Kitchens have evolved over the years from a hole in the ground to space out back, to becoming the center of every home, and one part of the kitchen that makes it easy to use and organise is the kitchen cabinets or kitchen units. Your cupboards form the spine of your kitchen, providing seamless cooking experiences while offering innovative storage solutions.
In this article, you will find everything there is to know about installing a kitchen unit, choosing the best materials for your cabinet, the types of cabinets, various cabinet styles, and concluding with the standard dimensions to know just in case you are thinking of a DIY.
In this article
First Things First
The gold standard for adding anything to your kitchen or deciding anything in your home is ergonomics. You don‘t want to hurt your back because you are doing your dishes, or keep hitting your head against the cabinet because it is too low. You must consider Ergonomics.
Ergonomics is the science of creating or designing your environment to fit your usage, in other words, it is building your kitchen with you in the middle of it. Another way of looking at ergonomics is your ability to work effectively in your kitchen environment. It doesn‘t matter the kitchen choice, whether conventional or modular, it must be ergonomic and efficient.
There are several materials to choose from when deciding to make your kitchen cabinet, each having its unique qualities and downsides. Here, we will examine the pros and cons of the 7 most popular kitchen cabinet materials.
Before you decide on any material to be used in your kitchen, you must consider these three things; longevity, resistance, and budget. Any material you use in your kitchen must serve you for a long time to come, be able to handle your regular kitchen activities, and finally, it must not cost you an arm and a leg.
The hard marine grade plywood meets the three conditions: it is very durable, resistant to pest and other termites, and water-resistant to a certain degree. It is also an affordable alternative.
However, the marine-grade plywood is not the gold is it painted to be by kitchen cabinet makers. It is not entirely water-proof, and heat-proof as it cant be in a hot environment for more than 2 hours. If it is close to a moist environment for a long time, then the moisture can seep into the plywood and cause it to rot. It is also not treated to resist decay, and it must be protected by a protective finish, usually a water-proof glue.
Like the saying close, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
The better option and by far the best material to use for your kitchen accessories is a laminate. With laminates, you can build affordable, durable and aesthetic kitchen cabinets, and since they can be manufactured in any colour just for you, they can perfectly match your interior. There are three types of laminates to choose from based on your style and preference; British laminates, Italian laminates and Italian laminates.
Laminates are composite artificial materials made by pressing together thin layers of flat paper and plastic resins, and their properties make them the ideal choice for kitchen cabinetry range. They are heat-resistant, possess anti-bacterial properties and very hygienic.
They are abrasion, scratch, and impact-resistant, which makes them durable and very cost-effective. Laminates can withstand the heavy lifting of the average kitchen without wearing or tearing, making them perfect for your kitchen cabinets.
So, longevity – check
Resistant – fully check
Budget-friendly – double-check.
Although cabinets are just boxes in the kitchen for storing your kitchenware and organising your kitchen, they form every kitchen‘s backbone. The various kitchen cabinets are base cabinets, wall cabinets, drawer cabinets, and tall cabinets.
Designed under the countertop, these cabinets provide a large storage area perfect for storing kitchen utensils and other kitchenware. These cabinets set the foundation for your floor plans and bear the brunt of your everyday kitchen activities. Base cabinets can be fitted on the floor that supports the kitchen countertops. They can also be added to your kitchen island to create extra storage solutions.
The base cabinets can be designed to accommodate appliances. Features such as recycling bins, wastebaskets and laundry baskets can be included in the base cabinet. There are different types of lower cabinet available such as; Base Easy Access Cabinet, Base Pullout Cabinets, Open Base Cabinets, Corner Cabinets.
Designed to be positioned on the wall above the countertop section, these cabinets provide a wide range of options to make your modular kitchen trendy and eye-popping. The most apparent type of cabinets, the wall cabinets are cabinets that are mounted to the wall.
These cabinets can be extended to the ceiling to use high spaces to store the utensils you don‘t use very often. Types of wall cabinets are; Pull Down Spice Rack Cabinet, Appliances Rack Cabinet, Wall Easy-Access Storage Cabinet, And Corner Cabinets.
Designed for modular kitchens to be installed in large space areas, these cabinets provide ample storage for large kitchen items not frequently used. Commonly referred to a pantry or utility cabinets, the tall cabinets offer more spaces than the wall or base cabinets.
The pantry stores almost everything and can be configured to accommodate built-in ovens and other appliances. Examples of pantry units are; Utility Tall Cabinet, Oven And Microwave Cabinet, Tall Pantry Pullout Cabinet, Pantry Cabinets.
This is the most used cabinetry in any kitchen, and is custom-designed to suit your needs. Examples of drawer cabinets are; pegged dish organiser drawer cabinet, warming drawing cabinet, utensil drawer.
In so much as there are three basic types of kitchen cabinets available, there are fantastic cabinet styles available to add personality and class to your kitchen. Remember that the cabinet design must handle all the heavy lifting that goes on in the kitchen without tearing off or falling apart, so you don‘t have a stylishly useless cabinet.
The shaker style cabinet is characterised by a five-piece door with a recessed centre panel, and are very popular with traditional kitchens. The shaker style is liked because of its simple and classic look that makes them timeless. The downside of the shaker style is you need to regularly clean to prevent the inset areas from collecting dirt.
Another cabinet style to consider is the mirrored-door or glass door cabinet either hinged or sliding door. Great for maximising space (if fitted with a sliding door) and showing off essential ceramics and glassware. They create a lovely reflection which makes your kitchen brighter and feels bigger. The only downsides are that they are more expensive than wood, and they require special cleaning.
The beadboard cabinet is achieved by fitting vertical slats into each other. This style gives structure and detail to any kitchen, and it is perfect for country farmhouse or cottage style kitchen. The beadboard style adds an element of warmth to the kitchen. The downsides are its expensive construction nature, and it requires thorough cleaning as the grooves can collect dirt and grease.
also called slab doors, this cabinet style is solid and enduring as there are no panels or framing. It has a simple and minimalist look that works well in any modern or contemporary kitchen. No cabinet is easier to clean than the one with a flat front. The downside to this is that they can look very dull except you paint them (they are effortless to refine and paint).
Most cabinets are made with plywood, but designers are starting to appreciate the plywood not just for its functional merits, but also for its beauty. Plywood makes your kitchen very inviting and cosy. The pros of plywood are that it won‘t warp, shrink or expand, making it extremely strong and durable, and timeless in design.
The table below shows you the standard dimension of a kitchen cabinet, but like we agreed earlier, you must consider your comfort and convenience when making cabinet choice.
Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions
|Sizes||Base Units||Wall Units||Sinks|
|Height||72cm plus plinths||72 – 79cm||15 – 18cm|
|Width||30 – 60cm||30 – 60cm||76 – 95cm|
|Depth||Up to 60cm||30cm||44 – 50cm|
Planning and creating your dream kitchen involves so many moving parts, and with the right partner, you can make your dreams come true. With countless kitchens designed and installed over the past decade, TEL Kitchens is uniquely positioned to make your kitchen dreams come true no matter the size of your pocket, and ensure you enjoy your kitchen for many years with our superior after-sales service. Speak with a consultant for free to get started.