To help make the most of your cabinetry investment, we’ve explained some of the important cabinet construction, styles and method variances below.
Get ready to learn everything there is to know about cabinets – well, almost everything. With this knowledge in hand, you will be able to make decisions regarding your new kitchen or bathroom with confidence; or at least follow along with your designer and contractor when discussing your new build or renovation project.
This style of cabinet construction features a frame on the front face of the cabinet case. Wider cabinets often possess a centre-stile between the two cabinet doors. The door hinges are mounted to the frame, and as a result the door fronts do not completely cover the front of the cabinet.
The existence of the frames and center stile make it difficult to install pull-out shelves and other space saving accessories. In addition, less of the storage space is easily accessible.
Though framed cabinets deliver an attractive, country-style look as a result of their older, traditional style, they are less functional and streamlined.
Also known as European-designed cabinetry, this style of cabinet provides full-access to storage spaces because the face-frame and center stile are eliminated. Unframed cabinetry lends a cleaner look.
Fully-adjustable, European hinges are mounted to the side gables and concealed inside the case. Also attached to the interior sides of the case are drawer slides. Roll-out shelves and other space-saving accessories can be installed and utilized much easier.
Merit Kitchens offers attractive, fully-accessible, European style cabinetry to make the best use of your available space.
Components such as these are utilized in cabinetry where low cost takes precedence over quality. Staples and pins are not ideal for maintaining perfectly square and strong cabinets. Cam bolts are often used in knock-down, flat-pack cabinets which are designed to be assembled quickly on a busy construction site. Hardware of this kind can loosen over time or even fail from the start.
This is the traditional, tried-and-true construction method for cabinetry, and this is favoured by top manufacturers around the world. Utilizing precision machinery, small holes are drilled into the case material and high-quality wood adhesive is applied inside them. Wood dowels are then inserted into those holes to join the cabinet components, creating solid structural integrity.
Laser-precision machines compress the case equally from all sides and ensure it is perfectly square. This type of fabrication prevents movement at the joints where cabinetry pieces are fitted together. The finished product is stronger, sturdier and remains square throughout its life. A further benefit is the case exterior is free from visible fabrication hardware, nails, screws, holes etc.
At Merit, we trust only dowel and glue construction to attain our superior standard of quality and durability.
The kind of plywood you find in home-centers and hardware stores is often used in home construction – not cabinets. Maple or Birch is usually favored for high quality cabinetry plywood.
Plywood is a manufactured wood comprising of thin wood sheets that are carefully adhered together. It is strong and resistant to chipping, cracking and water damage.
Merit Kitchens carefully selects high quality furniture-grade Birch plywood for its case material. An added benefit is its low formaldehyde content and CARB Phase II California Air Resource Board )/ TSCA Title VI designation. It is sanded smooth and given a finishing clear coat to retain the wood’s natural honey-golden character.
Particleboard is an engineered wood manufactured from wood chips, shavings, and sawdust. When pressed together, it is bound by a synthetic resin through high-heat compression. Particleboard is free from knots and can be produced in any size, density, and quality. It is strong, durable and consistent in size, shape, and thickness.
While particleboard is an ideal material for cabinetry, it can potentially swell with moisture. Merit Kitchens uses only the finest multi-density, furniture-grade particleboard laminated with white or natural Maple melamine and/or vinyl for a water repellant surface. Most importantly, Merit’s standard case material meets CARB Phase II (California Air Resource Board) / TSCA Title VI standards for low formaldehyde content, making it a healthier choice for both home and environment.
Particleboard case material can be manufactured, without compromising strength and durability, using
recycled material and no urea-formaldehyde added adhesive.
For almost two decades, Merit Kitchens has been crafting EcoPlus cabinetry for Japan. And after rigorous and stringent testing, their government awarded our product the highest designation – 4 Stars. Environmentally savvy builders in North America have also honored Merit Kitchens by selecting EcoPlus for their LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited projects.
In framed cabinetry, hinges are mounted on the exterior and are visible. In unframed cabinetry, hinges are concealed inside the cabinet box, creating a cleaner look.
Superior hinges, like those featured on Merit Kitchens’ cabinets, have the following features:
Drawer slides are a hidden element in cabinetry construction. As a result, their importance is often overlooked. However, if you have ever experienced a malfunctioning drawer, you are quickly reminded that drawer slides are a critical component of performance.
For superior slides, look for:
Along with drawer slides, the drawer box itself adds value and ensure long-term enjoyment of your kitchen. Customer-focused manufacturers seek to offer a product that balances appearance with superior construction.
For superior drawers, look for:
There are three basic door styles to choose from – slab, raised, and recessed or flat-panel doors. Each has its own defining characteristics.
One of the most important decision to be made is what species, or type of material, to choose for your cabinets. Merit Kitchens offers cabinets in a wide variety of species.