How to Choose and Install a Kitchen Cabinet

A kitchen cabinet is an important design element that sets the tone for the entire room. Its size, configuration and style should be chosen carefully to match your lifestyle and storage needs.

There are many kitchen cabinet options, ranging from standard in-stock sizes to custom cabinets that are built to the homeowner’s specifications. Selecting the right cabinet type can have a major impact on how well the kitchen performs and how much it costs to build or remodel.


The material used in kitchen cabinets is a critical part of the overall design. It needs to be durable enough for daily use, but it also must match the style of your kitchen and be cost-effective.

Wood is the most popular choice for kitchen cabinet frames and doors because it’s natural, strong, and can be used in a variety of styles. However, it can be expensive to purchase wood, so manufacturers often opt for other materials that mimic the look of wood without the high price tag.

Plywood is another common material used for kitchen cabinet frames and doors. It consists of thin layers of wood veneer that are glued together to make a solid material. It’s relatively easy to work with and can be finished in a wide range of ways, including painting or staining.

Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is another commonly used cabinet material that can be crafted into many different styles. It’s made with small particles of wood fiber mixed with wax and resin, which makes it stable and resistant to warping. It is also a good choice for cabinet door construction because it takes paint well and has superior screw-holding power.

Laminate is another option for cabinet face frame kitchen cabinet and door construction. It consists of three resin-saturated layers, including a base layer of paper, a printed and colored layer, and a protective transparent layer.

Like wood veneer, laminate is a less expensive alternative to pure wood-based cabinet faces. It can be made in a variety of patterns and designs, including textured and faux-wood options. It is not as sturdy or durable as other cabinet materials, so it’s recommended to choose a higher quality laminate for durability.

Thermofoil is a low-cost and easy-to-maintain material that can be used in kitchen cabinetry. It has a variety of colors, patterns, and designs that can be used to match the color scheme of your kitchen and complement your furnishings.

Melamine is another low-cost and easy-to-maintain cabinet material that can be used in kitchen cabinetry. The material consists of pressed wood, MD, or plywood that’s topped by a layer of paper that’s coloured with a heat-fused melamine resin. This material is a good choice for kitchens with a neutral color palette and can be painted to add character.


There are a wide variety of styles used in kitchen cabinets. It can be difficult to determine which style suits your space, but it’s essential to choose the right one for you. The cabinet is the most noticeable part of your kitchen, and the first thing that anyone will see when they enter it. It’s also a place where you store all of your kitchen supplies. So it’s important that you pick a design that will suit your space and complement your other home decor.

The most popular style of cabinet door is the Shaker style, which offers clean lines and minimal ornamentation. These doors work beautifully in modern, transitional and traditional kitchens.

Another option is the slab style, sometimes referred to as flat panel doors. This style is available in a variety of finishes and veneers from glossy white to natural wood tones. It can be used to complement a sleek contemporary aesthetic or to add some rustic charm to a country kitchen.

Slab doors are also a great choice for those looking to create a modern, minimalist design. They are easy to keep clean, and they can help your cabinets stand out against the rest of your kitchen.

Craftsman-style cabinets, based on the Arts and Crafts movement, originated in the late 19th century. They are characterized by simple straight lines and quality construction, often made from heavy woods like quartersawn oak, hickory and cherry.

In addition to being affordable, custom-made cabinets offer a range of sizes and shapes. This allows you to get the most out of the space in your kitchen and take advantage of any nooks or crannies that might otherwise be missed by stock-made cabinets.

Full overlay cabinetry is another common option that enhances a contemporary, modern or transitional style. In this style, the door and drawer fronts almost completely cover the cabinet face, allowing for more storage.

Glass-front cabinets are another popular choice, especially for those with light-colored kitchens or a desire kitchen cabinet to showcase their collections of china and other heirlooms without letting dust and cooking grease build up on them. These doors also reflect light, which can make the kitchen feel more open and airy.


Choosing the right finish for your kitchen cabinets can make a big difference in how your kitchen looks and how well it’s able to perform. The right finish can help you accentuate your kitchen color scheme, enhance the wood grain, and protect your cabinetry from normal wear.

Painting is the most common finish for kitchen cabinets, and it comes in many different types of paint. Among the most popular are semi-gloss and higher-gloss finishes. These paints have a smooth, even surface that helps to reflect light and can make a space feel larger without being too shiny or tacky.

However, painted kitchen cabinets can be prone to scratches and chips because they are often touched and slid across each other. For this reason, you may want to opt for a durable finish such as UV-cured paint or polyurethane to keep your cabinets looking good for years to come.

Lacquer is another popular choice for kitchen cabinets, and it offers a hard, nonporous surface that’s water, stain, and mildew-resistant. It’s available in multiple gloss levels, and it’s also easy to wipe clean.

Acrylic is another finish for kitchen cabinets that is non-toxic and gives a high-gloss appearance. It is available in a wide range of colors and can be used on any material or style of cabinets.

This finish is a popular choice for kitchen cabinets because it’s affordable and has several advantages. It’s resistant to stains and heat, is durable, and can be wiped down easily with a damp cloth. It is also waterproof and can withstand moisture, so it’s ideal for kitchens that are frequently exposed to the elements.

Natural-looking wood cabinets are a favorite for many homeowners, and they are becoming increasingly popular for kitchens. They don’t have the sheen of polished wood, but they do show off the natural imperfections in the wood, like grainy textures and uneven coloring.

Glaze is another popular finish for kitchen cabinets, and it’s perfect for highlighting intricate designs in your kitchen. It can be applied directly over painted or stained cabinets and wiped away after it dries. This can highlight details that might otherwise be missed, such as the bevels on the cabinet doors or the lines of a hand-carved design.


The kitchen cabinet installation process can be a little daunting if you haven’t done it before. However, if you do your homework, have the right tools and have a good general knowledge of how to do it yourself, you can complete the task without hiring a professional.

First, you’ll need to prepare the area by removing any trim that will interfere with the new cabinets. You’ll also need to mark and strike the wall studs for the base and upper cabinets. Having these lines ready will help you determine what hardware is necessary and how to mount them properly.

Next, you’ll need to secure a ledger board or several cleats to the studs where the cabinets will rest while you mount them. This will help you avoid a lot of frustration and make the task go a lot smoother.

Set the ledger on a level line and use a tape measure to mark it so you can accurately follow the centerline. Once you’ve drilled the ledger, place the first cabinet on it and secure it to the ledger with 3-inch screws. It’s best to secure the cabinet only as much as it will stay in place – don’t overtighten them just yet.

Now, you can install the remaining cabinet boxes in a similar way. Just be sure to use a level and insert shims behind the cabinet in between the wall and under the cabinet on the floor if the cabinet isn’t plumb.

You should now have the upper cabinets mounted to the wall studs in the desired positions. You can either attach them to the studs with 3-inch #10 screws or toggle bolts, but you should always choose the option that works best for your wall type.

Lastly, you’ll need to finish the installation by screwing the cabinets together. This will ensure that the cabinet boxes are all flush with each other and secured securely to the wall.

To complete the installation, you’ll need a screwdriver, a drill and a bit, as well as hardware appropriate for your wall type. As always, check the manufacturer’s instructions and read them carefully to ensure that you are using the right hardware in the correct spots.