Help with choosing cabinets

CT_NewbieJune 9, 2013

Any advice on how to narrow down kitchen cabinet brands? Does the answer in part depend on style? We know we want white cabinets but aren't sure if we want frameless or framed or inset or overaly. We might be leanng toward inset with the hinge hidden. We've looked in a few stores and met with a contractor and seem to like Plain & Fancy. The KD affiliated with teh contractor sells Rutt Regency and from what she said it sounded like a very good brand. Ultra-craft and Woodmode were mentioned and we have been talking to a local cabinet maker. However, she seems to make all of her cabinets with the hinge on the outside (though I think she said she could make it on the inside but we don't want to be guinea pigs.)

We haven't yet arranged to have anyone come in and measure to get price comparisons. It will be a large kitchen and we have no idea how much cabinets will cost. If I were to guess it could be a 18'x15' kitchen, walls on three sides (with a passthrough) Maybe it is bigger. It has a giant SubZero and double wall ovens. (We're buying a new home). We need to move those to a different wall so that we can put the cook top along the wall instead of leaving it on the island which would be hazardous to our kids.

We don't have a lot of time to visit places - basically just Saturdays and we take our toddlers with us.

Thank you so much!

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I have Rutt Classic--inset with exposed hinges. They are gorgeous and the detail is wonderful. Rutt Regency is a lower-priced line made by Rutt, comparable to Signature, which is another line I was looking at. Rutt Regency is comparable to Plain and Fancy too. Wood Mode is on a par with Rutt Classic I believe. Wood Mode's lower-priced line is Brookhaven.

I can't imagine doing inset with concealed hinges. Why bother with inset, then? Just do frameless or full overlay. Part of the whole point of inset, at least for me, was the look of exposed hinges with the inset. Now that I have them, I am so happy to have gotten rid of that inside hinge I had in my old frameless cabinets. And, concealed hinges in inset cabinets take up even more space. Big, big mistake, in my view.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 7:59AM
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buying a new home??...usually they give an allowance or have an arrangment where you work with a chosen design center...or is it a new but previously occupied,so not really new? If brand new, the process should be streamlined for you I'd think. Large kitchen full of inset?? too much cost IMO, but a 2-finishes kitchen-Yes-how about a 2nd finish on the island? Full overlay on framless or you can do framed with small reveal and get some detail on the door as in bead or molding -is it a traditional look you seek?....bluedevil aptly pinpointed the hinge and space issues with inset....For many, the cost of a large kitchen full of painted inset would be prohibitive.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 9:08AM
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Thank you NYC Blue Devil! I didn't realize Plain and Fancy was a step below WoodMode. I will ask the Rutt KD, what was sacrified for the Regency vs. the Classic. I thought the point of inset was that it was all flush (and that it was a hard thing to do vs. overlay). We do like overlay too. I like a little more detail on the exposed sides and was told that couldn't be done with frameless, though I couldn't understand why (unless they just meant that the gap between the side board and cabinets would be in the front.) It seemed like overlay went better with a more modern design (which some seem to call contemporary). We didn't want to be too modern.

Herb, sorry for the confusion. Here is some more info. It is new to us, but previously occupied. The house is about 15 years old. We currently live in a 2 bd room townhouse with a kitchen without an island. We'd have more than enough cabinet space in the new place and aren't worried about the space taken up by the hinge on the inside. We like a cleaner look.

I googled avg kitchen reno costs for our area and it said ~$110K. So, yes, we are talking a lot of money. Maybe we'll save a little by reusing the double ovens and SubZero. One of my key concerns is that I don't want to go through a big reno only to have made a bad decision on the cabinets. We want something fitting of the colonial style house/neighborhood but also want to be smart with our dollars.

Any other thoughts? Thank you

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:19AM
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Choosing a cabinet line comes down to several factors: budget, style, materials, and features
If this is for a high end house, where the budget isn't as much of an issue, then you will want to go with custom cabinets to match the look and feel of the house. Stock cabinets can give you a similar look, but you won't have all of the custom features that a high end house will require.
If you are trying to minimize your budget, buying kitchen cabinets online will save you the most amount of money, but there will be more work on your end.
In terms of style, your options will depend upon what door style and what finish you are looking for. Most stock or ready-to-assemble cabinet lines will offer the same quality, but will have a limited number of door styles and finishes since they are pre-made. Odds are you can find exactly what you are looking for in stock cabinets, but if you have a non-traditional or specific shade of white that you are looking for, you will have to go with semi-custom or custom cabinets. There are KD or stock cabinet lines that offer inset doors.
For materials, you will absolutely want to stay away from particle board and fiberboard construction. Most stock cabinet lines will have a plywood box with solid wood face frames and doors (usually maple). If you are looking for a specific type of wood, you will most likely have to go with custom.

Most stock and ready to assemble cabinet lines will have limited features and accessories, but if you have a good contractor or are handy and you are doing the work yourself, you can always buy after market items to put into the cabinets.
You can start narrowing down your options by focusing on your budget and what the cabinets are made of (insist on plywood cabinet boxes whether you go with framed or frameless cabinets)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:03AM
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