In this day and age, Russian spies living among us have been identified, to hack at will, stealing our most precious secrets. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about! But apparently it is true, and to be sure, nothing is certain. They might even have peeked out his kitchen, pretending to be friends, or even sneaking through your iPhone, discreetly reproducing your recipes or copying the layout of your cupboards. Worse yet, they could have been making notes on the construction of their cabinets to ship to China, so they can produce them cheaper, thereby undermining our fragile economy.

While it is true that 35 undesirables have recently been given 72 hours to leave the city and return to Russia, it is likely that others are still lurking. And just by examining their cabinets, a trained spy could tell a lot about them. Therefore, it pays to be aware of the differences and beware of people looking too closely at them. Lip, insert, full overlay, standard overlay, framed, frameless, European, custom, semi-custom, stock, etc, etc. The wise kitchen cabinet owner/buyer/spy needs to understand the differences, because without knowing the basics, they may not end up with the dream kitchen they expected.

Cabinet construction/design can be divided into four distinct groups: CABINET TYPE, CATEGORIES, CABINET STYLES, and DOOR STYLES. (I am not referring to cabinet door designs in this article, [that information is classified]only to the different types of construction available).

CABINET TYPE includes framed and frameless cabinets. If you’ve been helping your kids with basic geometry lately, you’ll remember that a box usually has 6 sides. A frameless cabinet (also known as a European cabinet) only has 5 sides; does not have front cabinet box. Made up of a top and bottom, two side pieces, and the back, the cabinet front is made up of just the edges of the top, bottom, and two side pieces (usually 5/8″ or 3/4″ thick). ). The door for this type of furniture must cover the edges of the sides, top and bottom. A framed cabinet includes the sixth side of its box, which makes up the front of the cabinet. The opening for the framed cabinet is cut from the sixth side (the front), creating the “frame.”

Both cabinet types are available in custom, semi-custom, and standard CATEGORIES. Custom cabinets are built to the exact specifications outlined by your kitchen designer. Semi-custom cabinets are also made to order, but to the manufacturer’s specifications. They can be modified to a certain extent, for an additional charge. Standard cabinets are mass-produced to manufacturer’s specifications, with little or no modification available, and are the most economical.

CABINET STYLES refer to framed cabinets only and indicate how much the door covers the front of the cabinet. (Remember, in a frameless cabinet the door should cover the entire front of the cabinet box). Framed cabinets are available in full skin and standard skin, where a portion of the frame is exposed.

Standard overlay doors come in two DOOR STYLES. The standard style sits on top of the frame and is also known as an overlay door. The other variation is the “lip” door, where the center of the door protrudes into the frame. Lip doors are typically only available in custom lines because they are more difficult to build and therefore more expensive.

Of course, there is always the exception to the rule, and in this case it is the recessed door, which is typically only available with full custom cabinets. This type of door fits completely inside the face frame, making the door sit flush with the frame. Although it is the most expensive option available, many feel that it is by far the most exquisite look. If you choose a pocket door, it is imperative that the cabinets are hung by a professional because if they are not installed perfectly aligned and level, the doors will get stuck in the frame.

Now that you have a basic understanding of modern cabinet construction, I strongly recommend that you delete all references to this article that may have been saved in your computer’s history. This will help keep it out of the reach of insidious spies who may be watching you right now.

* “The Russians are coming, the russians are coming“, (click here) a very funny 1966 American comedy film directed by Norman Jewison.

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