What are good quality kitchen cabinets?

1- All-plywood Construction

The strongest cabinets have full plywood sides and backs to stay square during delivery and installation. They also handle the weight of heavy countertops and resist damage from moisture.

Plywood has more holding power with screws, fasteners and glue than particleboard does. Plywood is made with layers of wood running both lengthwise and crosswise in a way that makes plywood stronger. This is especially important around areas with sinks, faucets and running water. Plywood will bear weight over long periods of time, and is also much more resilient to damage such as blow-outs, dings and dents.

All-plywood Construction

2-Full height Back Panels

Cabinet back construction affects strength and ease of installation.The strongest cabinet construction uses a heavy (3/8-inch or more), full-plywood, full-back panel. This panel allows the cabinet to be directly attached to the studs of the wall at any point on the cabinet back.

Weak back panels can result in falling cabinets. Choose plywood back construction to keep cabinets strong and true in your kitchen.

3-Soft close Hinges

Cabinet hinges are one of the most important components of a kitchen cabinet – you can’t open and close a door without them. Poor hinges can cause stiff, loose, or uneven doors. Soft-close hinges are adjustable and eliminate the sound of slamming doors and drawers.

The hinge should be adjustable six ways: in-out, up-down and left-right. So that the hinges can be adjusted when cabinet doors expand and contract during seasonal changes.

4. Undermount, Soft-close Drawer Glides

High-quality drawer glides (slides) are critical to supporting the smooth and silent movement of your cabinet drawers over years of hard use. The more weight your drawers carry, the more important undermount, soft-close drawer glides are. Weak glides could lead to sagging, loose, or stick cabinet drawers.

Undermount, steel, soft-close drawer glides should extend to provide full access to the entire drawer. Ball bearings and steel guides provide smooth operation and long wear.

5. Hardwood Dovetail Drawer Boxes

If your drawers are bending and bowing, or the front faces are falling off, then you should consider a higher quality drawer box.

Solid hardwood drawer boxes with dovetail joints and heavy plywood bottoms set the standard for quality American cabinetry. Their long-lasting durability and the beauty of the joint are outstanding. A high-quality hardwood drawer box will have sides of 5/8-inch or thicker solid maple or birch. The sides meet at dovetail joints, where the strength of the joint comes from the wood itself. A strong plywood drawer bottom, fully captured on four sides in dado (grooved) joints, is glued and nailed in place.

6. I-beam Construction

I-beam construction secures into the upper sides of base cabinets provide long-term strength and keep cabinets square during shipping and installation.

I-beams are ½-inch stretchers used in base cabinet construction. I-beams are locked and secured in a dado joint, capturing all four sides of the cabinet. This secures and provides the cabinet with long-term strength, keeping the box square and true during shipping and installation.