Bath Kitchen and Tile Center Custom Cabinets

Mark Gandy, CGR, CGP, CAPS, CR
- Private group -
July 11, 2012

What are “custom” cabinets? One of the most common misconceptions home owners have regarding kitchen cabinets is that the term “custom” defines quality and price. This could not be further from the truth! There are three classifications of kitchen cabinetry being “stock”, “semi-custom” and “custom”. These terms simply refer to the construction options available from the cabinet manufacturer and in no way define the quality of the product. The fact is that with changing markets over the past decade and higher demands by home owners and cabinet dealers, the majority of today's cabinet manufacturer's would be classified as “semi-custom”. Most home owners with a reasonable budget can own “custom” cabinets using most cabinet manufacturers.


Stock Cabinets


When putting the Model T Ford into production Henry Ford advertised that you could purchase his car in any color you wanted, as long as it was black! This statement generally describes the stock cabinet market. Stock cabinet manufacturers offer their product one way, with no modifications from their standard offerings available. This means purchasing cabinets in standard widths in 3” increments, standard industry heights, standard industry depths, and a limited selection of door profiles, wood species and finishes. Most only offer particle board box and drawer construction. The most common example would be the cabinets that you walk into a big box home center and pick up off the shelf. There are a limited number of stock manufacturers who do offer their product in a plywood box construction.


Semi-Custom Cabinets


This is the most common classification of cabinets today. A semi-custom cabinet is available with limited and specific modifications. Most will alter the depth of cabinet boxes but not width or height, which changes the size of cabinet doors. Most offer construction options allowing you to purchase the same cabinet in a particle board or plywood box construction. Most offer the option of a particle board drawer box or an upgrade to a hardwood dovetailed drawer box with self closing hardware. Most still only offer the most common wood species being oak, maple, hickory and cherry, but will offer upgraded sprayed on finishes such as glazes and basic paint options. Inset doors may now be an option, and some will offer upgraded wood species such as alder, birch, red birch, pine and knotty maple. Specialized design options will be offered such as recessed toe kicks, finished interiors on wall cabinets, corner clips, fluting, etc. allowing for a more customized finished product. Examples of semi-custom lines handled by Bath Kitchen and Tile Center would be Timberlake, Decora, Showplace Wood Products and Yorktowne.


Custom Cabinets


A true “Full Custom” cabinet manufacturer should be able to build most anything you or your designer conceives! The sky is the limit with cabinet sizes and construction options. They will offer color matching above and beyond their standard offering of finishes, and your choice of wood species should not be limited. Exotic specialty woods will be offered such as zebra wood, bamboo, mahogany and walnut. Antiquing options will be a standard offering such as rub through, worm holes and intentional distressing. Beading on inset doors will be on the face frames and not on the doors, and in most cases you will have the option of having a wood veneer interior and plywood shelving. Cabinet finishes will most likely be hand wiped rather than sprayed. However, there are full custom cabinet manufacturers who will offer you their product and options in a less costly particle board box construction, and some that offer their product in a “frame-less” construction with particle board or metal drawer boxes. Examples of full custom cabinets offered by Bath Kitchen and Tile Center would be Crystal and Hagerstown Kitchens.


No matter your budget or desire Bath Kitchen and Tile Center has the kitchen or bath cabinet to meet your needs. Please contact one of our award winning designers at one of our three convenient locations to schedule a consultation and start designing the new kitchen or bathroom of your dreams.