Corner Renovation Kitchen Cabinets: Structure and Specifics

Corner introduces you to everything you need to know about custom modern kitchen cabinets. We'll tell you about their structure and designs, and we are ready to share the high-quality materials used to produce our custom cabinets. Our clients can be sure they're making the right choices.

Modern kitchen with wooden and black matte kitchen cabinets

Types of Сustom Kitchen Cabinets

There are several classifications of kitchen cabinet types based on their appearance, location, and functionality. So before we get into the details of their production, let's walk through their types.

There are three main types of kitchen cabinets:

Light oak base cabinets

Base or lower cabinets

These cabinets are installed on the floor and form the shape of the kitchen design. They overlap the kitchen countertop, creating the kitchen's working area. The structure of the custom kitchen base cabinets includes a certain number of drawers, which form the functionality of the entire kitchen.

Matte dark gray upper cabinets with under-cabinet lighting

Wall or upper cabinets

They are located directly above the base unit and offer additional storage options. If the base cabinets have their distinctive design, so do the wall ones. They can be of a contrasting color or coating, but the most important aspect is that they seamlessly integrate into the overall design. Custom wall kitchen cabinets can also be installed with shelves, at the client's request.

American Walnut pantry between the base cabinets

Tall or pantry cabinets

They are often installed at full height, floor to ceiling, but custom kitchen pantry cabinets can be made at any height. They are often immediately visually striking when viewing a kitchen design. Their height is a contributing factor, but their primary appeal lies in their storage capacity.

The pantry cabinets also include an appliance garage. This is a specially equipped cabinet section where all appliances are stored, ensuring the kitchen remains clean and spacious rather than cluttered.

The Structure of Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Custom kitchen cabinets are made up of certain parts, by learning about them you can learn more about their importance and functionality.

The first part of a custom kitchen cabinet is fronts, which demonstrate visible parts of the cabinet such as door or drawer panels, their style, textures, and finishes. The design of the custom kitchen cabinet fronts is important, not only because it showcases the cabinet itself, but also because it sets the style of the entire kitchen.  

The second important part of a custom kitchen cabinet is a box, which is the basis for the entire structure. It consists of panels to which the fronts and drawers are attached, and in this way, its whole structure is formed. The capacity of a custom kitchen cabinet box depends on its construction and the materials it is made of play a great part in its durability.

Drawers are the third part of the custom kitchen cabinet construction. They have a similar structure to the cabinet, consisting of panels and a front, and are made of the same materials as the cabinet box. They provide convenient storage for dishes, cutlery, and other kitchen utensils, enhancing the kitchen's functionality.

Matte olive base kitchen cabinets

Custom Kitchen Cabinet Fronts

When discussing the custom kitchen cabinet designs, it is essential to begin by learning about the fronts as they represent the "face" of the kitchen. The selection of fronts will determine the type of cabinet, its design, and other specifics.

Types of Custom Kitchen Cabinet Fronts

Let's take a look at the types of fronts that are available for custom kitchen cabinet fronts.

Flat panel, or slab fronts (slab doors, frameless cabinets)

Slab kitchen cabinets are distinguished by their flat, solid fronts, devoid of contours, profiles, frames, or other features typically associated with other designs. Their minimalistic and clean appearance is a result of their straightforward structural approach.

Flat panel base and upper cabinets with two open shelves

Glass fronts

As the name implies, these cabinets feature doors with glass cut-outs that allow you to showcase the contents. They can be crafted in any style, including framed or flat panels. Kitchen cabinets with glass fronts are ideal for decorative purposes, enhancing the elegance and sophistication of kitchen designs.

Dark gray kitchen cabinets and glass upper cabinets with lighting

Reeded fronts 

Reeded fronts are an exquisite choice for kitchen cabinets, enhancing the design variety and adding a touch of softness. They are covered with serrated or rounded protrusions, which can be either horizontal or vertical. There are also reeded glass fronts for kitchen cabinets. It gives a particular effect that glass usually makes the space look airy and larger. Our Berlin collection demonstrates how reeded glass kitchen cabinets can look in practice.

Black upper cabinets with reeded glass fronts above oak base cabinets

Fluted fronts

The fronts of these cabinets feature vertical grooves or ridges that resemble a flute. The grooves create an attractive, aesthetically pleasing design that will make a unique statement in any kitchen, particularly when paired with smooth surfaces.

Fluted fronts on the kitchen island

Slim shaker cabinets

Slim shakers offer a distinctive design that sets them apart from traditional shakers. Their recessed center panel and thin frame create a more elegant and sophisticated look, while their simple style fits seamlessly into any kitchen design, whether traditional or modern.

Slim shaker on base cabinet.

Japandi cabinets

Japandi cabinets are distinguished by their unique style elements. Their fronts are designed with slim lines, without unnecessary clutter, and the main emphasis is on the material from which they are made mostly wood. It is the wood grain that is the main decoration of Japandi cabinets.

Dark wood Japandi kitchen cabinets

Finger pull cabinets

Finger pulls are a type of handleless cabinet that still has a handle-like mechanism. A groove along the upper or lower edge of the cabinet front functions as a handle. All you need to do is slip your fingers into the groove and pull the door to open the cabinet. There are also custom finger pulls, which are a cut-out handle through which the wooden material of the cabinet can be seen.

Slightly opened kitchen cabinet with finger pull front

Materials for Kitchen Cabinet Fronts

Corner uses MDF as a material for the production of custom kitchen cabinet fronts. MDF is used as a material for the core of the fronts and different types of finishes are attached to the MDF core.

The structure of MDF boards consists of small dust particles of wood, which are heated to release lignin (a natural substance). After combining with paraffin, it is pressed, which leads to the formation of a monolithic, dense material. 

Samples of different materials, boards, wood veneers and laminates

Thanks to its flexibility, MDF makes it possible to obtain products of different shapes, with relief or flat surfaces, depending on the design. The material lends itself well to processing: cutting, milling, and drilling. MDF is also quite strong and water-resistant, but the latter should be specified when ordering, as not every type of MDF can be characterized by this feature.

Another common material used in kitchen cabinet building is plywood. It is created from thin layers of wood from skinned logs, which are then bonded together with various resins and subjected to high heat and pressure to form panels. 

The use of plywood usually depends on the specific design the client wants to achieve. For example, to better show off the edges of the front panel and to have clean lines. The MDF option is slightly better than plywood because MDF has more particles in its composition due to the nature of the material, making it denser than plywood.

The production of fronts is also complemented by the materials used for trimming and decorating, which distinguish a separate range of front types.

Light oak wood veneer base cabinets

Wood veneer fronts

One of the most popular materials for cabinet fronts, it brings natural beauty and a sense of warmth to kitchen designs. Wood tones are usually warm, making them an appealing choice.

Wood veneer kitchen cabinets offer several advantages. Firstly, they visually resemble wood while fully preserving its structure and the feeling of coziness that comes with it in the design. Secondly, the additional protection of the veneer is complemented by a matte or glossy finish. Thirdly, the production of veneer does not involve the use of components that can cause harm to health. Furthermore, the use of less wood reduces the environmental impact.

Wood veneer is ordered from Alpi, which offers various veneers in different colors and textures for any surface.

Wood veneers can have the following types of coating: oil wax, lacquer, stain, or paint. Varnish is applied to the surface in any case, even when stain or paint is used. However, it is important to remember that the finish color depends on the choice of lacquer, as it changes the shade of the product. Therefore, the go must be agreed upon before starting production.

Light oak wood veneer base cabinets and pantry in the background

Corner’s collections of kitchen designs in Scandinavian and Japanese styles feature kitchen cabinets crafted from wood veneer. They are often based on oak or American walnut, which are available in a range of beautiful light and dark colors. The wood grain, on the other hand, remains unchanged in its uniqueness. Our collections demonstrate how a beautiful kitchen can be created with both light and dark wood veneers. As a result, custom kitchen cabinets look like they are made of solid wood while being lighter and more durable.

Painted fronts

Cabinet fronts are made of painted MDF boards and have gained significant popularity due to their simple colorful look and aesthetic appeal. 

Painting of MDF boards can be single-sided and double-sided, using Sayerlack paint. This is a high-performance, two-component acrylic solvent-based polyurethane coating recommended for general interior wood finishes. The paint has a matte, super matte, glossy, and soft touch finish.

Matte green kitchen cabinets with open shelves on the upper ones

A vast selection of decorative options and colors will allow the kitchen set with a painted facade to fit perfectly into any style of kitchen.

For instance, the fronts of our Rebel kitchen collection are crafted with soft-touch painted MDF boards. It is available in gray and beige colors, which is common for minimalist kitchens, as well as bright green. With a matte finish, the kitchen cabinets exude a sophisticated, contemporary style.

Laminated fronts

Laminate is a synthetic or engineered wood product that is ideal for use in millwork, flooring, and other applications. It is a multi-layered material with a strong core and a thin outer layer. Typically, the core layer is a mixture of compressed wood or wood particles. The thinner layer is the part of the cabinet that will be visually accessible. 

Some of the custom kitchen cabinet fronts are crafted using the renowned Niemann laminate, which offers a range of matte and glossy finishes, as well as a diverse palette of colors. One particular material they offer is Acrylux. They are acrylic panels that, as stated by the manufacturers, act as an alternative to lacquered facades. Their characteristics include high resistance to scratches and chemical damage, unique gloss, soft texture, and anti-fingerprint effect. Acrylux panels do not need treatment for hardening or protection after removing the protective film, and they are also easily maintained.

Base cabinets and countertop made of Fenix laminate

Another fantastic option for kitchen cabinet fronts is Fenix NTM laminate, which is also recommended for kitchen countertops due to its exceptional performance and high quality. Fenix is famous for its unusual durability, as it has the peculiarity of recovering under the influence of high temperatures, so it is resistant to minor mechanical damage, dents, and scratches. Its matte soft surface is also anti-fingerprint, which allows it to maintain a clean and tidy appearance.

As a result, custom kitchen cabinets are built using MDF material, which is then enhanced with a range of finishes or coatings to align with the design preferences of our customers. After all, the buyer sets the parameters for the cabinet and the fronts, and Corner selects the right material to bring the desired design to life.

But the fronts are only the beginning. It is the "face," as we said earlier. Next, let's talk about the core of the custom kitchen cabinet design.

Kitchen Cabinet Boxes

The kitchen cabinet box is a construction that consists of side panels, a top rail, and a back sheet. In the case of base cabinets, a toe kick can be added. It is a recess under the box which allows you to get closer to the cabinet without bumping your feet into it. Inside the boxes, shelves are installed, but they are most often made in the upper cabinets and pantries, and the base ones are equipped with drawers. 

The fronts can be attached to the box with the help of hinges, which regulate the operation of the doors and provide easy and quick access to the items you need. A magnetic latch can be used as an alternative to hinges, if the drawer fronts are handless and have different opening mechanisms.

Wooden drawers with cutlery

In terms of construction, custom kitchen cabinet boxes can be either framed or frameless. Framed cabinets are typically used in traditional kitchen designs, but in modern designs, frameless cabinets are becoming increasingly popular due to the European influence in both style and convenience. 

Corner exclusively offers frameless custom kitchen cabinets, which have many advantages. Firstly, they provide greater accessibility, as no frame would prevent you from getting anything out of the cabinet. Secondly, frameless cabinets provide greater capacity. In line with modern kitchen trends, where minimalism and European styles are popular, these cabinets allow you to free the design of the kitchen from unnecessary clutter, placing all things inside the cabinets.

In addition to construction, the material used to assemble the box significantly impacts the performance of custom kitchen cabinets. It also defines their durability and resistance to damage. Therefore, it is time to discuss the materials used to construct the cabinet box.

Materials for Kitchen Boxes

The construction of custom kitchen cabinet boxes typically involves the use of wood materials, which are selected based on their specific features, quality, and cost. For example, a cabinet constructed from solid wood may offer superior durability, but it tends to be heavier and more expensive. That's why engineered wood is preferred for building the kitchen cabinet box.

MDF and Engineered wood boards

Engineered wood is created by heating and pressing a mixture of shavings, sawdust, and chips produced at wood processing plants. The resulting material offers enhanced attributes over traditional hardwood, including a superior strength-to-weight ratio, resistance to moisture and pests, and reduced warping or shrinkage. 

Thanks to its high-performance and cost-effective nature, engineered wood is a valuable addition to various industrial applications. Its incorporation into the construction industry guarantees the durability of structural components while reducing the environmental impact.

Engineered wood itself also comes in several varieties. Firstly, the MDF boards from which the kitchen cabinet fronts are made are also engineered wood. They can be used as a core for the cabinet box too, but after assembly, the MDF boards are usually coated with Alpa or Fenix HPL plastic.

Another common material used in custom kitchen cabinet building is plywood. It is created from thin layers of wood from skinned logs, which are then bonded together with various resins and subjected to high heat and pressure to form panels. 

The use of plywood usually depends on the specific design the client wants to achieve. For example, to better show off the edges of the front panel and to have clean lines. The MDF option is slightly better than plywood because MDF has more particles in its composition due to the nature of the material, making it denser than plywood.

Corner chooses engineered wood for custom kitchen cabinet boxes, and here is why.

The density of chipboard can vary depending on the type of wood and the manufacturing process used. Most boards are made in the range of 600 kg/m3 to 680 kg/m3 in density, which indicates their high hardness and mechanical strength. In addition, it holds up well to the screws.

Engineered wood boards have a standardized EN 312, which determines the timing of the particleboard. For example, Kronospan and Swiss Krono produce boards with P2, which is intended for furniture used in dry conditions, or P5, which is used to make furniture that can withstand humid conditions.

Its smooth surface can be easily applied with veneers and laminates if needed, and the coating gives the kitchen cabinets more aesthetic appeal. Another significant advantage of engineered wood is its flexibility. This material can be easily customized as it is available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

To maintain the visual appeal of engineered wood, it should be polished regularly. Regarding the effects of moisture on wood products, it is important to note the other difference between plywood and engineered wood. Plywood is susceptible to warping and splintering, whereas engineered, wood has been observed to retain its shape and stability.

In addition, engineered wood is a cost-effective material, making it an attractive option for renovation budgets.

Corner collaborates with brands such as Kronospan, Swiss Krono, and Egger. Though they are foreign companies, they provide high-quality wood for custom kitchen cabinet boxes. 

After the box arrives, it is the turn of its processing: painting or coating with a special material chosen by our customers for the desired design. 

The uniqueness of the final product is not solely due to the materials used. There are numerous opening mechanisms and core systems, selected specifically for the cabinets.

Kitchen Cabinet Drawers

A kitchen drawer is an open, horizontal, box-shaped compartment that slides outward and provides full access to kitchen utensils. It is the part of the cabinet that is responsible for providing functionality and convenience to the kitchen. 

A kitchen drawer box with a hidden drawer

The structure of custom kitchen drawers has its internal structure, and it is similar in some respects to the structure of the cabinet itself. For example, the basic element of a drawer is a box, which consists of four sides and a bottom. The drawer can be attached to the front panel, and in this case, it will work as a solid mechanism. It can also be inside the pantry, and in that case, the drawer will not be connected to the front panel of the cabinet. 

Slides are an essential element of a drawer. These are mechanisms attached to the sides of the drawer and cabinet that make the drawer slide in and out smoothly. And of course, the hardware that opens and closes access to the cabinet storage. Drawer slides can be metal or wooden. Corner uses metal slides by default, as they are usually made this way by our manufacturers. If slides are made of wood, they are usually of the same material as the cabinet boxes.

The balance in the interior arrangement of the furniture determines the convenience of storing things.

Drawers are made in different sizes: small for cutlery, medium-sized, and deeper for larger items. To maximize the functionality of the kitchen and place all the necessary items inside the cabinets, different types of drawers are used.

Types of Custom Kitchen Cabinet Drawers

The most common and first in need are utility|cutlery drawers, where cutlery and small kitchen tools are stored, and deep|appliance drawers, designed to store larger items such as pots, pans, and small electrical appliances.

Spice drawers are also a common request with the clients. They are made with special containers to hold jars or packages.

Under the sink drawers are installed in the cabinet under the sink, where cleaning and detergent products are usually stored.

The left image shows a kitchen drawer with spice bottles, and the right image features a sink drawer with cleaners

So that the trash can does not spoil the look of the kitchen, it can also be installed inside the cabinet, and for this, too, there is a type of drawer. The waste bin can be made for one or two baskets, and it can be placed either in the cabinet under the sink or wherever it is easier for the customer to dispose of the garbage.

A waste bin installed in the cabinet

If the structure of the kitchen is suitable, corner drawers can be installed to maximize capacity. These are great for things or items that don't have room in other cabinets.

In addition to the different kinds of drawers, internal drawers, or as they are also called hidden drawers, are also installed. They have the advantage of providing additional storage space, and they can be pulled out completely and thus provide easy access to what you need. The common case to place hidden drawers is underneath the cooktop.

Organized shelves and drawers in the pantry

More drawers are installed in base cabinets, not only there, but also in pantries. This may seem strange, but such organization in the kitchen shows excellent results of capacity and therefore has a demand. The drawers in the pantry are installed more at the bottom so that items can be accessed more easily without having to reach upwards.

The more drawers, the more usable space, because the depth is usually designed to be filled. If you consider storage on shelves, the height is rarely fully utilized or you have to stack items in several tiers, which is extremely inconvenient when the item will be needed in the kitchen. Pull-out drawers allow you to fill the cabinets to the maximum and freely reach items, practically without changing position.

For drawer manufacturing, Corner partners with Blum and Hettich, who offer their own organization systems and cabinet hardware in addition to the drawer manufacturing itself.

Blum Kitchen Drawers

Blum is primarily known for its unbeatable quality and durability, which is why we have chosen this brand for our custom kitchens. They offer three complete double-wall box systems to meet different needs and requirements in terms of design, functionality, and production.

LEGRABOX drawers are made of stainless steel, which comes in three finishes: matte orion gray, matte silk white, or glossy stainless steel. The peculiarity of these drawers is that they can be successfully combined with wooden fronts.

TANDEMBOX promises to match any style of cupboard and help to adapt the space with solutions for corners, bins, and unused space near the sink.

METABOX are metal drawers made from eco-friendly materials that come exclusively in white. The simple look is matched by a minimum number of components, allowing many possibilities for placing items. The drawers have a maximum capacity of 30 kg.

All drawer systems from this company have a built-in BLUMOTION soft-closing mechanism, which in turn is integrated into the lift, hinges, and the structure of the drawer itself.

Different types f drawers by BLUM

 

Hettich Kitchen Drawers

Hettich offers drawer systems for every piece of furniture and sophisticated storage solutions. In their drawers, side profiles with one or two walls can be installed in various variants. 

InnoTech Atira is a double-walled drawer system that sets high standards and adapts to any environment thanks to its platform concept. It is available in colors such as silver, anthracite, white, and champagne, and has a load capacity of up to 70 kg

InnoTech Atira is shown as a system for individualists that stands out for its comfortable and efficient performance. It has a striking, angular design and drawers with different load classes: 

  • Quadro partial extension runners up to 25 kg
  • Quadro full extension runners up to 30 and 50 kg

MultiTech has five height variants for the drawer side profiles and six length variants, allowing a multitude of design and application options to be realized. The system has a load capacity of up to 25 kg, is cost-effective, and is particularly easy to install.

Corner selects the AvanTech You drawer system for its customers. Its features include flexibility in use, which allows perfect adaptation to any design and individual requirements, and a load capacity of up to 70 kg.

So, there are many kinds of drawers and many ways and solutions on how you can organize their functionality. But this is going to be a separate topic for discussion, as it is much more extensive.

ArciTech drawer system and InnoTech Atira drawer system

Custom Kitchen Cabinet Countertop

The final step in installing and outfitting custom kitchen cabinets is the kitchen countertop overlay. This flat surface is installed on top of the base kitchen cabinets and has several functions. First, it is a work surface on which different meals are prepared. Second, it is used as a protection for the base cabinets and everything inside of them from water and different temperatures. Thirdly, it is an impressive decoration for the cabinetry set as well as the of the kitchen itself. Most importantly, the countertop and its design are highly durable, with minimal joints, and can be used for decades.

We talk in detail about how to choose the right kitchen countertop here, but it is important to remember that quality material will provide a quality countertop, which at the same time will be able to withstand any load and amount of work.

A backsplash can be made with the countertop as well. It is an extension of it, which can be placed on the wall either for several inches or even to the ceiling. If the purpose of the kitchen countertop is to protect the base kitchen cabinets, then the backsplash serves to protect the walls from water, fat, and other kinds of dirt. This is why it is often installed behind the sink or where the cooktop is placed.

As you can see, there is a lot of information about custom kitchen cabinets, and enough details to explore. Our experts are always ready to help, advise on specific questions, and guide you in choosing materials and designs for your kitchen cabinets. We want our customers to have the best and highest quality in kitchen remodeling. We help make kitchens that will delight our customers, their friends, and family, brighten their evenings, and bring coziness into their lives.

Get in touch. Flood us with questions. We are always happy to help!

The kitchen is the heart of the home, the center of relaxation, comfort, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That's why it's so important to give it the attention it deserves when it comes to renovation. And what is the most important thing in kitchen design? That's right, kitchen cabinets! They set the look of the space and give it shape.From the selection of materials and their shapes to their placement, manufacturing and installing cabinets can seem like a complicated process. But it doesn't have to be. You can make the process easier by studying existing designs, considering different fronts and handle options, and paying attention to the materials from which the kitchen cabinets will be made. 

June 21, 2024
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6 min read
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