6 Steps To Choosing The Perfect Kitchen Cabinet

Many people consider the kitchen to be the center of their home. You make great memories there, like sneaking a bit of mom’s cookie dough or pouring a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee. You spend so much time in the kitchen cooking, baking, eating, and socializing! Suffice it to say, people love their kitchens. 

At least, most people do. 

Have you ever walked into your kitchen, and found yourself disliking what you see?

It’s not fun! Sometimes, having the wrong kind of kitchen cabinets can result in unhappy people that dislike their kitchens. 

It should be no surprise that the cabinets in a kitchen make a big difference in how a kitchen feels. After all, cabinets are often the largest and most significant piece of furniture in a kitchen.

cabinets in a kitchen

Not only are cabinets important in making kitchens beautiful, but they are also important in organizing our lives. Imagine a kitchen without cabinets - the kitchen table, counters, and maybe even the floor would be complete chaos! 

And cabinets can’t fit a cookie-cutter mold. They meet the different needs of each person. While one person might want large cabinets to hold all their pots and pans, another person might opt for small open-faced cabinets to display their chinaware. 

If you walk into your kitchen and don’t like what you see, or if your kitchen cabinets don’t meet your customized needs, maybe it’s time to think about picking out some new cabinets. 

While planning a new kitchen is exciting, it carries a lot of trepidation with it as well. But don’t worry, that’s why we are here!

If you’re looking for help in choosing the perfect cabinet for your kitchen remodel, you’ve come to the right place. Just keep reading!

Table of Contents

  • 1
    1. Setting a Budget for Kitchen Cabinets
  • 2
    2. Choosing the Right Style of Kitchen Cabinet
  • 3
    3. Choosing Paints & Stains for Kitchen Cabinets
  • 4
    4. Picking the Right Size Cabinets
  • 5
    5. Spotting the Signs of Quality Cabinets
  • 6
    6. Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinet Maker

Setting a Budget for Kitchen Cabinets

The first thing you should consider before you get into the specifics of kitchen cabinets is your budget. 

We’ve all been sucked into making purchases that weren’t carefully considered, and you want to avoid this mistake! It's always a good idea to know what you can safely spend before you buy. 

The style, color, size, type of wood, and other factors influence the cost of cabinets, so settle on your budget before you get too far and try to stick with it. 

If you’re wondering what your budget should be, consider these numbers. Kitchens range widely from $100 to $1,200 per linear foot. A typical 10 by 10-foot kitchen would run anywhere from $2,000 to $24,000, though most fall in the range of $4,000 to $13,000. If your kitchen is larger or smaller than 10 by 10, the same math still applies. 

If you’re looking for a quote for kitchen cabinets in Northern Indiana, contact Graber Supply, and we can give you a customized quote for review.

the cost of cabinets is influenced

Choosing the Right Style of Kitchen Cabinet

After setting your budget you should consider the style of cabinet you want. Although there are many considerations in choosing a style of kitchen cabinet, the first thing you should do is choose your door profile. 

The most common door profiles include: 


Flat panel doors

The center panel of the flat panel door is flat rather than raised or contoured. These doors fit the traditional, transitional, and contemporary styles.  


Raised Panel Doors

The center panel of the raised panel door is raised with a profile or contour. They work well in traditional or transitional design schemes


Recessed Panel Doors

On recessed panel doors, the center panel is slightly depressed. 


Slab Doors

This door style is a solid door with no frame or panel. You’ll find this minimalist style mostly in transitional, contemporary, or modern designs. 


Once you’ve chosen the door profile that you want, you should consider how your cabinets fit in with the decor of the rest of your house and kitchen. The cabinets you pick should complement the decor of the home.

common cabinet profiles

Choosing Paints & Stains for Kitchen Cabinets

Once you’ve chosen the door profile you prefer, and made sure your new cabinets will fit the style of your house, it’s time to pick out a paint or stain. 

Let’s be clear here: a lot of people doing kitchen remodels want to re-paint their old cabinets, or maybe even save money by painting their new cabinets. 

Although it is an option, we highly discourage it especially if you don’t own a paint and stain sprayer. You’ll be touching your kitchen cabinets every day, and having a smooth, even finish is very important! If you decide to refinish your own cabinets, make sure to first contact a professional like Graber Supply to gain a good understanding of the process. 

When you’re choosing paint or stain, many of the same principles apply that you use in choosing a style of cabinet. Make sure you’re choosing something that fits the style of your home.

By the way, if you want to know more about home remodeling in general, read our blog on what to do before starting a home reno project. 

when choosing your cabinet colors

There are so many beautiful colors to choose from! Here are a few tips to save you from banging your head in frustration while choosing paints and stains. 

White is a timeless color and looks great in cottage, traditional-style, and modern kitchens. Two-tone kitchens create a nice contrast to add a little creative flare to the space. Dark cabinets with light countertops or light cabinets with very dark countertops are on-trend. 

Opting for light upper cabinets contrasted with dark lower cabinets is also a great look and helps make the kitchen look larger. 

When you choose your paint and stain, it's okay to borrow other people’s ideas! We recommend doing ample research online and finding lots of pictures of a color you like. Don’t be worried about visiting a cabinet showroom either. This is an amazing source of ideas, and cabinet makers are usually very knowledgeable when it comes to answering your questions. 

opting for light upper cabinets

Picking the Right Size Cabinet

Perhaps it goes without saying, but choosing the right size of cabinets is very important. 

The typical size for a base cabinet without a countertop is 34.5 inches high. The width of standard base cabinets will come in multiples of threes between 9 and 42 inches, and the standard depth of base cabinets is 24 inches. 

For wall cabinets, the height is usually available in 30”, 36”, and 42.” 

A standard wall cabinet will vary in multiples of threes between 12” and 36”, and they usually have a depth of 12” or 24”. 

Clearly, the options vary when it comes to cabinet size. Although these are standard sizes, most cabinet makers are willing to make cabinets at the size you want, so make sure you’re ready to express what you want. 

If you are happy with your current kitchen size, simply replicate them and add a cabinet or two if you need more space.

If you know there are items that don’t fit in your current cabinets that you want to store, it's a good idea to measure those items and make your cabinets at least an inch larger. 

When you’re deciding on the size of your cabinets, make sure you don’t make them just big enough to stuff everything in that you need to store. Remember to consider organization, accessibility, and functionality. A cabinet that is 36” deep could store a lot of items, but the materials at the back of the cabinet would be difficult to access.

Spotting the Signs of Quality Cabinets

You use your kitchen cabinets every single day, so it is well worth your money to invest in quality cabinets. 

What should you look for when you’re trying to find a cabinet maker who does quality work? 


Consider the wood

The material cabinets are made from is important because it plays a key role in the durability, longevity, and quality of service the cabinets provide.


Plywood is considered the premium option for cabinet boxes (other than solid wood used on the face frame). It's a strong material and solid-core plywood employs several layers of wood plies or veneers oriented at varying angles for stability and rigidity. Virtually all cabinet makers offer plywood as their upgrade or top-line cabinet box material over particle board or MDF.

Particle Board

Particle board is widely used to make cabinet boxes and other components. It's covered with a melamine, wood veneer, or vinyl laminate layer. Its drawback, however, is that it's susceptible to damage from water and liquids. Particle board also gives off formaldehyde vapors based on the constituents of the adhesives used to bond the wood particles.


MDF is another engineered wood product made from wood fibers pressed and bonded together. Like particleboard, it's susceptible to water damage and it's also very heavy, adding to the overall weight that's suspended from the hanging rails on the back of the cabinet

In general, a combination of plywood and solid wood is the highest quality option when it comes to cabinets. It’s both durable and easy to repair if the cabinets get scratched or nicked. 

a combination of plywood and solid

Look at the drawers

Good drawers will have nice joinery and solid fastening systems. A cheap drawer is often stapled together. You may also notice a bit of sloppy glue and scratch marks from the manufacturer on cheap drawers. These are all signs of a kitchen cabinet that is not of high quality. 


Ask about the hardware

A good drawer has roller slides, rollers and tracks, or ball-bearing extenders. Cheaper drawers open and close on a plastic runner system.  

The hinges on the cabinet doors should be adjustable in all directions. Make sure your hinges are also soft close hinges. This saves a ton of wear and tear on the cabinets, and spares you the headache of banging cabinets!

There are plenty more options as far as determining the quality of cabinets, but doing a quick check on these three factors takes you a long way in determining the quality of kitchen cabinets.

the hinges of a cabinet door should

Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinet Maker

The most important thing to do when installing new kitchen cabinets is to find a good cabinet maker. We’ve all spent hours researching something online and making no progress, only to have a knowledgeable friend help us in a few minutes. 

Choosing the right cabinets is no different. A good cabinet maker will educate you on all the different aspects of choosing the right cabinets that fit within your budget. A good builder is much more helpful than Google! 

At Graber Supply we walk with customers from the beginning to the end of the cabinet purchasing process. We would like to help you with your project! 

If you’re a homeowner in Northern Indiana looking for cabinets that are made from solid wood, constructed with high-quality craftsmanship, and completely customizable, contact us today! 

We also offer other beautiful home products such as:

Contact us today for a quote!

a good cabinet maker will educate