What to Ask Before Buying Kitchen Cabinets
If you’re looking to improve your kitchen and make your home more valuable, buying kitchen cabinets and investing in quality materials is one of the smartest things you can do. Statistics show, modern buyers crave beautiful, yet functional kitchens, and are willing to pay a premium to get them.
Thus, many homeowners are updating their kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances with the intent of adding value to their home for a future sale. The only problem is where do you start? Luckily for the readers or our blog, Distinctive Cabinetry specializes in Kitchens & Bath Remodels & Renovations. With the help of StarMark Cabinetry we’ve created a “What to Ask Before Buying Kitchen Cabinets” Guide.
Questions to Ask Before Buying Kitchen Cabinets
1) WHAT TYPE OF FINISH IS USED? A very durable finish is an oven-cured catalyzed conversion varnish top coat. It provides a clear, non-yellowing, chemicallyresistant finish. The least durable top coats are lacquer and catalyzed lacquer. Just a few years after lacquer-finished cabinets are installed, the area around the pulls and knobs develop a tacky, dark color. That is the lacquer wearing down from everyday handling and exposure to water (sink), detergents, chemicals, and steam (coffee maker and dishwasher). Lacquers also yellow over time. This does not happen with a catalyzed conversion varnish.
StarMark Cabinetry uses a catalyzed conversion varnish. Cabinetry finished with this process will look better and hold up better over time compared to cabinetry with a lacquer top coat. Our finish is more than durable, it’s beautiful. Our top coat has a lustrous feel, incredible depth, and an understated, elegant satin sheen. It’s what you’d expect of fine heirloom furniture, so we call it the “Furniture Finish.”
2) WHO SUPPLIES THE FINISH MATERIALS?
StarMark Cabinetry uses finish materials from only the best and most reputable manufacturers. The coatings comply with all regulations regarding Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and formaldehyde.
3) WHAT IS THE FINISH PROCESS?
StarMark Cabinetry has a multi-step finish process that is one of the very best in the industry. It is certified by KCMA (see LEARN MORE at left) and passes a rigorous certification process that tests for resistance against chemicals and harmful household products. StarMark Cabinetry finishes cabinetry in a professional, climate controlled system. The varnish is catalyzed and oven cured to provide a super hard finish that is clear, nonyellowing and chemically resistant. Each cabinet in a StarMark Cabinetry installation will have a pleasing overall color match due to our exacting color standards and controlled manufacturing environment.
4) IF A DOOR HAS TO BE REPLACED, CAN YOU GET IT FINISHED TO MATCH YOUR KITCHEN?
Watch out for cabinetmakers who may not be in business when you need a door or two down the road.
StarMark Cabinetry has been in business for more than 35 years. StarMark will be there if you need a door, a hinge, or a glide.
5) WHAT IS THE WARRANTY?
Cabinetry has to endure hard knocks.
StarMark Cabinetry has a limited Lifetime Warranty. StarMark Cabinetry has been in business for more than 35 years. StarMark will be there if you need a door, a hinge, or a glide.
6) IS THE PRODUCT ON VIEW?
Avoid cabinetmakers who do not have their product on display. You need to open and close doors and drawers, judge the glides, and judge the material, methods and joinery used to build the cabinets.
StarMark Cabinetry is on display in our Walnut Creek Showroom.
7) ARE THE CABINETS CERTIFIED BY THE KITCHEN CABINET MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION?
Cabinets that comply and bear the KCMA certification seal are a quality product able to perform after a rigorous battery of ANSI tests simulating years of typical household use
Throughout the entire manufacturing process, every employee is empowered to remove product that doesn’t meet their standards. Our employees are actively and passionately engaged in our Continuous Improvement (CI) process. We have several CI teams from several different departments who watch over every aspect of cabinet production, from order processing through delivery. Our Continuous Improvement process works!
8) DOES THE CABINETMAKER HAVE A WRITTEN FRIM DELIVERY TIME?
Floors, appliances and counter tops have to be coordinated with the delivery of cabinets. A delay will throw off several components of your project.
StarMark Cabinetry delivers 99% on time and complete. We have a four week delivery time for stains, six week delivery time for other finishes and specialty items, eight week or ten week delivery time for inset cabinetry.
9) WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR REPLACEMENT PARTS?
Most projects need replacement parts and add-ons.
StarMark Cabinetry emphasizes fast turnaround on job completion items.
Other factors to watch out for when buying kitchen cabinets:
1) HOW ARE THE FACE FRAMES ATTACHED TO THE CABINET BOX?
Some cabinetmakers cut costs by just nailing the face frame to the side panels, instead of using durable, time tested woodwork joinery.
2) DO THE CABINETS US HARDWOOD PLYWOOD OR PARTICLE BOARD?
Particle board isn’t very strong, and it doesn’t take finish evenly. Some cabinetmakers create cabinet exteriors with a mix of wood and melamine components. Be aware that melamine doesn’t age like the wood components will, and eventually your kitchen will be two different colors.
3) WILL YOUR HAVE A BACK PANEL?
When buying kitchen cabinets it’s easy to overlook little features. But, how about the back panel? Some cabinetmakers cut costs by eliminating the back panel. When you open the cabinet door, you will see the wall.
4) WILL THE PARTICLE BOARD BE UNFINISHED?
Unfinished particle board will absorb moisture and bubble.
5) HOW THICK SHOULD CABINET SHELVES BE AND ARE THEY ADJUSTABLE?
Shelves that are only 5/8” thick are likely to bow. Unadjustable shelves will limit how you can arrange the contents of your cabinets.
6) HOW STURDY ARE THE CABINET DRAWERS AND ROLL TRAY?
Some cabinetmakers cut costs by building their drawers with particle board or soft wood. They pin the drawer sides to the front and back. A drawer made with these materials and the pinning method WILL NOT stand up to the daily abuse kitchens drawers are put through. Insist on rugged material and dovetail joinery. Some cabinetmakers cut costs by not protecting the glides from the finish process, so the glides are speckled with the cabinet color.
7) BEFORE BUYING KITCHEN CABINETS CHECK THE HINGES… DO THEY SOFT CLOSE?
Cabinetry will shrink and expand with the changing seasons. If you can’t adjust your hinges to accommodate seasonal changes, your doors won’t close properly.
Distinctive Cabinetry makes buying kitchen cabinets easy. For more than 30 years our kitchen designers have turned dreams into reality. Our NKBA certified designers have the knowledge and experience to work within your budget and space, giving you exactly what you want.
Click the button below if you need help buying kitchen cabinets.Yes, I Need Kitchen Cabinets.