Experience with inset cabinets in homes without air conditioning

Rush1995May 17, 2014

I'm doing a major remodel of my 1950s kitchen. My home dates back to the early 1900s. I don't have central air conditioning. I love inset cabinets, but I'm being advised to get full overlay due to the issues we could face due to the expansion and contraction of the wood. Does anyone have a similar situation or knowledge about this? Thanks so much!

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Certainly not an expert, but we had inset cabinets in our non-AC home and did not experience any issues. Our cabinets had the ability to be adjusted so that that certainly helped. What part of the country are you in? We're located in New England.

I love the look of inset cabinets. We just moved into a new home where we have full overlay. I'm going to miss the look of the inset, but just discovered that my glasses fit better in the uppers. Guess that the rainbow I was looking for.

Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 6:16PM
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We have a 1916 house and have inset cabinets (some recycled from the 1920s or 1930s and some we had custom made to match twenty years ago). And, of course we have radiators so we don't have central air. In the summer we do put in window air conditioners but perhaps run the air conditioners a total of two weeks out of the summer. The rest of the time the windows are open. We have never had any problem with our cabinets. I also had some matching ones made for a bathroom, and that hasn't been a problem either. I think the secret is to get a really good carpenter who know what he is doing because these are more difficult to make than the full overlay.

By the way if you do get the inset and want then to really be period appropriate, make sure to get the visible hinges.

Perhaps you live in an area of the country where the humidity is really a huge problem for much of the year, so maybe advice is different for your area.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 6:20PM
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We are in the process of remodeling a kitchen on the water in New England - very humid in the summer. We did put in A/C as part of our remodel but i hope to use it very little. Prior to deciding on the A/C we chose our cabinet maker and inset cabinet style. Our cabinet maker makes inset cabinets for houses in our summer community all the time and assured me that properly sized and constructed inset cabinets are perfectly workable choices in environments with humidity and no A/C. I am still a tiny bit skeptical, but the original cabinets in our kitchen were inset wood from the 1950s and functioned very well for 60+ years so I think that's a good sign.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:06PM
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