Autumn Shaker Cabinets- Kitchen Design That Everyone Will Love!

We love when our customers send in photos documenting their renovations and rehabs, but this one in particular caught my attention.    The color palette is great, and you can tell it has a professional touch (Thanks to Wolffe Interiors), but the picture quality is professional as well.   It is amazing how much effect a photograph can have on the look and feel of  a kitchen.    The crazy thing about our cabinets, and cabinets in general, is that the color can look completely different in two different lights.    Even in our own showroom, natural light, halogen light, and led light completely change the look and feel of the cabinets.    This is one of the big reasons why we say that it is important to get sample doors before you make a final decision.

In this kitchen designed by Wolffe Interiors, they used our autumn shaker kitchen cabinets in combination with black granite and an awesome greyish subway tile for the back splash and behind the free standing range hood.   Two of the unique designs about this kitchen are the sink in the island, which frees up more work space around the range, and the double sided island that features wall cabinets under the seating area for extra storage.   The kitchen really turned out amazing.  They added little touches, like the decorative end panels on the wall cabinets, that add extra detailing around the glass tile backsplash.  The pull bar hardware really goes great with the overall design.   So enough talking about it….. here are some photos of the finished kitchen!

Don’t forget to pin the photos on pinterest, and share them with friends on facebook!

Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

Autumn Shaker cabinets with a black granite top

ASH1-1 ASH2-1 ASH3-1 ASH4-1 ASH5-1

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Fire Sale on Granite Vanity Tops!

We recently bought a close out on granite vanity tops, so we are having a fire sale!   We have limited quantities of each style, but we are selling them at 35% percent off of our regular prices.  Big savings if you are getting ready to remodel any or all of your bathrooms.   For available sizes and colors, head over to the sale page: Granite Tops

Once we run out of a particular size, you won’t be able to get them at this price anymore.  They are selling fast, so don’t wait too long.

Sale on Granite Vanity TopsHow would you like the chance to win a FREE vanity AND top?  If you haven’t already, head over to our facebook page and vote in the Kitchen Giveaway Contest.   Everyone that votes is entered to win a FREE vanity combo.  Contest ends in a couple of days, so hurry up and vote.

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Kitchen Cabinet End Panels: Do I Need Them For My Kitchen?

This is a common question that we get from customers and realistically the answer can be yes or no, it really depends upon the situation.  There are some ready-to-assemble products on the market that will reduce the number of items they have to stock by making the cabinet box a universal color and then you have to buy matching kitchen cabinet end panels to get the cabinets to match the face frame and doors (Ikea products are like this).   Our cabinet lines all have finished sides, so they are stained or painted (depending upon the cabinet line) to match the face frame and doors.   So if your only concern is whether or not the sides are finished, then you don’t have to worry… you won’t need the end panels.

So when WOULD you use end panels?  There  are a couple of scenarios where you would need to use end panels, but I think it is important to explain why we sell them first.  All of our cabinets are framed cabinets, which means there is a face frame on the cabinets that adds extra rigidity and strength.  The face frame on our cabinets overlaps the sides by 1/8” to lock them in place.

Overlay of Face Frame on Sides

We sell kitchen cabinet end panels to fill in this gap when the end of the cabinet will be exposed.  As I mentioned, the sides are finished to match the face frame, so in what scenarios would you want to use end panels?

1)      Esthetics – Esthetics is the most basic reason.   Some people want the sides to be flush with the face frame, so the end panel will create that look.

2)      Installing Crown Moulding– If you are installing crown moulding, you will need the sides to be flush to create a clean corner.  The end panel will create a flush side, which also makes that corner much much easier to calculate.

3)      Installing Decorative End Panels – We started selling the regular end panels as part of our deco door kits, but most companies don’t.   Most often a decorative end panel is really just a cabinet door that you are attaching to the side of the cabinet.  For that reason, it is not going to fit into the  1/8” groove that is on the side of the cabinets.   You want this surface to be flush so that the door can overlap onto the edge of the face frame.

When it comes to refrigerator panels or pantry end panels, we currently do not sell them because they are too large and too hard to ship without getting damaged.   In most cases people don’t use them on pantries or refrigerator panels anyway.

So if you are trying to determine if you need the end panels, use the three scenarios above as a guideline.  If you don’t fall into any of those three, then odds are you don’t need them.

 

For more tips like this, follow our blog or visit our facebook page.   If you found this information useful, help out a friend or family member by passing it along.

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Will I Die a Horrible and Painful Death If I Buy RTA Kitchen Cabinets From China?

Are RTA Cabinets Toxic?

Will you die a horrible and painful death if you buy RTA Kitchen Cabinets from China?  Yes, there is that possibility…. if they are not properly secured to the wall and they fall on your head (ok, so I am being sarcastic).  While the idea of you dying from your kitchen cabinets may sound crazy, there are a lot of people that are worried about “toxic chemicals” and off gases because they heard a story from a friend who told a friend who told a friend that anything made from plywood out of China is dangerous… well, I am here to dispel that myth.

If you are active on any of the home improvement forums or chatrooms, at least once a month you will see people asking “are cabinets out of China safe?” and inevitably someone will respond and say that they are full of toxic chemicals.  This is usually not based on fact, but rather because of someone that doesn’t think you should buy a product that is made outside of the US, or because they heard a report several years ago about the concern over formaldehyde in the glue…however, it just isn’t true.    In 2009 (I believe), California passed phase 1 of the ATCM (Airborne Toxic Control Measure) which set strict limits which capped emissions of formaldehyde, but it was also because a lot of US manufacturers were using it in their glue as well (it wasn’t just because products out of China had formaldehyde).   Phase 2 of the CARB compliance procedure took place later that same year and put even tighter restrictions on emissions.

With California being a major gateway for containers from China, all of the factories were forced to become CARB 2 compliant or not be able sell their cabinets in the U.S.    As you can guess, all of the factories that we have dealt with, immediately became compliant and had to get an independent verification to ensure they complied.   Any cabinet line where the factory has been inspected, will have a CARB 2 compliant logo like the ones below:

Kitchen Cabinet Carb 2 Compliance Carb2 CARB2-logo

If you see this logo on the box or on the website of the company, it is a pretty safe bet that you will not die a horrible and painful death from these cabinets.   Even if you don’t see it on the box, CARB 2 compliance has become the norm now, rather than the exception.

So when it comes down to the safety of the cabinets from an emissions standard or the use of “toxic chemicals” this is more of a myth than fact.   If you would like to read the full story about CARB 2 compliance, Columbia Forest Products has a great pdf that explains everything: CARB Compliance FAQ

All of our cabinets come from CARB Compliant factories that have been independently verified and are held to the highest standards of the new California emissions laws.

If you found this blog post useful, please share it with your friends or post it on Facebook.  If you disagree with anything I said, or have any comments, feel free to leave them below

 

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Kitchen Cabinet Accessories: How Do You Know What Rev-a-Shelf Items Fit in What Cabinets?

How to choose Rev-A-Shelf cabinet accessories

Since RTA cabinets do not as many bells and whistles as custom cabinets would have, we partnered with Rev-A-Shelf several years ago to start offering their kitchen cabinet accessories for our cabinets.  We don’t manufacture the Rev-A-Shelf line, but we do sell a lot of it.   The biggest question we get is “will this fit in this cabinet?”.  While we have a wide range of their products on our website, not all of them are going to fit in our cabinet lines.   So how do you tell what will fit and what won’t?   Here are some simple guides to help you figure out what will fit.

While I wish it was as simple as saying anything from their accessory line will fit, it simply won’t.   What really is going to affect the accessories that will fit into a cabinet line will be the frame and the overlay of the door.   All of our cabinet lines are framed cabinets, which means the face frame overlaps the sides of the cabinets to make the cabinet more rigid and ultimately more sturdy.   So when you are looking at what will fit into that cabinet, you have to account for the width of the face frame.   All of our cabinets will have 1.5” face frame on each side, so a good rule of thumb is to take the size of the cabinet… say a Base 18… and subtract 3”.  That will be the maximum width that you could fit into the cabinet… so for this example, the maximum width that would fit into the Base 18 would be 15”.  Simple enough, right?

Opening Widths for a Base 18 Kitchen Cabinet

The exception to this rule is for cabinets with ½ overlay or ¾ overlay.   The reason for the exception is that the cabinets use a different type of hinge for the door, which takes up more space.   For our cabinet lines, this really only applies to the Ginger  Maple and Sunset Maple, but for other cabinet companies to could apply to more.   For each door on the cabinet, you will lose another  1” of space.   So a Base 18 in Ginger Maple or Sunset Maple will actually only have 14” of maximum opening space.

Where it really gets complicated is on the double door cabinets.    For a full overlay door, the two doors butt up against each other in the center, so there is no center stile.   For a ½ overlay or ¾ overlay cabinet, the doors will not meet in center so they will traditionally have a center stile (the reason for this is that they try to maintain the same amount of reveal all the way around the doors).     That center stile will act like a double stile for the cabinet.   So a Base 36 in Sunset, will lose 6” of space for the frame of the cabinet and the center stile, then 1” for each door…. So in reality, the openings will only be 14” wide on each side  (the same as the Base 18).  Does that make sense so far?   For a full overlay door, since there won’t be a stile in the middle, you would actually have 33” for the opening.

base 36 kitchen cabinet

specifications for a base 36 kitchen cabinet

These same rules will apply to wall cabinets as well

Pantries

Pantries are a different topic, and this is where a lot of the confusion comes in.   Here is the drawing that comes with the Rev-A-Shelf catalog:

Rev-a-Shelf Swing Out Pantry Unit

specifications for the pantry swing out unit

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Installing Crown Moulding On Kitchen Cabinets

installing crown moulding

Installing Crown molding is a very popular finishing touch for any cabinet line, but most people get confused about how to actually install it.  DISCLAIMER:  When installing crown, we are talking in general terms, which is why we do not reference height from ceiling, etc.  Each cabinet line and each manufacturer will most likely have different styles of crown molding, but the installation will be the same (so don’t worry if your crown molding doesn’t match the images in the pictures)

There are several different ways you can install crown moulding on top of your cabinets and it comes down to the look you are going for and the type of overlay on the cabinets.   For half overlay and even some ¾ overlay cabinets, there is still enough room on the face frame to secure crown moulding to.  For full overlay cabinets, you would have to secure it to the top of the cabinets.

So how do you secure it to the top of the cabinets? 

In most cases you will need a nailing block behind the crown to secure it to.  This can be a thin piece of 1” x 1” material that secures to the top of the face frame and acts as support.  You should secure the nailing blocks to the cabinet, then the crown molding to the nailing blocks as shown in the diagram.

Crown Moulding Installation

Crown Moulding with nailing block mounted to top of face frame

Some people prefer to have the crown molding set back.  In this case, you can use the nailing block, but secure it to back of the face frame before installing your cabinets (as shown in the diagram).  This would be my preferred method of installation, since it gives you something to secure the crown molding to and something for the crown molding to rest on.

Crown Moulding with Nailing Block

Crown Moulding secured to nailing block behind the face frame

For half overlay cabinets (such as your basic Oak, Sunset, and Ginger Maple) you have multiple options of how to install the crown moulding.  You can use one of the options mentioned above, or you can secure it directly to the face frame.  This is a straight forward installation but will also be affected by how level your ceilings are.

Crown Moulding Attached to Face Frame

Crown Moulding Installation on half overlay doors

And lastly, an increasingly popular option, which will also help you hide any imperfections on your ceiling, and also make the crown molding look larger, is to add a toe kick behind it.   I really like this look when installing crown molding on walls, but it also looks great on cabinets.   You would take the same approach of adding a nailing block to the cabinets, you would then secure the toe kick to the nailing block and finally, secure the crown to the nailing block.  If you are going straight to the ceiling with this, I would also recommend that you add additional support at the ceiling.   You may need to scribe the toe kick to the profile of your ceiling as well.

Crown Moulding Extended from Cabinet

Crown Moulding Installed with extra profile

If you need information on how to cut crown molding, check back to our blog and we will be posting another article about proper cutting techniques… or just subscribe to our RSS feed and WE will tell YOU when we post it (much less work for you).   As always, if you found this useful, please share it with anyone else that might need it.

Here is a handy infographic that summarizes everything from this article:

Crown Molding Installation

Instructions for various types of crown moulding installation

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