If you are buying or remodeling your kitchen or bathroom cabinets, you will come across many different styles, makes and models of cabinets. Below are listed several common terms associated with cabinetry to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Reface – To repair or renew a frontwards facing surface. In cabinetry, this means replacing old cabinet doors with new ones. Refacing your cabinet doors instead of buying completely new ones can save you a lot of money during a kitchen remodel.
Refinish – To replace the exterior coat of paint or stain. For cabinets, the refinishing process involves sanding down the cabinets to get rid of the original coat before applying the next one. Different stains can also mimic different types of wood, such as oak, cherry or maple.
Medicine Cabinet – A special type of cupboard usually found in the bathroom. It often sits above the sink and doubles as a mirror, since there is usually one on it's door. Inside are small shelves crafted for storing medicines. This is often an essential piece in small bathrooms.
Vanity – A bathroom cupboard that usually includes a sink, a cabinet below and a mirror above. The size of the piece of furniture can vary, from a compact size for small bathroom to spa quality size for large and elegant bathrooms.
Island – In cabinetry, this is a piece of furniture that sits in the middle of the kitchen, providing additional storage and counter top space. As it is not attached to any other piece of furniture in the kitchen, it is called an island.
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Kitchen and bathroom cabinets fall into two general groups. They can either be fixed or movable. Although fixed cabinets are more common, movable ones are sometimes preferred, as the owner can take them with them when they move.
However, the vast majority are permanently fixed when the room is built or remodeled. They are chosen to compliment the home and often to increase its value. Custom cabinets can be very expensive. Some houses have pantries built in to the wall or as walk in, in other cases, the pantry may be part of the cabinetry. Fridges and other appliances are sometimes built in.
The primary purpose of cabinets is storage. Bathrooms may have a vanity around the sink, counter space and medicine cupboards. Larger kitchens often have an island in the center with storage underneath. Design choices include the material. Marble is expensive, but popular for counter tops. Doors are often wood. Oak, maple, and cherry are preferred, and then are finished with a water and humidity proof lacquer. Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom generally involves the installation of new cabinets. A cheaper choice is refacing and replacing hardware. Interior designers may integrate a kitchen or bathroom into the rest of the house. Styles are often affected by fashion, and cabinets may be decorated with colored tiles or brass hardware. Doors are especially important for both practicality and looks. Other furniture such as tables and chairs may be chosen to match cabinets. Often the same vendor sells cabinets, furniture and, indeed, the entire 'room' as a set. This may include glass fronted cabinets designed to both organize and display items such as china or spices.