as long as the plywood. Many consumers believe that choosing plywood is better. I truly do not believe this is accurate.

What are the drawers made of?

Lower grade manufacturers may use a particle board or plywood constructed drawer box. All of our lines come with solid wood, usually maple wood. Dovetail construction. The slides or tracks are also important. Lower end lines use side mounted epoxy coated slides. Others use side mount ball bearing exposed slides. Though these are good quality because they are exposed they collect dirt and get grimy. Most quality manufacturers including all the lines we carry use standard under-mount drawer slides with Blumotion soft closing feature. Being under-mount keeps the ball bearings and the tracks clean of dirt dust and any debris. Blumotion is a term coined by Blum whom is the company that invented the soft close technology.

Blumotion is also available for door (standard in the lines we carry). This keeps the doors from slamming shut.


What types of countertops are there?

There are several types of materials used for countertops. The most common are laminate, also know as “Formica” (Formica is a brand, the actual material is called plastic laminate). Solid Surface, more commonly known as Corian, but there are other brands. Quartz surfaces, also known as Engineered Stone. There are many Brands in this material. The most common being, Cambria, CaesarStone, and Silestone. Concrete, just like that used in poring foundations and on your sidewalk, but just a lighter version with additional additives to make more user friendly for a counter top application.

Natural Stone, Granite is the most popular and most desired of all counter tops materials.

Laminate is the most affordable of all the countertop types, especially in lower end kitchens. This is mostly used in rental units and lower budget kitchen remodels.

Corian or solid surface is maintenance free. However, it is less desirable because it scratches easily.

Today most homeowners want a more durable and attractive product for their home. For this most select, Granite and/or Engineered stone. Engineered stone is the maintenance free and has the gloss look and the feel of stone. The drawback is that the color is consistent throughout the countertop and does not have a marbled effect like granite. It can be cleaned with practically any cleaner and it will not absorb anything or stain.

Granite or Natural stones offer the most popular colors though price range can vary based on color it offers quite a difference in the beauty in all the stone colors available. Stones are porous. Certain colors are more so than other. However, today new sealers provide protection in various degrees. Some, such as Granite Shield, offer a lifetime warranty against any stains. It can also be cleaned with most household cleaners. This material can also come in a variety of finishes from Glossy (polished), Honed, Leathered, Honed, Antiqued. Prices can vary significantly.

Miscellaneous Questions

What geographic area do you service?

Prestige Kitchen and Bath services many areas in Eastern Massachusetts including Boston, Cambridge, Arlington, Newton, Brookline, Needham, Wellesley, Concord, Andover, Somerville, Melrose, North Shore and South Shore, among other areas.

Do you have a showroom?

Yes, Prestige Kitchen and Bath has two showrooms. Our primary showroom is located at 14 Charles Street Needham MA 02494 and our other showroom is in Woburn, MA at at 150 New Boston Street, Suite E.

Our telephone number is 781-670-3909 or call toll free, 866-384-9974.

Special offer:

Free choice of select undermount stainelss steel sink (valued up to $500.00)
with any complete kitchen cabinet/counter top purchase.