Most things like dishes, small appliances, or dry food will eventually all end up in a cupboard or drawer in your kitchen. Because most of your kitchen essentials are stored in cabinets, they are a critical component of any dream kitchen design.

Typically, there are 25-30 feet of cabinet space in the average kitchen and cabinets account for 30% of the total cost in your kitchen. Creating the perfect cupboards for your kitchen starts with knowing the basics of cabinetry.

Whatever your budget, we are here with all the must-know information on kitchen cabinets in Louisville, KY to help you ensure you get a kitchen that fits your budget and suits your style.

Types of Materials Used

Cabinetry is a key factor in defining a kitchen’s character. The style of the cabinets often sets the vibe for the rest of the home.

Because it’s such a large portion of your kitchen space and budget, it’s important to choose the materials wisely. Arguably the most important part of picking out cabinetry is starting with the right material.

1. Medium Density Fiberboard

Better known as MDF, this is a high-grade composite material.

It is manufactured by combining recycled wood fibers with plastic to create a solid material that is resistant to both cracking and peeling. It is smooth and easy to use and has become synonymous with IKEA cabinetry.

2. Plywood

Plywood is a glued and laminated wood that is overlaid with a hardwood veneer. It is cheaper than other wood products and has a higher resistance to moisture than MDF.

There are different grades of plywood. Lower grades will have a lower-quality appearance. Grade AA plywood is considered the premium level and will be the most expensive of all the types.

3. Particleboard

Particleboard is also commonly used in IKEA products but is not recommended for cabinets. It is inexpensive, weak, and doesn’t do well with moisture.

4. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is more commonly used in professional kitchens because it stands up well to excess moisture and is extremely durable to wear and tear. However, it brings a very industrial look and is not recommended for a home kitchen.5. Wood

Wood is a popular choice for kitchens and there is a wide range of styles and qualities in wood products. For smooth, colored cabinetry – MDF is a solid choice, but if you want the natural wood grain to show through, solid wood cabinetry can’t be beaten.

MDF vs. Plywood Cabinets for Kitchens and Bathrooms

Cabinets are an integral part of your home and thus needs to be strong. The two most popular materials are MDF and plywood – but which one is better and how do you know which to choose?

Medium-density fiberboard (MDF), is a stable choice as long as the area is dry and is not subjected to stress. MDF is often veneered, either with a wood cover or thermofoil, making it strong enough to perform well for many years to come.

This is often less expensive than plywood and readily available as in-stock cabinetry. If you’re looking for a quick way to shop cabinets that are easy to find and ready to install – MDF is the way to go.

Plywood for cabinetry is not the same type of plywood used in home construction. Cabinet-grade plywood often has twice the number of plies, better lamination, and a smoother finish.

This material is often lighter and commonly used for wall cabinets that must be lifted up. If you have a little more room in the budget and you’re willing to wait for your cabinetry, plywood is a better option.

Types of Cabinets to Consider for Your Home

In any basic cabinet design, you’ll find three main types: base, wall, and often tall cabinets.

  • Base – These go underneath the countertop and provide bulk storage space. They often have shelving, pull-out racks, or roll trays for easy access. Base cabinets can also be fitted for recycling bins, wastebaskets, and laundry hampers.
  • Wall –Wall-mounted cabinets are mounted directly to the wall and provide great storage options. They are ideal for accessing items while standing or moving about the kitchen.
  • Tall – Tall cabinets can be up to 96 inches in height and are often used for pantry or utility storage. In a kitchen, they can be used as pantry storage, or for bulk food supplies.

Three Levels of Cabinetry

There are three basic types of cabinets used throughout the home. Each type is classified by how they’re manufactured and sold.

  1. Stock These are entry-level that are fast to install and easy to find. They are limited in style and color but are sold at a lower price point and can give your space a fresh new look.
  2. Semi-CustomThese are built to order and allow you to create a custom look without paying the higher price of custom cabinets. Semi-custom can include more specific finishes, colors, hardware, and features. Most semi-custom takes 4-8 weeks to complete.
  3. Custom Custom kitchen cabinets are nearly limitless. Fully custom are created by capable craftsmen and designers to fit your exact specifications in any type of finish, dimension, or feature to make anything possible.

Standard Dimensions for Semi-Custom or Stock Kitchen Cabinets

When you’re buying semi-custom or stock cabinets, you will have to choose from standard dimensions that nearly all manufacturers follow. If you don’t want to pay for the custom options your kitchen design must fall into these standard sizes.

While the range of stock sizing is impressive, and you can still add fillers and accessories to fill odd spaces, these sizes do provide some limits to semi-custom or stock options.

Base Cabinets

These are the cabinets that sit on the floor. Building codes generally set the standard dimensions here. Any deviation must be custom built and also be approved by applicable building permits.

  • Base Cabinet Height – Because base cabinets hold up a countertop, they come in one standard size: 34.5 inches tall. If you need cabinets that are significantly shorter or taller than this, they will be a custom order option that also must be approved by local building codes.
  • Base Cabinet Depth – The base comes in a standard depth of 24 inches.
  • Base Cabinet Width – This is where you’ll find the most variety. The base can be anywhere from 9 to 48 inches wide. The standard options are 9, 12, 18, 24, 30, 33, 36 or 48 inches wide.

Wall Cabinets

These are typically used for storing lightweight kitchen items and are attached to the wall studs or suspended from the ceiling.

  • Wall Cabinet Height –There is quite a variety in wall cabinet heights. You can find standard cabinets in 12, 15, 18, 24, 30, 36, or 42 inches tall.
  • Wall Cabinet Depth – Your wall cabinets cannot exceed the depth of your base. Therefore, they are available in 12, 15, 18, or 24 inches deep.
  • Wall Cabinet Width – This may be anywhere from 9 to 48 inches wide (in 3-inch increments). The most common size is 30-inches.

Tall Cabinets

These are sometimes known as pantry or utility cabinets. They can extend from floor to ceilings, but typically come in the following dimensions:

  • Tall Cabinet Height – There are only two options for tall cabinet heights. Depending on the height of your ceilings, you can choose between 84 or 96 inches.
  • Tall Cabinet Depth – They come in two standard depths: 12 or 24 inches.
  • Tall Cabinet Width – There is a bit more variety in cabinet width for tall cabinets. You can design with either 12, 24, or 36 inches wide, 24 inches being the most common.

Remember that all sizes are from floor to top of the cabinet box—they don’t include the thickness of the countertop that will sit atop the base cabinet or the trim that may go above the wall cabinet.

Essential Features, Organizers, and Accessories for Home Cabinetry

It is important to make the most of your cabinet space. When you’re creating your dream space, you can customize your cabinetry in a way that works best for you.

Start with considering how you use your kitchen most, what items you use most frequently, and consider some of these efficient cabinet solutions.

1. Deep Drawers and Sliding Shelves

Standard kitchens have upper and lower cabinets, and drawers for small items.

However, deep drawers allow you to store pots and pans without standing on your head to get in the back of a cupboard. Deep drawers often make better use of your space because everything inside is easy to access.

2. Trash Pull-Out

Valuable floor space should not be taken up with trash and recycling bins that can be smelly and unsightly. Tuck these necessities away in a pull-out trash solution that keeps them both available and hidden.

3. Vertical Dividers

Most commonly used for large awkward items like baking sheets, baking pans, cutting boards and platters. Vertical dividers make great use of your space while keeping things neat and tidy.

4. Spice Pull-Out

These are a relative newcomer on the cabinet market but are oh-so-user-friendly.

Spice pull-outs are narrow drawers right next to the stove that slide out to reveal your collection of spices, herbs, vinegars, oils, and other most used stovetop ingredients all within reach.

5. A Stand Mixer Lift

This solution solves two common problems. First, it provides a place for your stand mixer to be stored off of the kitchen counter. And second, it provides additional counter space for baking.

6. Pull-Out Corner Storage

When used correctly, corners can provide some of the best value storage in your kitchen.

A pull-out corner storage cabinet allows you to pull out the shelves completely so that you can view everything you’ve stored inside. This maximizes your corner space and makes great storage for awkward or bulky items.

7. Vertical Utensil Storage

A vertical utensil unit can replace your utensil canister to free up counter space.

This cabinet pulls out to reveal flexible chopping blocks to store knives and scissors, a canister insert for serving spoons and other taller utensils, and then a lower shelf for additional storage.

8. Hanging Pot and Pan Storage

Hanging pot and pan racks are often preferable to tipping stacks of pots in the cupboard.

However, if you don’t want to display your pots and pans for all to see, you can utilize a pot-and-pan cabinet, with a pull-out rack of hangers so that you can keep your cookware organized, easily accessible, and still out-of-sight.

9. Cutlery/Knife Block Drawer

Most homeowners use either a knife block on the counter, or a cutlery tray to store their knives in a drawer.

The cutlery/knife block drawer system gives you the best of both by replacing the entire drawer with a complete built-in cutlery/knife block drawer.

10. Under Sink Cleaning Storage

If you keep your cleaning products under the kitchen sink, having a slide-out system makes things much easier.

Now you can reach whatever you need easily and slide it back in without toppling bottles or losing sponges. Some built-in caddy systems can be pulled completely out and used throughout the house and then placed back when you’re done.

Signs That You Need New Cabinetry

Your kitchen is under constant exposure to water, steam, food, and everyday wear and tear.

Over time, kitchens begin to show signs of aging. You can resurface or refinish your cabinets, but sometimes the best option is to replace them and invest in new kitchen cabinetry.

Slamming Drawers, Hanging Doors, and Other Damage

The most obvious reason to replace your existing cabinetry is when it’s damaged. This can happen over time from general use, excess heat or humidity, or poor initial installation.

If you’re concerned that your kitchen cabinets are weakening, it’s important to have a contractor take a look before a falling cabinet hurts you or someone in your family.

Lack of Storage

Lack of storage space in the kitchen is a serious problem because it’s one of the most used rooms in the house. As your family grows or your needs change, your cabinetry may need an update.

New kitchen cabinets upgrade the appearance of the space, while also making it more functional for everyone who lives there.

You Need a New Cabinet Layout

If your kitchen layout is not working for your family’s needs, it’s time to rethink things. Starting from fresh allows you to create more space in your kitchen, open up the room, and add additional storage.

Water Damage

Cabinets are not waterproof. Any type of water damage will warp the wood and cause it to bubble, crack, break, expand, and become unusable.

Small areas of water damage may be repairable but extensive damage requires a full cabinet replacement.


Anytime you see mold in your kitchen, it’s time for new cabinetry. Mediating a mold problem is nearly impossible without completely tearing out the contaminated areas and starting fresh.

If you are lucky enough to catch mold early, you can clean it up effectively. However, if it has been growing for quite some time, it will compromise the integrity of your cabinetry.

10 Different Styles of Cabinets You’ll Love

Because kitchen cabinets are the backbone of any kitchen, choosing a cabinetry style determines the style for the entire space.

It’s important to select something that is trend-resistant, so you’re not stuck starting over in a few years. These 10 styles of kitchen cabinets are classic, timeless and each one is uniquely beautiful.

1. Shaker – Shakers are clean, simple, and can complement multiple styles. Most often shakers are made of natural wood or neutral colors with flat panel doors.

2. Louvered – This is a unique style that’s often used as an accent cabinet. Louvered look similar to window shutters with vertical wood slats on the doors. This can be great for areas that need ventilation like housing electronics.

3. Slab or Flat Panel: Slab is a modern look that is even more sleek than contemporary. Slab style is a completely flat panel, making them easy to clean and often less expensive than other styles.

4. Inset – An inset cabinet is one with the door set inside the cabinet frame instead of outside.

This requires each door to be built using incredibly precise measurements to ensure the door sits inside correctly while still opening and closing smoothly. These are among the most expensive on the market.

5. Glass-Front – Mixing and matching glass front cabinets with other kitchen styles is a great way to add style and dimension to your kitchen.

6. Beadboard – This is a classic cottage look with an additional element of warmth and style.

Beadboard can be used on the outside and inside of cabinets and the style of beadboard can vary. Keeping beadboard clean is sometimes a challenge as the grooves can collect grease, grime, and dust over time.

7. Unfinished Plywood – Many cabinets are constructed of plywood, but to leave the plywood with simply a clear coat look is a fairly new design style.

Plywood can be both functional and beautiful and in a very simplistic and organic way. Plywood won’t warp, shrink, or expand, and is less expensive than other types of wood cabinetry.

8. Contemporary – A more minimalist style features completely flat surfaces, minimal hardware, and is usually made of metal, glass, or manufactured wood.

9. Traditional – These typically have more detail, either a raised panel door or inset recessed door. They come in a wide range of woods, white, cream, or red coloring.

10. An Eclectic Mix – This is an intentional mixing of styles. For example, a combination of shaker, rustic wooden shelving, open storage, or glass-front gives a rustic, farmhouse vibe with a unique element of custom variables.

If you choose to mix and match styles, keep the look cohesive by keeping everything classic, with a splash of your own personality.

How To Find the Right Cabinetry for Your Home

We understand that choosing cabinetry can be an incredulous process. With the options available, it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with how to choose the best cabinetry, start with these three basic steps:

1. Style

Sometimes, it’s easiest to decide which style you don’t like rather than choose the one you like best.

Start by eliminating styles that don’t appeal to you and narrowing down your options from there.

Once you have narrowed your options, browse photos of existing kitchens to see which one’s appeal to you the most. Ask for help from family and friends to see what they think to suit your personality or style best.

2. Function

Next, think about how you’d like your kitchen to function. Maybe you are a baker, and you’d like a baking pantry or deep drawers to store large mixing bowls.

Knowing what functions are important to you allows your contractor to include those elements in their design.

3. Hardware

The hardware is the last part of the cabinetry. Sometimes homeowners opt for no hardware at all.

On the other hand, unique hardware can customize stock cabinets and bring out your unique style. There is no right or wrong choice with kitchen hardware.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Cabinet?

Replacing one single cabinet is a tricky situation because it’s almost impossible to match your current kitchen setup unless you solely use stock cabinets that are mass-produced.

However, on the low end, expect to pay between $1,800 and $4,500 on a basic 10-by-10-foot kitchen for stock cabinets. Custom cabinetry can easily be three or four times that cost.

Factors that Influence the Cost

The cost of cabinetry is determined by the type, the size of your space, and who is doing the installation.

Type of Cabinetry

Stock cabinets are the least expensive cabinet option. They come ready to use and ready to install.

A semi-custom cabinet will cost more, but also offers more flexibility in the style, features, and finishes. Custom cabinets are the most expensive option and usually take 3-4 months to build, ship, and install in your home.


It is a no-brainer that a larger kitchen will cost more than a smaller one. However, often homeowners don’t realize how big their space is until they break it down into one cabinet at a time.

Labor Costs

The installation costs are a large portion of your overall cabinet quote. Because you want your cabinets installed correctly (and safely), we do not recommend installing them yourself.

Benefits of Replacing Cabinet Doors

If it’s time to renovate, but full cabinet replacement doesn’t fit in the budget – you might want to consider simply changing your cabinet doors.

If the rest of the cabinets are structurally sound, replacing the doors is a great way to update the look and feel of your kitchen without a complete kitchen renovation.

  • Maximize Your BudgetRefacing your cabinet doors is more cost-effective than painting with much higher durability. Focusing on refacing the doors allows you to make a big impact on a small budget.
  • Streamline Your TimelineEven minor kitchen upgrades can create a mess and leave you without a usable kitchen. Replacing the cabinet doors takes about one afternoon and you can use your kitchen normally with no mess.
  • New Look and StyleIf you’re craving an update, you can find what you want in new doors that reflect any of the current design trends, colors, or finishes.
  • Replacing DamageIf your cabinet doors have cosmetic damage (like toddler drawings, stickers, groves, etc.) refacing can be a great remedy. You can cover up old damage and get a fresh new look without a full cabinet replacement.
  • Increasing FunctionReplacing the doors can help your kitchen be more functional by choosing a material that is easier to clean, resistant to moisture, or handleless options.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Cabinets

When you have added beautiful new cabinetry to your space, it’s important to take care of them. Cleaning your cabinetry is a very easy task that should be done regularly to keep them looking, and functioning, like new.

The Do’s:

  • Use a gentle cleaning solution. It is very easy to create a gentle solution to clean your cabinets every day. Simply mix a cup of white vinegar with a cup of water. If the smell of vinegar is off-putting, you can use mild dish soap as well. This can be used with a clean rag to wipe off the front surface. It won’t warp the wood or take off the finish.
  • Tackle tight spots with an old toothbrush. The toothbrush is tough enough to remove spots and soft enough to maintain the cabinet finish.
  • Remove the cleaner with a final rinse. This ensures that you don’t leave any residue on the cabinet surface.
  • Dry them after cleaning. They aren’t meant to stand up to moisture over time. When you’re done cleaning, be sure to dry them off completely.
  • Tackle tough spots with baking soda. If you have any particularly dirty, greasy, or sticky spots – a bit of baking soda will do the trick without removing the finish.

The Don’ts:

  • Soak your cabinets. They were never meant to withstand standing water, don’t ever soak them in any solution of any kind.
  • Let the water run into the hinges. This can lead to rust, discoloration, or breakdown of your hardware.
  • Forget to clean the glasses. This is often forgotten but can make a huge difference in creating a shining kitchen space.
  • Skip periodic deep cleaning. Every 6 months or so, empty the cupboard completely and deep clean the inside. Vacuum out the crumbs, wipe them down thoroughly and organize the contents.

FAQs About Home Cabinetry

Technically yes, but only if you have cabinetry experience and some really good friends who know what they are doing. Installing kitchen cabinets can be a relatively challenging DIY project and often requires multiple hands helping at once. For a thorough job that is completed correctly and safely, it’s better to hire a professional.

Not necessarily. Building your own cabinet is a huge undertaking. Unless you have extensive construction experience, the time alone will cost you more than a ready-made version of cabinetry. The only true cost savings come into play if you want something specific that’s not available anywhere.

If your cabinets are structurally sound, and you only want to update the look – painting or staining is the cheapest route. However, refacing is the most durable option without buying a brand new cabinet. Refacing is basically adding a stick-on veneer to your existing cabinets that covers up any imperfections and replacing door and drawer faces. This provides a whole new look at a fraction of the cost of new cabinetry.

Are You Ready for New Cabinetry?

The cabinetry you choose will make a big impact on your kitchen. From rustic to traditional to contemporary, there are different cabinets to suit any design.

At Norsemen Company in Louisville, KY, we will work with you and help you pick the cabinet type and style that works best with your design, functional. Call us today!