Glossary of Common Cabinet Terms
Usually found under the countertops and sits on the floor.
Wood paneling that contains parallel grooves (typically vertical) to give the cabinet added style and texture.
Beaded styling on the cabinet door. Typically is found in the recessed panel of the door.
A hinge that is attached to the inside of the cabinet door so that it is out of site.
A groove cut into a piece of wood that allows another piece to slide into it for a tighter fit.
A highly effective way to join two pieces of wood at a right angle without requiring screws. The male end of the board has multiple pins cut into it while the female board has a series of tails. The two are then joined together in an interlocking fashion.
The front panel of the drawer box where the handle is attached.
Not natural wood. This is wood that is enhanced for better structural purposes. It is also environmentally friendly since oftentimes it is created from the leftovers from other types of wood. Examples of engineered wood include particle board, fiberboard (MDF).
A hinge that is showing on the outer edge when the cabinet door is closed.
This is the outer frame that is attached to the front side of the top, bottom and side of the cabinet box. This improves the overall stability of the box.
The final layer applied to the surface to lock in color and provide protection. The protection helps sustain the cabinet’s overall beauty and protects from sun damage and other normal wear.
Another way to say particle board because of the flakey nature of the wood in particle board.
Consists of a door or drawer where the center portion of the panel is indented or recessed. The recessed look can have multiple styles and shapes.
One of the two standard cabinet design styles. This style incorporates a frame around the front side of the cabinet box. This is the most common design and is also the sturdiest.
Also referred to as European style cabinets. With Frameless cabinets, there are no obstructions on the front side of the cabinet box allowing for greater room for storage. These usually require full overlay cabinet doors so as to cover the edges of the cabinet box.
Doors and drawers that are designed to fit within the inside edge lines of the faced frame opening. The outer edges of the doors and drawers will be flush with the face frame edges.
This is a door type that covers the majority of the front of the cabinet box. Most common in frameless cabinets.
Another way to say particle board.
Used to coat the cabinets to provide another level of unique style. Glazes come in a variety of colors and finish types used to change the overall appearance of the wood material. Glazes are designed to enhance the wood’s natural properties.
MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)
This is an acronym for Medium Density Fiberboard which is a manufactured wood product created from tiny wood particles and a bonding agent such as glue or resin. Since it is made with tiny wood particles, it is easier to shape as opposed to particle board which is made of larger wood particles. MDF commonly serves as the core material of the cabinet and is covered with laminate or melamine. If It’s Wood does not use MDF unless requested.
A popular plastic material that is easily cleaned and is used to cover the door and drawer surfaces. It is adhered to the core of the cabinet which typically consists of particle board, or MDF.
Cabinet doors with a glass panel in the center panel of the door. The glass comes in a wide array of styles and colors to make the cabinet more unique.
A term to describe the amount of face frame covered by the front of a drawer or door.
Doors and drawers cover only a portion of the overall frame. Good option to highlight the outer frame of the cabinet box since it will be visible when the doors and drawers are fully closed.
A manufactured wood product composed of small pieces of wood bonded together with glue or resin. This is the least costly solution for the core of a cabinet and is of the lowest quality when compared to plywood or MDF.
Horizontal pieces of the face frame.
The central panel of a cabinet door that is indented or recessed to offer a unique style and design.
This is the exposed portion of overlay on the front cabinet frame when the door or drawer is closed.
Semi-custom cabinets are one step below custom cabinets when it comes to price and the number of options available. They are factory made versus being made by a specific woodworker. Given advances in cabinet manufacturing technology, many still offer a wide variety of options when it comes to selecting your cabinet style, size, shape, etc.
This is the area between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. It usually protrudes out over the cabinets. Many people like to convert it into a shelf above the cabinets for added storage.
Solid wood is different from particle board or MDF in that it is made up of multiple solid wood boards that are glued or bonded together. They are more structurally sound but typically more expensive.
Species of Wood
This refers to the many types of wood options you have. Species are differentiated by wood grain, density and color.
Vertical pieces of the face frame.
Stock cabinets are the most affordable type of cabinets. They are usually found in places like Home Depot and Lowe’s and are pre-made so you won’t have as many choices in terms of size, design etc. Stock cabinets are usually made of wood veneer or a laminate material that is adhered to MDF or particle board.
Refers to the material that laminate, thermo-foil or melamine is applied to. It is usually made of particle board, plywood or MDF.
This is defined as the lower most piece of the base cabinet that is sunk in enough to allow someone’s feet to go under if they were standing in front of the cabinet.
Veneer consists of strips of wood that are adhered to a substrate such as particle board or MDF. The benefit of using wood veneer is that you are able to choose from the highest quality cuts of wood since you are not relying on its ability to provide support for the overall cabinet. Instead, it is just the outer layer used to add style and beauty to the cabinet.
A type of vertical design in many cabinet doors. It is typically beaded or grooved and popular in bathroom medicine cabinets.
Simply put, these are cabinets that are mounted to the wall.
The pattern made in the wood that is influenced by the species of tree and its age.