Do I Need Kitchen Cabinet End Panels?

This is a common question that we get from customers. The answer depends on the product and the situation.

Yes, You Need Them . . .

There are some ready-to-assemble products on the market that make all their cabinet boxes a universal color and then you have to buy matching kitchen cabinet end panels to match the face frame and doors (Ikea products are like this). In this case, you do need the cabinet end panels.

No, You Don’t Need Them . . .

Our cabinet lines all have finished sides, so they are stained or painted 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.

You Might Need Them . . .

There are a few other situations when you might want to consider using cabinet end panels.

  • Aesthetics: 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. We sell kitchen cabinet end panels to fill in this gap when the end of the cabinet will be exposed. If you like the sides to be flush with the face frame, the end panel will create that look.
Overlay of Face Frame on Sides
  • Installing Crown Molding: If you are installing crown molding, 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.
  • 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.

Refrigerator or Pantry End Panels . . .

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.

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