How To Choose Kitchen Cabinets

Looking to update your kitchen cabinets? When choosing new kitchen cabinets, you’ll want to think about:

  • Function
  • Base material
  • Door and drawer panel styles
  • Finish and hardware

We’ll go over each in more detail.

Need a quote to remodel your kitchen cabinets? Contact us online or call 480-641-9611 and we’ll send one of our cabinet experts to your home for a free, same-day quote.

Function comes first

First and foremost, kitchen cabinets should function the way you want them to.

When designing kitchen cabinets to meet your functional needs, think about:

  • What kitchenware you have the most of. If your cabinets consist mainly of dinnerware, you may be able to get away with fixed cabinet shelves. But if you have a lot of decorative tableware pieces that vary in size, you may want modular shelving so you can adjust the height.
  • Which appliances you use the most. If you have a lot of small appliances, rows of narrow shelving won’t work well for you. And most small appliances are much easier to access when you have pull out drawers.
  • Where you want access to what. If you have a lot of cookware, you probably want gadgets in a spacious drawer next to the stove, and pots and pans in a sliding pull out drawer closeby. 

Not sure how you want your kitchen cabinets to function? At Cabinet Coatings, our cabinet experts will talk with you about what you need and help you design the perfect kitchen for you.

Base material is important

With new cabinets, you have 2 options for a base material for cabinet boxes, doors and drawer fronts:

  • Engineered wood: Plywood (thin sheets of wood glued together) and particle board (chips and pieces of wood glued together) are popular, affordable options for cabinets. While plywood will be slightly more durable than particle board, both tend to break down sooner than natural hardwood.
  • Solid hardwood: Solid wood cabinets will cost more to install, but can last up to 50 years—making them worth the additional cost in the long run. If you want to upgrade your cabinets but don’t want to go with a full cabinet remodel, Cabinet Coatings can give you new solid hardwood doors and drawer fronts with a cabinet refacing.

Door and drawer panels determine style

Cabinet doors and drawer panels come in several differ styles:

  • Flat panel cabinets: Also called slab cabinets, these door and drawer panels don’t have any decoration like recessed panels or beveling—they’re completely flat. Flat panel cabinets look great in modern and contemporary kitchens.
  • Shaker cabinets: Shaker style cabinets are minimal in design, with a 4-piece frame that surrounds a flat recessed center panel. The simplicity of shaker cabinets works well in more contemporary and traditional kitchens.
  • Raised panel cabinets: Raised panel cabinets have more ornamentation than slab and shaker cabinets, with a center panel that’s raised to be level or slightly lower than the frame. Raised panel cabinets are popular in traditional and classical kitchens.

Finish and hardware complete the look

When it comes to cabinet finishes, we recommend one of the following:

  • Water-borne coating: Much stronger than paint, this acrylic water-based coating comes in just about any color. This type of coating is so durable that Cabinet Coatings guarantees the coating we apply won’t chip, crack or fade for at least 5 years—or we’ll come back and fix it.
  • Wood stain: Prefer the natural wood look? Wood cabinets are a great way to add texture to your kitchen. Plus, wood cabinet stains come in a wide variety of colors, allowing you to pick one that suits your style.

Wondering about laminate or wood veneers? Most companies will offer veneers, but they tend to damage easily and have a short lifespan, which is why we’d never use veneers on your cabinets.

For cabinet hardware, you’ll want to think about:

  • Handles vs. knobs. Knobs, which attach to the cabinet with one screw, are usually smaller and more affordable than handles. Handles attach with 2 screws, making them wider and easier to pull. You can go with either style throughout your kitchen, or do a combination of both. With both cabinet knobs and handles, you have a wide variety of color and style options.
  • Material. You want the hardware finish to coordinate with the cabinet color. White cabinets can  handle any hardware finish, but you’ll want to contrast hardware finishes with dark and light cabinets to make the hardware pop.
  • Style. If your kitchen is more traditional, you may want hardware with more texture and detail. Modern and contemporary kitchens tend to have simpler designs with sleek lines.

Ready to design your dream kitchen cabinets?

Schedule an appointment online or call us at 480-641-9611. One of our cabinet experts will give you a free in-home or virtual consultation. We’ll help you design your kitchen cabinets around your tastes, needs and budget—bringing your dream kitchen cabinets to life.


Chuck Derouen

For 20 plus years chuck has been helping homeowners make decisions on how to bring new life into their kitchens. Most homeowners know what they want but don’t know how to communicate it. When chuck does the in-home consultation he draws from the client and uses his expertise to help them bring their imagination to life (achieve the look they imagine.) Chuck dubs himself a “professional mind maker upper.”

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