Understanding Differences in Cabinetry Types

The biggest part of the budget for your kitchen remodel and a significant portion of your bathroom remodeling budget will go to cabinetry. How much you spend will depend on how many cabinets you need and the type of cabinet you choose. Cabinetry comes in three general categories: custom, semi-custom and stock. Understanding the differences may help you choose what’s best for your kitchen or bathroom remodel.

Understanding Differences in Cabinetry Types

Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets are the most expensive. This isn’t only because they are made-to-order for your home, it’s also because of how they’re made. Custom cabinets almost always have the following features:

  • Real hardwood cabinet doors
  • Dovetail finishes on drawers & wood fronts
  • Shelves made from hardwood
  • All plywood construction (no pressboard)
  • Soft closures on drawers & doors
  • Pull-out shelving for lower cabinets

You’ll find that custom cabinet manufacturers offer more drawer insert features – like knife holders, drawer organizers and plate holders – than semi-custom and stock manufactures. This can make choosing a custom cabinet a better option for a kitchen remodel than something else if it helps you stay organized. 

Custom cabinet makers offer a variety of finish options, from completely custom finishes (meaning you can choose any stain or paint color) to manufacturers who have set colors available. So even though they may use the word “custom”, they don’t always allow for completely custom finishes. 

Semi-Custom Manufacturers

Although features vary between manufacturers, most semi-custom cabinets also have soft closures, wood doors and a dovetail finish on the drawers. You will, however, find many with pressboard sides and backing and plywood shelves.

Your paint and stain options are limited as well. Perhaps the biggest difference is that most semi-custom manufacturers don’t custom-build your cabinets to the size you need. Although that may not matter with a laundry room or bathroom remodel, it can be more of an issue in a kitchen remodel. Many semi-custom manufacturers offer pull-out shelving and some organization for drawers.

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are the lowest quality and come with the fewest features. Although some have soft closures, most do not. You’ll also find pressboard for shelving and the sides and backs of the cabinets. Although you can find stock cabinetry vanities for your bathroom remodel, not all stock cabinets will hold up under the humid conditions of a bathroom. If you decide on a stock cabinet for your bathroom remodel, make sure it is intended for a bathroom and has a finish that will withstand humidity. 

What Is Best?

That depends very much on what you’re doing. If you’re adding cabinets to a workshop in your garage or a playroom to organize toys, you may want stock cabinets. However, if you are planning a kitchen remodel that you want to last and look great for years to come, consider custom cabinets if they are in your budget. Semi-custom cabinets from trusted manufacturers like the ones recommended by G.M. Roth Design Remodeling offer a good-quality product that fits in most budgets. 

We would love to talk to you about your plans for a bathroom or kitchen remodel and share our ideas during a free consultation. Call us today to schedule your appointment in our Nashua showroom, your home or via video call. We are licensed and insured, and service northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Call (603) 880-3761 or complete our online contact form.

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