When searching for a deal it’s always tempting to believe someone who says they can give you top quality for rock bottom prices. “They wouldn’t lie to me… would they?” is the question most people in such a situation ask themselves. Unfortunately, if something seems too good to be true it probably is. And that is as true for kitchen cabinets as it is for used cars, investments and people you meet online. The fact is that while there may be a cabinet maker out there in Toronto who can create the look of quality, actually building quality cabinets is another story altogether.
It’s the Details That Define the Cabinet Maker
Like the best furniture or cars quality cabinets are quality cabinets because they rest on a quality foundation. But how can you tell if a cabinet’s inner workings are up to snuff or simply slapped together? Below are some of the telltale signs of quality cabinets.
- The Carcass: The carcass is the box that forms the 5 non-face sides of the cabinet. A quality carcass will have side panels that are at least ½” thick and shelves that are a minimum of ¾” thick. There should be routed side panels that accept the floor and back of the carcass as well.
- The Frame to Carcass Connection: The face frame are those 5 pieces of wood that ‘frame’ the door and drawer on the front of the cabinet. It’s critical that they be attached solidly to the carcass. The back of the vertical piece of the frame should have a groove that locks solidly into a corresponding tongue on the carcass.
- Drawer Slides: To save money a discount cabinet maker will often mount the drawer on one slide centred under the drawer. This is far less stable than having a slide on each side of the drawer. Dual slides also allow the drawer to bear more weight. Also, true high-quality slides will use nylon bearings that are nearly silent.
- The Drawer: The drawer itself should be made from ⅝” or thicker hardwood and all corners should be dovetailed by the custom cabinet maker for maximum strength and durability.
- End Panel: The end panel is the side of the cabinet array that is exposed to public view. It must be made of solid wood, preferably the same type as the cabinet doors with a similar grain and colouring as well. Mismatched end panels are a sure giveaway of cheap cabinets. They’re the kind of thing discerning guests will notice and keep to themselves.
- Cabinet Face: The face is composed of everything you can see when you look at the cabinet from the front with the door and drawer closed. On a quality cabinet there will be no visible knots, discoloured areas or sanding scars and the grain will be consistent. The front of the drawer should be a single piece of hardwood as should the door panel itself.
There will always be those who try and argue that such attention to detail is overkill that simply drives up the cost of what should be a pretty inexpensive item. The real waste though is investing your hard earned money in cabinets that will look good for a little while but will start to fall apart after only a couple of years necessitating either expensive repair work or full replacement.
If you’re interested in high-quality cabinets for your home. The kind that will stand the test of time and that you’ll be proud to show off to your friends and neighbours, call the GTA’s premier cabinet maker, Custom Furniture Toronto, and speak to one of our cabinet pros.