At this time, Russian spies living among us have been identified, to hack at will, stealing our most precious secrets. As if we don’t have enough to worry about! But, apparently, it is true and, of course, nothing is certain. They might even have taken a look at you kitchen, pretending to be friends, or even sneaking through your iPhone, discretely replicating your recipes or copying the design of your cupboards. Worse still, they could have been taking notes on building their cabinets to ship to China, so they can produce them cheaper, thus undermining our fragile economy.
While it is true that 35 undesirables have recently been given 72 hours to leave the city and return to Russia, chances are there are still others lurking. And, just by examining your cabinets, a trained spy could discern a lot about them. Therefore, it is worth being aware of the differences and distrusting people who look at them too closely. Lipped, Insert, Full Overlay, Standard, Framed, Unframed, European, Custom, Semi Custom, Stock, etc., etc. The smart kitchen cabinet owner / buyer / spy needs to understand the differences, because without knowing the basics, they may not end up with the kitchen of their dreams they were hoping for.
Cabinet construction / design can be divided into four distinct groups: CABINET TYPE, CATEGORIES, CABINET STYLES, and DOOR STYLES. (I am not referring to the closet door designs in this article, [that information is classified], only to the different types of construction available).
CABINET TYPE includes framed and frameless cabinets. If you’ve been helping your kids do basic geometry lately, you’ll remember that a box usually has 6 sides. A frameless cabinet (also known as a European cabinet) has only 5 sides; does not have in front of the cabinet box. Consisting of a top and bottom, two side pieces and the back, the front of the cabinet is made up of just the top and bottom edges and two side pieces (generally 5/8 “or 3/4” thickness). The door for this type of cabinet should cover the edges of the sides, top, and bottom. A framed cabinet includes the sixth side of its box, which forms the front of the cabinet. The opening for the framed cabinet is cut on the sixth side (the front), creating the “frame”.
Both types of cabinets are available in custom, semi-custom, and stock CATEGORIES. Custom cabinets are built to the exact specifications outlined by your kitchen designer. Semi-custom cabinets are also built to order, but to the manufacturer’s specifications. They can be modified to some extent, for an additional charge. Stock cabinets are mass-produced to manufacturer’s specifications, with little to no modification available, and are the most economical.
CABINET STYLES refer to framed cabinets only and indicate how much the door covers the front of the cabinet. (Remember, in a frameless cabinet the door should cover the entire front of the cabinet box). Framed cabinets are available in full overlay and standard overlay, where a portion of the frame is exposed.
Standard lap doors come in two DOOR STYLES. The standard style is on the top of the frame and is also known as a lap door. The other variation is the “lip” door, where the center of the door protrudes from the frame. Lip doors are typically only available in custom lines because they are more difficult to build and therefore more expensive.
Of course, there is always the exception to the rule, and in this case it is the recessed door, which is generally only available with full custom cabinets. This type of door fits completely within the front frame, making the door fit flush with the frame. Although, the most expensive option available, many feel that it is by far the most exquisite look. If you choose a pocket door it is imperative that the cabinets are hung by a professional because if it is not installed perfectly aligned and level, the doors will get stuck in the frame.
Now that you have the basics of modern cabinet construction, I highly recommend that you remove all references to this article that may have been saved in your computer’s history. This will help keep you out of the reach of insidious spies who may be watching you right now.
* “The Russians are coming, the russians are coming“, (click here) a very funny 1966 American comedy film directed by Norman Jewison.